The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

November 13, 2013

Illinois faces size test against Valparaiso

Associated Press
The Clinton Herald

---- — CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Illinois will see something tonight that it hasn’t had to face yet in the young basketball season: A big opponent.

The Illini (2-0) take on Valparaiso tonight at home. The Crusaders (2-0) have four players who are 6-foot-9 or taller. That includes a 7-footer in 270-pound center Moussa Gueye.

Illinois coach John Groce said Tuesday that Valparaiso easily was the biggest team the Illini had played so far.

Illinois has only two big men in 6-11 Nnanna Egwu and 6-10 Maverick Morgan.

Valparaiso’s size could present a challenge in the one area Groce said Illinois needed to work on after Sunday’s win over Jacksonville State. Illinois won 86-62 but was outrebounded 44-37.

But Groce said his guards were not involved enough in rebounding Sunday.