Coach Bruce Weber is excited for basketball season.
The level of competition dropped off dramatically, but the Illinois basketball team was only concerned with its own performance. During the 131-65 exhibition tour win Thursday over Castellanza Select in Castellanza, Italy, the Illini didn't back off, and that excited coach Bruce Weber. "You almost wish basketball was right around the corner, but we've got a couple months to get prepared,'' he said. "The big thing we talked about with the kids was making improvement. We've done that. We've gotten in a little bit of a rhythm. "This team was undermanned, but we came ready to play. The athleticism and depth takes a toll on teams. We keep coming after people, and we're starting to get a little better rhythm shooting. We're learning to get people open.'' Sophomore Joseph Bertrand led Illinois with 18 points on 8-for-12 shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers. Forward Tyler Griffey scored 17 points while Brandon Paul had 15 points, eight assists and four rebounds. Ibby Djimde (14), Myke Henry (13), Nnanna Egwu (10) and Meyers Leonard (10) also scored in double figures. The Illini complete the tour by facing Fulgor Omegna Friday before flying home Saturday.