>> Illinois Starting Over With Young Roster
Illinois begins basketball practice on Friday, and coach Bruce Weber says he is looking for someone on the roster to step up.
The Illini went 20-14 last season and knocked off UNLV in the NCAA Tournament. But key contributors Demetri McCamey and Mike Davis are gone, and the current roster has six freshmen.
Illinois added Sam Maniscalco at guard to improve its experience level. Maniscalco is a graduate student who transferred from Bradley after missing most of last season with an injury.
Weber is hoping sophomore center Meyers Leonard can mature. The 7-foot-1 Leonard was part of the U.S. national team that played at the under-19 world championships over the summer.
Illinois' season opener is Nov. 11 against Loyola.