What’s happening with the Illini? | News-Gazette.com

Just another day in the life of your typical operations person. University of Illinois Men’s Basketball director of operations, Joey Biggs, running a few items in the corner.

  • make sure next season’s unis are set
  • plug some holes in the schedule
  • talk about it to inquiring minds

The social media graphic Illinois used to introduce its entire 2018 class Wednesday included photos of all six recruits wearing the Flyin’ Illini throwbacks. It’s a popular look. It’s also a sleek look that will influence a jersey change for the 2018-19 season.

“The ones next year will be very similar to what we have right now, but the zig-zag goes away and they’re going to go to the slimmer cut,” Illinois director of basketball operations Joey Biggs said. “Instead of that zig-zag on our current jerseys there will just be a straight line. They will be neater and cleaner.”

The slimmer fit jersey style is one Nike first adopted at the 2016 Rio Olympics that is tighter and doesn’t go as wide at the shoulder.

“Some teams have them now, and next year everybody in the country is going to them that’s a Nike school,” Biggs said. “The shorter, slimmer shorts are part of that, too.”

Underwood has already said Illinois’ 2018-19 slate will be one of the best in the country. Hard to argue when it already includes a loaded Maui Invitational, the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the Gavitt Tip-off Games, showdowns with Missouri (Braggin’ Rights) and UNLV (return game) and the Big Ten’s newly expanded 20-game schedule.

That leaves Biggs, who does the Illini’s scheduling, with only a few holes to fill with nonconference games.

“I’ve got one (game) left to get,” he said. “It’s going to be a series, but we’re kind of being selective on what we’re going to do with that one. Maybe even wait until we get an idea of what the Gavitt Games might look like. It’s been easier this year because I don’t see a scenario where strength of schedule will be an issue. … I think it will be a good schedule for our fans, and they’ll be excited about it. And it will be a good gauge for a young team.”

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