Good Morning, Illini Nation: 'Unbelievable' defense from Coleman Hawkins

Oct. 31—Welcome to "Good Morning, Illini Nation," your daily dose of college basketball news from Illini beat writer and AP Top 25 voter Scott Richey. He'll offer up insights every morning on Brad Underwood's team:

Kansas coach Bill Self mentioned, without prompting after Sunday night's charity exhibition game at State Farm Center, that the Jayhawks had trouble handling Coleman Hawkins on the offensive end. What the 6-foot-10 forward could do in ball screen actions troubled Kansas' defense.

Hawkins was bothersome defensively himself. While the Jayhawks' Hunter Dickinson scored 22 points in Sunday's game, he needed 20 shots to reach that type of production. Hawkins did the bulk of the defending on the 7-2 center, who was seriously inefficient around the basket.

"I thought Coleman was unbelievable defensively," Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. "If you guys know anything about ball screen defense and help and support, Coleman was off the chart. I felt so comfortable with him in the game on that end. I tried a couple times to take him out and said, gosh darn it, in a one- or two-possession game he was just going to have to play. He's so good. His anticipation is great. You're not going to stop Hunter totally, but his positioning was good and we jammed his shoulder a few times."