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The three that stuck around

Apr. 12—The list of players that stuck around in Champaign for (at least) four years in the Brad Underwood

era is short. Some opted to start their professional careers, with Ayo Dosunmu the only one to date

in the NBA. A lot transferred. Beat writer Scott Richey spotlights the three that stuck around:

Trent FrazierFrazier became a fan favorite during his five seasons at Illinois and provided one of the most enduring images of the 2020-21 COVID season when he held up a hastily made "B1G Champions" sign after the Illini knocked off Ohio State. A regular-season title that, controversially in Champaign, actually went to Michigan. The 6-foot-2 lefty also scored nearly 1,800 career points and went out in 2021-22 with memorable game-winners at Michigan State and Michigan.

Da'Monte WilliamsWhat if Williams hadn't torn his ACL during his senior season at Peoria Manual? It's an intriguing "What if?" for both Illinois as a program and the Illini legacy himself. There were flashes of elite athleticism in his time in Champaign. Several tip dunks (especially the one at Northwestern). The late game-changing defense he played to help beat Minnesota in the 2019-20 season that Richard Pitino wouldn't acknowledge. Mostly, Williams was the ultimate "glue guy."

Coleman HawkinsPotential. The bulk of Hawkins' four seasons in Champaign were defined by that word. Namely in a wait until he fully taps into it way. A triple-double against Syracuse in 2022-23 was a glimpse at the full scale of the 6-10 forward's versatility. This past season was about doing it more consistently even while battling a season-long knee injury. Shots fell. Rebounds were secured. Assists were delivered. And the totality of it all yielded Third-Team All-Big Ten honors.