Originally written on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 10/3/14
MADISON, Wis. When last we left the Illinois basketball program at the Kohl Center, the Illini were a beaten and dejected bunch, playing out the string for a lame-duck coach who knew the end was near. Illinois' enthusiasm certainly didn't match its talent, which included future lottery pick Meyers Leonard at center, and Wisconsin cruised to a 70-56 victory. In the 10 months since that March game took place, much has changed at Illinois. Former Ohio coach John Groce has taken over the program from Bruce Weber, who was fired five days after the Wisconsin loss and now coaches at Kansas State. And Groce has quickly changed the culture of Illini basketball. When Wisconsin (11-4, 2-0 in Big Ten play) takes on Illinois (14-3, 1-2) at 1:15 p.m. CT Saturday at the Kohl Center, the Illini will resemble little of the team that last appeared on the same court. They are a motivated, high-tempo unit that is eager to prove they belong with the best in the conference. "In their minds, I think they...
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