A year ago, Johnny Hamui was getting ready for his second season in the SEC, part of a talented No. 10 Florida squad preparing for its season opener against Furman.
This year, he’s preparing for another season opener, this time against No. 2 Virginia. The difference? He’s at a new school, nearly 1,000 miles away. And while Hamui was an opponent last year when the Gators and Illini faced off on Feb. 10 — a 4-3 Illinois win — he’s one of five new players to join the Illinois roster in 2010.
“(It’s) unbelievable,” Hamui said. “It’s a little cold outside, and it’s raining a bit, but everything else has been outstanding.”
Joining Hamui are four freshmen — three of whom are not from the United States — who are all fighting to contribute for the No. 15 Illini. They have a chance to make a big splash Friday in front of a home crowd if they see the court and take a few wins from perennial powerhouse Virginia.
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