Home > Illinois basketball > Bruce Weber: Hoosiers fans “unbelievable … whether you like them or not”

Bruce Weber: Hoosiers fans “unbelievable … whether you like them or not”

The usual catcalls and expletives likely will cascade on Illinois coach Bruce Weber when he walks out the tunnel at Indiana’s Assembly Hall for Thursday’s 8 p.m. tipoff.

Hoosiers dislike Illini. It’s just part of the border war.

Following the Eric Gordon saga, however, Indiana fans’ feelings toward the Illini coach became even more animated and fiery. And comments, like these, didn’t help Weber.

But the Illini coach – who has won 10 of 14 games against Indiana during his first seven seasons, including four straight – was respectful of Hoosiers fans during Tuesday’s media teleconference.

“They have unbelievable fans, whether you like them or not,” Weber said. “They have unbelievable fans. … Especially when we come to town, it seems like they’re there and it’s loud.

Weber has coached against the Hoosiers in the Big Ten for 24 seasons, spending 17 seasons as an assistant under Purdue coach Gene Keady, so he knows Hoosiers fans well. He expects them to keep the Assembly Hall full despite three lackluster seasons following NCAA investigations and the subsequent release of Kelvin Sampson in 2008.

“It doesn’t matter what their record is. They love basketball there,” Weber said. “It’s got great tradition. Obviously, everyone wants a winner, and they would like the program to be re-energized and get going.

“I think they just are very supportive fans and great fans. You got to give them credit for how loyal they are.”

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Categories: Illinois basketball
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