Radio extra: Brad Underwood
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Brad Underwood is making the media rounds Monday, a busy day that he'll cap off by addressing the fans in attendance at tonight's NIT game against Boise State.
Today's "Monday Morning Quarterbacks" show (217-356-9397) on WDWS 1400-AM will run an extra hour — 9 a.m. to noon — as hosts Jim Turpin and Loren Tate break down the Illini hire. Already, the phone lines are buzzing.
"This is the first opportunity for people to tell us what they think," Turpin said. "So far, it's all positive. We're still waiting for someone to say something negative about the hire."
ESPN Chicago radio sportscaster David Kaplan called in and strongly praised the hire.
"This hire, I promise you, will work. He knows how the game is played. This guy is charismatic, an outstanding coach at both ends, and he will get players."
Kaplan was also impressed with AD Josh Whitman's ability to find a coach looking to get out of a bad contract.
"When I did my list of 10 candidates, I didn't even think of him," he said. "Whitman, he deserves a ton of credit for zeroing in on (Underwood)."
Kaplan said he spent the weekend defending the hire on Twitter to Illini fans unfamiliar with Underwood.
"Josh Whitman hit a home run. This is a tremendous hire," he said. "You've got to give this guy a chance. … If he doesn't get it done, I will be shocked."
At noon, WDWS and WHMS 97.5-FM will carry live Underwood's news conference from campus.
At 5 p.m., Underwood and Whitman will join "The News-Gazette Sports Page" radio show at the Esquire in downtown Champaign. Doors open at 11 a.m.
Listen to WDWS here.