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Rice, Bertrand Spark the Energy

It's not surprising that two of the Illinois' oldest players, Joe Bertrand and Ray Rice, started the positive movement. It's also encouraging that everybody else followed suit.

CHAMPAIGN – A few minutes into the second half during Friday's season opener, with the Illini shooting free throws and extending a lead, Rayvonte Rice and Joe Bertrand took to the backcourt together. Both had real big grins spreading wide across their faces. And why not? It was their aggressiveness that sprang Illinois to life offensively after a hesitant start against the Alabama State zone... Recommended Stories

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Rayvonte Rice tied a school record with 22 points in his debut as Illinois cruised by Alabama State…