Griffey earning more minutes with Illini


It's 1 a.m. on a cold evening in January and Illinois freshman forward Tyler Griffey enters the Illini's practice facility. The gym is empty. He grabs a basketball, sets up a few chairs on the court and aligns the shooting machine.

The first few months of his college basketball career have been trying. For most of December and the early weeks of January, he's seen little time off the bench. Illinois coach Bruce Weber and the assistants tell him to keep on working, and his time will come. His friends, family and teammates stay positive as well.

Griffey is glad to have people around him who care, but this is his time. At this moment, there's no around telling him what drills to do. There isn't anyone standing at his side encouraging him. He's come to the gym at this hour because he finds it's sometimes best to work alone.

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