Early on in the college basketball season, there were big expectations for Illinois.
Despite losing multiple key players to the draft or transfers, the Fighting Illini opened the year ranked in the top 25 and remained there for nearly the full first 2 months of the season.
One of the big reasons they had those high expectations was that they managed to replenish their roster a bit with a couple of big moves of their own in the transfer portal. Those moves included landing former Baylor starter Matthew Mayer.
With the regular season nearing its conclusion, Illinois remains pretty firmly in the NCAA Tournament field according to projections and now they need to just hope they avoid any surprising upsets or injuries over the next couple of weeks.
That made it a bit concerning that Mayer hasn’t been at practice since the team’s loss to Ohio State on Sunday.
Luckily, he isn’t dealing with an injury right now, but he has been dealing with a troubling issue the past few days.
According to Illinois basketball reporter Derek Piper, Mayer has been dealing with “caffeine poisoning” after drinking 5 Monster energy drinks while playing video games after the loss to Ohio State.
#Illini Matthew Mayer said he’s been sick the past few days with “caffeine poisoning”. Said he drank five Monster energy drinks while playing video games on Sunday (after OSU) and this is his first day back at practice.
— Derek Piper (@DPiper247) March 1, 2023
Mayer has been a major contributor for the Fighting Illini in his first year with the team. He is leading the team in blocks while also scoring the team’s 2nd most points per game and adding 5.3 rebounds per game.
This at least should be something Illinois won’t have to worry about ahead of the tournament as there won’t be much time for gaming over the next couple of weeks with upcoming matchups against Michigan and Purdue followed by the Big Ten Tournament.