Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tisdale weighs over 200 pounds

Mike Tisdale is already getting lots of attention in the press, since he is a 7' 1" freshman at Illinois. Mike is trying to put on weight, since he only weighs 212 pounds. I have a hard time calling him a lightweight, since I recall (barely) playing on a 160 pound and under football team my freshman year at Illinois, despite my 6' 3" frame.

For more on Mike Tisdale and other items, including the leaping ability of Jeff Jordan (46 inches), see the article.

Illini and Duke Booster Tickets Sold Out for Maui Invitational

Tickets for the Maui Invitational go on sale soon, see the release, and it appears that Illinois and Duke fans are the ones traveling this year, since their teams "booster tickets" are already sold out. Booster tickets basically provide tickets to the games in which your school is participating.

I will be there for the tourney, and it should be lots of fun.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It's Official, Mike Davis commits to Illini

The Daily Herald has now confirmed that Mike Davis has commited to the Illini for this fall. The Chicago Tribune agrees. He apparently decided during a visit to the campus this past weekend and will start school this fall. It is possible he will play for the Illini this coming season, and Illini fans are already getting more excited about him, since he is a shooter, he is athletic, and plays big. He is apparently now 200 pounds and should be able to gain more weight. Davis was originally planning to attend a prep school but his play really improved during the AAU season. Some major programs like Clemson and Florida were after him, so nice job Coach Weber!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mike Davis to the Illini

The big recruiting news today is not about Suggs or Miller, but Mike Davis (no, forget about the former IU coach) from the Washington DC area is committing to the Illini. Facts are still coming out about this development, but apparently he was planning to go to prep school this fall but changed his mind and is heading to Champaign to play basketball starting in either 2007 or 2008. Davis is a 6'9" power forward who can score, rebound and block shots, and he is considered a "late bloomer" who is athletic with a big upside. I will summarize the key links on this breaking story below.

Klee from News-Gazette

Mark Tupper


Video (go to the 27 minute mark for Davis)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Oh No! Shumpert drops the Illini!

I just read the news and as expected, Iman Shumpert dropped the Illini from his list of schools, narrowing it to Marquette, North Carolina and Georgia Tech. If he decides to stay within driving distance of Chi-town, he is headed to Marquette. (Assuming he knows how to use mapquest better than Michael Dunigan.)

I also recall he wanted to play in the ACC, so it is most likely going to be North Carolina, or possibly Georgia Tech, if he likes Hotlanta.

Maui Invitational

Wow, it seems so far away, but the people in Maui have announced the pairings already for the Invitational in November. The Illini play Arizona State in the opening round game. The rest of the pairings are on the website, here. Believe it or not, but Duke has never lost a game on the island of Maui, and won this thing three times! The optimistic Illini fans like me feel confident, and have already flooded the poll with votes for the Illini winning the whole doggone thing, right now running at 30%, with Duke second at 24%. And I thought this would be a turnaround year at Champaign......

Even more exciting, you are all invited to design a logo for the Chaminade Silverswords, and if you win the contest, you can show up at halftime and claim your reward. Good luck to all entering.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Darius Miller Interview

Well, here is a radio interview with Darius Miller, and while not committing to anything, he does describe Illinois in a very positive manner. Interview

I can actually think of a few reasons why Miller would go to the Illini rather than Kentucky or Louisville, but maybe I am just being optimistic.

1. The Illini do not have much competition for Miller in the small forward spot.
2. The Big 10 gets lots of exposure from the national media, similar to the ACC.
3. Coach Bruce Weber has done well in getting his top guys to the NBA.
4. Playing at Kentucky or Louisville would be higher pressure for a top local player like Miller, and Kentucky already has DeAndre Liggins committed.
5. Billy Gillespie has not stayed anywhere very long, although maybe he stays at Kentucky longer. Where else does he go other than the NBA?
6. The Illini have a great record over the past 5 years in the NCAA, and this could continue with a key recruit like Miller.
7. There's nothing like a winter in Champaign to focus on basketball.
8. The Assembly Hall at Champaign is becoming one of the best home courts in the NCAA (although Rupp Arena may be the best one).
9. The Illini have good guards and big men already signed for the 2007 class, so Miller fits in perfectly.
10. Coach Weber teaches players how to be tough enough for the NBA and how to play defense.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Darius Miller Rumors

There are rumors that Darius Miller will end up going to Illinois rather than staying in his home state of Kentucky. Is it possible that Bruce Weber can lure top shelf talent like Miller to Champaign-Urbana? Better yet, will he be joined by Shumpert and Suggs to set up the Illini for 2008/2009/2010? Let's wait and see, but it would be nice to pull a great player out of Kentucky, even though Billy G. is their new coach.