Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lenzelle Smith Jr. visits Champaign Campus

According to this article in, Lenzelle Smith Jr. of Zion-Benton visited the Illini campus recently, and according to his father, the "the visit to the campus of the University of Illinois went extremely well, and gave high praise to Illinois head coach Bruce Weber."

An important point on Smith: "Smith is not just a star on the basketball court, but a star in the classroom as well. He currently carries a 4.2 grade point average, and ranks 12th in his class academically out of 844 students in his class."

With this type of academic background, Smith could take an athletic scholarship or academic scholarship at Illinois. So all of the worrying on the web about having enough athletic scholarships is a waste of time. Also, a lot can happen with transfers and early departures between now and 2010, in my opinion.

IU AD Greenspan turns off Bennett, who declines job

IU is having troubles recruiting a replacement coach, having been turned down by their number one prospect, Tony Bennett of Washington State. Rick Greenspan, who was expected to be fired along with his basketball coach, Kelvin Sampson, is still employed by Indiana University. ESPN speculates that Indiana will move on to offer the job to an unemployed Mike Montgomery, who had coached Stanford and the Golden State Warriors.

It seems like Indiana should have shown Greenspan the door some time ago.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Tony Bennett expected to take IU Head Coach Job

As posted here earlier, Tony Bennett was offered the head coaching position at IU, and is expected to accept the position. Tony Bennett is the son of Dick Bennett, who previously was the Head Basketball coach at Wisconsin. Tony took over at Washington State after his father retired, and was able to get his Cougars to the Sweet Sixteen before losing in this year's NCAA tourney. This is an excellent hire for IU, and should help them expedite the recovery of their program, after the Kelvin Sampson fiasco.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ron Guenther gets 2 year Extension as AD

As expected, the University of Illinois announced that Athletic Director Ron Guenther was provided with a two year extension today, paving the way to continued improvement in Illini sports programs and facilities. I'm guessing Ron would like to watch Illini football in another major bowl game as AD, as well as witness the resurgence of Illini basketball over the next two years. Congratulations Ron, you deserve the extension and best wishes to continued success at Illinois.

By the way, Ron Guenther is a strong supporter of Bruce Weber, so this move keeps Bruce Weber in place so he can rebuild the team with the upcoming recruiting classes of 2008 and 2009.

NCAA Head Coaches, Who's Out and Who's In

At Indiana University, Dan Dakich is out. Who's in? My local connections claim it will be either Bruce Pearl, Sean Miller, Steve Alford or Scott Drew. My money's on Bruce Pearl, a very successful coach and favorite among Illini basketball fans based on his investigative talent using sophisticated recording devices.

At Cal-Berkeley, Ben Braun is out. Replacements being discussed locally here are Mark Few of Gonzaga, Randy Bennett of Saint Marys and Mike Montgomery (what's he doing now?). A fourth name I heard earlier today is Bill Grier of San Diego.

My local sources in Portland, Oregon are suggesting that Ernie Kent will be out soon at Oregon. Oregon basketball fans had high hopes this season, and weren't impressed by the Ducks early exit in the NCAA tourney. What I'm hearing is that Mark Few is headed to Eugene, lured by big money to be offered by his pal and Athletic Director, Pat Kilkenny. Kilkenny is apparently new to the scene in 2007 and wants to elevate the basketball program. Would this be a good move for Oregon? Hard to say, but I do know Ernie Kent has a top-notch recruiting class in 2008, having landed Michael Dunigan, Matthew Humphrey, Josh Crittle, Teondre Williams and Drew Wiley.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Beverley against Gordon

Indiana and Eric Gordon went up against Arkansas and Patrick Beverley, and who prevailed tonight? Arkansas was ready to play, with Weems scoring a career high in the game, and Gordon went cold in the NCAAs and Indiana became the first big 10 team to exit the tourney this year. It's interesting to see who plays each other in the NCAA tourney, with Gordon a guy who committed to Illini but didn't sign, and Beverley wanted to commit, but wasn't offered a scholarship by Coach Weber. Beverley and Weems are a tough guard combo, based on this game.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

College Basketball Invitational Tournament Field

Updated on March 17th:

Tuesday, March 18
Richmond at Virginia - 7 p.m.
Rider at Old Dominion - 7 p.m.
Brown at Ohio - 7 p.m.
Houston at Nevada - 9 p.m.

Wednesday, March 19
Cincinnati at Bradley - 7 p.m.
Miami (Ohio) at Tulsa - 8 p.m.
Valparaiso at Washington - 9 p.m.
Utah at UTEP - 9 p.m.

The CBI Tourney field is not out yet, even though their website said they would announce on March 16th. Some teams have confirmed they are in, but the tournament is tying up some loose ends, so maybe the field will be announced late tonight or tomorrow. The website for CBI is here.

Apparently, some schools are interested in the CBI, and some are not. To be a home team in the CBI, the host school has to pay CBI $60,000 for the rights to host the game and split the revenue with the tournament. This is probably causing lots of negotiation this evening, and therefore delays in announcing the field. However, some schools have already announced they are participating in the CBI, and eventually, the tournament might announce the field themselves--officially.

Virginia is in the CBI.

The Utah Utes are in.

UTEP is in.

The Houston Cougars are in.

Bradley is in.

Brown University is in.

Washington is in.

Post Season Tournaments

The NCAA tourney brackets are out, and the Illini are not in that one, after losing the Big 10 Tournament Championship Game to Wisconsin.

The NIT field is out, the Illini are not included, and the official website bracket is here.

The College Basketball Invitational has not announced their field yet, but this should happen soon, and I doubt the Illini make this one either. CBI website

The projected field for the CBI actually looks pretty solid, and the NIT has some really good programs in the field this year, so I guess Illini fans should not have even thought about an invite, based on their losing record and next to last place finish in the Big 10.

Illini lose to Wisconsin in BTT final, shades of 1999

Well, they must have run out of gas mentally or physically, because that offensively-challenged team showed up again. Weber's three guard offense looked very weak against a bigger Wisconsin line-up. At one point, Chester Frazier was being guarded by Greg Stiemsma, who is 6-11 and 260 pounds. The advantage goes to Wisconsin on that match-up, because Stiemsma is a better outside shooter than Frazier.

Shaun Pruitt played well for the Illini, and Calvin Brock had a nice game as well. The rest of the team looked ragged out there, including McCamey, Frazier, Randle and Meacham. Toward the end of the game, Jordan, Holdren and Hicks hit outside shots, making some of us wonder what they were doing on the bench all year if they can actually shoot the basketball.

Anyway, it was a nice run in the Big Ten Tourney for our Fighting Illini. The NCAA berths are being announced, and though I will fill out some brackets, I just don't feel like watching CBS after this poor game by the Illini. Or maybe it's the fact that we did not make the NCAAs for the first time since 1999.

Will the Illini make the NIT tourney or the new CBI tourney? Hopefully they get invited to one of those, since we really need the practice for next season. I wish you could play your entire roster for the "fun" tournaments like the NIT and CBI. It would be nice to take a look at next season's team, with Alex Legion and Jamar Smith on the floor.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Post-Game Interview Highlights

After the Minnesota game, the media interviewed Coach Weber, along with Pruitt, Randle and McCamey. Highlights:

Shaun Pruitt's improved play is due to his improved nutrition.
Q. Shaun, the last couple of weeks, even less than that your game seemed to have stepped up a lot. Are you getting the ball more or are you doing anything different or how do you explain it?
SHAUN PRUITT: I think I've been eating a little bit better. That's part of my independent study is nutrition. I've been eating a lot better. I actually think it's helped me a little bit. So great timing.

Brian Randle Discussed the Match-ups with Wisconsin
Q. Brian, could you talk about a third match with Wisconsin? And you guys showed the other day that you had it both ways, where you beat somebody that had beaten you twice and here's another team that you were able to sweep. Talk about the Badgers this matchup?
BRIAN RANDLE: I thought we matched up well, obviously Butch inside and him and Shaun matching up. And Flowers and Chester, and Demetri and Trevon Hughes, depending on how that works on myself and Landry. I think it's a good even-keel matchup. And then Trenton and Bohannon.
So really the big thing, like I've been saying, it's for us to be focused tonight and then tomorrow in preparation with the scouting report and walk-through, just making sure we understand what we're doing offensively, defensively. Our defensive principles and just concentrating, that's going to be the biggest thing. Because we've got enough heart to go around. We just have to make sure we're smart about it.

Coach Weber's Comments about the Illini Conditioning for Tomorrow
Q. Your starters have played a lot of minutes the last three days, what's your sense of how they are physically and then what are they going to have left tomorrow, do you think?
COACH WEBER: I think they're fine. I think the only one you worry about is Chester. We tried to get him out a lot quicker than normal. But he has so much tolerance of pain that -- and he just has such a will and a desire to be successful that I think he'll be fine. I don't think that's going to be a factor tomorrow, at all, to be honest. It's going to be more what Shaun talked about: Having the discipline to match their system.
It looked like Michigan State had them today. We were watching in the locker room. All of a sudden you turn the TV off and we're getting ready for the game and we turn it back on and it's tie score.
So they just -- and we've used them as an example, to be honest. Wisconsin, they don't show emotion. They just come and play. They don't talk trash. They do it old school-wise, and we've talked about it with our guys: Be smart. Be consistent, and do it on the court.
And if you find a way to win it, then we'll do some celebrating tomorrow.

Illinois Wisconsin Championship Pregame Notes

Questions about tomorrow's game:

-Will Trevon Hughes be able to play for Wisconsin? According to Badgercentric, Hughes was in a walking boot after the game. I'm not sure of the extent of the injury, but it sounds like a sprain. Hughes is a starting guard for Wisconsin, averages 11.6 ppg, and scored 18 and 22 points against Illinois earlier this season.

-How will the Illini players legs feel tomorrow? Will they be able to go full tilt for the fourth day in a row, or will they be suffering from exhaustion, cramps, or injuries? I know the team has excellent training and medical support at Indianapolis, so I assume they will be ready to play.

-Will Coach Weber have enough confidence in his freshmen to play Tisdale, Davis and Jordan meaningful minutes in this game? Or will he shorten his rotation to the more senior players? I hope he goes fairly deep in the rotation to keep the players fresh during the game.

Poll: How will the Illini play next season?

This polling is now complete, and the results are in. A whopping 83% of Illini fans expect the Illini to play better next season that this year's Illini. While I tend to agree based on recent play, it will be tough to lose Brian Randle and Shaun Pruitt, who have really played well in the Big 10 Tourney this year. Thanks for such great play, seniors. One more game to prove yourselves worthy of the NCAAs.

Illini go to Big 10 Championship Game against Wisconsin

The Illini won their third tourney game today with a 54-50 victory over Minnesota, extending their winning streak over Minnesota to an amazing 20 straight games. This was a plodding type of game for both teams, who seemed tired from playing three games in three days. Shaun Pruitt and Brian Randle came up big for the Illini in this game, and our defense was very solid, holding Minnesota to 39% shooting for the game. Box Score

I can't say I'm that surprised about the Illini going to the Big 10 Tourney finals. I've been speculating about this possibility for some time now, and I'm still amazed that it's happened. If the Illini can find some way to upset the Badgers tomorrow, they basically will steal a ticket to the dance from one of the many bubble teams out there. There will be much whining from certain CBS announcers about automatic bids being unfair to other teams. I still don't think we will win the game, since Wisconsin is always so tough to beat, and is well coached and has very smart players. They looked so tough coming back against Michigan State today when they seemed destined to lose.

Either way, win or lose tomorrow, the Weber hating crowd has vanished for a few days, and the Illini basically are looking at a play-in game against the powerful Wisconsin team. Go Illini!

Friday, March 14, 2008

BTT, Two Down, Two to Go!

Well, so far my optimism about the Illini turning around their season in the tourney is coming through. This team is just not as bad as they played most of the season, so I think they can make it to the finals, and just maybe they can finish what they didn't get done in 1999.

Awesome play by Demetri McCamey today, as well as Mike Davis, Shaun Pruitt and Brian Randle. It was unexpected to go to an overtime against Purdue, but we came out ahead, despite troubles at the free throw line.

Indiana had a crazy game as well, and lost a thriller to Minnesota. I'm not sure Illinois can beat Minnesota for the third time this season, but we'll give it a try. Maybe Sergio McClain can help get these guys to the finals on Sunday to play for a NCAA automatic bid. Reminds me of 1999 a little....

I was dreamin' when I wrote this
Forgive me if it goes astray
But when I woke up this mornin'
Could have sworn it was judgment day

The sky was all purple
There were people runnin' everywhere
Tryin' to run from the destruction
You know I didn't even care

They say two thousand zero, zero, party over,
Oops, out of time!
So tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999!

I was dreamin' when I wrote this
So sue me if I go too fast
But life is just a party
And parties weren't meant to last

War is all around us
My mind says prepare to fight
So if I gotta die
I'm gonna listen to my body tonight

They say two thousand zero, zero, party over,
Oops, out of time!
So tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999!

If you didn't come to party
Don't bother knockin' on my door
I got a lion in my pocket
And baby, he's ready to roar

Yeah, everybody's got a bomb
We could all die any day
But before I'll let that happen
I'll dance my life away

They say two thousand zero, zero, party over,
Oops, out of time!
(We're runnin' outta time)
So tonight we're gonna party like it's 1999!

Say, say,
Two thousand zero, zero, party over,
Oops, out of time!
So tonight we're gonna party like it's 1999!

Alright, it's 1999!

You say it, 1999!


1999! Don't stop, don't stop, say it 1 more time!


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Illini Survive Scary Ending, 64-63

The first round game of the Big 10 Tourney counts as a "W" and we move on to play Purdue tomorrow night. This was a near collapse by the Illini, who forgot how to score in the second half, and also struggled in the rebounding and free throw department as well in the last 20 minutes. But Chester Frazier was able to get a layup in the final seconds to pull it out. Box Score

For the Illini, Brian Randle looked really smooth on the offensive end, scoring and passing and hitting free throws to end up with a team-high 17 points. Brian did foul out at the end, but that's part of his game, so no worrying about that. Penn State was led by Talor Battle, who is a really outstanding guard as a freshman, almost impossible to stop on his drives. Pruitt played well, Meacham shot the ball well, and the Illini played just well enough to win.

Against Purdue, the Illini will need to step up their game in all aspects: offense needs to be more consistent, rebounding needs to be more solid, and defense will need to be tighter. Purdue beat the Illini twice already this year, so let's hope we can solve them tomorrow night. The Illini have nothing to lose by going all out and trying to advance. Purdue will be in the NCAAs either way, but are playing to improve their seeding.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

False Rumor about Donivine Stewart

Earlier today, there was a false rumor spread about Donovine Stewart making a commitment to the Illini for the class of 2011. The rumor was caused by Dave Telep of, accidentally coding his database incorrectly during the day, which apparently sent out email notices to subscribers that Stewart had chosen the Illini. Dave has corrected the error for subscribers and regular readers. But Illini fans can still be optimistic about Stewart playing in Champaign, because the program is going to rebound, so why wouldn't the talented young guard choose the Illini? Plus, the Illini are the first major school to offer a full ride to Donivine Stewart. I'm sure more offers will come in, but we would love to have Stewart join the list of top recruits joining the program in coming years.

Herb Gould of Sun-Times compares Illini to 1999 Team

Herb Gould put together an article about the young Illini team in 1999 that was seeded #11, but reached the finals in the United Center before losing to Michigan State, led by Mateen Cleaves. Some highlights:

Game 1: Against sixth-seeded Minnesota, Illinois jumped to a 33-11 lead and cruised home 67-64 behind 22 points from freshman Cory Bradford.

Game 2: The Illini proceeded to beat No. 3 seed Indiana 82-66 as freshman Lucas Johnson, who had not scored more than eight points in the regular season, poured in 17 and Illinois outrebounded the Hoosiers 51-26.

Game 3: Things really got serious when Illinois shot a season-high 51 percent to beat No. 2 seed Ohio State 79-77, leaving coach Jim O'Brien gushing about ''the best last-place team in America'' before he guided the Buckeyes to the Final Four.

Finals: The Illini ran out of gas in the championship game, losing 67-50 to Michigan State, which also went on to the Final Four.

Apparently, Coach Lon Kruger made some changes to the Illini offense back in 1999 that helped the young players relax and score more consistently. Let's hope Coach Weber can make a similar move with his Illini team this year.

Big 10 Conference Tourney Preview

I love the Big 10 Conference Tourney, and wish I could be in Indianapolis this year to see it. I like the tourney even more when it's held in Chicago at the United Center, but maybe the Illini can find some magic in Indianapolis. Here's some reasons for Illini fans to be optimistic about the Illini to fight their way to the finals of the tourney this year:

1. Historically, in the 10 years of having a conference tourney, the Illini have been in the finals 5 years, not a bad percentage for them.
2. This season is a down year for the Big 10, with any team beatable at any time.
3. Illinois can play with anyone in the conference, we've shown that this year.
4. We have more to play for than other Big 10 teams, since the top four teams should make the NCAAs with at-large bids.
5. I remember watching our 1999 team, a losing record but they went to the finals before running out of gas and losing to MSU. We were seeded dead last that year, #11.
6. Solid defense is a neutralizer, we just need some offense.
7. This season is bound to turn around eventually, isn't it?

Obviously Purdue and Wisconsin have to be the favorites to win, and Indiana and Michigan State are not far behind. But you never know what will happen in conference tourneys. Stranger things have happened, and this has been an unpredictable year for the Illini.

Ron Guenther is an excellent Athletic Director

And Terry Bannon of the Chicago Tribune did a great article covering his interview with Ron Guenther right here.

What does Ron Guenther have in store for Illinois athletics during his final two years at the University?

-Support Bruce Weber, who is doing a great job in recruiting the past year and is building a solid team over the next three years. Plans to extend Weber's contract beyond 2012.
-Finalize plans to either renovate or replace the Assembly Hall by the end of this year.
-Finance new seating for the horseshoe section of the football stadium, which is being renovated.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Poll: Illini Basketball will improve next season

To date my polling of Illini fans shows they are optimistic about next season, particularly with the return of Jamar Smith, and adding players like Stan Simpson, Alex Legion and Dominique Keller to the team. I was personally concerned about rebounding without Pruitt and Randle, but Keller should help in that area with his size and JC experience. I also think Rodney Alexander will really step up next season and play more consistently than this season. Results of the polling thus far:

Better than current season 82%
Same as current season 12%
Worse than current season 6%

It's Official, Dominique Keller Commits to Illini

The Daily Illini had made the announcement a little early last week that Dominique Keller was committing to the Illini basketball program. But today, it became official that Keller is going to Illinois. The News-Gazette article confirms the verbal commitment, and this is yet another recruiting success for the Illini in the past year. Welcome to the Illini, Dominique! We can use a big time scorer on the team next year, that's for sure.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Illini Offer Donivine Stewart, Class of 2011

Word is out that Coach Weber offered a scholarship to freshman Donovine Stewart after the Minnesota game.

According to MidStateHoops, Donivine Stewart is a 5-10 170 pound point guard who can score at a very high level. He scored 45 points against Matt Roth, and 32 points against DJ Richardson, and he is only a freshman.

Illinois Prep Bulls-eye has been following Weber's recruiting efforts on Stewart and confirm the offer has been made.

Apparently, Weber and his staff are continuing efforts to lock up top Illinois recruits early in their high school careers, which will be great as long as their success continues through college.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Chief Appears for the Minnesota Game

The Chief magically reappeared in the stands during the Minnesota game today, and was able to watch the Illini win their final game of the regular season. On we go to the Big 10 Tourney in Indy, to see if we can win some games this year.

The Minnesota game was fairly close, and the Illini did not follow their typical meltdown trend at the end. Rather, Meacham and Brock hit some key shots, and the solid Illini rebounding paved the way to a win over the Golden Gophers today.

Stan Simpson with Triple Double against Leo

Class of 2008 recruit Stan Simpson is showing he is a force in his senior year, with a triple double against his former team Leo. Stan had 21 points, 10 rebounds and 11 blocks to lead Simeon over Leo in the Englewood Sectional final. Story

Friday, March 7, 2008

Kelvin Sampson at the AT&T Center

Kelvin Sampson has a new gig, sort of, according to the Indy Star. He is an observer of the San Antonio Spurs and was invited by their coach Gregg Popovich. It is not clear where this is leading, but after the NCAA violations at Indiana, his options are probably limited to the NBA. It's definitely fitting that the Spurs play at the AT&T Center, given Sampson's historic support of AT&T long distance. Or was he using Verizon cell service?

Joseph Bertrand Scores 38 points at Freeport Sectional

Joseph Bertrand helped show why the Illini gave him a scholarship for the 2009 class by scoring 38 points against Burlington Central this week, sending Sterling into the Sweet Sixteen. Post-game coverage here. They play against Huntley tonight, and I will try to post the score when I see it.

A quote from the story:

Bertrand’s final stat line is staggering - to go along with the 38 points in just 27-minutes of play, he recorded 10 rebounds, four assists, three blocked shots and two steals – all while not committing a single turnover. He was 14-19 from the field and 4-5 on three-pointers after missing 22 of his previous 26 three-point attempts.

Dominique Keller Commits to the Illini

Dominique Keller, a JUCO forward from Lee College in Texas has committed to the Illini after his campus visit last night, according to the Daily Illini. Bruce Weber had traveled to Texas to see Keller play last weekend, and he scored something like 36 points as Weber and Luther Head watched the game. Keller is a 6-8, 230 pound forward who can rebound and score, according to reports about his play in Junior College. A nice photo of Keller with Alex Legion last night is on Illinois Loyalty.

While some people aren't positive on recruits from the JC circuit, I do think this helps the Illini next year with a thinner front line, losing Brian Randle and Shaun Pruitt. Keller provides rebounding and scoring for next season.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Michigan State Recap

This game was a repeat of the entire season, need I say more? Good energy in the first half, tied at halftime, scoring deteriorates in the second half and we lose the game in the last 5 minutes. Free throw shooting was awful at 47%. And we may have set a new season low with three point shooting accuracy at 13%. Box Score

I do think many fans have a point when they expect the Illini to be better next year, only because they can't get much worse. Nearly all polled on my site think the Illini will be better next season. And if we get Keller to commit this evening, maybe that helps us this fall.

I still don't understand the extreme optimism about next year by Illini fans. The team won't be much different than the team we have watched since Randle was injured, plus Jamar Smith. I don't expect us to make the NCAA's next season for the second year in a row. It will be interesting to see how Coach Weber can ride out the situation. And to be honest, Weber does need to be held accountable for his poor recruiting and underperformance on the court this season. You can't just blame the players for a season like this one.

Who would have guessed a couple years ago that we would lose to Michigan State in 2008 due to the play of Goran Suton and Drew Naymick? Seems impossible, but it just happened to the Illini tonight.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Illini in the lead for JC recruit Dominique Keller

New reports are out indicating that Dominique Keller is leaning toward going to Illinois this fall, rather than Oklahoma State or Oregon State. Dominique Keller is a 6-7 235 pound forward for Lee College in Baytown, Texas, and he has been scoring 30 points a game in a recent stretch of games. Howard and Weber are in the hunt and trying to get his commitment shortly to take Brian Carlwell's scholarship this fall.

Keller sounds like a great scorer and solid rebounder who could help the Illini over the next two seasons. I hope we welcome him to the team very soon. More on Keller from Tupper.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Article about Mike Davis

Here's a nice story about Mike Davis of the Illini. The freshman seems determined to work hard in the off-season to try to earn the 4 spot next season. Weber points out that Davis always played next to the basket in high school, so he has to learn how to play from the outside in the motion offense. Davis is still growing and should put on more muscle in the next year.

Iowa Recap and Illini Ranking

The Illini closed out the game at Iowa without folding down the stretch, which is a huge improvement over other games in this extremely frustrating Big 10 season for Illini fans. Shaun Pruitt played like he did last season, scoring 18 points and looking really talented on the offensive end. Shaun, where have you been all season?
Mike Davis reappeared in this game, getting 8 points in 22 minutes off the bench. Trent Meacham also had a nice game with 8 points, while McCamey and Frazier were cold from outside. The Illini defense was solid against Iowa, and rebounding was a plus, as well as turnovers (only 9 for the game). Box Score

The biggest story of the Iowa game was the Illini free throw shooting at a sizzling 84% for the game. Weber also was smart enough to remove Pruitt at the end of the game, even though he was 4 for 4 from the line. What caused the improvement in free throws? It was simple enough, Weber just got the players to stop so much shooting practice. My guess is that Weber emphasized free throws so much the players lost confidence or shot so much their muscles got tight in the game. Hard to figure, but keep it up guys.

So what next, can the Illini win the Big 10 tourney and make the NCAAs? Stranger things have happened, that's for sure. If the Illini have put their psychological difficulties behind them, they do have a shot at running the table in Indy. The reasons: they have nothing to lose, knowing they are out of an at-large bid, and frankly, they are one of the higher ranked schools in the country, number 38 according to Pomeroy. Sagarin has us at number 84. Who says you need to win to be ranked?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Kelvin Sampson already has a new job

I just noticed this, so thought I would post a link to the story about Kelvin Sampson's new job. Link