March 1997

March 1997

Tate: Illini keep their cool for Kruger

   CHARLOTTE, N.C.  The Trojans were on a devastating roll, their big lineup ripping into Illinois'' shaky inside defense and turning a 46-29 UI lead into a 69-69 deadlock.

   Big Mo was smiling on Southern Cal. Illini seniors Chris Gandy and Kiwane Garris appeared destined to relive their disappointing postseason losses to Alabama, Tulsa and Georgetown.

The inside scoop on Illini''s next opponent

   A few Tennessee-Chattanooga tidbits Lon Kruger likely won''t share with his Illini today:

D''Alessio: If Illinois loses, I''m walking

   CHARLOTTE, N.C.  Hey, me again.

   It''s a little before 11 (your time) Friday night. I''m courtside at the Charlotte Coliseum, which sounds like the front row at a Metallica concert.

   Duke''s playing (How''d Illinois beat these guys last year?) and the place is about two-thirds full of their fans.

   The other third''s empty.

Depaul standout has enjoyed success wherever she''s been

To folks who know basketball in Chicago, the name Kim Williams ranks up there with Cazzie Russell, Mark Aguirre and Tim Hardaway.

She's what you call a playground legend in the Windy City.

''Dogs bark for ''Tubby''

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – As the sixth of 17 children, young Orlando Smith found privacy in the bathtub.

He's been just plain "Tubby" ever since.

Extra! Extra! SportsFACTS bonus issue!

When the Illini keep winning, we keep publishing.Although normally we don't publish on Saturdays, we will of course be bringing you extended coverage this Saturday of the Illini men and women's NCAA games.Our stories will be up no later than 1 p.m., Central Standard Time, as normal.

Party time: It''s been 10 years since UI enjoyed NCAA laugh

CHAMPAIGN – It's the story that now can be told. But, please, don't pass this one along to former University of Illinois women's basketball coach Laura Golden, OK?

"I'm not sure I should be telling you this," Jonelle Polk McCloud said with a laugh before proceeding to anyway.

So this is life in the slow lane

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Greetings from the Bible Belt, where the people talk funny, everything comes with a side of grits, Richard Petty still is king and "Hee Haw" is more than just an old TV show, it's a way of life.

How y'all doing?

Men''s Basketball: Tourny tips

CHAMPAIGN – She is believed to be the first Champaign gymnast to receive a scholarship from the University of Illinois, but you won't hear Susie Miles say it.

She didn't even know until a couple weeks ago, when a coach informed her.

Tall order for Illini

CHAMPAIGN – You'll never catch Casey Leonhardt looking down, figuratively speaking, at rival centers. It's just not in the nature of this unassuming University of Illinois women's basketball player.

It's a rare game, though, when the Illini freshman literally isn't looking down on her peer in the paint. At 6-foot-5, Leonhardt often dwarfs opposing centers, sometimes to the point where by merely raising her arms to full extension, she can get off an uncontested shot without leaving her feet.