CHAMPAIGN – You know about the successful coaching hires – Lon Kruger, Theresa Grentz, Craig Tiley, Sujay Lama, Don Hardin.
You know about the new buildings – Bielfeldt, the Irwin Academic Center, the Ubben basketball complex and the indoor football practice facility.
But do you know the man behind the curtain at Illinois? The one pushing the buttons, pulling the strings, making it all happen?
If his center was fouling too much or his point guard was dribbling too much, then Lon Kruger would be irritated.
But if it's a travel snag, no worries for the Illinois basketball coach.
It was one small misstep for a man. But it would have been a giant leap for Babatunde Ridley.
The Illinois junior finished second Saturday in the men''s long jump at the 99th Big Ten Championships in West Lafayette, Ind., with a season best of 25 feet, 5 1/2 inches.
For the first time since 1989, the Illini have made the NCAA Championships cut.
D.A. Points tied for the low round of the day as Ed Beard's team rallied to finish seventh at the NCAA Central Golf Regional in Columbus, Ohio.
ATHENS, Ga. – He's probably not feeling so hot this morning, but Gavin Sontag hit the sack late Saturday night in a merry mood.
The senior overcame a semifractured hip and three months of rust to provide the clinching win in Illinois' 4-1 NCAA tournament rout of Arizona State on Saturday night.
A pair of Illinois track signees breezed to the finals in their events at Friday's IHSA state track and field meet in Charleston.
Minooka's Tracy Moss, the fifth-ranked discus thrower coming into state, had the top throw of the day. Elmhurst York's Cecilia Williams advanced in the 1,600 and on the 3,200 relay.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – There's been no keeping Illinois' Jeff Gertz off the bases in the Big Ten baseball tournament.
There was no keeping the ball in his catcher's glove, either, following a jolting home-plate collision with Michigan's Brian Bush on Friday night at Bill Davis Stadium.
These days, advice is a lot easier to find than a good pickup game for Darius Miles.
The East St. Louis basketball star, the best upcoming high school senior in Illinois and perhaps the country, is getting it from everywhere.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Itch Jones has a hard time believing it himself. The Illinois baseball coach has a .386 hitter at his disposal, but he can't find a place for Luke Simmons in the lineup.
"We would like to have him in the lineup," Jones said Friday before Illinois' Big Ten tournament game against Michigan. "We're just caught in a situation where D.J. Svihlik ... cannot play defense right now."
COLUMBUS, Ohio – D.A. Points shot a 4-over-par 76 Friday during the second round of the NCAA Central Golf Regional as Illinois slipped to 11th in the team standings.