Loren Tate

Loren Tate

Tate | Lovie's Illini continue to make wrong kind of history

Community quiz: Which will recover from these endless seasons of Illini mediocrity first, football or basketball?

Natural response: Basketball! It's a guard's game and the Illini have guards.

Tate | Illini will lean heavily on Dosunmu, Frazier and Feliz this season

"I think playing three guards is going to be good for us," Illini sophomore Trent Frazier said.

Why not? College basketball has become a guard's game.

We saw that again in the 2018 Final Four, whether referring to Villanova's champions or the Midwest representatives Michigan and Loyola Chicago.

Tate | Soft Illini defense makes progress hard to achieve

Progress! Improvement! Competitiveness!

That’s what we expected October to provide for Lovie Smith’s Illini football program.

Instead, in another embarrassing effort at Maryland on Saturday, the UI defense was softer than a down pillow ... the one they slept on DURING the game.

Tate | The new college basketball rivalry is between Nike and Adidas

Bill Self's Kansas Jayhawks, already immersed in recruiting transgressions, have now become the focal point of the first of three ugly basketball scandal trials in New York.

Tate | Bears offer hope with fast start, while Illini sputter again

Can't help myself.

Like so many in this state, the Bears and Illini have been —for better or mostly worse —my favored football heartthrobs.

And this year, there is legitimate hope for Matt Nagy's North Siders.

Not because Mitch Trubisky threw six TD passes two weeks ago. That probably won't be repeated.

Tate | Illini flush with run-game power in road victory over Rutgers

Lovie Smith’s Illini did more than the necessary “just win” at Rutgers on Saturday.

In leaving a 13-game Big Ten losing streak in the rear view mirror, they trampled on a Rutgers “Blackout,” with a 38-17 win, with the help of 330 yards in explosive overland bursts.

Tate | Underwood likely to play 'a lot of guys' in Year 2

As a semi-joke one year ago, Brad Underwood asked me at a Rebounders luncheon to step up and name the starting lineup for his first Illini basketball team.

Tate | Illini not ready for big stage just yet

For the first time in two seasons, Illinois used some fancy offensive schemes to grab the second-half lead on a Big Ten opponent — however briefly — Friday night.

But Lovie Smith's Illini aren't quite ready for prime-time.

Tate | Illini suffer another tough loss at Soldier Field

CHICAGO— Illinois has five consecutive home football dates in distant 2022.

If, as might happen, someone brainstorms the idea of moving the Sept. 10 Virginia game — or any game — to Soldier Field, please, Josh Whitman, decline ... don't answer the phone ... quench the temptation. Stay home.

Tate | Illini, Buckeyes exist in different football worlds these days

Where once Illinois-Ohio State was a raging football rivalry, the goings-on in Buckeyeland aren't exactly front-line concerns here anymore.

History shows these two clashed in 100 of 103 seasons through last year. The string reached 88 consecutive seasons through 2002, the year Illinois took OSU's national championship team into overtime.

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