For the third straight year, an Illinois men's basketball recruit will not play in the McDonald's All-American game.
The prestigious high school boys basketball game will take place at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, at Chicago's United Center. The game will be televised on ESPN.
The 15 wins the Illinois women's basketball team has compiled this year is four more than last year.
And Illinois still has four regular season games to go under first-year head coach Matt Bollant before the Big Ten Tournament arrives March 7-10 at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.
Illinois women's basketball has averaged more than 1,500 spectators in its first nine home games this season.
First-year head coach Matt Bollant hopes that number triples or even quadruples for the Illini's next home game at 3 p.m. on Sunday against Michigan State in what is a big recruiting weekend for the program.
I'm not a newcomer to the Illini women's basketball beat, but it it has been 14 years since I last covered that program for The News-Gazette. If you regard four years as a generation in college athletics, that's more than three generations away from the beat. Or, to put this another way, when I covered the Illini in the mid-to-late 1990s, their home games were played at Huff Hall.
Plenty of Illinois sports had a number of recruits ink letters of intent on Nov. 14.
Even with National Signing Day taking place two weeks ago, we'll take a look each Wednesday during the next four weeks at some of the recruits other Illini teams were able to sign.
First up: women's basketball.
Jacqui Grant had decided on DePaul.
In an ode to what my predecessor, Cody Westerlund, unveiled last year at this time, here's a list of 10 recruiting items to be thankful for with Thanksgiving fast approaching. Before the Lions, Cowboys, Jim Nantz, turkey, mashed potatoes, pies and tryptophan become the buzzwords of your world, we'll woo you into relaxation with this list.
The first Illinois women's basketball recruiting class put together by head coach Matt Bollant and staff might not have that one standout recruit who can change a program, but put together, all six could make a difference.
It's a question Illinois fans like to debate, especially given the current struggles of the Illinois football program.
Who is the best hire among the three new head coaches Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas brought to Champaign-Urbana in the past 10 months?
While much of the recruiting buzz this fall on the University of Illinois campus has been generated by Illinois men's basketball head coach John Groce and his staff in landing four commits thus far, first-year Illinois women's basketball head coach Matt Bollant has quietly gone about putting together a solid first recruiting class.