August 23 Voice of the Illini Chat

Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 11:00am

How much are you willing to pay to sit in an Assembly Hall suite? When is the Illinois basketball schedule going to be released. Who is Gene Honda and what does he sound like? Ask Voice of the Illini Brian Barnhart, who is chatting Thursday.

Brian Barnhart (moderator) — 11:04 AM on Thu, 08/23/2012

Good Morning!  Getting to about a week away from the start of the Tim Beckman era at Illinois and the beginning of the 2012-2013 Illini sports seasons.

Lets get the chat underway.


jjohnson — 11:04 AM on Thu, 08/23/2012

Brian, While we Illini is Arizona (though I'm in Tucson, not Tempe) are excited about the second game of the coming season, a good friend in C-U describes the attitude toward the football team as "indifferent." What is your take? I agree the offense disappeared the last six regular season games last year and UCLA was not great competition in San Francisco, but I am up. Am I the only one?

Brian Barnhart (moderator) — 11:14 AM on Thu, 08/23/2012

Great to hear from you in Arizona.  I know we have a lot of alums and Illini fans in the Great Southwest!

I think the excitement (and curiousity in some cases) will begin to pick up once we get into game week  leading up to Western Michigan.

It has been one of the hottest summers on record weatherwise...which had everyone's attention locally.... and for Illini fans there was a lot to absorb and adjust to with the changing of 3 head coaches (football, basketball, women's basketball) ...getting to know the new coaches... and figuring out the general direction of those programs.

I think everyone is kind of in a "wait-and-see" mode on Tim Beckman's team.  I think all of us that are fans of the team were still kind of numb from the 0-6 regular season finish in 2011...but did take some hope in the bowl game win over UCLA.  There are some key returnees.. Nathan.Scheelhaase, Donovonn Young, Jonathon Brown, Michael Buchanan, Graham Pocic, Terry Hawthorne...etc.  I think the defense has a chance to be pretty good again.  The new up-tempo and multiple offense should be fun to watch.  I am looking forward to seeing what happens.


PhiloIllini — 11:15 AM on Thu, 08/23/2012


I saw the letter from the AD. My question is this ... when do you think work starts on assembly hall if ever? Thanks

Brian Barnhart (moderator) — 11:23 AM on Thu, 08/23/2012


It is always tricky to figure out construction timelines.....but I think the original idea was to start working on the Assembly Hall within the next couple of years.  As you may know.... Mike Thomas  discussed the problems they were facing with the planned lowering of the floor and the cost involved in doing that on a recent Saturday Sportsline. You could check it out in our podcast section.

The discussion on the renovation of the Assembly Hall has been ongoing for awhile now. I thought when it first was being discussed a few years ago that by 2013 everything would be done and in place.

Sorry...dont have a real good crystal ball on this subject!


PAman — 11:24 AM on Thu, 08/23/2012

Whose Gene honda and why should I care?

Brian Barnhart (moderator) — 11:29 AM on Thu, 08/23/2012

Gene is a guy who worked several years ago on morning radio in Champaign (with our own Lite Rock 97.5 host Mike Haile).  He has worked in Chicago in recent years as the public address announcer for the Chicago White Sox and Chicago well as the PA voice for the Big Ten basketball tournament and the Final Four games each year.

He will be doing the public address announcing for 4 of the 7 Illini home football games this year. 

Good guy...great voice.

Hope that helps!


Just wondering — 11:29 AM on Thu, 08/23/2012

See we have a new Cross Country coach.  Recommend first order of business - publish the schedule.   Any idea on where to find a copy of the Illini Men's cross country schedule?  With an olympian like Craig Virgin and our current crop of olympians, you'd think we could at least publish a schedule.  After all we are the Big Ten team known as a Gymastics/Swimming/Fencing/W Volleyball school, even thought others would have you think we are basketball school.  That was before turning it into a midmajor program.

Brian Barnhart (moderator) — 11:36 AM on Thu, 08/23/2012

I have seen posters for most all of the Olympic sports in the public hallway at the Bielfeldt Building across from the Assembly Hall.  Those usually have the schedule on them.   You can always call the DIA sports information for schedules.  The schools website also has the listing of home meets for the cross country teams.  The News-Gazette  lists the upcoming sporting events for the Illini teams each day as well.

I do agree that getting the information out there is very important...for any sports program.


Brian Barnhart (moderator) — 11:38 AM on Thu, 08/23/2012

Good questions today.  Next week we will be in the middle of game week. 

Dont forget Tim Beckman joins us for the First Word on Monday morning at 7 am on Lite Rock 97.5....and at 7:15 am on WDWS

Talk to you next week.