The Braggin' Rights Game is one of Brian Barnhart's favorite to call. Ask him about it - or anything Illini on your mind. The radio voice of Illinois sports is chatting at 11 a.m. Thursday but submit questions any time.
Ready to board the bus for St.Louis tomorrow for the Braggin Rights Game. Lets get started.
I enjoy your game calls.
Do you think a win over Missouri will quiet the national critics or should Illini fans get used to a full season of naysaying? Many critics said they would be "believers" if the Illini won at Gonzaga. And while some did, many still say, "wait until Missouri," or "we'll see once Big Ten play starts." And do you think maybe that is a good thing, as it will keep a chip on their shoulder?
I dont think the current Illini team members are too worried about getting accolades at this point. They have done a really good job of focusing on the task at hand each game. Some games they have played well (at Gonzaga, vs Butler, vs USC)...other games they havent looked as strong (Gardner Webb, Norfolk State).
I do think there was some motivation provided by Doug Gottlieb a couple of weeks ago when he said Illinois would get "crushed" at Gonzaga. The guys were in their hotel rooms watching college basketball games that afternoon...and word of that spread pretty quickly. I thought they did seem to play with a chip on their shoulder that night in Spokane.....or at least played liked they had something to prove.
We will see how they handle...as John Groce puts it..."the poison of success". They have been ranked 10th for a couple of weeks now. People are starting to notice. They can certainly take another step toward getting more respect with a win over the Tigers. Plus...a lot of media members around the country are watching this game...because it is so close to Christmas and there are usually not that many marquee Top 15 matchups on television right around the Christmas holiday.
Thanks for the kind words about the broadcast!
So any chance Jabari Parker picks Illinois today?
I wish he would...but I doubt it. As you probably already know...it seems like Michigan State is in the running.
Keep your fingers crossed....but dont hold your breath!
Easy day today! Talk to you from St.Louis on Saturday!