Top of the Morning, Feb. 26, 2014

Top of the Morning, Feb. 26, 2014

For an online poll, we asked readers if they would prefer State Farm Center's court be named after former coach Lou Henson or a donor. Of more than 2,500 votes cast, 87 percent (2,199) went with Henson.

The case for both sides was made in Christine des Garennes' story in Sunday's News-Gazette, which included Henson's humble take: "If we can get good money by naming the floor, I think that's a good idea. I would be happy with that."

This week, a Facebook page was launched to name the court for Henson.

Henson is as popular at New Mexico State as he is at the UI.

At this month's Lou Henson Classic played on Lou Henson Court, the Aggie Hall of Famer served as an assistant coach in New Mexico State's 71-48 win against Missouri-Kansas City. "I just stayed on the bench," he said, "and kept my mouth shut."

He also coached a House of Representatives team in its annual game against the state Senate. He lost that one on a late free throw line violation.

"They have to approve our budget," he said. "So we have to lose every now and then."

This month's return to the bench doesn't have Henson mulling a full-time comeback.

"I miss the association with the players," he said. "When I started coaching 50-some years ago, the coaches had good relationships with each other. That is no longer true."

As we've written, Henson is one of the most accomplished coaches not in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, which announced 10 finalists for the 2014 class this month. He did not make the cut.

Women's powerhouse Immaculata did for winning three consecutive national titles from 1972 to '74. Former Illini coach Theresa Grentz was a star on those teams.

The Class of 2014 will be unveiled April 7.

On WDWS 1400-AM

— Congressional candidate Erika Harold joins Jim Turpin in studio at 10 a.m. today. To join the conversation, call 217-356-9397.

— WDWS will carry St. Thomas More's girls' basketball games at this weekend's Class 2A Final Four in Normal. Brian Moline and Scott Beatty are on the call at 6:30 p.m. Friday and 6:30 or 8:15 p.m. Saturday.

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