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PODCAST: SportsTalk 7-24-17 from Big Ten Media Day

PODCAST: SportsTalk 7-24-17 from Big Ten Media Day: Play now!

Scott Beatty, Loren Tate, & Brian Barnhart broadcast from Chicago during Big Ten Media Day. They chat with Coach Lovie Smith, A.D. Josh Whitman, P.J. Fleck, Christian DiLauro, Malik Turner, Jaylen Dunlap, J Leman, as well as colleagues Bob Asmussen and Scott Richey.

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Illinois at Big Ten Media Day

Hear from Illinois coach Lovie Smith and seniors Malik Turner, Jaylen Dunlap and Christian DiLauro on a wide range of topics during the Illini's appearance at Big Ten Media Day in Chicago on Monday. 

Lovie 'laying the groundwork'

CHICAGO — Josh Whitman knows all about rebuilds. As a freshman tight end at Illinois in 1997, his team went 0-11.

Two years later, the Illini beat Ohio State and Michigan and scored 63 points in a bowl win.

So, the second-year athletic director isn't about to panic after a 3-9 opening year for Lovie Smith.

Illini legends, lists and lore: July 23, 1967

I’m approaching my 22nd anniversary of writing about Illini athletics history here in the pages of The News-Gazette, but this installment has nothing whatsoever to do with the University of Illinois.

Instead, it’s a personal memory about what happened to me and my dad, Glenn Pearson, 50 years ago on Sunday.

LIVE! Big Ten Media Days

Seven coaches down. Seven more to go Tuesday morning. Be sure to come back to IlliniHQ.com for more from Chicago. That will include today's coverage from Bob Asmussen, Loren Tate and Scott Richey in Tuesday's News-Gazette, and more Wednesday and Sunday.

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Top 50 most important Illini No. 7: Christian DiLauro, OL

No. 7: Christian DiLauro, OL

Big Ten off and running

The News-Gazette's Bob Asmussen has Urban Meyer and Ohio State (above) as the Big Ten team to beat this season. Ahead of the league's media days today and Tuesday in Chicago, Asmussen, along with 37 other media types who cover the league, took part in a preseason football poll, with Dough Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer spearheading the efforts. Here's a look at their picks:

Top 50 teams in 2017: No. 7: Michigan

Coach: Jim Harbaugh

2016 record: 10-3

Projected 2017 record: 10-2

Circle the date: Nov. 25 vs. Ohio State

Bowl trip: Cotton

Illini offer 2018 forward

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois is still in pursuit of multiple big men in the Class of 2018, with targets both in-state (George Conditt and Tamell Pearson) and nationally (Colin Castleton and Amadou Sow). That number grew late Saturday with an offer to Amanze Ngumezi, a 6-foot-9, 235-pound forward out of Savannah, Ga.

Sunday conversation: Chris Tamas, volleyball coach

Chris Tamas' first five-plus months on the job have been, understandably, fairly busy. The new Illinois volleyball coach got in a spring's worth of workouts and matches with his new team and immediately hit the road recruiting. With the 2017 season just more than a month away, beat writer Scott Richey caught up with the former U.S.