Best of teams: No. 35, South Carolina

NO. 35: South Carolina

COACH: Steve Spurrier

2014 RECORD: 7-6


Best of teams: No. 36, North Carolina State

NO. 36: North Carolina State

COACH: Dave Doeren

2014 RECORD: 8-5


Best of Illini: No. 35, Gabe Megginson

NO. 35: Gabe Megginson, OL

Best of Illini: No. 36, James Crawford

NO. 36: James Crawford, STAR

Sunday Conversation: Tyra Perry

Tyra Perry was hired as just the second Illinois softball coach — ever — on June 24, replacing Terri Sullivan who started the Illini program and won 488 games in 16 seasons. Staff writer Scott Richey caught up with the newest Illini coach to find out more about her and her plans for the program:

What was it that piqued your interest in Illinois initially?

Gilbert likes UConn best

Connecticut picked up another significant recruiting win, as Alterique Gilbert, one of the top point guards in the Class of 2016, announced his intention to become a Husky on Saturday morning.

“Blessed beyond measure to have the opportunity to play college basketball,” Gilbert said, via his Twitter account. “I’ve decided to end my recruitment and commit to UConn! .  Husky.”

Illini Year in Review: 2014-15 Team Grades

We rate all 19 Illinois athletic teams from the 2014-15 school year:

Baseball (A)

Why an A: Set the bar high for future seasons with 50 wins and first NCAA regional title.

Last year’s grade: B

High point: Beating Wright State to sweep NCAA regional and reach super regional.

Illini Year in Review: 2014-15 Month-by-month highlights

July 2014
Tom Michael left for Eastern Illinois and the chance to run his own athletic department after two-plus decades at Illinois, first as a basketball player for Lou Henson and later as an administrator.

Illini Year in Review: 2014-15

Top Male Athletes
1. Isaiah Martinez, wrestling. Only 10 wrestlers win a national title each year. Those who go undefeated doing so are a much smaller group, which Martinez joined in March.

2. Tyler Jay, baseball. The Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and No. 6 overall draft pick of the Minnesota Twins was one of the most dominant closers in the nation this spring.

Asmussen: Springfield waits with open arms

Is Springfield ready for the Illini invasion? Jim Ruppert sure thinks so.

The longtime sports editor at the State Journal-Register has been at the newspaper for 39 years. When Illinois plays five men’s basketball games at the Prairie Capital Convention Center, it will rank among the biggest sporting events in city history.