Egwu garners recognition

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois senior Nnanna Egwu is a finalist for the Lefty Driesell National Defensive Player of the Year award.

The post player is one of 26 players — and the lone Big Ten representative — named to the Driesell Defensive All-America team. The winner of the award is set to be announced Friday.

Flaws returns for sixth season

The news the Illinois soccer team was expecting (fingers crossed) and hoping for came Monday from the NCAA — Jannelle Flaws is getting her sixth year of eligibility. The Glenview native has been a part of the Illinois program since 2010 but missed her true freshman season recovering from a high school ACL tear and then suffered another one in 2012.

Football notebook: By George, QB's got a shot

Monday saw the sixth of 15 practices for Tim Beckman’s Illini as Illinois held its first spring workout since March 20 because of spring break.  

Here are three items that caught beat writer MATT DANIELS’ eye:

— One of the best quarterbacks in Illinois history has witnessed a few practices this month from the confines of Memorial Stadium.

UI roundup: Baseball team wins finale

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Illinois looked well on its way to a blowout win in the series finale against Michigan State with a 10-2 lead after plating three more runs in the top of the seventh inning Monday. Then the Spartans scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh and four more in the eighth to pull within one run at 10-9.

Stricker up for Masters

Former Illini Steve Stricker intends to play next week at the Masters, his first competition since back surgery four months ago.

Stricker recently returned from Naples, Fla., where he tested his swing and his strength. He had surgery two days before Christmas on a bulging disk in his lower back that was causing recurring hip problems.

Neal, others get message out

CHAMPAIGN — T.J. Neal is confident on the football field.

How MJ voted: AP All-America teams

On Monday, The Associated Press released its All-America teams. Our Marcus Jackson is one of the 65 voters. Here’s a look at how he voted and why he made his picks:

POY: Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky

COY: Kentucky's John Calipari

Tate: Big Ten gets last laugh

“More than one way to skin a cat” means: Solutions can vary.

That’s the case with the NCAA Final Four in Indianapolis.

N-G preseason soccer rankings: No. 2 M-S

WHY NO. 2?
The team lost 60 percent of last year’s offense to graduation, but Aley Brunner is a three-year varsity letter winner who played during the fall with the Knockouts in Bloomington. She will anchor the offensive attack.