Illini Year in Review: Moments by the month

Illini Year in Review: Moments by the month

A look at the biggest moment of each month from the last year of Illini athletics:


Brad Underwood's first July as Illinois basketball coach was almost as busy as his first April with more than a half-dozen new offers for prospective recruits, of which zero picked the Illini.


Illinois volleyball dropped just a single set in its opening tournament in Bozeman, Mont., setting the stage for a season that saw the Illini back in the Sweet 16 under new coach Chris Tamas.


For two weeks, all was well. Illinois topped Ball State and Western Kentucky, with Mikey Dudek catching a touchdown in his first game in nearly three years. Those were the only wins, though.


One guy wore a Wake Forest jacket up at the Jordan Brand Store in downtown Chicago for Ayo Dosunmu's commitment announcement. The rest of the crowd went home happy after the five-star guard picked the Illini.


Lovie Smith's second season ended with four more losses in November, capping a 2-10 season. The average margin of defeat? Nearly 26 points per game, with the last two blowout losses to Ohio State and Northwestern.


The rest of the 2017-18 season was rough in Underwood's first year as Illinois coach, but the Illini kept up one tradition by taking down Missouri for a fifth straight Braggin' Rights victory.


Big Ten play was a struggle for both UI men's and women's basketball teams. The Illini men lost six straight in January, while the women's winless month was part of an 18-game losing streak.


Illinois had 75 percent of its 2018 football recruits signed before Christmas — including four-star defensive tackles Calvin Avery and Verdis Brown — in the first year of the early signing period.


Illinois paved the way for its bounceback baseball season with a 14-3 finish in the second month of the season. That included Pac-12 dominance with wins against UCLA, Washington and Arizona.


More and more basketball prospects don't sign in the early period, opting for an April decision instead. Illinois added five players in its second opportunity to officially expand its 2018-19 roster.


Golf school? How about spring sports school. Both the men's and women's golf teams and men's and women's tennis teams kept their seasons alive with NCAA postseason play.


Fresh off the disappointment of not making the NCAA tournament field despite a deserving season, Illinois had five players and two 2018 signees selected in the MLB draft.