Jan. 20 Ask the Sports Editor chat

Friday, January 20, 2017 - 2:00pm

How hot is John Groce's seat? How is Lovie Smith's first recruiting class coming together in the final weeks? What happens first: Illinois makes the NCAA tournament or Illinois makes a bowl game? What teams and players are standing out on the high school sports scene this winter? Sports editor Matt Daniels is taking your questions at 2 p.m.

UI football commit Mondesir got his first choice

CHICAGO — Marc Mondesir could have had a bunch of college scholarship offers. But the Chicago St. Rita linebacker didn’t give many schools a chance.

The day he visited Illinois, Mondesir said “Yes” to Lovie Smith.

“He had always wanted to go to Illinois,” St. Rita coach Todd Kuska said. “That’s been his dream.”

Illini legends, lists and lore: Wayne McClain and UI assistants

Sunday would have been former Illini assistant basketball coach Wayne McClain’s 62nd birthday. He joined Illinois’ staff following a seven-year career at Peoria’s Manual High School, where he directed the Rams to Class AA state championships in 1995, ’96 and ’97.

Jan. 16 Bob Asmussen chat

Monday, January 16, 2017 - 10:00am

Is Lovie Smith lining up a Top 30 recruiting class? Who will be the next player to commit? Which teams have the best shot at the playoffs next season? For the answer to these questions, and anything else on your mind, check in with our longtime college football writer.

Top of the Morning, Jan. 13, 2017

In May, New Mexico State named LOU HENSON a special adviser to the basketball program. It's been all good for the Aggies ever since.

Two days after Henson — the all-time-winningest coach in Illinois history — turned 85, New Mexico State (15-2) hosted WAC rival Grand Canyon on Thursday, seeking to extend its winning streak to 14.

Peoria pipeline flowing for Illini

PEORIA — Lovie Smith and his coaching staff have figured it out: There are recruitable players in central Illinois.

Tim Thornton, coach of the state champion Peoria High Lions, hopes other schools follow Illinois’ lead.

Same architects recommended for new Memorial Stadium work

URBANA — Architects who designed the massive $121 million renovation of the west side of Memorial Stadium in 2008 will oversee the new $132 million project to revamp the south end and east stands.

Asmussen: Final football rankings, look ahead to 2017-18

Staff writer Bob Asmussen is a voting member of The Associated Press Top 25 panel. Here is his final ballot of the season following Clemson's stunning national title win over Alabama on Monday:

Tate: Let's talk about what athletic types won't

Nick Saban used the word “great” four times in his first sentence about Clemson at the college football national championship pregame press conference in Tampa.

But wouldn’t you rather have heard what the Alabama football coach confided with his staff as they began breaking down film in search of Clemson’s weaknesses in their staff meeting?

Jan. 12 Ask the Sports Editor chat

Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 1:30pm

How is Lovie Smith's first recruiting class shaping up? What does the final two months of the regular season look like for Illinois basketball? Will the Illini find themselves among the 68 teams in the NCAA tournament field come March? How good is the area boys' and girls' basketball scenes this winter?