Weber: 'It was my obligation to come back'

Weber: 'It was my obligation to come back'

URBANA — If the past three months (or longer, depending on your viewpoint) in Illinois basketball weren't unusual enough, Tuesday's annual banquet made it so.

Where to start?

The central figure of the event — former coach Bruce Weber — admitted he initially didn't want to return for the banquet. But the new Kansas State coach said he accepted the invitation because of the players he recruited and coached before being fired March 9.

"I felt it was my obligation to come back for them," said Weber, the Illini coach for nine seasons.

Really, the atmosphere inside the Holiday Inn ballroom summed up the last half-decade of Illinois basketball: never boring, at times uncomfortable and certainly dramatic.

There were several members of the former staff in attendance — Weber, Jerrance Howard, Jay Price and Sean Harrington. Athletic director Mike Thomas and the new staff weren't in attendance.

Awkward? Yes. Understandable? That, too.

The 90th annual banquet again was sponsored by the Champaign-Urbana Kiwanis Club. There were 480 tickets sold.

Tracy Abrams was named Team MVP, as voted on by his teammates. The gutsy lead guard is the first true freshman to win the award.

Cory Bradford was the most recent freshman to be named Team MVP when he won it after his redshirt freshman season in 1998-99. The honor was a telling indicator of Abrams' impact in the locker room.

"To see teammates, brothers, feel that way about me, it's motivation," Abrams said.

Weber said his MVP vote would have gone to freshman Mike Shaw, who played a minor role but maintained a positive attitude, regardless.

"I'm proud of you, Mike," Weber said.

Harrington, the former director of basketball operations, introduced the non-seniors. The former Illini sharpshooter handled the duties in style, lightening the mood.

Weber introduced the two seniors — Sam Maniscalco and Jean "Canada" Selus. And the former coach received a pair of standing ovations from the loyalists — one at the start, one at the close.

Illinois went 210-101 in Weber's nine seasons. In his final season, the Illini started 15-3 before a historic freefall put them at 17-15 and without a postseason berth. Weber has been the coach at Kansas State for just over a week.

"As a staff we gave our heart and soul to this season. Sometimes people try to take your spirit, and that probably happened," Weber said. "But they (the players) are going to come fighting back and we're going to come fighting back."

Weber's goodwill was on display. The coach auctioned off 37 orange ties and raised another $10,000 for Coaches vs. Cancer. He also donated $1,000 for the Eastern Illinois Foodbank on behalf of his former program.

Head coach John Groce earned high marks from the players who were interviewed at the banquet. The current Illini have gone through one week of workouts with Groce and assistants Dustin Ford and Jamall Walker.

"I'm definitely excited about what's ahead of us," said junior Brandon Paul, who won three awards — Matto (most hustle points), Lou Henson Courage (most charges taken) and the Ralf Woods Free Throw Trophy (74.8 percent from the line in Big Ten play).

"I strongly think everybody is going to stay," Abrams added.

And the winners are ...

A list of the major awards handed out during the team’s basketball banquet Tuesday night:

Rebounders Award: Meyers Leonard
Ralf Woods Free Throw: Brandon Paul
Orange Krush 3-Point: D.J. Richardson
Lou Henson Courage: Brandon Paul
Matt Heldman “Matto”: Brandon Paul
Kenny Battle Inspirational: Sam Maniscalco
Sixth Man: Joseph Bertrand
Most Improved Player: Meyers Leonard
Most Valuable Player: Tracy Abrams

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jdstieg wrote on April 11, 2012 at 4:04 am

Thanks Coach Weber....and now it is time for everyone to move on.

bluehavana wrote on April 11, 2012 at 7:04 am

Yes is it time to move on.  Any Illini fan going back 30 years or more knows this is the most underwhelming list of award winners I've seen in quite some time.  A period of very weak basketball has been defended vehemently because a really nice man was trying real hard.

I'm so glad it's over. 


coaxhdufus wrote on April 11, 2012 at 8:04 am

what a trooper...donating $1,000 while laughing all the way to the bank with his 3.9 mil...thats a healthy 0.026%  what a guy

PeterE wrote on April 11, 2012 at 9:04 am

He's such an a$$. Throwing his players, his old school and AD under the bus and blaming everyone else for his disastrous results instead of rightfully his own incompetence.

rtrott wrote on April 11, 2012 at 9:04 am

Are you seriously dogging on a guy because you don't think he gave enough to charity? Get a life....

PeterE wrote on April 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

Haven't said anything at all about the pittance he so publicly gave to charity. I will always have a "beef" with Weber and think he's scum because of the way he threw his players, his assistants, his boss, just about everyone else under the bus and narcisstic enough to act like he did nothing wrong and wasn't given enough credit. What a pompous jerk Weber is. Thank God he no longer is a part of the Illini family and hopefully finally learns his lesson at KSU. That's long overdue for that ingrate.

JDG613 wrote on April 11, 2012 at 11:04 am

Speaking of pompous.... Sheesh. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black......


houstonillini84 wrote on April 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

"scum", "narcissitic", "pompous jerk", and "ingrate"? Really? You cant even try to be a little bit classy? The guy came back to be with his players and earn a little money for charity. So what, why all the hate? Get a life and learn some manners.

urbanaman wrote on April 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

PeterE -  Preach!

Sorry Illlini Nation, sometimes the truth hurts...

coaxhdufus wrote on April 11, 2012 at 10:04 pm

the point is...if you donate such pittance of what you made out of stealing from CU, then at least do not brag about it.  So yes I am and if you don't see it...then you don't see anything...its kind of amazing how just a little PR can win people like you over...must be also attracted to shinny objects

read the DI wrote on April 11, 2012 at 9:04 am

"I felt it was my obligation to come back for them" ... and finish the job of completely wrecking everything for the next guy.

Thank you, goodbye, and good riddance.


houstonillini84 wrote on April 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

uh, the next guy has a good freshman class that will be sophomores next year. Its not like the cupboard is bare. Quit freaking whining.

read the DI wrote on April 11, 2012 at 2:04 pm

If they are so good, how come only one of them got any minutes on a sub-.500 team?

houstonillini84 wrote on April 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm

because they didnt play good defense and couldnt beat out the guy in front of them.

But that doesnt mean they wont be good in the future. Leonard couldnt beat out Tisdale or even come close and now he is going to the NBA. A year can make a big difference.

read the DI wrote on April 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Leonard is 7 feet tall. That's why he's going to the NBA.

houstonillini84 wrote on April 12, 2012 at 9:04 am

haha, really? Wasnt Tisdale 7 feet tall? is he in the NBA?

read the DI wrote on April 12, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Snort. If Leonard wasn't 7 ft tall, he wouldn't be on anyone's draft board.



houstonillini84 wrote on April 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

well funny how he is on the draft boards and other 7 footers arent. Besides, why rip on the guy? Why not just wish him well? Only bad UI fans would rip on their own players before the draft.

read the DI wrote on April 12, 2012 at 11:04 pm

You think Leonard is good. I think he's just big, and going to get eaten alive in the pros. Time will tell.


pitch9 wrote on April 11, 2012 at 9:04 am

And the winner is....Bruce Weber.  Moving on to a better job with a better team making more money and working for a University that currently has its act together in a way that, sadly, my school does not.  I maintain my prediction that the next 5 years will see more wins and more success for K-State than for the Illini.  I sure hope I'm wrong, but I have seen more than one writer on this blog declare next season to be a success if we have a winning season.  I think that is a realistic assessment and a sad one.  Good luck Illini and Good Luck Coach Weber and staff.  No best wishes from this corner toward our AD.  The jury is still out on him.

illiniphil85 wrote on April 11, 2012 at 9:04 am

Hey pitch, have fun rooting for your team(Bruce Weber) in it's new location. Most of us are happy to get rid of the sanctions named Bruce the Excuse. Bold prediction considering he wrecked the program here. Don't let the door hit you or Brucie in the @$$ on the way out. 

coaxhdufus wrote on April 11, 2012 at 10:04 pm

@ pitch9...who put us in that bad spot?  I'll give you one guess

PeterE wrote on April 11, 2012 at 9:04 am

Weber: 'It was my obligation to come back'. "Bruce admitted he initially didn't want to return for the banquet."

So glad Bruce Weber is GONE!  Good Riddance! Illini basketball will be on way up again. I like the new coach Groce and his staff. Illini players are fortunate to have them as coaches.

D0ubtingTh0mas wrote on April 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

I'm glad Bruce is gone, but if you told me the alternative was John Groce, I would want Bruce back.

John Groce = 3rd place MAC East coaching staff who had APR troubles and brought in problem athletes. Even arrogant enough to think he doesn't need ties to Illinois' past and recruiting ground on his coaching staff. Ugh.

optimator wrote on April 11, 2012 at 11:04 am

you really are a one trick pony aren't you, and that trick is to stand there and crap in the same place over and over and over

optimator wrote on April 11, 2012 at 11:04 am

"problem athletes."?


cite that claim otherwise you are simply lobbing grenades because your whining after shaka didnt want the job

urbanaman wrote on April 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Guenther? That you?

DaisyJ wrote on April 11, 2012 at 9:04 am

Bruce, Bruce Bruce,,,it was your obligation to come back. I will agree with that statement, but, what

about these obligations :


1) to put a winner on the floor

2) to play Leonard under the basket

3)to sit Paul as he was a forever turnover machine

4)to once in a damn while play a zone

5)to stop crying to the refs

6)to give Henry and Bertand playing time

7) and to maybe pay back some of the god awful money we now

will give you that you earned with Selfs kids.

kzimmer001 wrote on April 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

Coach Weber never really owned his own shortcomings from his coaching tenure -- even his "some people try to take your spirit" comment -- is just another "it wasn't my fault".

It's never your fault, Bruce.  Even when you start to admit it, there's always a but this or that, and there's another one of your buddies re-quoting everything you told them. 

I thought Weber had many flaws as a coach, but I never disliked him.  That has changed.  Instead of accepting his firing in a professional manner, he continues to roll out the excuse train.  So sad, so unprofessional, and I am so glad this chapter in Illinois basketball is over. 



ax474 wrote on April 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

If the posts here represent the Illini Nation, I'm embarrassed to be an Illini Fan.  I can't believe all of these classless posts would come from an Illini Fan.  Shouldn't an Illini Fan be thanking Bruce Weber for leading the Illini to one of the most successful seasons in school history?

Bruce Weber has shown complete class in the way things played out, and the posts on this story are rediculous.  Paul Klee wrote a great article about the final chapter in a long story, and these negative posts don't do anything except expose the Illini fans as negative, bitter, whiners.

Good Luck Bruce, and I hope you have success at your new school.

PeterE wrote on April 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

Blah, blah, bLAH, BLAH. STFU Weber apologist worshipper. Yeah I wish we still had Bill Self and guarantee you I will never ever miss Weber. Being a true fan means wanting success for the team and university not paying homage to one incompetent, ungrateful fool who led the basketball program to some of it's lowest points in the history of Illinois the past 6 seasons. You want to kiss Weber's behind and adore him because of one season, you go right ahead. Reality is Weber has had a very mediocre losing Big ten record for the last 6 years and it was mostly all due to his own incompetence and stubborness, not anyone else. Trust me he's not a God. You go right on adoring him (that's so embarrassing) but don't dare tell anyone else how to act like a fan!!

kzimmer001 wrote on April 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

Be embarrassed if you want.

Many people, myself included, have credited and thanked Weber for the wonderful 2004-05 season and all his early successes.  However, the program faltered badly under his leadership, and he continually fails to acknowledge his own shortcomings, his own poor performance.  If it wasn't the AD's fault for not giving a vote of confidence, it was Leonard's fault for being distracted by NBA talk, or it was McCamey's fault, and on and on.  It's time to be a professional, Bruce, admit your failure with no more excuses, and tell your buddies to let it go.  It will be entertaining to see what happens the first time they have a little adversity at K-State.

For the first time in years, I am excited again about Illinois basketball.

UIUCHoopFan wrote on April 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

A no show by AD MT......that's classy.  When someone can't stand the heat they usually stay out of the kitchen! 

houstonillini84 wrote on April 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

he didnt meet with Weber until he fired him, why bother now? But seriously, very odd that the AD cant come to the team dinner, but our old coach can come back from his new job. At least someone has the right priorities.

urbanaman wrote on April 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Why do some of you insist on this ridiculous notion that Thomas never met with Weber? You don’t even think he did a “check-in” with the guy, for his own sake to get up to speed, if not for Weber’s? I guess that’s why all you Weber Worshippers can’t make a realistic assessment of the man. You all think the sun shines out of his butthole and everyone else is just out to get him.

I think that MT did the right thing by giving Weber his last hurrah without being there. How would you like it if the person who absolutely-justifiably-had-no-other-choice-if-he-wanted-to-be-taken-seriously gave you the ax was sitting there in the room with you while you’re trying to celebrate? You would probably feel like more of a nutless wonder than you already are and not be able to enjoy your friends and former players.

Many of you in Pinhead Nation (a-far-too-large subset of Illini Nation) are as guilty of hating on Thomas for convenient and made-up reasons as the rest of us are for being critical of Weber – both professionally and (as it turns out in light of recent behavior) personally. Only we have the remains of a once-respectable program, his feeble rationalizations denying any personal responsibility and/or his attempts to even blame others for his ultimate incompetence to justify our dissatisfaction.

Bunch of self-righteous friggin' zealots...

houstonillini84 wrote on April 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

i swear, steam just come out of your ears when you type. I bet you have so many insults wanting to come out it must be hard to get them down in writing.

And please, do you have evidence that Thomas sat down and talked with Weber? Because Weber says he did not, not until he was fired, and unless you know otherwise, I am willing to take Bruce's word for it.

helping wrote on April 12, 2012 at 7:04 pm

If Weber said that, then Weber is a liar.  Thomas had been on campus for at least 8 months when Weber was fired, and there were stories about him attending practices and games.  Do you truly believe that in 8 months Weber never talked to his boss once in all that time??  GMAB. 

Besides Weber has also made up the completely false story about Thomas undercutting the program by not backing him up during the February losing streak, when I personally heard Thomas say the exact same thing regarding evaluating every coach at season's end, etc., as confirmed by Loren Tate, numerous times on Saturday Sportsline prior to the season whenever he was asked about evaluating his coaches, whether it be Weber, Zook or any other Illini coach on staff.  Thomas merely repeated the same thing that he had already said many times before.  That indicates Weber's truthfulness and objectivity on the topic IMO.

read the DI wrote on April 12, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Weber didn't say it. He just didn't deny it when someone else said it. Big difference there, especially from Mr. Sour Grapes.

Btw, I hope it's true. I wouldn't want any of Weber's stench of failure rubbing off.

optimator wrote on April 11, 2012 at 11:04 am


aaeismacgychel wrote on April 11, 2012 at 11:04 am

I'm fairly amused by the responses to this article.  Such anger, hahaha... It does make one wonder if these were the same people who were upset when Bill Self left without telling the players, and then calling up just Deron Williams and Dee Brown to try and convince them to transfer to Kansas.  Perhaps the preferred method would be for Weber to just have left, never came back and just called Tracy Abrams and Myke Henry trying to convince them to transfer to KSU.

People do realize that his daughter Emily still attends U of I and that he does have an emotional attachment to the kids, right?  I don't see any issue with him "setting foot in Champaign" nor do I see how anyone really could take issue with it.  Just let go of the irrational anger- It's not worth getting upset over.

houstonillini84 wrote on April 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

heh if they let go of the anger, they will cease to exist, its all they have.

JDG613 wrote on April 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Why rip the guy after he's already left??  If he views things differently here than they were in reality, so be it.  The truth (whether he's a capable coach or not) will come out eventually....let's not tar the perception of the Illinois fandom by throwing stones after he's gone.  Just let him go, and let's look forward.

dljonesz wrote on April 11, 2012 at 11:04 am


Thank Gord it’s over. A weak and ridiculous ending to a weak and ridiculous tenure.....I applaud MT for not attending,  NOW let’s move on and get a real   program in place.

walker wrote on April 11, 2012 at 11:04 am

I say that Bruce wins more games over the next 3-5 years (take your pick) than do the Illini.  Certainly nothing against Coach Groce, because I wish him and the program much success.


Dan Bloeme wrote on April 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Oh I see your line of thinking Walker. Bruce Weber does well with other coaches' recruits (like Bill Self). Once Frank Martin's recruits are gone he will fall flat on his face again just like he did at Illinois once Self's recruits were gone. I believe Groce will do much better than Weber overall.

houstonillini84 wrote on April 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Bruce did very well at SIU with his own recruits. He didnt not recruit well at UI especially at first, but recruiting had improved. Maybe he will keep recruiting well at KSU and maybe he wont. But he took SIU to the sweet 16 and won the conference with his own players.

And I am curious, he must be a pretty good coach to do so well with other coaches' players. He might not be a great recruiter but his team does have the record for single season wins, and he took that team to the NC game. Not sure bad coaches do that.

hopefulmike wrote on April 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm

He took the best team in the country by far to a second place finish. I wonder how many coaches would have taken them to a championship.

houstonillini84 wrote on April 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm

LOL, thats a good one. remind me again how many players that UNC team we lost to had drafted in the first round?? And if those guys were so awesomely good, why couldnt they even make the sweet 16 as freshman when they had BTPOY Brian Cook leading the team? Go back and look at some 2005 rosters, there were some very good ones. UNC had one of the most talented rosters of the decade that year.

helping wrote on April 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I'll bet you Bruce does NOT win more games in year 5 of his tenure than Groce wins in year 5 at Illinois.  Once Bruce has to recruit and build for himself, K-State won't be too happy.  Of course, Bill Self will enjoy having two easy Ws every year playing against Bruce.  Maybe Bruce can have a Bill Self funeral again in Manhattan to pacify the Wildcat fans.  Good riddance Bruce.  Good human but poor coach, and an even worse whiner and excuse maker.

jjohnson wrote on April 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm

PeterE, you are a complete jerk, and though I do not normally use such language, were the filter not here, I would compare you to the hindquarters of a horse. There is a time to stop the nonsense. Weber has been a persistent backer of Coaches against cancer and other matters. You got your way and he is gone, but he has more class in his little finger nail than you have shown in a ton of comments. If you are not the fat guy sitting in his mother's basement typing away while on watered-down beer, you do a wonderful imitation of one. 

There is a wonderful statement made in Shakespeare's (I assume you have no idea who he is) play, "Julius Caesar" (no, he doesn't play in the MAC) where Brutus says, "Let us be sacrificers, but not butchers." There is a time to shut up about your visceral (I doubt you are capable of "mental") dislike of Bruce Weber.


. . . in fact, time for you to shut up and get a life.


John Johnson

Tucson, Arizona

Dan Bloeme wrote on April 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Takes a jerk to know one JJ. Talk about vitriol and calling other fans names. Sheesh. Why can't all you immature name-calling children just get along. What a double standard!  Must be poor parenting issues, eh JJ?

jjohnson wrote on April 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I don't mind your comment, since you used your name, and to an extent your criticism is just, but enough is enough from the target of my comments (and probably from "BlueHavana" or whatever). It takes no guts to hide behind a screen name and make character accusations. Don't like Weber as a coach? Fine, but people have questioned his character -- on what basis? -- his charitablility -- the whole gamut, and that just stinks. I am not sure that "fan" is an appropriate category to use for those making such comments, and I think I verged on "charitable" as nearly as on "vitriolic."

John Johnson

Tucson, AZ

houstonillini84 wrote on April 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

funny how you pick out this post to say that, but turn a blind eye to the much more offensive posts elsewhere in these comments. Talk about a double standard!

helping wrote on April 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm

"I strongly think everybody is going to stay," Abrams added.


That's the best news to come out of the basketball program since the 1st Ohio State game.  I hope they all do stay since I think that there is a decent level of raw talent on the team.  Hopefully, the new coaches will be able to maximize it.


JohnUI82 wrote on April 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Why can't everyone just wish the best for Mike Thomas, John Groce, Bruce Weber, Jerrance Howard and Meyers Leonard instead of being so bitter toward one or more? With so-called fans like so many of these commenters, Illinois certainly doesn't need enemies.

jdstieg wrote on April 11, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Like I said about 10 hours ago:  Thanks Coach Weber.........and now it is time for everyone to move on.

JDG613 wrote on April 11, 2012 at 2:04 pm

JohnUI - That is an excellent suggestion, and would certainly be desirable...except I'm afraid it would require far more class and intelligence than those commenters to whom you refer obviously possess.

Weber's gone.  Like him or hate him (doesn't seem to be any middle ground, unfortunately), he is no longer the UI b-ball coach.  But doesn't seem very beneficial or useful to rip him apart now...other than to put the UI in a very negative light.

I don't claim that Weber was a great coach, but he certainly isn't a BAD one.  I do admit that it will be interesting to see how KSU fares after Martin's recruits are gone.  Maybe that will provide a clear indication of whether Coach Weber is a good coach/recruiter/builder of men, or not.

Now let us turn our attention and focus to supporting UI basketball.....PLEASE.

Salt Life wrote on April 11, 2012 at 2:04 pm
Profile Picture

This is hilarious! All these staunch Weber supporters on here fighting back with enmity and outright hate directed towards any critics of Weber, telling them to let it go already and show some class while ironically it seems that all the while their idol (Weber) which they seemingly placed up on a pedestal has been showing no class himself, spreading lies and now bashing "Illinois" from his new pulpit over at K-State. Why should Illinois fans stay silent when Bruce keeps talking and revising history? Please read following links to see what I'm talking about:

PLEASE STOP - (best fan blog)

Bruce Weber & Tom Izzo vs Mike Thomas: The timeline of excuses - (best fan forum)

bluehavana wrote on April 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm

As a fan who is not angry (just irritated) with Coach Weber, my emotion can kiddingly be summed up in the words of Vince Neil via Motely Crue...Don't Go Away Mad, Just Go Away.

Coach Weber earns the nice-honest-character-loyal badge in earnest.  He is Mr Congeniality at high level Div 1 basketball coaches pageant.  Others celebrate his personal traits much more than I choose to do of an Illini coach.  I happen to think Lou Henson, Lon Kruger, Bill Self, and Bruce Weber, and probably John Groce could be trusted to treat a young man well as his Illini coach.

He is lauded for charitable donations announced at Illini banquet...amounts that are similar to a typical fan throwing an extra $10 in the collection plate at Sunday Services.  The donations are fine, but nothing that moves the emotional needle, in my opinion.  

Bruce Weber didn't recruit/develop enough talent to win at a decent level in the Big Ten.  His attributes as a very good man doesn't change what happened.  

IMAN wrote on April 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm

First off, I respect your opinion and the way you presented.


I will disagree with some of the points on Weber's tenure.  Do remember the Kelvin samscum Eric Gordon debacle and the Jamar Smith tragedy that in one fell seconed took out two 4 star players?     I don't think people understand that those two events set the program back 3-4 years.   Had the Gordon debacle not happened Evan Turner and Etwaun Moore would have been Illini players.   Had Jereme Richmond not been a young man who enjoyed weed more than actually trying to learn something, we would have had a final four capable team this year.

In regards to development, ask DWILL, Dee Brown, Luther Head, Augie, Mike Tisdale (kid couldn't walk and chew gum when he came to Illinois), Mike Davis, and yes, Demitri McCamey.  People can say what they want about McCamey and Tiz, but those kids improved tremendously and put up huge numbers for our school......I am pretty sure DMAC ranks near top 5 in all time big ten assists.



bluehavana wrote on April 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm

No problem IMAN.  I've always thought these message boards should be like people would visit at a diner's counter than insulting each other in a parking lot!

My Illini memories include reasonable recollection of Mark Smith/Eddie Johnson era and then real well going forward from there.  Each instance/account of Weber's tenure you cite are clear in my mind.  While Gordon was a joke, he was just one guy, and a one year guy at that.  So there had to be another recruiting plan beyond Gordon anyway.  The guys who had upsides developed, and unfortunately as your list shows, they were mostly Self players.  I actually liked McCamey and Tisdale and Davis.  Those three combined with a truly great player would have been fun to watch and an NCAA threat.  Illinois just never got that guy, or enough of them. 

I appreciate the friendly banter, as it seems you do too. 

IMAN wrote on April 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm

It is posts like these that truly make me embarrassed to be an Illini fan at times. I love my alma mater and bleed orange and blue, so it disgusts me to no end when poor fans embarrass my school.   To hear some of you juveniles insult this man is just mind boggling.     In spite of the fact that Bruce Weber is the coach with the highest winning perctentage in Illinois history, and the fact that he took our program farther than anyother coach in history, you hate filled people want to rip on a truly great man.

Not only is Bruce a very good coach (ask anybody who knows the collegiate game like say current head coaches, and they will tell you he is a great coach) but he is an even better man.  I don't know of any other coach in America who would have swallowed his pride to come back to the team banqute for his kids.  

The man is all class, and I know first hand.  My son was diagnosed with Cancer in 2010 and before he started his battle, and thank you to Mr Klee (thanks again Paul) Bruce invited us into the locker room to hear the pregame speech for the Wisconsin game, upgraded our nosebleed seats to the floor, gave my son an autographed hat from He and the team, and spent 10 mintues talking to Cameron before the game.  I actually had to say to him, "Coach, thank you so much for spending this time with my boys, but I don't want you to miss the start of the game."  On top of this, the man has raised over a million dollars for cancer research since he came to Illinois.....I guarantee each and everyone of you will benefit from that research because no family is immune to this killer.....thankfully because of men like Bruce this disease doesn't kill as often as it used to.

So..................please take your juvenile rants about this man and stick them where the sun doesn't shine!    

This man of impeccable class is gone, we were lucky to have him, and it is time to move on.

Grow up,show some class, and stop embarrassing my school with your juvenile rants.

Scott Reicheneker

OKOMIS wrote on April 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm

This guy is like a bad rash, just can’t get rid of him… look at this post and the dissension he’s causing… GO COACH KANSAS STATE LEAVE US ALONE.

houstonillini84 wrote on April 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm

funny, it seems like the players wanted him there, and it was the TEAM dinner after all.

And sadly I doubt he and Jerrance will 'leave us alone'. I expect they will be recruiting in Illinois for a long time.

OKOMIS wrote on April 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm

i'm sure that is your hope..

houstonillini84 wrote on April 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm

not my hope, just what seems to be likely to happen. Do you think Bruce and Jerrance will NOT recruit Illinois?

OKOMIS wrote on April 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm

the coach at the other state school in Kansas worries me more..

read the DI wrote on April 12, 2012 at 7:04 am

No kidding. Self and plenty of others have come in to Chicago and taken whomever they wanted for years. Those broken up over the loss of JH refuse to accept that the Illinois program is stunted and in dire need of change.

houstonillini84 wrote on April 12, 2012 at 9:04 am

uh, the difference is that the coaches at KU and UK and Duke and UNC were already there, they were already recruiting. Bruce wasnt at another school, neither was Jerrance. Now they will be. And they will be back here recruiting. We can agree to disagree about whether Weber will be successful recruiting guys in Illinois, but it would be foolish to think Jerrance cant have some success here - ESPECIALLY if he is at KU or UK.

read the DI wrote on April 12, 2012 at 12:04 pm

You don't think much, do you. UK, Duke and KU own Chicago. If you are at the top, you can't go higher.

houstonillini84 wrote on April 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

then why did UK make an offer to Jerrance, and why is KU rumored to be in discussions with him? I mean, if they have Illinois on lockdown, why hire an assistant from Illinois? Those programs recruit nationally. You contradict yourself with every post.

read the DI wrote on April 12, 2012 at 11:04 pm

KU has an opening, and someone has to handle recruiting. Duh. As for Kentucky, please provide a link to a legitimate news source that says Kentucky made an offer.




jdstieg wrote on April 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Let's bury this topic like Bruce tried to do with his black suit Bill Self mock funeral.

OKOMIS wrote on April 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm

thank you.... that little stunt should have tipped us off of what was to come..

houstonillini84 wrote on April 12, 2012 at 9:04 am

yeah, the little stunt, after which the team accepted Weber's system and began winning like no other teams in modern UI history. If Groce has stunts that can lead to such dramatic turnarounds, by all means I hope he uses them!

read the DI wrote on April 12, 2012 at 12:04 pm

"...and began winning like no other teams in modern UI history."

Until they started losing ... and losing ... and losing!


houstonillini84 wrote on April 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Lou Henson's teams had some bad years in the 90s, but most of us think well of the Flying Illini and have great memories of them, even though 6 years of disappointments followed. The latter does not negate the former.

read the DI wrote on April 12, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Hello, straw man!


urbanaman wrote on April 13, 2012 at 9:04 am

I'm gonna start calling houston "Scarecrow."

Hang on, let me get my pitch pipe - tweeeet. Ready everybody? - "If he only had a braaaaaaain......."

read the DI wrote on April 13, 2012 at 10:04 am


yates wrote on April 11, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Somebody on Yahoo called Illini Nation a bunch of whining losers. They must have visited this board one time or another.

urbanaman wrote on April 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Well, I guess some of us have a little more invested in establishing, maintaining and enjoying a winning program as opposed to fans with a – “hey gang, what say we all put on our orange and blue crews and take in a ball game?” – mentality. Unpredictability and frustration isn’t my idea of an evening/afternoon well spent… (sorry, houston - didn't mean to invoke your sex life just then...)

houstonillini84 wrote on April 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

yeah, because getting really angry, booing the team, and hurling insults everywhere are such strong foundations for a successful program!! Wow, what great, wonderful fans. Truly the envy of the NCAA.

urbanaman wrote on April 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Coming from the biggest crybaby on the site, that doesn't mean a whole lot, boo-hoo-hooston...

read the DI wrote on April 12, 2012 at 11:04 pm

tee hee! It's funny cause it's true!

CecilColeman wrote on April 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I really, really hope the door at the Urbana Holiday Inn did not hit Bruce on the way out.