Men's Basketball

Men's Basketball

Upon further review

A four-part look at Thursday's Ililnois-Air Force game, courtesy News-Gazette staff writer Tony Bleill:

Asmussen's postcard from San Diego

I was at a basketball game and an episode of "24" broke out. I kept waiting late Thursday morning for Jack Bauer to storm Cox Arena with a "tact team." No such luck. And no signs of our hero with the forever-charged cellphone.

The plan today was to write all about Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres and the World Baseball Classic finals. That's me lounging outside the stadium, which has to rank among the best in the nation. Nestled near the water and the Gaslamp district (isn't everything), Petco used the buildings nearby to create a cozy atmosphere.

Illinois freshman makes the most of first tourney shot

SAN DIEGO – He didn't want to rain on his freshman's postseason coronation parade, and yet the coach in Bruce Weber thought things were getting out of hand.

So in what had turned into a shootout against Air Force, Weber shouted to Jamar Smith, "Be patient!"

Sights and sounds

He looks a bit older than during his coaching days. Bill Frieder has what he calls "a face for radio."

That's a good thing because Frieder is serving as an analyst on Westwood One's radio coverage from the San Diego site.

Asmussen: West Coast suits Midwesterner

He'll be wearing purple tonight. Proudly.

But under a different set of circumstances, and with a bit more foresight, Justin Dentmon could be wearing orange. The popped- out jersey with the "Illinois" across the front.

Asmussen's postcard from San Diego

Wish you were here. No, seriously, I really do.

There can't be a better city in the country than San Diego (No, Jim Rossow, Fort Wayne doesn't measure up). Palm trees, the ocean, a revitalized downtown, pro sports, golf courses and the weather. It's always the weather.

Illinois vs. Air Force

Team and player matchups for tonight's UI-Air Force game:

Silent treatment a change for Illini

SAN DIEGO – The last time the Illinois men's basketball team took the court for an NCAA tournament practice, it was a madhouse.

At last season's Final Four in St. Louis, an estimated 31,000 fans – an unofficial all-time record – showed up for the national semifinalists' shootaround. So many of them were orange-clad Illini fans that Louisville freshman Lorrenzo Wade said, "I felt like I was inside a carton of Tropicana."

Brett's random thoughts

Here in San Diego, the media workroom and interview areas are in a parking lot, under a tent with soft walls. It's comfortable in the daytime if a bit chilly at night. And it's certainly unique.

UI's Carter keeping close eye on brother

SAN DIEGO – For the second consecutive week, Illinois forward Warren Carter will be paying attention to another basketball venue.

Last weekend, it was the Big 12 tournament in Dallas, where his brother Josh was playing for Texas A&M. On Saturday, Josh Carter had a big game in a near upset of Texas, scoring 26 points and nailing six three-pointers.