Bezhanishvili's big game carries Illini

Illinois coach Brad Underwood, freshman forward Giorgi Bezhanishvili, senior guard Aaron Jordan and Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell break down Saturday's 99-94 Illini victory with Bezhanishvili's record-setting performance at the heart of the win.

LIVE! Rutgers

CHAMPAIGN — Giorgi Bezhanishvili set Illinois' freshman scoring record with 35 points, and all of them were needed as the Illini fended off Rutgers 99-94 in overtime to extend their winning streak to three games.

Top of the Morning, Feb. 9, 2019

It's not quite as big as, say, State Farm Center, but JESSE NAUMAN's "Illini Room" in the basement of his house in Granville takes up serious space.

"At some point, it became an obsession," the 41-year-old UI grad said of his memorabilia collection. "I'm just about out of room."

Physical Scarlet Knights will be a challenge

Illinois coach Brad Underwood recaps Tuesday's upset win against No. Michigan State before looking ahead to Saturday's showdown with Rutgers.

Illinois trying to avoid letdown after big win

Illinois guard Aaron Jordan reflects on Tuesday's upset of Michigan State, while 7-foot center Adonis De La Rosa talks about what's necessary in avoiding a letdown Saturday against Rutgers. Freshman guard Ayo Dosunmu hits on some of the same before discussing his season and how he and Trent Frazier are playing well together now.

Illini strength coach to Bengals

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois football coach Lovie Smith has even more to do to fill out his coaching staff for the 2019 season. With two assistant coaching spots to fill already after the departures of Thad Ward and Luke Butkus, Smith must now find a new strength and conditioning coach.

Asmussen | Lovie cuts out the middleman in decision to run Illinois defense

Of course, Lovie Smith is the new Illinois defensive coordinator. What did you think was going to happen?

The Illinois head coach did double-duty during the 2018 season, serving as his own defensive coordinator after Hardy Nickerson's resignation.

"I loved it an awful lot," Smith said. "I feel pretty comfortable in that position."

Signing day brings more than just player additions

Illinois coach Lovie Smith discusses his two newest linebackers Shammond Cooper and Tarique Barnes and his two newest coaches Miles Smith and Keynodo Hudson.

Illinois finalizes defensive staff

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois football coach Lovie Smith officially rounded out his defensive coaching staff Wednesday afternoon. The Illini coach will resume his dual role as defensive coordinator for the 2019 season, Miles Smith was kept on as a full-time assistant as linebackers coaches and Keynodo Hudson was hired as cornerbacks coach.

We're talking Illini

Two top 25 wins in 10 days. Hard to believe Illinois lost at home to Florida Atlantic just more than a month ago. The Illini have made some serious strides in the new year, and Tuesday night's upset of No. 9 Michigan State is the latest statement by Brad Underwood's team.