News and notes from UI women's basketball:
Reserve point guard Melissa Parker will undergo arthroscopic surgery on her right knee Wednesday and miss up to a month. "Hopefully I'll be back sooner," Parker said. "It's my best option to get it over with now and get healthy for the Big Ten season." Parker, a sophomore from Elgin, said she first experienced pain in the knee during preseason conditioning. Parker grabbed two rebounds in Sunday's exhibition win over an Australian team. "It's frustrating, especially with all these big games coming up," said Parker, who averaged 5.7 points as a freshman.
UI coach Theresa Grentz said the five players who started against Australia – Tauja Catching, Nicole Vasey, Ashley Berggren, Alicia Sheeler, Krista Reinking – likely will line up against Old Dominion on Sunday. The five accounted for 76 points and 35 rebounds Sunday. Grentz said her rotation may include 11 players. "It's a good problem," she said. "You get to play a lot of people, people don't get tired, you can play different combinations and it's difficult to scout."
WAITING IN LINE
Kylie Martin and Susan Blauser, transfers from Rutgers, continue to contribute in practice. The two won't become eligible until next season and must dress in street clothes during home games. "It's tough mentally," said Blauser, who averaged 10.1 points and 6.6 rebounds last season. "We do everything everybody else does but all our glory is to sit on the bench during games." The time off's not all bad for Blauser, who had knee surgery in March.
Sunday's State Farm Tip-Off Classic marks the season debut for No. 7 Illinois and No. 3 Old Dominion. Florida and North Carolina will come in tested, the fifth-ranked Tar Heels meeting Buffalo on Wednesday and the ninth-ranked Gators opening Thursday against Florida State.
Favorite athlete: Grant Hill
Favorite movie: Hoosiers
Favorite TV show: Friends
Favorite book: Catcher in The Rye
Favorite professor: Jeff Kaufmann, business administration
Favorite musical artist: Whitney Houston
Favorite campus hangout: Joe's Brewery
Hobbies: Reading, playing tennis
Career highlight: Playing center field for Moline's IHSA state softball championship team
Best player I've ever faced: Ashley Berggren
If I could meet one person, it'd be ... Oprah
What people don't know about me ... I like to sing a lot