Loren Tate: To make a bowl run, Illini must look for growth

The Yankees' Aaron Judge was always a star in the making.

He was a three-sport blue chipper as a California prep, a daunting slugger for three years at Fresno State, and a projected major leaguer throughout three seasons in the minors.

Sunday conversation: Chris Tamas, volleyball coach

Chris Tamas' first five-plus months on the job have been, understandably, fairly busy. The new Illinois volleyball coach got in a spring's worth of workouts and matches with his new team and immediately hit the road recruiting. With the 2017 season just more than a month away, beat writer Scott Richey caught up with the former U.S.

Illinois football: Prepping for their closeup

Christian DiLauro, Jaylen Dunlap and Malik Turner will represent Illinois at Big Ten media days. Staff writer SCOTT RICHEY caught up with the Illini trio before they left for Chicago:

Christian DiLauro | Redshirt senior, tackle

Top 50 most important Illini: No. 8: Malik Turner, WR

Why he's important: How Illinois will use its wide receivers — its passing game in general — this fall is still a bit of a mystery. New No. 1 quarterback Chayce Crouch has nearly as many career rushing as passing attempts. He's never utilized a 6-foot-3, 200-pound receiver like Turner for a full season.

A Life Remembered: Bob Miller

MONTICELLO — Sages legend Bob Miller, a star basketball player, Monticello school board president, dairy owner and superfan, has died just before he turned 102.

And as a superfan, he didn't fool around, says Art Sievers, who for four decades has compiled statistics about Sages boys' basketball.

July 25 Bob Asmussen chat

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 11:00am

Did Lovie Smith wow reporters at the Big Ten Kickoff? Which new coach came across the best? What were the biggest stories at the event?

For the answers to these questions, and anything else on your mind, check in with our longtime college football writer.

PODCAST: Saturday SportsTalk 7-22-17

PODCAST: Saturday SportsTalk 7-22-17: Play now!

Michael Kiser and Loren Tate host the Saturday edition of Sports Talk. They talk with Brad Sturdy, Martin O'Donnell and Nick Allegretti.


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Top 50 most important Illini: No. 9: Nick Allegretti, OL

Why he's important: Illinois needs to replace Joe Spencer at center, with the three-year starter exhausting his eligibility with the 2016 season. Allegretti is the only lineman on the current Illinois roster that has played at center, including one start last season when Spencer was hurt.

Olympic trials: Urbana's Sands, 53, faster than ever on ice

URBANA — For most folks over 50, there are two realistic ways to get to the Olympic Trials:

— as a coach or with the support personnel staff;

— as a spectator.

Urbana's 53-year-old Theron Sands is attempting to demonstrate there's a viable third way.

Sands is in an odds-defying venture to earn a berth on the United States speedskating team for the 2018 Winter Games.

Eagles' academic work recognized once again

RANTOUL — For the second year in a row, the Rantoul baseball program was honored with the American Baseball Coaches Association's Team Academic Excellence Award.