Sports Talk 12-18-14

Sports Talk 12-18-14: Play now!

Brian Moline covers Illini football (-- Coaches Beckman, Cubit, Banks, and Golesh, along with a few football players), Illini volleyball (Liz McMahon), and Illini men's basketball (Coach Groce).


Depending on your browser settings, you may have to right click the link below and select "Save Link As..." or "Save Target As..."

Download now!

How cool is it to be O'Toole?

Reilly O'Toole has gone from second string to first rate, helping Illinois reach a bowl game — and perhaps save his coach's job — in the process.

The next step is winning a bowl game.

Today's chat: How bad is Mizzou?

Marcus Jackson's chat starts at 12:30 p.m. Thursday. Submit questions of any kind —recruiting, Braggin' Rights, NCAA tourney projections — by clicking here.

Here's a quick look at why Missouri is an underdog Saturday:


Tate: Recruit rules causing B1G concerns

Even as Barry Alvarez returns to the “Wisconsin formula” in naming Paul Chryst as head football coach, the Badger mystery continues to bubble.

With Bret Bielema’s switch to Arkansas as background, what influenced Gary Andersen to make a lateral move to perennial also-ran Oregon State after 9-4 and 10-3 seasons at Wisconsin?

Wednesday's prep highlights: Iroquois West wins tourney

In girls’ basketball


Iroquois West 65, Herscher 44. Ariel Medina had 15 points and Grace Schroeder had 14 as Iroquois West recovered from a first-quarter deficit to beat Herscher in the championship game of the eight-team Raider Classic on Wednesday at Gilman. The Raiders (11-2) hit seven three-point shots.

Bowl prep: Coaches look to improve postseason marks

Coach Alex Golesh talks HOD Bowl Thursday at 5:10 on WDWS.


Leading up to the Illini’s appearance at the Heart of Dallas Bowl, college football writers Bob Asmussen and Matt Daniels will check in:


Grades vs. Hampton: Good enough for B+

Player of the Game: Illini guard Kendrick Nunn

MBB notebook: Plenty of changes before, during win

CHAMPAIGN — Ahead of Wednesday’s 73-55 win against Hampton, Illinois coach John Groce mixed up the routine a bit with his players, who were preparing for final exams week.

Nunn leads Illini to low-pressure victory

CHAMPAIGN — Maybe it’s because it was finals week and most Illinois students were huddled up in a library somewhere cramming for a test.

Or maybe another ho-hum opponent did little to entice Illini fans to make their way to State Farm Center.

Illinois 73, Hampton 55

College basketball writer Marcus Jackson recaps the win against the Pirates and looks ahead to Saturday's rivalry game in St. Louis against Missouri.