4 appealing in-state targets after IHSA football championships

Monday saw Lovie Smith stop by a variety of high schools in the Chicagoland area, with the Class of 2017 needing to fill up in the next few months. Here are four in-state seniors the Illini should focus their attention on after they shined this past weekend at Memorial Stadium:

Turnaround on turnovers key for Groce

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois has an offensive style it wants to play. Push the pace in the full court. Work the ball inside (for points in the paint) to out (three-pointers) in the halfcourt.

But that’s an identity the Illini have yet to establish consistently this season. Hampering that cause? An inability to hang on to the ball.

Ballot breakdown: Butler, South Carolina enter men's fray

A look at how UI basketball beat writer Scott Richey's polls compare with those of the Associated Press:

Richey's Men's Top 25

Tate: Even most ardent Illini fans about fed up

From the perspectives of John Groce, Gus Phan and the men’s basketball program, there has seldom been a time when Illinois so desperately needed a victory.

It could be anybody. It just happens to be North Carolina State on Tuesday. What we’re witnessing is the cumulative impact of a multi-year spiral.

Illini Preview: N.C. State scheme resembles Winthrop

Illinois coach John Groce and sixth-year Illini point guard discuss Tuesday's ACC/Big Ten Challenge game against North Carolina State.

PODCAST: News Gazette Sports Page 11-28-16

PODCAST: News Gazette Sports Page 11-28-16: Play now!

Join the News Gazette sports writers at the Esquire in downtown Champaign, as they discuss the latest in local sports.


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Nov. 30 Illinois basketball & volleyball chat

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 12:30pm

Tuesday's ACC/Big Ten Challenge stands as Illinois' last chance to salvage the month of November. Wednesday's chat with beat writer Scott Richey is your chance to find out what he thought (good or bad) about the first month of the season and what it means moving forward. Like ... Will turnovers continue to be an issue? When will Jalen Coleman-Lands regain a consistent shooting stroke?

11-28-16 Monday Morning Quarterbacks

11-28-16 Monday Morning Quarterbacks: Play now!

11-28-16 Monday Morning Quarterbacks.  Jim Turpin and Lorne Tate are the Monday Morning Quarterbacks after Illini Football falls to Northwestern and the Illini Basketball losing streak is now at 3.


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2016 All-Area Girls' Golfer of the Year: Central's Mia Hayasaki

CHAMPAIGN — It was a painful sight for Yoshi Hayasaki.

He didn’t know whether it was an issue with confidence that comes and goes during a given round of golf, a problem with technique or a mixture of both. But every time his daughter, Champaign Central junior Mia, approached a putt of 4 feet or less at the Class 2A state golf tournament last month, he grew nervous.

Top of the morning, Nov. 28, 2016


Sixteen high school football teams — from as far as East St. Louis to as close as Decatur — played for state titles last weekend at Memorial Stadium.

As fun as it is to cover an action-packed game up close on the field, as a photographer, I think it's every bit as enjoyable to turn the lens toward the colorful fans in the stadium's stands.