The chill is still in the air, but Illinois baseball gets a start on defending its 2015 Big Ten title with its first practice Friday afternoon. A glance at Dan Hartleb’s program before the Illini open the 2016 season three weeks from Friday at Tulane, courtesy sports editor Matt Daniels:
What a run
CHAMPAIGN — Tim Finke has a bit of an advantage when it comes to most Division I recruits.
Playing high school basketball in a college town — a Big Ten town, no less — means there’s extra opportunities for Finke to practice or play in front of college coaches.
Player of the Game: Illinois’ Kendrick Nunn
After three straight less-than-spectacular games, the junior guard turned up his play several notches. Nunn led all scorers with 24 points on 7-of-15 shooting — including five threes — but even that wasn’t enough.
ST. JOSEPH — Tori McCoy stepped up to the midcourt line to take her first tipoff in a month, and for her St. Thomas More teammates, that was a welcome sight.
Not so for St. Joseph-Ogden sophomore Sarah Acklin. As the 5-foot-8 forward stepped up to challenge McCoy for the tipoff, she chuckled. McCoy chuckled back.
CHAMPAIGN — Rebounding and defense.
Those are the two areas Illinois guard Kendrick Nunn said the Illini had to lock up to get a win in the Big Ten, to string together one victory after another for the first time in conference play.
(Minimum 9.0 ppg)
Player, School FG FT TP AVG HG
Maynard, PBL 187 99 493 22.4 36
It's the late night edition of the Dick Van Dyke Appliance World WOW Plays of the Game blog.
Things started out so well...
Then a drought...broken by this bucket...
And a tie ballgame late...
I'm calling four more regular season wins. What say you?
Ohio State 68, Illinois 63 — FINAL
A strange sequence to end the game saw Illinois never attempt a shot while down three, with the Buckeyes taking the ball the other way for an easy layup to end this one. The Illini fall to 10-11 overall and 2-6 in Big Ten play with the setback.
Ohio State 47, Illinois 40 — 11:35 left in 2nd half