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July 26 Illinois basketball chat

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - 12:30pm

Scott Richey is back from Chicago and his two-day stint at Big Ten football media days ready to answer all of your Illinois basketball questions. Or, you know, football. Or volleyball. So whether it's the state of hoops recruiting, the potential fate of Lovie Smith's Illini this fall or how first-year volleyball coach Chris Tamas might fare, your questions will be answered at 12:30 p.m.

LIVE! Big Ten Media Days

Jim Harbaugh closing out the second morning. His opening statement was about his entrance to the podium. Then he quietly, off-handedly said he'd take questions. Also, he's wearing his standard uniform: Michigan hat, glasses, blue pullover and khakis.

Illinois AD: New football practice facility 'hugely important'

CHICAGO — Josh Whitman is trying to make life easier for Illinois football coach Lovie Smith.

Recently, the school announced plans for a $79.2 million practice facility expected to be finished in time for the 2019 season that will be located on the grass practice fields on the east side of Memorial Stadium.

Student's pitch for middle school softball in Champaign finally connects

CHAMPAIGN — Three years ago, as she was entering sixth grade at Edison Middle School, Kathryn Currey went before the Unit 4 school board to make a case for adding girls' softball for the middle schools.

She had played Little League Baseball in C-U — primarily with boys — and later joined the Border Girls travel softball team.

Loren Tate: Don't touch that dial!

CHICAGO — In another world, college football kickoffs resounded simultaneously from coast to coast on Saturdays at 1 p.m. The main deviations were the result of time zones.

My, how TV has altered that world. Of 42 Big Ten games with established starting times through Sept. 29, not one will start between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Top 50 most important Illini: No. 6, Reggie Corbin, RB

Our preseason countdown continues:

No. 6: Reggie Corbin, RB

For Lovie, second time around a lot easier

CHICAGO — Lovie Smith ended his opening statement at Big Ten Media Days on a frank, honest note. Illinois hasn’t been competitive enough. Hasn’t made enough bowl games.

Progress toward more wins, toward those bowl bids, is something Smith said he felt his program was making as he enters his second season at the Illini helm.

Top 50 teams in 2017: No. 6, Clemson

Our preseason countdown continues:

No. 6: Clemson

Coach: Dabo Swinney

2016 record: 14-1

Projected 2017 record: 11-1

Circle the date: Nov. 11 vs. Florida State

Bowl trip: Orange

PODCAST: SportsTalk 7-24-17 from Big Ten Media Day

PODCAST: SportsTalk 7-24-17 from Big Ten Media Day: Play now!

Scott Beatty, Loren Tate, & Brian Barnhart broadcast from Chicago during Big Ten Media Day. They chat with Coach Lovie Smith, A.D. Josh Whitman, P.J. Fleck, Christian DiLauro, Malik Turner, Jaylen Dunlap, J Leman, as well as colleagues Bob Asmussen and Scott Richey.

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Illinois at Big Ten Media Day

Hear from Illinois coach Lovie Smith and seniors Malik Turner, Jaylen Dunlap and Christian DiLauro on a wide range of topics during the Illini's appearance at Big Ten Media Day in Chicago on Monday.