Arena ready for its close-up

CHAMPAIGN — The construction dust has settled, the new Lou Henson court is in place and the arena is awash in cushy Illini orange and blue.

"State Farm Center Renovation: Phase 4" will debut at Wednesday's true Illini home opener against Notre Dame, and fans who paid a pretty penny for their new seats are eager to see the new digs.

Top of the morning, Nov. 29, 2015

It's a big week for Illinois basketball, which returns to a renovated State Farm Center on Wednesday.

It's also a big week for how we cover Illinois basketball, as beat writer Marcus Jackson transitions out of Sports and onto A-1 as our community reporter. Staff writer Scott Richey will take his place after Wednesday's game against Notre Dame.

Saturday's highlights: Finkes lead Central to consolation title

In boys’ basketball

Adam Lopez Thanksgiving Tournament

■ Champaign Central 47, Pekin 42. Tim Finke scored 20 points and Nick Finke had 12 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double as the Maroons won the consolation championship in Springfield.

Quincy Thanksgiving Tournament

Illini commit Davis qualifies for national meet

KENOSHA, Wis. — Oakwood’s Jon Davis added to his standout senior season Saturday after winning the Foot Locker Cross-Country Championships Midwest Regional on the campus of UW-Parkside. Davis, the three-time defending Class 1A state champion and an Illinois recruit, won the regional title with a time of 14 minutes, 57 seconds — topping Paul Roberts of Boulder, Colo., by one second.

MBB notebook: Groce thankful for head athletic trainer

NICEVILLE, Fla. — The Illinois team that took the court Friday and Saturday at the Emerald Coast Classic was a much different outfit than the one that struggled through the first five games of the season.

Thorne's injury mars solid outing vs. Iowa State

NICEVILLE, Fla. — When the buzzer sounded on No. 4 Iowa State’s 84-73 win against Illinois on Saturday in the championship game of the Emerald Coast Classic, the players from the Illini made a beeline to the end of the bench to shake hands and hug big man Mike Thorne Jr.

MBB grades vs. Iowa State: Fair effort against Cyclones

The point guard controlled the game and was an instrumental piece in the Cyclones pulling away, finishing with 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists in the win. The junior also hit half of Iowa State’s free throw attempts and was a perfect 6 of 6 individually.

Fastener's Etc. Post Game Show 11-28-15

Fastener's Etc. Post Game Show 11-28-15: Play now!

Join Scott Beatty and Tim Ditman as they recap the Illinois v. Northwestern football game and the Illinois v. Iowa State men's basketball game, including highlights, interviews and your phone calls.


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No. 4 Iowa State 84, Illinois 73

College basketball writer Marcus Jackson wraps up the Emerald Coast Classic where the Illini fell in the title game to the Cyclones.

Tate: In tough spot, bigwigs opt for stable option

CHICAGO — Two-year contracts don’t exist in the world of college head football coaches.
Doing so at Illinois will be seen as either (1) a logical decision based on imperfect circumstances or (2) a kick-the-can choice by academicians and trustees unaccustomed to football’s nuances ... particularly as it pertains to recruiting.