CHAMPAIGN — Hunter Hart didn’t play basketball last year for St. Joseph-Ogden.
Didn’t pick up a basketball, either, until six days ago.
You couldn’t tell with how the senior forward handled himself at State Farm Center on Saturday afternoon during the Spartans’ 70-53 win against Monticello.
CHAMPAIGN — An hour before tipoff, Chad Benedict spent time as a chaperone.
The Mahomet-Seymour coach went through a checklist of Bulldogs players and other personnel who were granted passes from the State Farm Center security personnel before they made their way into Illinois’ home venue.
Jeff George, by the numbers
Today marks former Illini all-star quarterback Jeff George’s 46th birthday. He’ll be remembered for leading Illinois to the 1988 All-American Bowl and to the 1990 Citrus Bowl, then surviving in the NFL for 15 seasons. George’s career story, by the numbers:
Florida State vs. Auburn
Let’s be honest. This is the game everybody outside the Big Ten wants to see anyway.
Michigan State vs. Stanford
Nice to see the Spartans making another trip to Pasadena. It has been too long. Somewhere, George Perles is smiling.
Steve Kelly and Loren Tate talk with Illini Volleyball coach Kevin Hambly, Brian Moline, Ron Guenther, Champaign Central coach Wayne McClain, Illini AD Mike Thomas, and with Champaign Centennial coach Tim Lavin.
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ATLANTA — When the Illinois schedule — featuring two games in a five-day span in Atlanta — was released, perhaps no one was more excited than Ervin Small.
A regular on Lou Henson’s Flyin’ Illini, Small lives and works in private business here, keeping tabs on his Illini through the Internet and television.
Illinois vs. Auburn, 2 p.m. Sunday
P Name Yr. Ht. PPG
G Tracy Abrams Jr. 6-2 10.6
Answer me this ...
If beat writer MATT DANIELS was standing behind a podium, with TV cameras and recorders nearby, like Illinois coach Tim Beckman was after every game this season, here’s how he would answer the following:
1. Why was the defense so bad?
CHAMPAIGN — In 2012, an Illinois volleyball team just one year removed from an NCAA runner-up finish was on the outside looking in at tournament time.
Turns out it was a temporary hiccup. Next stop for Kevin Hambly’s No. 18 Illini? A regional semifinal on their own campus next weekend at State Farm Center.
You may be too young to remember Jack Sikma.
He was a skinny guy from St. Anne who declined Illinois — doubted he’d be good enough — in favor of nearby Wesleyan, and went on to score 17,287 NBA points and cash free throws in 1988 at a 92 percent rate.