Tate: Tiny corners big concern for Illinois?

   Cornerbacks come in all sizes and shapes. I mean, there are no short offensive tackles, no thin fullbacks.

   But a scan of NFL rosters, where sub-6-footers are rare, turns up a raft of small corners. Checking in at 5-8 are Buffalo''s Ahmad Brooks, the Jets'' Ray Mickens and Tryone Carter, the Redskins'' Rashad Bauman, Atlanta''s Allen Rossum and Tampa Bay''s Tim Wansley and Corey Ivy. And those in the 5-9 range are too numerous to mention.

Camp Rantoul

In the news

DaJuan Warren still wears the redshirt like the other quarterbacks, but the freshman was catching passes instead of throwing them Monday morning. After "begging" coach Ron Turner late last week, Warren got a chance to work with the receivers.

Powell powers Illini sweep

   VANTAA, Finland  Roger Powell''s 26 points led five Illini in double figures Monday as the Illinois basketball team pounded the Pussihukat Basketball Club 111-63 to complete an undefeated European tour.

   Illinois moved to 6-0 during its six-game tour, outscoring its opponents by an average of 103-82.

Bruise sidelines UI''s hayden

   RANTOUL  Kelvin Hayden will miss today''s practices, but Illinois'' starting receiver could return by midweek.

   Hayden, who was injured early in Saturday night''s scrimmage at Rantoul High, has a knee bruise and will be listed as day-to-day after skipping today''s workouts. Hayden had a full range of motion when examined Sunday morning.

Illinois right fit for prep receiver

   CHICAGO  Fabian Martin''s list of potential schools grew by the day. Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado, Purdue, Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, Kentucky, Ball State, New Mexico and Iowa all made offers.

   The Chicago Prosser receiver had another list: the three criteria he valued the most for his college home. First, education. Second, playing- time possibilities. Third, schools that threw the ball.

Brown lights up Estonia

   TALLINN, Estonia  Dee Brown celebrated his 19th birthday with 19 points Sunday as Illinois rolled past Tallinn A. Le Coq basketball club 101-67.

   With the win, the Illini improved to 5-0 on a six-game European tour.

Illini women tie

   Junior Tara Hurless, who led Illinois in scoring last season, scored on a penalty kick as the host Illini tied Indiana State 1-1 in a women''s exhibition match on Sunday.


Dee''s Diary

   Each day while the Illini basketball team is on its tour of Europe, sophomore guard Dee Brown will write a report for The News-Gazette. Today''s entry:

Opinions wanted

Starting this season, The News-Gazette sports section will produce an opinion page each Monday, and we need your help.

We''re looking for opinions from SportsFacts subscribers who regularly watch Illinois football games. Here''s how it would work: On Saturday, you''d watch Illinois on TV. On Sunday morning, you''d e-mail us a paragraph or two on what you thought about the Illini''s performance. On Monday, we''d run selected responses  including your name and hometown  on our opinion page.

Melton finally finds home out West

   All Brett Melton ever wanted to do was play basketball at Illinois. Now Melton can''t help but wonder if, given the chance to do it all over again, he might have turned his back on that dream altogether.