Webster headed back home

CHAMPAIGN – Bruce Weber''s search for an assistant is in the home stretch, and it''s bringing an Illinois native home.

Former Thornton star Tracy Webster will be named the Illini''s new men''s basketball assistant, though the hire likely won''t become official until early next week.

Illini Insider

News-Gazette staff writer Jeff Huth''s review and preview of University of Illinois sports:

Five softball players honored

Illinois’ softball team had five players named to the All-Big Ten teams Wednesday, the most all-conference honors in the team’s history.

Illini have reached the top, but Tiley''s motivation is stronger than ever

URBANA – Most first-year coaches are concerned primarily with becoming second-year coaches.

But Craig Tiley never has been most coaches.

Big Ten takes tourney shortcut

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – There will be more teams – but fewer total games – in the 10th Big Ten softball tournament, which starts Thursday at Michigan''s Alumni Field.

The double-elimination, six-team format – which still exists in baseball – was dropped in favor of an eight-team, single-elimination event. This year''s tournament, which ends Saturday, will feature seven games. The past four years, there have been 10 games.

UI golfers nab regional berth

After its second-place finish at the Big Ten golf meet last weekend, Mike Small''s Illinois men''s golf team found out Monday it qualified for the NCAA Central Regional championships for the third consecutive year.

The regional is May 20-22 in West Lafayette, Ind., a course Small said benefits the Illini.

Illini seniors say goodbye in style

URBANA – Mother Nature provided Illinois'' softball seniors with one final day in the sun at Eichelberger Field and they collectively took advantage with a series of shining moments on Sunday.

The Illini wrapped up the No. 2 seed for the Big Ten Conference tournament, which starts on Thursday at Michigan, by completing a weekend sweep of Iowa, the school which entered the series as the league runner-up.

Face Off

This week''s topic: Will top-ranked and undefeated Illinois repeat as NCAA champion in men''s tennis:

Illini finish Big Ten tourney strong

Illinois saved its best for the last round of the Big Ten men''s golf season.

The Illini shot a Sunday-best and season-low 7-under-par 277 to move up a spot and finish second at the Big Ten Championships on Sunday at the University of Michigan Golf Course in Ann Arbor.

Ask Brian

Brian Dietz, our resident NFL expert, will take questions on his specialty. This week''s inquiry: