Sports

Sports

Leshoure to skip basketball, enroll at Illinois early

CHAMPAIGN – Mikel Leshoure affirmed the worst-kept secret in Champaign-Urbana on Tuesday afternoon: The Centennial running back will play his college football for Ron Zook's Illini.

Leshoure revealed last summer he was leaning to his hometown school, citing his relationship with the Illini players – including UI freshman and former Centennial teammate Mike Locksley Jr. – along with the coaching staff, which in-cludes Locksley's father, Mike Sr.

Tate: Weber still piecing together Illini puzzle

CHAMPAIGN – Youth had its run in two Illini basketball exhibitions, but reality soon will set in.

This 2007-08 team will have a three-man nucleus. Veteran starters Brian Randle, Shaun Pruitt and Chester Frazier will receive the bulk of minutes handed out by coach Bruce Weber, meaning there won't be enough left for a dozen other squad members to be happy.

Chargers' Leshoure selects UI football program

CHAMPAIGN – Centennial tailback Mikel Leshoure, a 2006 News-Gazette All-Stater, has made a commitment to join the Illinois football team.

Leshoure made it official Tuesday, visiting with the Illinois coaches at practice. In the Varsity Room parking lot, Leshoure said he decided to make his decision now and not take any other visits.

Centennial's Leshoure commits to UI football program

CHAMPAIGN – Centennial tailback Mikel Leshoure, a 2006 News-Gazette All-Stater, has made a commitment to join the Illinois football team.

Leshoure made it official Tuesday, visiting with the Illinois coaches at practice. In the Varsity Room parking lot, Leshoure said he decided to make his decision now and not take any other visits.

The final four

Four area teams are left. How many will survive the third weekend of the IHSA football playoffs? Staff writer Marcus Jackson takes a look:

Chance of a lifetime

Illinois plays No. 1 Ohio State for the second consecutive season. Here are the best games between the Illini and No. 1:

Tate: When coach speaks, Illini line listens

CHAMPAIGN – There's something going on up front.

You know that (1) when your Illini team shatters the school rushing record with 2,613 yards with two games to go, (2) when your top rusher is No. 2 in the nation with 6.8 yards per carry and (2) when your quarterback is already within 8 yards of his own QB rushing record.

Opportunity knocking loud and clear

CHAMPAIGN – This is what Juice Williams came to Illinois for. Well, almost.

"I can't paint it much better than what it is now, except for us to be undefeated," Williams said. "Other than that, it's a great opportunity for us. Playing against the No. 1 team in the country is going to be phenomenal, 110,000 fans screaming and ABC. It's going to be full of excitement."

Number of fouls on Weber's mind

CHAMPAIGN – If Michigan State's 85-82 exhibition loss to Grand Valley State gave the Big Ten anything, besides a black eye, it might be a source of motivation.

"After you see that, You're like, wow," Illinois junior Chester Frazier said. "But then it's like, 'Well, we lost to Concordia in Canada.' So you never know. It just shows you all the hype and the predictions and the preseason polls mean nothing."

Park ties for second

BASTROP, Texas – Illinois senior Seul Ki Park fired an even-par 72 in the final round on Monday at the Challenge at Wolfdancer to finish in a tie for second place. Park's 54-hole total of 221 was 4 shots behind medalist Hannah Burke of Baylor and is the 11th-best performance in Illinois history.