Defensive back on board

   DETROIT  The 2003 Illinois football recruiting class hit double figures Monday. With a guy from Lloyd Carr''s back yard.

   Alan Ball, a defensive back from St. Martin DePorres, agreed to join Ron Turner''s team, becoming the 10th known commitment. He picked the Illini over Indiana. Michigan and Michigan State also showed interest.

Opportunity not lost on Michigan State star

   CHAMPAIGN  Bill Self made the rounds Monday, catching up with some members of his Big Ten Foreign Tour team, meeting others for the first time.

   He shook hands and exchanged pleasantries all around a room in the back of the Hawthorn Suites. At least, he did until he got within sight of Chris Hill.

Tatelines: Tour team might play small ball

   When Ivan Kartelo speaks his native Croatian, Velimir Radinovic understands. And Radinovic, whose parents hail from the former Yugoslavia, is fluent in Serbian, which Kartelo understands.

   But both need a quick lesson in Illini-style basketball lingo as spewed rapid-fire from a technique-conscious Bill Self. The Illini coach began working with the touring Big Ten all-stars Monday at the Ubben Basketball Complex, and he didn''t just toss out the balls and turn the boys loose. Self has his personal dos and don''ts, and he laid down his set of rules from the beginning.

UI''s Powell showing plenty of drive

   CHAMPAIGN  Roger Powell wants his first trip to Europe to be a fast one.

   It''s not that he wants to cut things short. It''s just that as much as anything, the need for speed permeates Powell''s expectations for this weekend, when he''ll travel to Germany with the Big Ten Foreign Tour team.

Lound earns shot at U.S. Amateur

   Illinois golfer Geoff Lound finished third Monday at Stone Creek Golf Club in Urbana to qualify for the U.S. Amateur.

   Lound carded a two-round 139 to finish 6 shots behind winner Peter Karmis of West Lafayette, Ind., and 1 stroke behind runner-up Jon Turcott of Middleton, Wis.

Illini will have to wait for talented tailback with legal problems

   RANTOUL  Technically, Ibrahim Halsey could have been at the Fanmarker Inn on Monday, reporting with the rest of the Illinois freshmen. But the star running back from Elizabeth, N.J., won''t join the team until his legal problems are resolved.

   In late May, Halsey and a former teammate were charged with aggravated sexual assault and child endangerment. The case against the two, and four others, is pending.

Ex-Illini sackmaster ready to lead Bucs

   LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.  Simeon Rice was one of the last holdover Tampa Bay Buccaneers to meet Jon Gruden.

   According to the Orlando Sentinel, Rice Rice showed up last week for his seventh NFL season cut like a filet mignon and looking to pick up where he exited a 2001 campaign as maybe Tampa Bay''s best defensive player.

Tate: For Powell, tour becomes proving ground

   Here''s your chance for a free, late-summer basketball fix before football floods the community.

   Bill Self, who wasn''t always keen on open Illini practices last season (Internet gossips bug him), is sending out an invitation for fans to attend the workouts of his Big Ten basketball all-stars beginning at 3 and 8 p.m. Monday at the Ubben Complex.

Tournament, Illini in scramble mode

   Not J-Lo and P. Diddy. Not Billy Bob and Angelina. Not even Scott Rolen and the Phillies.

   Nobody''s had as bad a breakup lately as Illinois and the Top of the World Classic.

Be our guess

   Last season, the Illinois football team surprised the nation by going 10-2 and winning the Big Ten. Can the team repeat its title run?