Who's that Illini?

A Chicago native, I was a member of the U.S. Olympic Festival in volleyball in 1995, the same year I was named first team All-Big Ten and first team All-America by the AVCA. I had an astounding 714 kills that season.

Tate: UI states case as special team

MADISON, Wis. – Opinions may differ on the State of the Union, but there isn't much doubt about the State of Illinois Basketball.

What once was viewed as a two-man Augustine-Brown team reached February as a robust, multi-player operation in which, like last year, the whole has blossomed as greater than the individual parts.

Illini don't foul up gamble

MADISON, Wis. – Bruce Weber might be a screamer or a joker, but one thing he's rarely been called is a gambler.

His suits are conservative, even his ties. He likes his sausage pizza to come from Papa Del's and his Diet Coke cold. And he's probably not spending late nights playing poker on the Internet.

After signing day, Illini coaches shift focus to Class of '07

CHAMPAIGN – The Illinois football coaches gather in the office early this morning for the annual signing day ritual. Starting at 7 a.m., the signed letters-of-intent will light up the fax machine. By early afternoon, the 2006 class will be complete.

So, the coaches can take a deep breath and relax for a few months, right? Hardly.

Win gives Illini familiar feeling

MADISON, Wis. – There was something about the way the ball moved. Something about the way the big shots dropped.

There was something about the swagger.

Mensah earns Big Ten honor

CHAMPAIGN – Junior Yvonne Mensah was named Big Ten athlete of the week Tuesday after provisionally qualifying for the NCAA meet in two events(60-meter dash, triple jump) at the Carle/Health Alliance Classic in Champaign last weekend.

Smith buckles under pressure

MADISON, Wis. – Jamar Smith wanted it. He knew it was about to happen, he could feel it. Then he felt it.

The Illinois freshman guard from Peoria had a chance to put an exclamation point on a perfect night with a breakaway dunk late in the game, but he didn't want his feet to give out on him and become the butt of any of his teammates' jokes.

Despite record, Zook has Illini back on track

Only one two-win school from 2005 will make the Top 25 recruiting rankings in '06. Jeremy Crabtree and Tom Lemming aren't surprised it's Illinois.

The national recruiting experts said they knew Ron Zook could bring top players to Champaign-Urbana. Zook's first full recruiting class serves as their proof.

Illini not letting Badgers' recent struggles fool them

MADISON, Wis. – Bruce Weber saw the score. It registered. He talked about it for a couple of days.

But he still doesn't believe it.


Storylines from tonight's game at Wisconsin: