Tate: Patience required when rating recruits

A few years ago, one in a growing lineup of Illinois defensive coordinators, Mike Cassity, stopped his car, got out and personally rejoiced with the news that Bakersfield’s James McGill had joined the 2002 recruiting class.

The celebration was premature. The All-America safety never made it to campus.

Who's that Illini?

I'm the only gymnast in Illinois women's history to capture All-Big Ten honors three times, picking up those awards in 1987, '88 and '90. In '87, I qualified for the NCAA meet in the all-around. My only individual league title came in '90, when I won vault, but I still made the Big Ten's All-Decade team for the '80s.

Sensors tiny enough to fit in cell

DNA molecules wrapped around tiny carbon nanotubes get a charge out of particles from toxic substances such as mercury, or rather the exposure causes the DNA's own charge to change.

In response, the DNA subtly rearranges itself, allowing more water to reach the surface of the nanotube, which causes it to glow, in essence, with near infrared light.

Weber using SIU defeat to motivate team for Penn State

CHAMPAIGN – The former Southern Illinois coach in Bruce Weber was a bit disappointed.

The current Illinois coach in him knew an opportunity when he saw it.

So while Weber was stunned and upset to see the nation’s longest homecourt winning streak end with Southern Illinois’ loss Wednesday to Indiana State, he seized his chance to make a lesson out of the Salukis’ setback at the hands of the last-place team in the Missouri Valley.

Redshirt freshman gets good news – her injury is not as bad as feared

CHAMPAIGN – Megan Nyquist finally received some good news, even if it might not appear so wonderful from every perspective.

Nyquist, the Illinois redshirt freshman who has endured a string of injuries to her right knee, is out indefinitely after re-injuring it during practice. The Illini had feared Nyquist, who tore the ACL in the knee early last season, had re-torn it. The MRI revealed it wasn’t torn.

Brown putting himself in good position

CHAMPAIGN – You always notice the headband and the braids.

Turns out, Dee Brown can use his head in more subtle ways, too.

Illini lacking answers after latest loss at hands of Top 25 team

CHAMPAIGN – The brutal stretch that has enveloped the Illinois women’s basketball team has extended into February.

The Illini suffered their fifth straight loss Thursday, 64-49 against No. 12 Minnesota, the fourth ranked team they’ve played in that span. And if the Illini are looking, hoping or praying for the road to get easier, it is unlikely. No. 17 Michigan State visits Sunday.

UI women's basketball box score

Gophers 64, Illini 49

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.

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.