Tate: No guarantees for returning starters

CHAMPAIGN – Rodney Alexander gives the latest UI basketball class an entirely new look. He projects to crack the starting lineup sooner than any of the four prep recruits.

That is, of course, the way the gullible unwashed – scribes included – view prospects we haven't seen. It's human nature. We read the numbers and form opinions without being exposed to their warts.

Transfer making most of his time with Illini

CHAMPAIGN – Mike Stankiewicz realized he was rolling the dice with his baseball career. Realized, too, this was one high-stakes gamble.

He decided to put Valparaiso, his initial destination out of high school, in the rearview mirror after two years. By doing so, the right-handed pitcher was leaving behind a half-scholarship – no small thing in a sport limited to 11.7 scholarships – and a coaching staff already invested in his success.

Spring training, part II

CHAMPAIGN – Bo Flowers wouldn't rather be playing in Peoria. Or Boise. Or Des Moines. Or any other Chicago Cubs affiliates.

After four years of minor league baseball, Flowers likes his first taste of college football. The safety is the oldest freshman (23) on the Illinois football team. His next birthday (Nov. 12), he'll wear his age on his No. 24 jersey.

Illini Insider

One to watch


Roof sparks late victory

CHAMPAIGN – Shawn Roof scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the eighth inning as Illinois beat Robert Morris 4-3 Wednesday at Illinois Field.

Coach expects Alexander to hit the court running

CHAMPAIGN – Coach Bruce Weber made five trips in the recruitment of Rodney Alexander.

Three to Oklahoma, two to Michigan. And that doesn't include the travels of Weber's assistants, who got a good look at Alexander on at least two occasions.

UI business dean passed over for post

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Western Michigan University has chosen a Southern Illinois University administrator as its finalist for president, passing over other candidates, including Avijit Ghosh, current dean of the University of Illinois College of Business.

Western Michigan University announced Monday that Dr. John Dunn, interim chancellor of SIU in Carbondale, was sole finalist in its search for a president.

Urbana's Williams saves her best for last

URBANA – Jackie Williams' last collegiate softball game in her hometown was her best ever.

The 2003 Urbana graduate hit two home runs Tuesday to lead 18th-ranked Illinois State University past Illinois 10-7 in a nonconference game at Eichelberger Field.

Theresa Grentz timeline

A look at Theresa Grentz's time at Illinois:

Snap decision for Jackson?

CHAMPAIGN – One of the South's top-ranked football prospects in 2005 finally took a college snap Tuesday.

Illinois basketball player C.J. Jackson, wearing No. 85, worked out with the Illini tight ends.