Big Ten preview

Want to know which of the upcoming week's games are worth your time? Here's the scoop from sports editor Jim Rossow, who's thinking of betting on the Super Bowl after a 7-4 week:

Jackpot leaves man speechless

TUSCOLA – Norman Ellerbusch has a dilemma. He's tongue-tied, in a manner of speaking, due to his recent encounter with Lady Luck.

The Tuscola retiree only recently came forward publicly to acknowledge he is holding the winning Little Lotto ticket drawn Jan. 2 with a payoff of $245,000.

Illini overwhelm upstart Hoosiers

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Cassio Pero (141 pounds) and Pete Friedl (184) earned major decisions as third-ranked Illinois remained undefeated in dual meets with a 26-6 win at No. 15 Indiana.

10 questions for Gene Keady

This time last year, the fiery former Purdue coach was struggling through his 25th and final season with the Boilermakers. Earlier this week, he watched Kobe Bryant torch his Toronto Raptors' defense for 81 points. Nevertheless, Keady is loving his first year as an NBA assistant, working under head coach Sam Mitchell and interim general manager Wayne Embry. He's teaching the game he loves and keeping tabs on proteges Bruce Weber and Matt Painter, but he still found time to chat with staff writer Brian Dietz:


Storylines from today's game againast Purdue:

Painter following in former boss' career path

CHAMPAIGN – The message couldn't have been any more clear if it had been scrawled on the walls of Matt Painter's childhood home.

(Red room! Red room!)

Tate: Recruiting leaves trail of success

If you're wondering when a 37-2 record, a stunning NCAA tournament run and every Coach of the Year award will positively impact Illini basketball recruiting, the answer is: NOW.

After a century of operating primarily within the state borders, the University of Illinois is becoming a major player in a wider marketplace.

Who's that Illini?

I am the last Illini to win an NCAA track and field title in the men's high jump. In 1957, I cleared 6 feet, 7 inches to claim the crown. The feat capped a personally memorable season, coming on the heels of my sweep of the Big Ten indoor and outdoor titles in the event. I also was an IHSA state champion, winning the high jump for Springfield Cathedral in 1954.

No inside presence poses problems for Illini women

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Illinois coach Theresa Grentz might be inclined to burn the game film from Thursday's ugly 63-48 loss at Indiana, but the rest of the Big Ten's women's basketball coaches might want to get their hands on it.

Indiana's zone defense collapsed on the Illini frontline, and when the Illinois guards failed to locate their shooting touch, the result was a disastrous first half and a lopsided loss.

Simpson taking medical redshirt due to surgery

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Freshman forward Lacey Simpson is ready to compete. Her body has other ideas.

Simpson, out since early December after internal surgery, will seek a medical redshirt this season. She has returned to practice on a limited basis, but the conditioning she lost – as well as losing valuable experience – will prevent her from returning this season.