Illini sign two swim recruits

CHAMPAIGN – An All-American from Minnesota and a four-year state qualifier from Hinsdale signed national letters of intent with the Illinois women's swimming and diving program, coach Sue Novitsky announced Friday.

Rebecca DeSalle of Hinsdale Central and Kasey Madden of Medina, Minn., will join the Illini in August 2007.

UI men's basketball game preview

Here's a look at Illinois' men's basketball game today against Arizona:

Semrau stays home

PHOENIX – You might have heard this one before.

Illinois has another injury.

Smith headed back to bench

CHAMPAIGN – Illinois' injury frustrations continued Thursday.

Coach Bruce Weber said Thursday night that guard Jamar Smith will not play Saturday when Illinois meets No. 16 Arizona in the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge at US Airways Center in Phoenix (4 p.m., ESPN).

Tate: Illini will be supporting cast to other higher profile stars

PHOENIX – You could call Saturday's US Airways Center event an all-star doubleheader. It's a Naismith Hall of Fame production pieced together with a push from venerable basketball names Jerry Colangelo and C.M. Newton.

Roll out the red carpet. Make way for the stars.

Paul's random thoughts

Can you win at Minnesota?

That's the question. When the Gophers have been successful, there were questions about how they became successful. Dan Monson, who resigned Thursday, cleaned up that image; he just didn't win enough.

Flowers gives up baseball, picks Illinois for football

CHAMPAIGN – Bo Flowers is giving up pro baseball to join Ron Zook's Illinois football team. A member of the Chicago Cubs organization, the ex-Walther Lutheran three-sport star will join the team in January.

A quarterback in high school, the 6-2, 227-pounder is expected to play safety at Illinois. He picked the Illini over Ohio State and Wisconsin.

No cooldown for hot Illini

ST. LOUIS – Outside, on an unseasonably warm November day, it was nearly 70 degrees at tipoff.

Inside, it wasn't much different. St. Louis University's Bauman-Eberhardt Center has 2,200 seats, oodles of charm and no air conditioning.

LaBonte putting away pads

CHAMPAIGN – His heart said "Yes." His head and his back said "No."

After long talks with his family and Illinois coach Ron Zook, offensive lineman Jim LaBonte has decided not to return for his final season.

Illini Insider

A weekly review and preview of Illini sports: