Ex-Illini sixth

   Former Illinois All-American Sherman Armstrong placed sixth in the 400-meter hurdles Monday at the Hanzekovic Memorial IAAF Grand Prix meet in Zagreb, Croatia.

UI''s Jones will return

   CHAMPAIGN – When Illinois'' baseball season ended in mid-May, Itch Jones'' debate on whether to return began.

   The debate is over. The answer is yes.

Illinois recruiting target Pruitt isn''t mincing words

   INDIANAPOLIS – Shaun Pruitt has played the nice guy role long enough.

   Oh, the 6-foot-8 West Aurora star still is jovial enough. He fielded a solid 15 minutes of questions from reporters Monday at the Nike All-America Camp, and his smile never wore off.

Woods wins easily but Small''s a success

   LEMONT  It started out as a chance for Mike Small to literally get back in the swing of playing in a PGA Tour event, but it ended in a way maybe not even he expected.

   The Illinois golf coach had a banner weekend at the 100th Western Open at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club. Playing in his first Western in two years, Small not only made the cut for the first time in five tries, but shot a 3-under-par 285, tying him for 43rd place, and making it a special summer for the Illini coach who believes he still can be competitive.

Camp memories

   We asked some college basketball coaches to give us their most memorable summer recruiting moments. Here''s what they had to say:

Meacham''s making name for himself

   CHAMPAIGN – The kids in the neighborhood are mowing lawns and flipping burgers. They''re working as lifeguards or logging hours at country clubs.

   Trent Meacham? He plays basketball.

Happy campers

   A look at five of Illinois'' most prominent recruiting targets for the class of 2004 and where they''re camping them this week:

Best of the best

   The top high school seniors and juniors in the nation, according to Prep Stars Recruiter''s Handbook. Colleges in all caps indicate a verbal commitment:

Illini volleyball slate anything but Normal

   How''s this for an early morning wakeup call? - The Illinois volleyball team has a 10 a.m. date with two-time NCAA champion Nebraska this season.

   Think Illini coach Don Hardin will move the prematch meal to a Starbucks?

Getting their feet in the door

   Sebastian Telfair gets more mail than Santa Claus.

   As one of the best high school prospects in the upcoming senior class, Telfair has received dozens of recruiting letters, all from college coaches who would give up their corner office to have the New York point guard in their starting five. From Arizona to Duke, schools all over America are filling Telfair''s mailbox with recruiting pitches.