Close, but...

Maybe the people running those preseason football magazines really do know what they're talking about.

Three of the regulars – The Sporting News, Lindy's and Athlon's – had Illinois ranked ninth or 10th in the Big Ten.

Illini Insider

News-Gazette Staff Writer Jeff Huth's review and preview of University of Illinois sports.

Mattoon record-breaker joins UI baseball

MATTOON – Andy Hilligoss, who set four school hitting records last spring at Mattoon High, has orally committed to the Illinois baseball team.

Green Wave coach Mark Jackley said Thursday the senior shortstop-pitcher told UI coaches of his decision a couple weeks ago.

High hurdler

   CHAMPAIGN  After causing one of four fumbles against Indiana, Jason Eberhart was celebrating so much he didn''t notice the ball laying at his feet.

   He''s usually a pretty laid-back guy. But the Illinois junior defensive tackle was having the best game of his career with nine tackles. You can understand his excitement when you consider his journey to that point.


Illinois' Cary Franklin lost 6-4, 6-4 to Boise State's Leif Meineke during the first round of singles play Thursday at the ITA All-American Championships in Austin, Texas.

McCarver isn't always wasting air

I really enjoy Fox baseball analyst Tim McCarver. I also really enjoy having my fingernails yanked out and double root canal.

Normally, McCarver is more annoying than a telemarketer. He's pompous, states the obvious and uses puns that would embarrass a 10-year-old.

News and notes from Thursday's practice


With receiver Greg Lewis sidelined by a high ankle sprain, freshman Brandon Lloyd will make his second start of the season Saturday.

UI softball adds recruit

Third baseman Erin Jones of Fullerton, Calif., has given University of Illinois softball coaches a verbal commitment and plans to sign a letter of intent in November.

Jones also visited Michigan State and DePaul and considered Virginia before settling on the Illini.

1999 - 00 UI Women''s basketball roster

1999 - 00 UI Women''s basketball roster

The stuff of legends

   CHAMPAIGN  The story started to spread last season, Allison Curtin''s first as a member of the Illinois women''s basketball team. It has taken on legendary status now, given the way people tell stories.

   But Curtin remembers well the scene. It was her senior cross-country season, the sectional meet, on a rainy day. She tripped and fell at the start, putting her farther back in the unwieldly pack than she''d have liked, and by the time she reached the 11/2-mile mark, Curtin was in 15th place.