Florida A&M band ready to strut stuff

CHAMPAIGN – If you are the type to arrive at Illinois football games right before kickoff, you might want to change your ways. At least for one game.

Florida A&M''s Marching 100, called the best band in the nation by Sports Illustrated, will perform pre-game, halftime and postgame Sept. 4. It won''t be your ordinary show.

What to watch

With the No. 19 Illini volleyball team making its public debut at 7 p.m. Saturday in the annual Alumni Match at Huff Hall, staff writer Jeff Huth suggests three things to keep an eye on:

A look at the 2004-2005 Illinois basketball schedule

Brett Dawson, who covers college basketball for The News-Gazette, has Illinois'' 100th season all planned out. Here''s a look at his datebook:

Lineman returns to UI mix

CHAMPAIGN – No. 66 trotted onto the field Wednesday. For the first time this summer.

Illinois defensive lineman Brian Schaefering returned to the team after not being invited to training camp. Out all of last season with shoulder and arm problems, the junior passed the team''s conditioning test. That meant finishing 16 110-yard runs in the prescribed time.

Worth noting

Other things you need to know about Illinois'' basketball schedule:

If leg pain persists, Brown says he might take redshirt season

CHAMPAIGN – Illinois'' basketball schedule – released Wednesday – says regular season games don''t start until Nov. 19.

Dee Brown, for one, is happy for the wait.

She''ll be back

We asked News-Gazette staff Jeff Huth, who has covered Perdita Felicien''s track career since her arrival at Illinois in 2000, for his take on the former Illini''s stumble in Athens.

Illinois football practice report

He was good enough to be a News-Gazette All-Stater as a senior at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin. But that''s when big-time football was supposed to stop for Josh Norris.

At 5-foot-11, the defensive lineman was considered too small for any Division I-A program. The Ivys were interested in the smart guy. No calls from the Big Ten.

Survey says ...

We''ve asked Illinois football players for some of their favorites. Today''s panelists are defensive back Drew McMahon and defensive lineman David Lindquist:

Floor open for Dancer at Illinois

CHAMPAIGN – Turning around the tennis program at Fresno State wasn''t easy for Brad Dancer.

Turning down the opportunity to leave it proved impossible.