Mendenhall plans to announce decision Thursday in Skokie

CHAMPAIGN – Rashard Mendenhall hasn't made a final announcement about the NFL draft. Not yet.

Mendenhall plans a 1 p.m. news conference Thursday at Niles West High School in Skokie, Illinois spokesperson Cassie Arner said. Mendenhall wants to wait until then to have a chance to talk to members of the Illinois staff, who will be away at a coaches convention until Tuesday.

Salt Fork seniors enjoy fond farewell

SIDELL – Brock Bodine and Bryn Eakle never will have another basketball game like Friday's.

The Salt Fork seniors assuredly will score more points and they expect to be a part of more victorious teams, but none of those games will be played on their home court at Jamaica High School.

'Touch situation' has everyone wondering what's next

CHAMPAIGN – As the clock ticked down to close the first half Thursday, Bruce Weber pumped his fist on the Illinois sideline.

He shouted for energy, a defensive stop, something positive to keep the Illini from falling to 4-3 this season at the once-impenetrable Assembly Hall.

Eye on the (future) Illini

Troy Gentle's weeely update on the five players headed Bruce Weber's way:

Buzzer beaters

News and notes from Thursday at the Assembly Hall:

A quick glance at the loss to Ohio State

Here's a quick look at what happened Thursday night:

Tate: No quick fix for these Illini

CHAMPAIGN – Brace yourself, gang. The Assembly Hall magic is gone and Illini basketball has become a l-o-n-g, s-l-o-w grind.

Fresh off the worst nonconference setback in the 46-year Assembly Hall history – a 60-58 loss to Tennessee State – the 8-6 Illini opened their Big Ten season by bowing to Ohio State for the fourth straight time, 74-58.

The real deal

Staff writer Paul Klee examines the state of the conference heading into Big Ten play:

Postcard from Pasadena

It's our final day in Los Angeles and we're going to do something that hasn't been an option: be tourists.

Handing out the hardware

The Big Ten awards a number of honors when the season ends, but we're impatient. We asked college basketball writer Paul Klee to come up with awards of his own based entirely on the preconference schedule: