Bob Asmussen's insider

News-Gazette staff writer Bob Asmussen's weekly look at the game he loves:

UI's Anderson makes history

URBANA – Illinois sophomore Kevin Anderson took an easy path to reach the second round of the USTA Challenger on Tuesday, but he figures to receive a challenge today at Atkins Tennis Center.

Anderson became the first UI singles player to advance when he claimed a default victory against Jan-Michael Gambill, formerly ranked No. 14 in the world.

Who's that Illini?

In recent history, no area athlete has made a bigger impact on the Illini wrestling team than I did. A four-time state qualifier at Mahomet-Seymour, I won the Class A state crown at 275 pounds in 1997. I went on to become a three-time All-American at Illinois, highlighted by my NCAA heavyweight title in 2001. I concluded my UI career in 2002 with 122 victories, still the second most in school history.

Illinois men's basketball practice report

Sometimes Bruce Weber wants to yell.

But then he hears a score like Syracuse 67, Cornell 62, and he holds his tongue.

Across the country, teams are working out the kinks and working in new players, and Weber has as many new faces as anyone.

Every minute counts for Illini

CHAMPAIGN – Dee Brown hates to lose, but he loves to play.

So the point guard isn't worried that for the Illinois basketball team to win, he's going to have to log major minutes. He wouldn't have it any other way.

Illinois signs Texas phenom

CHAMPAIGN – Alexander "Sasha" Kharkevitch, ranked No. 2 in Texas' 18-and-under division by the U.S. Tennis Association, has signed a letter of intent to play at Illinois next fall.

The Russian-born player was a quarterfinalist at the International Tennis Federation Pan American Closed Tournament in Tulsa, Okla., and reached the semifinals of the ITF Chanda Rubin Illinois tourey in October at Atkins Tennis Center.

The day after

A review of Saturday's loss at Purdue and a look ahead to Northwestern:

Who's that Illini?

Only David Williams caught more passes than I did in an Illini football uniform. From 1993 to '96, I totaled 169 receptions, capped by a 53-catch season during my senior year. That was one of two campaigns in which I hauled in at least 50 passes. I also rank sixth in UI career reception yardage and am tied for third in career touchdown catches.

Florida State closes door on Illini season

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Time simply ran out on the Illinois soccer team in Sunday's NCAA tournament second-round match.

The Illini rallied from a 2-0 second-half deficit on Ella Masar's goal with 14 minutes left, but they couldn't break through again in dropping a 2-1 decision to second-seeded Florida State.

Former Illini in the NFL

How former Illini players fared in Sunday's games: