Bleill: Pruitt posts rock-solid effort again

CHAMPAIGN – The scoreboard judged his team's performance as inadequate, so Illinois junior Shaun Pruitt was in no mood Saturday to discuss at length how well he played.

Satisfaction, at least on this occasion, must come from within.

UI women's basketball game preview

Here's a look at today's UI women's basketball game at Ohio State:

UI men's basketball game preview

Here's a look at today's UI men's game against Wisconsin:

Big Ten basketball preview

A riled crowd is expected to greet Kelvin Sampson in his first trip to the Assembly Hall on Tuesday. Will university police beef up its presence as a precaution?

Ten questions for Jim Sheppard

For 22 years, Jim Sheppard has been the public address announcer for Illinois football and men's basketball games, his distinct voice accentuating first downs and three-pointers. The Fisher native, 58, will be recognized for his work when the Illini host Michigan on Feb. 21, his final basketball game behind the mic. Sheppard talked about favorite Illini teams, the "Bluke Due Devils" and Bob Knight with sports editor Jim Rossow:

Johnson's wrestlers turn back Wildcats

CHAMPAIGN –Illinois wrestling coach Mark Johnson said he wants his 16th-ranked squad to get tougher as the season progresses.

If Friday night's 21-13 victory against No. 8 Northwestern is any indication, the Illini are well on their way.

McMahon has family, friends, good team on his side

NEW ORLEANS – A year ago, Greg McMahon was working at East Carolina. Good school. Nice place. But a long way from the Super Bowl.

An offer from old friend Sean Payton changed McMahon's destiny. On Sunday, the longtime Illinois assistant coach will find himself 60 minutes from a trip to the biggest game of all.

Carter remains 'key' to Illini's season

CHAMPAIGN – The game was over hours ago. Illinois had lost 63-57 at Michigan State. The sounds from inside the wild Breslin Center were no longer ringing in Warren Carter's ears.

No more taunts from Michigan State's student section, the Izzone, poking fun at his spiky hair. No more trumpeting from the Spartan band. No more from that guy in the first row with the cowbell. (Thank goodness.)

Tate: Influential AAU coach seeking 'olive branch' with Weber

CHAMPAIGN – If AAU basketball has become the marginally legal proving ground for the college game – a modern revelation reported in a recent Washington Post expose – the transformation isn't across the board.

The University of Illinois hasn't played that game. Fact is, it isn't even clear whether Illini coach Bruce Weber and leading AAU coach Larry Butler are on speaking terms, much less back-slapping buddy-buddy.

Smith serves up sweet revenge

CHAMPAIGN – Jenna Smith indicated Thursday that her sparkling play against Minnesota had little to do with an eagerness to show off for her home-state team.

But the Bloomington, Minn., native's play served as an apt rebuttal to that argument.