Illinois Insider

   News-Gazette staff writer Jeff Huth''s review and preview of University of Illinois sports:

Tate: Incentive no problem for Purdue

   Survival! Hold the fort until fresh troops arrive. That''s the task facing Bill Self''s Illini tonight as they invade Purdue where, regardless of past Boilermaker ups and downs, the record shows (1) Illinois had lost nine straight before winning the last two in this rivalry, (2) the UI has five successful bus rides in 13 trips to Mackey Arena and (3) this 8-8 Purdue team is 6-2 at home, victimized by a ranked, 13-1 Butler team that rallied from 14 down with 11 minutes to go and by an Ohio State club that made 30 of 49 shots (61.2 percent).

   Gene Keady''s athletes have been tough, tough, tough on the Illini. Now, in anticipation of their first home sellout of the season, they''re mad, mad, mad.

Illinois vs. Purdue

   Illinois at Purdue, 7 p.m.

UI''s Johnson rates honor

   Illinois'' Mark Johnson was selected to coach a team of collegiate wrestlers at the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic on Jan. 28 at Hofstra University.

   Johnson will be joined by 165-pound All-American Matt Lackey and NCAA heavyweight champion John Lockhart, both of Illinois.

Stanford opts for ex-UI aide

   Florida assistant Buddy Teevens, a former Illinois offensive coordinator, was expected to be introduced today as Stanford''s new football coach.

   A source close to the program confirmed Teevens, the Gators'' offensive coordinator and tight ends coach last season under Steve Spurrier, will succeed Tyrone Willingham.

Illinois too cool for Self

   CHAMPAIGN  The Hulk used to warn folks, just before he turned green and mean, You won''t like me when I''m angry.

   In contrast, Bill Self thinks he would very much like his team when it''s angry.

Illinois tames Penn State''s big gun

   CHAMPAIGN  Penn State''s Kelly Mazzante tried to shoot down Illinois on Monday.

   Literally. She took 32 of Penn State''s astounding 85 shots. Presumably, the Nittany Lions would have needed another 45.

UI football lands recruit

   Given a choice between Illinois and Missouri, East Alton-Wood River defensive back Travis Williams picked the Illini.

   The News-Gazette All-Stater was about to commit to the Tigers. But first he called Illinois to see if the school might still be interested. When the Illini coaches told Williams they had a scholarship available, Williams jumped at it.

UI women''s basketball box score

Illinois 81, Penn State 75

Guthrie draws Lion´s share

   CHAMPAIGN  Iveta Marcauskaite is a good bet to wind up on the All-Big Ten team when the honors are doled out late next month.

   But for one night at least, she took a seat in deference to a freshman.