INDIANAPOLIS – When Cindy Dallas flips on the television or returns to Champaign-Urbana next season to watch her alma mater''s women''s basketball team, she hopes not to witness a repeat of the season just completed.
If there are lessons to be learned from an underachieving, 10-18 season – Illinois'' worst since 1991-92 – Dallas knows they are extensive.
Scott Brew would like nothing more than to be there Sunday as Illinois tries for an undisputed Big Ten title.
But the five-hour drive from Grand Rapids, Mich., to Columbus, Ohio, doesn''t fit into the 1995 Illinois grad''s busy schedule.
Football coaches script their plays based on the upcoming opponent''s tendencies. Basketball coaches break down offenses by watching videotape. Hitters study pitchers. Pitchers study hitters.
In some ways, rewind and pause have become as important as X''s and O''s. And no sport is exempt.
Since Sujay Lama arrived on the Illinois campus in 1998, he''s had the Illini women''s tennis team moving toward elite status.
With Thursday''s 5-2 victory against Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., he hopes his team is ready to make the next step.
INDIANAPOLIS – For much of the last three weeks, the Illinois women''s basketball team''s shooting has been more crooked than an Enron executive.
Thursday''s 39.3 percent effort in a Big Ten tournament first-round loss to Mich-igan extended the Illini''s string of sub-40 percent games to six. The last time Illinois broke 40 was a Feb. 8 win against Indiana (44.6 percent).
News-Gazette staff writer Jeff Huth''s weekly review and preview of Illinois sports:
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – In his younger days, Bruce Weber dreamt of this, of winning a classic basketball game as the head coach at Mackey Arena, of clinching the Big Ten title in hard-fought fashion.
In the dreams, his team wore black and gold.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The irony, if that''s what you can call it, wasn''t lost on Bruce Weber.
When Luther Head capped his best offensive game of the season with the game-winning bucket in Illinois'' 81-79 overtime victory against Purdue, it provided a storybook ending to what began as a troublesome story.