Arthur nursing home getting larger

ARTHUR – The Arthur Home, a skilled nursing facility owned and operated by Community Retirement Inc., is planning an expansion in 2006.

"Groundbreaking will begin next year on the Eberhardt Court Dementia Unit and Eberhardt Village Assisted Living Complex, which will serve to complement the existing Arthur Home," said administrator JoEllen Schultz.

Carter starting to come on

CHAMPAIGN – Warren Carter made his first career start in place of the injured Brian Randle, but he didn't consider it a monumental moment.

"Starting, all it is is you get the announcements and everything," Carter said. "It was definitely fun. I may feel a little more comfortable coming off the bench."

A vested interest

In China, space is tight.

So if a farm can't expand outward by buying more open land, then why not build upward?

Momentum on Illini's side

CHAMPAIGN – If the Illinois women's basketball team keeps this up, Champaign-Urbana residents can soon add another December tradition to go with holiday shopping, scoping out Christmas lights and heading to Grandma's house.

With Sunday's 86-75 victory against No. 15 Oklahoma at the Assembly Hall, the Illini have knocked off a ranked nonconference opponent in C-U seven times in 11 seasons.

Tate: Sizing it up, Illinois still can improve

CHAMPAIGN – Criticism surely falls on deaf ears when a basketball team is 11-0 and 48-2, is 72-2 at the Assembly Hall, and is bound to move up in the rankings after holding Coppin State to a paltry 12 points in the first half Sunday.

But there's a quality senior in the middle who's shooting better than 61 percent for his career, and he's averaging fewer than nine field goal attempts per game ... and fewer than six for his career.

Who's that Illini?

I transferred to the women's basketball program after starting my career at Arizona State. My sister played at Northwestern, and I was a point guard who had a similar style, mostly as a backup, finishing in 2003. Until this season, I was an assistant coach at Loyola.

Illinois glad to put weight on Crutcher

CHAMPAIGN – When Illinois sophomore Danyel Crutcher walked into the postgame media session after Sunday's victory against No. 15 Oklahoma, coach Theresa Grentz introduced her.

"This new person coming in is Danyel Crutcher," Grentz joked.

Arrival of Missouri picks up UI's spirits

CHAMPAIGN – It was the basketball equivalent to a coal-filled stocking, a game that gave new meaning to the phrase "slow as Christmas."

So the Illinois men's basketball team will look to do what anyone does with something undesirable this time of year. The Illini will look to exchange Sunday's ho-ho-ho-hum 61-42 win against Coppin State for something that's a little better fit. Against Missouri on Wednesday, Illinois will search for a happy new gear.

Bob's random thoughts

Colorado did what others have tried and failed to do: Lure Dan Hawkins away from Boise State. With a ridiculous 53-10 record, it was only a matter of time before Hawkins left the Broncos and their blue field. Colorado is a good fit for him because of its proximity to his recruiting comfort zone.

Paris worth a look

CHAMPAIGN – The nation's best true freshman makes an appearance today at the Assembly Hall. Fans of women's college basketball aren't the only ones eager to check out Oklahoma's Courtney Paris.

The 6-foot-4 center, who along with twin sister Ashley account for 40 percent of the Sooners' starting lineup, has lit up the Oklahoma record books and sparked unprecedented excitement in the program.