News-Gazette staff writer Jeff Huth''s review and preview of University of Illinois sports:
URBANA – This was the game which would answer the question, "What if?"
What if the nationally ranked junior college softball team in town had a game with its local counterpart from the four-year university?
CHAMPAIGN – NCAA technicians are presenting new, complicated plans to prevent vagabond athletes (and coaches) from taking advantage of college loopholes.
These innovative schemes aren''t needed here. Illinois is doing just fine. The combined grade-point average of all UI student-athletes was an exact "B" in the fall semester, and 16 of those athletes earned a perfect 4.0. According to Richard Herman, interim chancellor, some 88 percent of those who complete their eligibility are awarded degrees.
CHAMPAIGN – Tony Wysinger is pretty familiar with Illinois. He spent Tuesday letting Illinois get familiar with him again.
Wysinger, who played for the Illini from 1983 to ''87, visited the UI campus on Tuesday to meet with basketball coach Bruce Weber about his vacant assistant coaching position.
Catcher Chris Robinson hit two grand slams and drove in eight runs Tuesday, leading Illinois to a 24-0 baseball victory against MacMurray College at Illinois Field.
Trevor Huisinga collected four hits for the Illini (17-25).
CHAMPAIGN – Ask him again next year, and Bruce Weber''s answer might be similar. Or it might be different.
But the Illinois coach''s opinion on recent NCAA reform certainly will be more informed.
Brian Wilson and Jennifer McGaffigan picked up team MVPhonors for the Illinois men''s and women''s tennis team''s, respectively, Monday night at the annual awards banquet at the Hawthorn Suites hotel.
Cynthya Goulet won her second Scholar-Athlete award after registering a 3.9 grade-point average. Chris Martin won the men''s award.
These days, "college basketball offseason" seems like an oxymoron. News-Gazette staff writer Brett Dawson checks in on the news of the day:
We asked our online readers who they thought was the bigger UI basketball loss: Luke Zeller or Aaron Spears. Some responses:
Illinois'' Patrick Nagle and Joe Affrunti finished sixth and seventh, respectively, leading the men''s golf team to a second-place finish at the Bruce Fossum/TaylorMade Invitational on Sunday in East Lansing, Mich.
Affrunti (219) shot a team-best 72 in the final round, and Nagle (218) shot a 73 Sunday. The Illini finished 4 strokes behind Indiana, the team''s best finish in five events this spring.