Backups elect to receive

Every time an Illinois football player gets hurt, the words from Ron Turner are the same: It's an opportunity for somebody else.

The players have heard it from their coach time after time. And they believe him.

UI''s Cook makes team

Cook, one of 16 finalists, will continue practicing with the team in Miami Beach, Fla., until Sunday. The team then heads to Riberao Preto, Brazil, where it opens tournament play Wednesday against Uruguay.

The four players cut today: Duke's Carlos Boozer, Connecticut recruit Johnnie Selvie, Michigan State recruit Marcus Taylor and Cincinnati's Steve Logan.

Madison native in GMO hunt

Jerry Kelly thinks he could be destined to win the Greater Milwaukee Open. His first-round performance suggests he might be on to something.

Jay Williamson and Kenny Perry shot 7-under-par 64s to share the lead after the first round of the GMO on Thursday.

Self trying to win over Kruger recruit

VALRICO, Fla. – Before he worries about Eddy Curry, Najeeb Echols and David Lee, Illinois basketball coach Bill Self has a more pressing recruiting matter to attend to.

The curious case of November signee Nick Smith.

UI loses Lloyd for season

CHAMPAIGN – Seven weeks before the start of the season, the Illinois football team has lost one of its top offensive threats.

Sophomore receiver Brandon Lloyd, touted by the school as an All-Big Ten candidate, suffered a broken left leg Friday night. He will miss the 2000 season.

True to his dream

CHAMPAIGN – Bobby True hasn't lived in Liberia since he was 3. And he has no intention of returning anytime soon to a nation struggling to recover from a seven-year civil war that ended three years ago this month.

But the former Illinois track standout doesn't need to step foot in the west African nation to represent it in the 2000 Olympics. So when the first round of the 800 meters is held Sept. 23 in Sydney, Australia, True will realize his longtime Olympic dream as Liberia's one and only medal hope in the event.

Shepard joins Kruger with Hawks

ATLANTA – Derek Thomas isn't the only former Illinois assistant who'll be joining Lon Kruger in Atlanta.

Mike Shepherd, who coached under Kruger from 1996 to '99, has signed on to work with the Hawks as an advance scout.

Illini aide already at home

CHAMPAIGN – It's the first week of the summer recruiting period, and here's Billy Gillispie, cooped up in an office while the rest of the Illinois basketball staff is on the road recruiting.

But just because he can't be out and about doesn't mean the talkative Texan has to miss out on his favorite part of the job.

Nike camp: Grounds for UI optimism

INDIANAPOLIS – Roger Powell Jr. says he's back on board, and David Lee says he's coming to Champaign in a couple days for a look around.

How's that for a start to basketball's summer recruiting period?

At 73, Paterno chasing record with kid''s spirit

   STATE COLLEGE, Pa.  In the late ''80s, some important Republicans in Pennsylvania approached one of the party''s most prominent members to see if he had any interest in making a run for governor.

   Governor Paterno. Has a nice ring to it.