CHICAGO – Five games into the season, the Illinois women''s basketball team is fighting to regain control of a floundering ship.
The Illini dropped to 1-4 for the first time since 1990-91, Kathy Lindsey''s first season, after an 89-81 loss Thursday against DePaul. That team finished 9-19. If coach Theresa Grentz were the wagering type, she''d no doubt put a few shekels on the current squad easily topping that record.
CHAMPAIGN – At this time last season, Illinois'' Tiffanie Guthrie was about to drop 30 points and seven three-pointers on Arizona.
By the end of December, she was in the throes of a wicked shooting slump, going 40 for 136 during one excruciating stretch.
CHAMPAIGN – If time and effort alone assured success inthe classroom, Jessica Belter would have been an academic star when she entered Illinois in 2001.
"I knew Jessy was a very dedicated student," said Kathy Kaler, an academic counselor for the Illini volleyball team. "You could see she was making the effort. ... She was working her tail off."
The schedule and a look at the field in the NCAA volleyball tournament sub-regional at Huff Hall:
News-Gazette staff writer Jeff Huth''s weekly review and preview of Illinois sports:
GREENSBORO, N.C. – It could have fallen apart on him right here, and Bruce Weber knows it.
Weber''s first Illinois team flunked its first real road test Tuesday, fighting hard but falling to No. 10 North Carolina 88-81 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Discouragement had no place in Illini thoughts Tuesday night. Rising from the ashes of an 88-81 setback was the realization that Bruce Weber has the makings. Even ACC booster Dick Vitale would agree.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Roy Williams wanted to give credit to his defense, and to a degree, he did.
But asked Tuesday night how to explain Dee Brown''s 3-for-17 shooting night in Illinois'' 88-81 loss to North Carolina, the Tar Heels coach mostly just shook his head.