Ohio town full of loud, proud Illini fans

COLUMBUS, Ohio – You'll hear no complaints from the folks in Loudonville, Ohio, about the new football coach at Illinois. They couldn't be more thrilled.The fine people in the town of 2,900 have the signs to prove it.

Enter Loudonville from the north, south, east or west and you'll be reminded that it's the home of Ron Zook, football coach at Illinois. Complete with the school's insignia.

Vintage Illini

Catching up with Jeff Kinney.

Illini's intimidating 'Hammer' goes all out, all the time

COLUMBUS, Ohio – He spots the prey. Unsuspecting. Worry-free. Happy.

Then, boom. He strikes. With all the power he can muster from his 215-pound frame. The goal isn't just to hit, it's to plant a seed. Next time, there will be suspicion. Next time, there will be worry. Next time, there might be a dropped pass or a fumble. And no happiness.

Illini volleyball puts scare into Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. – Don Hardin's Illinois volleyball squad has dropped 11 matches this season, but there's one thing the team hasn't lost: its competitive spirit.

"We've played so many five-game matches," Hardin said after 10th-ranked Wisconsin defeated the Illini 30-22, 23-30, 30-24, 26-30, 15-10 on Friday night at the UW Field House. "That's a tribute to the players' fighting attitudes through a rough season."

A weekly chat with Bob Asmussen

This week's guest: linebacker Brit Miller.

Who's that Illini?

I was an NCAA wrestling champion in 1935 at 175 pounds, leading Illinois to third place in the national meet. That same year, I won the first of two straight Big Ten titles. The second was in the heavyweight class. A native of Chicago, I went on to become a star on the pro wrestling circuit. Taking the name Ruffy Silverstein, I was a major attraction in the Chicago area for over 20 years.

Opening win – as usual

ANNARBOR, Mich. – Illinois has been a bane for first-round Big Ten soccer tournament opponents.

Jessica Bayne and a strong defense made sure to keep that tradition going strong as the Illini beat Minnesota 1-0 on Thursday afternoon to win their seventh straight Big Ten tourney opener.

Historical agency: UI didn't follow law

A state agency says the University of Illinois failed to follow the law in putting two early 20th-century South Farms buildings up for sale.

The Illinois State Historic Preservation Agency sent the UI a letter Wednesday stating that "no further action should be taken" on the two projects until additional documentation is submitted to the agency.

Freshman has a shot at playing time

CHAMPAIGN – Jamar Smith wanted to catch some Z's before he launched some threes, but his nerves got the best of him.

With time to kill between Illinois' afternoon shootaround and its exhibition opener, the freshman guard made a beeline for his dorm room, made a peanut butter sandwich and settled in for a nap.

Study hall

Three things News-Gazette staff writer Brett Dawson learned in Illinois' exhibition opener at the Assembly Hall: