Getting their feet in the door

   Sebastian Telfair gets more mail than Santa Claus.

   As one of the best high school prospects in the upcoming senior class, Telfair has received dozens of recruiting letters, all from college coaches who would give up their corner office to have the New York point guard in their starting five. From Arizona to Duke, schools all over America are filling Telfair''s mailbox with recruiting pitches.

Brett''s random thoughts

Of all the proposed 12th ACC teams, none makes as much sense for the league as Kentucky, which would boost the conference''s basketball image, so tarnished by Miami and (especially) Virginia Tech. UK is a charter program in the SEC, which makes the move unlikely, but maybe administrators could be convinced that a jump from the SEC – the "Sure, Everybody Cheats" conference – would be good for the school''s reputation.

Former Illini still struggling to turn career around

   LEMONT – His hat is pulled down low over his eyes. Steve Stricker laughs with his caddie, but not as often.

   With a fist pump, he acknowledges a fan who shouts,

Small makes Western cut

   LEMONT – Illinois golf coach Mike Small was among 12 golfers who made the final cut at 143 at the 100th Western Open on Friday.

Williams'' golden touch puts team in title game

   Deron Williams might get a gold medal on Saturday. His shooting stroke already is golden.

   The Illinois guard continued his hot shooting at the Global Games Thursday night in Dallas, scoring 16 points, dishing off six assists and making 4 of 7 three-pointers to help lead USA Basketball''s Junior National team to a 102-71 win against Canada.

Williams, Brown help U.S. team stay perfect

   Deron Williams continued his sizzling shooting at the Global Games, scoring 10 points and making 2 of 3 three-pointers as the USA Junior National team rolled past Africa 97-69 on Wednesday night in Dallas.

   Williams and Illinois teammate Dee Brown, who earlier Wednesday made the final cut for USA Basketball''s Junior National team that will travel to the Junior World Championships later this month in Greece, celebrated by boosting Team USA to its third straight win in the tournament.

Illini runner needed a year to rebound from asthmatic condition

   CHAMPAIGN  For Kyle Emkes, the Freedom Celebration 5K run couldn''t be more aptly named.

   When the Mahomet native steps to the starting line Friday, his mind will be free of doubts about his health. And when he crosses the finish line, Emkes hopes to have reason to celebrate his return to competitive racing  a return that''s been a year in the making.

Illini guards make cut

Apparently, Oregon coach Ernie Kent has seen all he needs to from Dee Brown and Deron Williams.

Kent and his staff made final cuts this morning for USA Basketball''s Junior National team, and both Illinois guards are on the 12-man roster for the team that will travel to Greece later this month for the Men''s Junior World Championships.

Illinois golf coach dreams about playing well in Western return

   LEMONT – Mike Small walked up the 18th fairway. There was no gallery, and the sun wasn''t setting the way it does on a late Sunday afternoon when the leader walks to the 18th green at Cog Hill.

   It was just a practice round Tuesday for the Illinois golf coach, but it was also a way to conjure up the past as Small prepped for the Western Open, marking the fifth time he''ll play in the Chicago-area PGA Tour stop.

Illini guards come up big

   Dee Brown tied for a team-high with 11 points and Illinois teammate Deron Williams added nine as the USA Junior World Championship team rode 13 three-pointers to a 79-63 win against Lithuania on Monday in the Global Games in Dallas.

   The junior national team, playing in the Global Games as a warmup for this month''s Junior World Championships in Greece, got three-pointers from six different players, including three each from Brown and Williams.