CHAMPAIGN – Brian Carlwell has a short list of prospective colleges, and it''s getting shorter.
"I thought I had it down to three," the Proviso East big man said Wednesday during an unofficial visit to Illinois. "But right now, I think I might have one. I love Illinois, and it''s in-state, too. I don''t think you can do any better than that."
I was the first Illini men''s tennis player to win a Big Ten singles title. It happened in 1917 in Chicago as Illinois captured its first conference team crown in the sport. At the same meet, I combined with Ernest McKay to claim the doubles championship. It was five years before another Illini won a Big Ten singles title and seven more years before Illinois had a league doubles champion.
CHAMPAIGN – The new Illinois coach knows all the built-in excuses: bad weather, not enough star players in the state, bad weather.
Oh, and bad weather.
I played in more baseball games (240) and made more starts (236) than any player in UI history. Those feats are especially impressive on two counts: I played in the era (1997 to 2000) after the NCAA imposed limitations on regular-season scheduling. And I originally was a walk-on. I combined consistency with power, setting a school record for career total bases (469) that still stands. I also rank third in career RBI (190) and am tied for fourth in career home runs (38).
CHAMPAIGN – It didn''t take Illinois athletic director Ron Guenther long to find a replacement for Itch Jones.
After all, he already was in town.
BATON ROUGE, La. – Skip Bertman, one of the most decorated college baseball coaches in the sport''s history, has a few words for Itch Jones'' replacement at Illinois.
CHAMPAIGN – Bruce Weber is back from vacation, and he stepped out of bed and right into bedlam.
There are more than 400 campers on campus, taking up more than 20 courts. There''s a meeting with Ron Guenther at lunchtime. There are summer classes starting.
CHAMPAIGN – His team won a Big Ten championship, set a single-season school record for league wins and produced five major league draft picks.
Itch Jones, for 39 years a Hall of Fame college baseball coach, couldn''t think of a better way to go out.
CHAMPAIGN – Deron Williams and Cassie Hunt today were named recipients of the Dike Eddleman Award as the top male and female athletes at Illinois.
Williams, who helped Bruce Weber''s Illini reach the NCAA tournament''s championship game, is the first men''s basketball player to win the Eddleman since Kendall Gill in 1990. Like Gill, Williams left school early to pursue an NBA career.
I am the premier shot putter in Illini history. I hold school records for the event, both outdoors and indoors. I also was among the best in the nation in the early 1980s. In 1982, I was the NCAA indoor champion with a heave of 67 feet, 7 inches. I also was the outdoor NCAA runner-up in 1981 and ''82, and placed third in the national indoor meet in 1981. My resume includes four Big Ten shot put crowns and one conference discus title. I still hold the Big Ten indoor meet record for the shot put: 69-2, set in 1982.