Illini Insider

News and notes from University of Illinois sports:

Big Ten baseball vs. OSU

A preview of the upcoming baseball series with Ohio State:

Catchings claims MVP award

One day after being drafted by the Phoenix Mercury, Tauja Catchings was named Illinois' most valuable player for the 1999-00 season Wednesday night at the team's postseason banquet.

Tate: Colleges becoming underclass

We hear talk at the NBA level that removing 20 top underclassmen has no major detrimental effect on college basketball.

Why, then, do we feel so diminished? Aren't we supposed to care that one by one, day by day, the face of college basketball is changing for the worse?

UI tennis teams go hand in hand  to the top

They both have fast-talking, foreign-born coaches, glittery team grade-point averages and serious shots at Big Ten championships this weekend.

And that's not all Illinois' men's and women's teams share in common.

Steal of a deal

CHAMPAIGN – Andy Schutzenhofer was at a loss.

Well on his way to one of the greatest seasons in Belleville East baseball history, was there anything more the left-handed hitter needed to prove to college recruiters?

Mercury rising for Catchings

Tauja Catchings is headed to the stifling summer heat of Phoenix to begin her professional basketball career, but anything from Siberia to Saskatchewan sounded good to her during Tuesday's WNBA draft.

Projected as a likely second-round pick, Catchings was chosen by the Phoenix Mercury in the third round, 37th overall.

She's on the short list

Somewhere out there, a first-grade photo of Parkland College's Jodi James lies hidden away.

"I had a black eye right before picture day," she said.

Illinois offense gets back in gear

CHAMPAIGN – Welcome back, offense.

After seeing its hitting go south in a five-game losing streak, the Illinois baseball team pounded out 17 hits in beating Illinois State 13-8.

Tate: Pro or con, Chief debate here to stay

You can't cut Elian in two. Elian Gonzalez will stay with relatives in Miami or return to Cuba with his father. There is no acceptable compromise.

And that's the way it is with the UI's Chief Illiniwek.