Tate: Judson looks to restore NIU's glory

As Bill Self pointed out when he left Tulsa, coaches don't often move into jobs where the outlook is rosy.

Thus it is with Rob Judson. Northern Illinois' short-handed Huskies finished this season at 5-23 and stand 46-89 during the past five campaigns. Judson faces a major rebuilding task, much like Robert McCullum faced this season at Western Michigan.

What they''re saying about NIU coach Rob Judson

   Comments from coaches and others about the hiring of Rob Judson at Northern Illinois:

A tournament teaser

   CHICAGO  Cheaper than a program, more objective than a news release, here''s our preview of the fourth annual Big Ten basketball tournament at the United Center, from the top seed to Northwestern:

The envelope, please

We never guessed that Dick Bennett and Michigan would quit, that Northwestern would win three Big Ten games or that Ohio State would make the NIT much less the NCAAs. Now, the regular season is over, and so is the guessing. Here are our fourth annual Big Ten winners:

Williams remains hungry

CHAMPAIGN – You might want to delay the "Frank Williams to the NBA" rumors. The Illinois sophomore guard is talking about a threepeat. Of his Big Ten player of the year award.

He won't be able to win the honor next year on the court in Portland or Orlando.

Riley paces golf squad

UI senior Tim Riley shot a first-round 79 in blustery conditions Monday at the Matlock Classic in Lakeland, Fla.

Next stop for Judson: DeKalb

CHAMPAIGN – After he turned down Lon Kruger's offer to join him in the NBA, Rob Judson set out on a three-pronged plan of attack.

He wanted to ease the transition from Kruger to Bill Self at Illinois, enjoy a possible run to another Big Ten title and land his first head coaching job.

His checklist is complete.

Illini clinch top seed in tourney

MINNEAPOLIS – Illinois knows it has the top seed for this week's Big Ten tournament.

Today, UI coach Bill Self finds out if his point guard is the league's top player.

Illini wearing Big Ten crown on their sleeve

MINNEAPOLIS – If you bump into some Illini the next couple of days and notice they look like they've been sleeping in their clothes, don't become alarmed.

It's because they have been.

Williams' mom readies trophy case for another expansion

MINNEAPOLIS – Mary Williams can't wait until her son finds a permanent place of his own. All the awards Frank Williams has won for his work on the basketball court are cluttering up the place.

Bad news, Mom. Another trophy might be on the way.