Leave the Illinois coaching hire up to me, and the choice already would have been made. And, much to my disappointment, the choosie would have said, "No thanks."
Urban Meyer? Nah, though he ought to be in the Big Ten.
CHAMPAIGN – Illinois football in 1996: A 2-9 record. A 48-0 loss to Ohio State the day before the coach was fired. Quiet relief among the players that a change was made.
Illinois football in 2004: A 3-8 record. A heartbreaking overtime loss to Northwestern two days before the coach was fired. Players wanting him to stay around.
INDIANAPOLIS – John Wooden enjoyed the Illini''s show Saturday at Conseco Fieldhouse.
The 94-year-old former UCLA coach was a witness to the ultimate in sharing. He saw a breathtaking celebration of "team." If the culture of basketball is "me," he saw the opposite.
INDIANAPOLIS – Ronny Turiaf turned toward the basket and met an arms-up double team from Roger Powell Jr. and James Augustine.
He put the ball on the floor, and there was Dee Brown to strip it away.
We''re going to assume Utah''s Urban Meyer won''t pursue the Illinois job, especially with Florida and Washington available. But here are 18 guys who realistically could expect a call from UI athletic director Ron Guenther:
CHAMPAIGN – Mike Hebert had every reason to be wary Friday night as he walked into Huff Hall.
His fifth-ranked Minnesota Gophers were facing an Illinois volleyball team that had won 24 of its last 27 home matches.
CHAMPAIGN – She just scored the biggest goal in Illinois soccer history, but you''d have thought Sarah Brown was walking into a final exam instead of walking away from a historic occasion.
"She''s pretty laid-back," teammate Christine Sinak said. "She takes things in stride. She doesn''t stress out. She kind of rolls with it."
I was Illinois'' first basketball player from Texas. I earned third-team All-Big Ten honors as a senior in 1982 and shared team MVP honors that season with Perry Range. During my career, the Illini were victorious in 31 of the 40 games in which I scored in double figures. I wore jersey No. 13 and rank 28th on Illinois'' all-time scoring list with 1,124 points. As a 6-foot-10 center, I blocked 56 shots as a senior, a total second to Derek Holcomb''s 86 rejections in 1978-79. I paced the Illini in rebounding my final season, winding up my four-year career with 578. I currently reside in Fort Worth, Texas.
INDIANAPOLIS – Bruce Weber''s players can''t stop a post man. Mark Few''s guys can''t stop anybody.
At least that was the story coming out of Friday''s news conference for coaches involved in today''s Wooden Tradition doubleheader, which will pit Weber''s Illini against Few''s Gonzaga bunch.