Sports

Sports

Woods wins easily but Small''s a success

   LEMONT  It started out as a chance for Mike Small to literally get back in the swing of playing in a PGA Tour event, but it ended in a way maybe not even he expected.

   The Illinois golf coach had a banner weekend at the 100th Western Open at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club. Playing in his first Western in two years, Small not only made the cut for the first time in five tries, but shot a 3-under-par 285, tying him for 43rd place, and making it a special summer for the Illini coach who believes he still can be competitive.

Brown leads team

   Illinois'' Dee Brown scored a team-high 18 points to lead the U.S. Junior World Championship team to a 104-80 victory against the Global Games Select Team for the gold medal at the Global Games in Dallas.

Best of the best

   The top high school seniors and juniors in the nation, according to Prep Stars Recruiter''s Handbook. Colleges in all caps indicate a verbal commitment:

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.

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.

Meacham''s making name for himself

   CHAMPAIGN – The kids in the neighborhood are mowing lawns and flipping burgers. They''re working as lifeguards or logging hours at country clubs.

   Trent Meacham? He plays basketball.

Illini volleyball slate anything but Normal

   How''s this for an early morning wakeup call? - The Illinois volleyball team has a 10 a.m. date with two-time NCAA champion Nebraska this season.

   Think Illini coach Don Hardin will move the prematch meal to a Starbucks?

Camp memories

   We asked some college basketball coaches to give us their most memorable summer recruiting moments. Here''s what they had to say:

Dawson: Europeans getting the jump on game

   Used to be that names like Larry, Michael and Patrick – and the occasional Magic – made headlines on NBA draft day.

   Now the hot names include Darko, Zarko and Zoran.

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,