Tate: Illini find way to solve lefty puzzle

Dusty Rhodes, the lefty-swinging member of New Jersey's fair-haired Rhodes twins, understood the strategy when Illini baseball coach Itch Jones advised this .383 hitter to bunt leading off the sixth inning late Saturday afternoon at Illinois Field.

Third MVP award for UI's Berggren

Ashley Berggren became the first Illini women's basketball player to be named most valuable player, the senior honored Saturday night at the team's annual banquet hosted by the Courtsiders.

Despite bleak picture, James not giving up on pro hopes

CHAMPAIGN – David James was so far on the other end of the bench, he didn't hear coaches calling his name.

It was Sept. 1, 1994, and the University of Illinois freshman linebacker figured he had plenty of time to kill before he got to play in Soldier Field. But three plays into the 1994 season, starter John Holecek was injured and James became a major college football player.

Illini gymnasts third in NCAA

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Illinois finished third Friday in the NCAA men's gymnastics finals, signaling the rebound of a team that last made it to the finals in 1989.

Tate: Competition makes Illini line better

The hammering alongside Memorial Stadium four days a week is incessant, customarily extending past the printed 6:30 p.m. cessation.

Ron Turner's offensive gladiators react instinctively these days, allowing more plays in less time. Healthy gang tacklers have their defensive techniques down. The systems are in, and even a perennial pessimist can see the second-year progress.

UI pitcher out of funk

CHAMPAIGN – Brian Funk loves the exhilaration of pitching in tough situations. The Illinois senior likes the idea of being a closer.

NFL teams don't think highly of Purdue's Dicken

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – He threw for 1,500 more yards than Cory Sauter, got picked off fewer times than Todd Schultz and beat out Brian Griese for first-team All-Big Ten on the coaches' ballot.

But the only draft Purdue's Billy Dicken plans on being a part of this weekend is the kind that costs $1.25 a glass.

UI's Romagnoli wins NCAA all-around

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – It had been 40 years since the storied Illinois men's gymnastics program produced an NCAA all-around champion.

On Thursday night, sophomore Travis Romagnoli ended the drought and took his place with four other Illini greats in the sport.

Illinois nabs versatility

CHAMPAIGN – Villa Grove's Jordana Meyer isn't the only multi-event standout heading to the University of Illinois next school year.

Coach Gary Winckler announced Thursday that two other versatile recruits have signed letters of intent with his Illini women's track and field program.

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