Tate: Turner lures top recruits amid woes

A second-year evaluation of coach Ron Turner would be based on two telling factors: (1) Did the Illini show progress from the 0-11 football season of 1997, and (2) Is the Turner staff developing strong recruiting ties despite on-field disappointments?

The report card on the 3-8 season was mixed.

No Illini SportsFACTS update on Christmas

   Because The News-Gazette does not publish on Christmas Day, there will not be any updates of the Illini SportsFACTS Online on Friday, Dec. 25.

Tiley to lead South African team

UI men's tennis coach Craig Tiley was selected as Davis Cup captain for his native South Africa.

Tiley, the 1998 Big Ten Coach of the Year, has led the Illini to consecutive conference titles.

UI's McClain misses shot to get even

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Sergio McClain had it all mapped out.

He was going to get the basketball, drive or pull up for a three-pointer and show Missouri what it was missing when it failed to sign the captain of the Peoria Manual dynasty.

The plan went bad.

UI, Hawkins expect big things

   ST. LOUIS  He may run into a few better centers in the Big Ten, but Fess Hawkins won''t see any bigger ones than he did Tuesday.

   In the other corner: Missouri''s 6-foot-11, 335-pound Monte Hardge. Or "the Full Monte," as he''s known around here.

Tate: Border War momentum swings west

ST. LOUIS – In 1990, when Illinois was rounding out an eight-game win streak against Missouri, it didn't seem like Tiger coach Norm Stewart ever would get the series turned around.

But Mizzou came out of the NCAA's twin investigations stronger than the UI and – is it possible? – six of the last eight games have fallen to the Tigers.

UI men''s game statistics

   Game statistics for Illinois vs. Missouri

Illini add two grid recruits

There's not enough room under any tree for all of Illinois football coach Ron Turner's December commitments.

Especially with the addition of yet another offensive lineman, this one 6-foot-5, 280-pound News-Gazette All-Stater Aaron Hodges of Rich Central.

Another loss places Illini in familiar spot

ST. LOUIS – It will be another blue Christmas for Lon Kruger's Illini, who head home for the holidays without a Border War trophy to stuff in their stocking.

But they'll get over it.

Trust Norm Stewart on that one.

UI got past scare tactics to set scoring record in Baton Rouge

It was customary after each game for one of the Flyin' Illini to huddle everyone up and lead the team in prayer.

After the 127-100 rump-kicking of LSU, Stephen Bardo took a turn.

"Lord," he said, "lead us on our path to the Final Four."