CHAMPAIGN – It''s five minutes before the start of an Illinois basketball practice, and Wayne McClain is fighting again.
The Illini assistant coach has his dukes up and his mouth open, and he''s telling forward Aaron Spears all about how he''s going to drop him like a bad habit.
Lindsey Hamma and Jenna Hall powered Illinois to a 5-0 victory against No. 15 Texas A&M on Friday at the Aggie Invitational in College Station, Texas.
Hamma scored from third on Hall''s single up the middle in the top of the first inning.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – If Cindy Dallas'' Illinois legacy means anything, Theresa Grentz hopes it has an impact on a few of her teammates.
The Illinois coach is cajoling, imploring and pleading for some help from the Illini bench. Not much has been forthcoming, but Grentz is hoping the tone that Dallas sets with her relentless work on the boards will rub off.
CHAMPAIGN – It''s all in the mannerisms, really.
Dee Brown''s impression of his coach, Bruce Weber, doesn''t rely on the easy target – the Illinois coach''s booming voice – so much as the subtleties of Weber''s personality.
Illinois broke its third school record of the Big Ten swimming and diving meet during the 200-yard freestyle relay Thursday night in Minneapolis.
He is 5-foot-7, 152 pounds.
He is the top-ranked wrestling recruit in the country.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – There have been many times the past two decades that Illinois has visited Purdue and encountered a Boilermakers women''s basketball team playing with remarkable precision, great intensity and full efficiency.
Thursday was not one of thosedays.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – For three seasons, Purdue''s Shereka Wright played in the shadows of Penn State''s Kelly Mazzante and Minnesota''s Lindsay Whalen.
Together they comprise one of the best senior classes the league has ever seen. All three have reached the 2,000-point mark, the first time the Big Ten has had three active 2,000-point scorers.
CHAMPAIGN – A well-dressed Chicago TV broadcaster, making an infrequent sojourn into the hinterlands, questioned the wisdom of Wisconsin, ranked 10th in the coaches'' poll and No. 12 with the Associated Press media, being a four-point underdog against unranked Illinois on Wednesday night.
This was an hour before tipoff. The Assembly Hall was empty and quiet. It was the calm before the storm.