Smith, Frazier turn corner

LAS VEGAS — Mark Smith made 18 straight corner three-pointers in a shooting drill during Illinois' shootaround before Saturday's game against UNLV. Trent Frazier had been equally as consistent in practice of late.

Illinois needed both in a big way against the Runnin' Rebels, and the freshman duo delivered.

California defender commits to Illini

Ask college football writer Bob Asmussen about Illinois football during his chat here

The Illinois football commitment list is back to 14 after California defensive back Delano Ware announced his commitment Sunday.

UI women knock off Detroit Mercy

CHAMPAIGN — Nancy Fahey's first Illinois women's basketball team played 11 games in less than a month. With solid results.

Time for a break.

UI Womens Basketball vs Detroit Mercy

University of Illinois Women's Basketball vs Detroit Mercy, Sunday, December 10, 2017 at the State Farm Center. The Illini beat the Titans 73-65. 

2017 News-Gazette all-conference, all-county teams

Apollo Conference



Quarterback: (JUNIOR) x-Brandon Odam, Taylorville.

Running Backs: (SENIORS) x-Titus Cannon, Lincoln; Evan Champley, Taylorville; x-Terrence Hill, Effingham.

Meet the defense


Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley, Jr., DL

Why he made the team: Even if Barnes hadn't made what served as the game-winning reception in the Falcons' Class 2A championship victory, he'd still be deserving of recognition thanks to 86 tackles and an interception for a dominant defensive unit.

Final area football stats


Player,School Att Yrds TD AVG

McNutt, GCMS 190 1693 32 8.9

Lahey, B-H/R-A 158 1692 21 10.7

Bolton, Oakwd 139 1382 20 9.9

Eckstein, Unity 196 1337 9 6.8

Jones-Watkins, Fisher 202 1328 15 6.6

Mariage-Tucker, Westvl 166 1300 19 7.8

Colvin, SJ-O 156 1244 17 8.0

Tate: Illini far from finished product

No, that wasn't a school record for mishandling the basketball Wednesday night at the State Farm Center.

In 1972, Illinois had 31 turnovers against Minnesota, and combined with Indiana (37 miscues) for 65 turnovers in 1973.

So it wasn't historically significant for Illinois and Austin Peay to produce 49 lost balls and 46 fouls in the 40-minute tug-of-war.

Meet the offense


St. Joseph-Ogden, Jr., All-Purpose

Why he made the team: Despite the Spartans missing the postseason, the junior broke out in a big way, rushing for 1,244 yards — seventh-best in the area — and 17 touchdowns while adding one scoring catch among just his six total receptions.

Coach of the Year: GCMS' Mike Allen

Why he's Coach of the Year: The Falcons made school history by defeating Maroa-Forsyth 38-32 in a thrilling Class 2A state championship game, marking the first such victory in GCMS lore. Allen led an offense that included running back Mitch McNutt, The News-Gazette Player of the Year, and a defense that permitted only 6.2 points per game heading into the final with Maroa-Forsyth.