PODCAST: Sports Talk 11-29-16

PODCAST: Sports Talk 11-29-16: Play now!

Steve Kelly and Loren Tate listen to Sean Harrington from ESPN-U, Illini men's basketball head coach John Groce, and to Illini men's basketballers Tracy Abrams and Te'Jon Lucas.


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MBB preview: vs. N.C. State

North Carolina State at Illinois, 8 p.m. Tuesday

Illinois (4-3)
P      Name    Yr.    Ht.    PPG

G    Jaylon Tate    Sr.    6-3    5.1

N-G Top 10: Boys' basketball (Nov. 29)

Our updated rankings after the season’s first week, courtesy sports editor MATT DANIELS:

1. Champaign Central    2-1    1    Maroons have quick turnaround, but short trip, when they play at Urbana at 7:30 p.m. today.

UI roundup: Smoot, Phillips among award finalists

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois football defensive ends Dawuane Smoot and Carroll Phillips saw their collegiate careers end Saturday, but they’re still being recognized for their contributions to the Illini.

HS Girls Basketball: Centennial vs. Iroquois West

Centennial vs. Iroquois West in a prep basketball game at Centennial in Champaign on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. 

4 appealing in-state targets after IHSA football championships

Monday saw Lovie Smith stop by a variety of high schools in the Chicagoland area, with the Class of 2017 needing to fill up in the next few months. Here are four in-state seniors the Illini should focus their attention on after they shined this past weekend at Memorial Stadium:

Turnaround on turnovers key for Groce

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois has an offensive style it wants to play. Push the pace in the full court. Work the ball inside (for points in the paint) to out (three-pointers) in the halfcourt.

But that’s an identity the Illini have yet to establish consistently this season. Hampering that cause? An inability to hang on to the ball.

Ballot breakdown: Butler, South Carolina enter men's fray

A look at how UI basketball beat writer Scott Richey's polls compare with those of the Associated Press:

Richey's Men's Top 25

Tate: Even most ardent Illini fans about fed up

From the perspectives of John Groce, Gus Phan and the men’s basketball program, there has seldom been a time when Illinois so desperately needed a victory.

It could be anybody. It just happens to be North Carolina State on Tuesday. What we’re witnessing is the cumulative impact of a multi-year spiral.