University of Illinois football players have been popular top-round selections in past NFL drafts. While their individual stocks may have been high at the time, many Illini first-round selections were selected before players who eventually blossomed into Pro Football Hall of Famers.
Jay Spoonhour is no stranger to college basketball. The 44-year-old is in his third season as the men’s coach at Eastern Illinois. But he’s spent most of his life around the game thanks to his late father, Charlie Spoonhour. The Panthers are in a bit of a resurgence this season, compiling a nine-game winning streak before that was snapped Thursday night against Murray State.
“We’ve lost more close games than maybe any team in the country.”
Those words by Minnesota coach Richard Pitino — referring to five Big Ten losses by five points or fewer — reminded that the Gophers’ 1-6 Big Ten record was a fooler.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Andre Hollins
In a close call over teammate Maurice Walker. Senior showed why he ranks among the top 10 scorers in program history, leading Minnesota with 28 points. He hit 5 of 7 three-pointers and 10 of 15 shots overall. Only beef with his game: He missed 3 of 6 free throws. But he added five assists.
MINNEAPOLIS — At the end of Illinois’ bench sat Rayvonte Rice and Aaron Cosby, two starting guards for the Illini who are both sidelined with injuries.
MINNEAPOLIS — The buzz surrounding the Illinois basketball program in the 24 hours leading up to Saturday’s Big Ten game at Minnesota was the news that the Illini elevated student-manager Ryan Schmidt to the active roster as the Illini continues to be depleted by injuries.
MINNEAPOLIS — The soothing voice of Idina Menzel rang through Williams Arena as her hit “Let It Go” from the movie “Frozen” was played by the folks at Minnesota as Illinois coach John Groce called a timeout with 41.6 seconds remaining, his team trailing by nine at the time.
Bob Asmussen helped cover his first Illinois men's basketball game for the first time in quite a while during last Wednesday's win against Purdue. What does he think is wrong with the Illini after Saturday's loss to Minnesota? What does Tim Beckman have to do in order to improve recruiting? What record will the Illini finish with next football season?