Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

Missouri guard Gilbert; the mouth that roared

ST. LOUIS – Turns out Clarence Gilbert talks as well as he shoots.

Thirty minutes after the Missouri guard finished off the Illini with the range of an NBA player, Gilbert was sounding like a pro, too. If not for the Kiel Center security guards wanting to clear out the gym, he might have talked past midnight.

Loss kills Brown''s holiday spirit

   "Coach told us over and over they could shoot the three."

    UI center Marcus Griffin

Illinois sicks Griffin on Kansas' frontcourt

CHICAGO – At breakfast he was fine, chowing down on eggs, pancakes, cereal and toast with the rest of the Illini.

But as he arrived at the United Center for Saturday's game against No. 8 Kansas, Marcus Griffin felt his stomach knot up like it has several times the last two weeks. Seems bronchitis and basketball aren't always a good mix.

Illini keep Cardinal on the go

   CHICAGO  Rod Cardinal looked every bit as tired as Cory Bradford, who played a game-high 37 minutes, after Saturday''s upset of Kansas.

   The Illinois trainer broke a serious sweat dealing with players both ill and injured. A bruised finger here, a bad back there ... Cardinal was running low on both aspiring and gauze by late afternoon.

It's too bad Illini can't stay in C-U

It's fantastic Illinois gets to play Duke and Kansas before the Big Ten season starts. It's too bad both games are in Chicago.

Nothing against the United Center. It has comfortable seats, good sightlines and concession stands with North Prospect menus. There's even a statue of everybody's favorite player out front.

Williams feels growing pains

   CHICAGO  Maybe in March, Frank Williams doesn''t take the last-second three-pointer with the game on the line. Maybe he penetrates the lane and kicks the basketball to the wing where one of his teammates has an open look.

   Maybe then he''ll feel comfortable as a point guard. Because today he isn''t. When he''s supposed to pass, he''s looking to shoot. When he''s supposed to shoot, he''s looking to pass.

Defenders bring out Bradford''s best

   PEORIA  Cory Bradford asked to sit down when reporters swarmed him after Monday''s Illini win against Bradley.

   Seems he was out of gas after being hounded by one of the Missouri Valley Conference''s top defenders all game long.

Krupalija sizes up situation, hits key shots

PEORIA – When it comes to big men shooting the basketball, there's no Illini better than Damir Krupalija.

Just ask him.

Clark, defense put on show for UI legend

   CHAMPAIGN - Danny Clark didn''t need Dick Butkus to stop by the locker room to deliver a pregame pep talk Saturday.

   Just knowing the Illini legend was somewhere in the neighborhood was enough to get Clark growling and drooling and doing all the things a highly motivated defender does before taking the field.

Bradford three, easy for Illinois

   CHAMPAIGN  It took Cory Bradford all of seven seconds to pick up where he left off last season.

   Early against Western Illinois on Friday, last season''s Big Ten Freshman of the Year squared up from the left corner and buried a three-pointer to give the Illini a quick lead.