Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

Comeback by Schilb complete

RANTOUL  It wasn''t that long ago Blake Schilb was a high school dropout with a murky basketball future. Now he''s realized his Division I dreams. "I never doubted myself, but I know there were a lot of other people who doubted I could do

Big name, big game don''t faze Centennial girls in bid to repeat

CHAMPAIGN  Centennial has a surging opponent and a high-profile recruit to deal with tonight. Just the way the confident Chargers like it. "Sure it''s a winnable game," Centennial girls'' basketball coach Tim Fairchild said. "We''re not

Illini must take road less traveled

CHAMPAIGN Tom Coverdale isn''t on the NCAA tournament selection committee. It just might seem that way to Illinois fans when the committee chairman chats with reporters at 2 p.m. today and says cross things about Bill Self''s team. "Nice team. Playing like gangbusters the last two weeks. Romps against Michigan State and Indiana had to be some sort of school first. Freshmen are acting like juniors. Brian Cook''s getting plenty of help. Probably the best the Big Ten has to offer. But ... "

Cooks split the difference

CHAMPAIGN  Tuesday wasn''t a total wash for Brian Cook. At least his mother got the royal treatment from Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, who visited with Joyce Cook before the Illini''s 70-40 runaway at the Assembly Hall. Izzo apologized to her for the actions of the "Izzone," Michigan State''s rowdy student section, which poked fun at several Illini''s mothers by displaying handmade signs during the teams'' game Feb. 2. Izzo also told her two students who were behind the most offensive

The lesson: It''s a long season, Illini

IOWA CITY, Iowa It''s hard to imagine a better day in Iowa athletics. One minute the conference- winning football coach says no to the NFL and its shaky refereeing. The next minute the basketball team whose names we don''t know upsets No. 8

Illinois movin'' on up

A 2-0 start in Big Ten play has first-place Illinois on the brink of a national ranking in women''s basketball. Angelina Williams knows how the Illini can make it a sure thing. "Go out and beat Minnesota," Williams said. "I don''t think it''s

Near-misses wear on Purdue

   CHAMPAIGN  Purdue thought it had won Saturday''s game in regulation. Twice.

   The Boilermakers thought they stopped Antoineo Harris short of the goal line on his fourth-down, game-tying plunge with three seconds left.

Rossow: Ward hears crowd´s jeers turn to cheers

   Ron Turner would like everyone to stop booing Dustin Ward. He''s not worried about his quarterback''s feelings. He''s concerned Ward might not be able to call the play in the huddle.

   Too much giggling.

Rossow: Motivation in the form of a question

   Ron Turner could punch a chalkboard, but that would hurt. He could tackle Purdue Pete during pregame warmups, but that would be unsportsmanlike. He could even jump up and down in the end zone during player introductions, but a grumpy ref probably would flag him for excessive celebrating.

   There are easier, safer ways to motivate the lifeless Illini, who don''t have much to play for anymore. All the Illinois coach has to do is ask his players the following questions before today''s game. If they don''t respond with a four-touchdown win or two, then it really is time to start paying attention to basketball.

Rossow: Illini make it official with latest loss

   The first thought was to tell you that for all practical purposes the Illinois football season is a wash.

   But then, that would be old news. You came to that conclusion late in Saturday''s third quarter, when thousands of fans charged out of Memorial Stadium as if Bears-Packers tickets were available at a booth on First Street.