Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

Self feels Bennett's pain

CHAMPAIGN – Hired in June, Bill Self already is climbing the seniority list among Big Ten coaches.

Northwestern and Wisconsin have made changes after Self's arrival to Illinois. The Badgers on Thursday promoted assistant Brad Soderberg to acting coach when Dick Bennett announced his surprise retirement.

No time for Illini to relax

   CHAMPAIGN  Bill Self has bigger worries than Brian Cook''s state of mind, Damir Krupalija''s knee, Robert Archibald''s back or next week''s polls.

   It''s purple and white and has a real important football game Saturday.

Duke keeps Illinois frustrated against top-ranked opponents

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Dick Vitale stalked press row during halftime, telling anyone within earshot that Illinois has 1989 potential.

Sergio McClain, motivated by the presence of the preseason Player of the Year Shane Battier, played with a sparkle in his eyes last seen four years ago.

McClain makes most of his moment

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Sergio McClain got the best of Shane Battier.

Duke got the best of Illinois.

UI's Bradford battling blues

CHAMPAIGN – That Sunday's crowd was so nervous about Cory Bradford's three-point streak ending is a clear indication how much the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year is struggling.

He used to get it out of the way in the first minute or two. On Sunday, he needed more than 30 minutes before burying a 20-footer from the top of the key in the UI's 86-67 win.

Harrington has hot hand

CHAMPAIGN – Sean Harrington brought back more than souvenirs from Hawaii. The stroke that almost did in Arizona still is in his possession, too.

The sophomore from Elgin continued his push for more playing time with a career-high 17 points on 6-of-6 shooting in the UI's 86-67 win against Texas Southern on Sunday.

Illini get into fighting shape with easy victory

CHAMPAIGN – The only way Illinois could be in better shape for another crack at No. 1 is if it had a copy of the Duke playbook.

Frank Williams is feeling chipper again, a recipe of soup and orange juice helping the point guard recover from the flu.

Illini seeking help for ailing Williams

CHAMPAIGN – Frank Williams, who missed Saturday's practice because of the flu, might not play today.

Texas Southern certainly benefits. But can Illinois, too?

Illini show they're among best despite loss to No. 1 team

LAHAINA, Hawaii – They didn't win their first Maui Invitational.

But in the process of coming mighty close, the Illini discovered the gap between themselves and the country's No. 1 team isn't as wide as some people expected. The turkey and stuffing on today's plate are farther apart.

"We took the No. 1 team in the country," UI forward Damir Krupalija said. "We don't have to prove ourselves to anyone."

Williams makes Illini follow his lead

LAHAINA, Hawaii – Frank Williams' best move Wednesday night wasn't a three-point shot, a drive to the basket or even a steal.

It came seconds after Arizona's 79-76 win in the championship game when the UI sophomore chased down teammates Sergio McClain and Cory Bradford and told them shake hands with the Wildcats.

Both players were headed to the locker room after the emotion-draining loss.