Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

Rossow: If UI builds it, tennis will come

The cows on South Farm aren't going to be evicted, Bill Self's not going to leave for the NBA's Memphis Mailbags and the chances of a curb taking out the football MVP are highly unlikely.

But here are a few things you can expect hearing about next school year at Illinois:

Rossow: Bardo camp has opening for ex-Illini

As a broadcaster of Illinois basketball games, Stephen Bardo always was available for Marcus Griffin and Sergio McClain if they wanted advice.

As director of next week's free agent basketball camp, Bardo might be able to help out the Peoria pair again.

Rossow: Settling in a challenge for McClain

Wayne McClain knows what it will take for him to be accepted at his new job, and it has nothing to do with signing a high school star or diagramming a game-winning play.

He'll become a full-fledged part of Illinois basketball long before that.

Illini recruit glad to have help nearby

Hard to figure out who was pulling harder for Frank Williams to stay in school: Bill Self or Luther Head.

"Frank can teach me a lot," said Head, one of three incoming recruits. "Everybody knows how great a player he is. I can't wait to get down there and play with him."

Rossow: Illinois prof joins club of agitators

If he thinks the hate mail and funny looks are coming in waves today, wait until Stephen Kaufman's letter campaign actually works.

The day a 7-footer with three-point range and a 30 on his ACT says he has no interest in Illinois because of a postcard he received from a biology professor is the day Kaufman cements his spot as Public Enemy No. 1.

Rossow: Anniversary no big deal to Kruger

It's been nearly a year since Lon Kruger traded in college coaching for the NBA.

Since then he lost 57 games and a lot of sleep, traded away one of the franchise's most popular figures in Dikembe Mutombo and played before crowds that had the pizzazz of a bridge party. Meanwhile, the team he left won a Big Ten title, advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1989 and turned a jam-packed Assembly Hall into an oval of orange.

Any regrets?

Illinois recruiting order filled

The best place to spot Blandon Ferguson during a basketball game is near the rim. The 6-foot-3 forward spends a lot of time there.

"You'll see things you don't normally see from someone his size," said Gordie Johnson, Ferguson's high school coach at Oakland (Calif.) St. Joseph's Notre Dame. "Some of his dunks were just memorable. He just flew over people.

Illini finish off recruiting list

TWIN FALLS, Idaho – Illinois landed a player from College of Southern Idaho after all.

Blandon Ferguson, a muscular swingman who led his team in scoring, has signed a letter of intent to play basketball for Bill Self's Illini, his coach said today.

Rossow: Williams shows his loyal side

He could be munching on caviar in the back of a limousine.

But Frank Williams is content as can be with a bag of Wendy's bacon cheeseburgers in the driver's seat of his 1986 Pontiac, a jalopy with an Animal House look.

Illinois freshman enjoying the ride

   CHAMPAIGN  If you spot a 6-foot-6 freshman with a racket in his hand wandering around Atkins Tennis Center on Saturday morning, tap him on the shoulder and tell him his match is about to start.

   Now''s not the time to be acting like an awestruck tourist.