Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

Hardware in store?

ST. LOUIS – It's as tall as Nate Mast, as shiny as Lucas Johnson's shaved head and as treasured as Christmas break.

Anybody seen it?

Missouri proves to be quick study

It's tough enough Missouri has to play three of the Big Ten's best in a six-day stretch. The week also includes final exams.

No wonder center T.J. Soyoye was browsing a textbook while a trainer taped his ankles before Monday's game at Indiana.

Big man eats up new role

Robert Archibald really isn't an elbow-swinging, chest-bumping, technical-receiving, nail-chewing, fire-breathing 7-footer.

He just plays one on TV.

"He has a teddy bear he takes to bed with him every night," his dad, Bobby Archibald, said. "How does that sound?"

Williams game but missing valuable practice time

CHAMPAIGN – Frank Williams should play against Missouri despite a nagging shoulder injury.

It's the missed practice time that has his coach worried.

Illini put on climbing gear

Illinois hasn't risen to No. 1 since 1989, but Bill Self's outfit could inch closer this week as each Top 5 team faces high holiday hurdles.

No. 1 Duke and No. 3 Stanford play Thursday in Oakland, Calif., the same day the fifth-ranked Illini meet Missouri in St. Louis. No. 2 Michigan State travels to East Rutherford, N.J., to play No. 9 Seton Hall, a team that had Illinois down 21 points at the Assembly Hall before the Illini made a come back.

Storey loses shot at great shot

Former Illini Awvee Storey's bid for college basketball's shot of the year was ruined by replay.

The Arizona State star made a halfcourt shot as the buzzer sounded Saturday night, apparently giving the Sun Devils a 65-64 win at San Diego State.

Surging UI setting sights on final prize

CHICAGO – Cory Bradford walked off with a basketball autographed by teammates in honor of his NCAA record. Bill Self walked off into the waiting arms of ESPN, which can't seem to get enough of the coach with both a sense of humor and purpose. Lucas Johnson walked off to thundering applause usually reserved for No. 23 in the United Center.

So, Robert Archibald, what's your order?

Bradford unties three-point knot

   CHICAGO  Apparently, Cory Bradford''s teammates weren''t worried about jinxing his three-point streak.

   They considered it such a lock that they passed a ball around in practice Thursday, signing the white panel for Saturday''s postgame celebration.

Illini reserve knows how to play starring role

CHAMPAIGN – Frank Williams enjoyed the comeback against Seton Hall.

But the Illinois point guard had even more fun a few hours after last Saturday's game ended, when he and several Illinois teammates took in a play at the Armory Free Theatre.

Starring Jerrance Howard.

Arizona center latest challenge for Illini's Griffin

CHICAGO – Marcus Griffin spent last week studying for three final exams and one Loren Woods.

He can't tell what caused the most stress: the all-nighter or the potential All-American.