Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

Deacons do right by their stars

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.

Saw John Mackovic today.

Seemed as rigid and distant as ever.

Mom knows best

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – It was nothing a coach or teammate said that brought the trademark smile back to Brian Cook's face Saturday.

Joyce Cook gets all the credit.

Kruger faces Florida

   WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.  One current Florida Gator was recruited by Lon Kruger (Kenyan Weaks). Another has met the man (Teddy Dupay).

   The rest of them won''t have any funny feelings whatsoever Sunday when the Gators take on former Florida coach Lon Kruger.

Poison (for) Penn

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The guest registry indicates Rod Cardinal has a room to himself at the Holiday Inn.

The longtime Illinois trainer knows better. As long as Marcus Griffin's left knee requires attention, he's going to have company.

We're just out yonderin' around

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.

Maybe it's just me, but when I'm asked directions, I tend to go with street names or landmarks.

Here the standard answer seems to be "down yonder," which I've discovered can mean head north or head south or take a left at the gun shop and a right at the Shoney's (which can be quite confusing considering North Carolina law requires one Shoney's every two blocks).

Assistance required at Illinois

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.

The second Illinois loses, Lon Kruger loses an assistant.

And Western Michigan loses its best marketing tool.

Judson finalist for job

   WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.  Lon Kruger, who already lost one assistant this week, soon could have another opening to fill.

   Assistant coach Rob Judson is in the running for the head coaching job at Eastern Michigan. He is expected to interview next week on campus.

Can we get a spot in non-smoking?

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.

We've been here for less than a day, and already I have a question for the folks back home.

Anybody have a light?

UI's McCollum lands job as head coach at Western Michigan

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Robert McCullum has more than the NCAA tournament on his mind.

The Illinois assistant today was named head coach at Western Michigan, replacing Bob Donewald. It is the first head coaching job for McCullum, who has been at Lon Kruger's side since 1990.

Great matchups await if Illinois survives Penn

CHICAGO – Before we dig up those Lon-Kruger-at-Florida stories or revisit the dislike between Illinois and DePaul or study the invincibility of Duke – all inviting NCAA tournament angles – Lucas Johnson would like to remind us of a four-letter word to calm the nerves:

"Penn," he said.