He wants a Big Ten championship, a College World Series berth and lights at Illinois Field.
Anything else, Itch Jones?
Like most struggling football programs, Illinois lacks speed, talent and confidence.
What it does have is incentive.
Itch Jones has every right to be mad at us, a community more in tune with basketball and football and even home shows than his preferred sport.
He is a college baseball coach nearing a college baseball milestone. But not in a college baseball town.
Who said Big Ten basketball is on the ropes? For those keeping count, that's three NIT titles in the last six years.
Leave the Final Four to Kentucky and North Carolina and UCLA. The Big Ten prefers the tiny crowds of Madison Square Garden, where tickets and trophies are cheap.
CLEVELAND – His tender ribs had held up against every wrestler he ran into over three days, so Eric Siebert figured he'd push his luck and wade into the stands at Cleveland State's Convocation Center.
The bracket on the refrigerator says Illinois is in the third round of the women's NCAA tournament, but we know better.
Things don't kick off until the jukebox spits out some country music. That'd be Saturday night in Nashville, where both accents and competition will provide challenges the Illini didn't meet the past few days at the Assembly Hall.
So you can't think of one good reason why Illinois wouldn't want to play Illinois-Chicago in men's basketball? You're just not digging deep enough.
You'd think the Big Ten tournament would be more gracious to Tom Davis and Lon Kruger, two coaches who helped bring it about.
No handshake. No pat on the back. No hug.
CHICAGO – The weekend in Chicago wasn't a total waste for Illinois. The room service at the downtown Hilton was good, the traffic wasn't bad and seeing so much family and so many friends was super.
If only the basketball was better.
CHICAGO – Tom Goss, Michigan's first-year athletic director, probably is squirming today.
He said he'll name a full-time basketball coach by early April, and reports last month indicated Brian Ellerbe wouldn't get the nod.