Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

Rossow: No sleeping on the job for Cook

Don't worry about slender Brian Cook playing soft as a freshman at Illinois. Not after the summer he's sweating through.

Gus Macker one day, hanging drywall the next. Hard fouls and long hours.

Retirement tough call for Johnson

He'd embrace retirement with a bit more gusto if his last season of professional basketball had turned out better. But Eddie Johnson's probable farewell tour was a monumental dud.

The team he joined to win an NBA title (Houston) turned out to be the league's top flop. And the alleged injury that kept him out of all but three games (lower back strain) was no more disabling than a hangnail.

Rossow: Flight plan only minus for Illinois

If his center was fouling too much or his point guard was dribbling too much, then Lon Kruger would be irritated.

But if it's a travel snag, no worries for the Illinois basketball coach.

Rossow: NBA option a real one for Miles

These days, advice is a lot easier to find than a good pickup game for Darius Miles.

The East St. Louis basketball star, the best upcoming high school senior in Illinois and perhaps the country, is getting it from everywhere.

Even Mahomet.

Rossow: UI's O'Neill going out with a bang

Dan O'Neill's a nervous type today.

Not about walking onto Illinois Field for Senior Day ceremonies with a rowful of family on hand. Or fighting to keep his team in the Big Ten playoff race and his college baseball career afloat. Or even trying to keep his average above .300.

That stuff doesn't merit a bead of sweat.

New assistant for Kruger

CHAMPAIGN – At Florida and Illinois, Steve Henson often worked out with Lon Kruger's teams to stay in shape for professional basketball.

He's back again, only this time he'll get paid for his sweat.

Rossow: Chapman a popular UI choice

If Cristy Chapman decided to seek support for her Dike Eddleman Athlete of the Year candidacy, the Illinois volleyball player wouldn't have far to look. Seems everyone she bumps into becomes a big fan.

Like the fourth-graders at Thomas Paine Elementary in Urbana, whom for twice a week the last two years she read books to, answered questions for and always smiled no matter how many times they asked her how she got so tall.

Rossow: Grentz, UI closing in on new deal

Two assistant coaches and one raise.

That's what's in store this spring for Theresa Grentz, who says she's happy to hang around Illinois a few more years.

Rossow: Linebacker can't wait for return

Bumped into Eric Guenther on Thursday afternoon, not a minute too soon.

The Illinois middle linebacker was effervescent and eager, his ankles taped and his attitude top-notch. He had that day-before-spring-break look college kids get this time of year.

Best to come from Illinois guard after trial by fire

CHICAGO – He scored like no other freshman in Illinois history.

He made more three-pointers in one season than any other Illini.