Giorgi Bezhanishvili had a simple message for the elbow-to-elbow crowd packed into the Park Grill Plaza at Millennium Park: There’s no such thing as a bad dancer

CHAMPAIGN — Andres Feliz can draw a comparison to his first season at Illinois and his freshman year at Northwest Florida State College. Mostly, it was about how comfortable — and therefore confident — the 6-foot-2 guard felt on the basketball court.

CHAMPAIGN — Rodney Gallagher has yet to play a single game of high school basketball. In fact, the Pennsylvania native isn't even in high school yet.

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Giorgi Bezhanishvili had a simple message for the elbow-to-elbow crowd packed into the Park Grill Plaza at Millennium Park: There’s no such thing as a bad dancer

CHAMPAIGN — Andres Feliz can draw a comparison to his first season at Illinois and his freshman year at Northwest Florida State College. Mostly, it was about how comfortable — and therefore confident — the 6-foot-2 guard felt on the basketball court.

CHAMPAIGN — Rodney Gallagher has yet to play a single game of high school basketball. In fact, the Pennsylvania native isn't even in high school yet.

he Big Ten got its annual talent infusion this offseason, with those freshmen now mostly on campus and prepping for the official start of their college basketball careers. While they’re doing that, college basketball writer Scott Richey formed the newcomers into a top starting five:

Two more evaluation periods are still on tap this month, but this past week featured some of the best rising talent in the country. Here are five in-state recruits the Illini are targeting — and how they fared, courtesy Sports Editor Matt Daniels.

The man who coached longer at the University of Illinois than any other person died 57 years ago today at the age of 75. Ed Manley, a native St. Louisan, directed Illini men’s swimming and diving for 37 years after being hired by George Huff in 1912.

Jordan Caroline, Kendrick Nunn and Rayvonte Rice all have ties to Champaign. And all three have worn NBA uniforms this month playing in the NBA Summer League. Before the playoffs begin on Friday, Sports Editor Matt Daniels takes a look at how the trio has fared.

On basketball matters, the former Flyin’ Illini standout has an opinion that holds plenty of weight. And he’s got a positive one about the direction in which Brad Underwood’s Illinois program is trending.

2019 Football Schedule

Aug. 31 Illinois vs. Akron, 11am
Sep. 7 at UConn, 2;30pm
Sep. 14 vs. Eastern Michigan, 11am
Sep. 21 vs. Nebraska, TBA
Oct. 5 at Minnesota, 2:30pm or 3pm
Oct. 12 vs. Michigan, TBA
Oct. 19 vs. Wisconsin, 11am
Oct. 26 at Purdue, TBA
Nov. 2 vs. Rutgers, TBA
Nov. 9 at Michigan State, TBA
Nov. 23 at Iowa, TBA
Nov. 30 vs. Northwestern, TBA