Burst Of Basketball News

May is always and interesting time around here. It’s usually the quietest month for Illini news, so each year I take this month as my blog vacation. Well, not really “vacation”, but I write at about a third of my usual pace. Come June, I’ll crank it up again.

Well, this week, there’s been lots to talk about. A big burst of basketball news. Let’s talk about all of it. [Read more…]

Looking Ahead

First off, sorry about the commenting issues. Brumby is working on it. I’m pretty sure Steve’s Kentucky Derby preview that broke the site. *shakes fist* STEVE. Anyway, I took two months off from even thinking about basketball. Even though it’s May (which is my “recoup” month where I write very little and recharge my brain), let’s think about basketball again. [Read more…]

Pick My Post – The 1998 Illini Basketball Team

It’s been a while since we played Pick My Post.  I put out the call on Twitter, you give me ideas for a post, I write it and have it posted in less than an hour (not sure why I invented that last rule).  Tonight’s winning suggestion: the 1998 basketball team.  [Read more…]

Embarrassing

Got to interview Lovie yesterday. But I don’t want to post the interview yet. Why? Because it feels wrong to post a joyful interview while our basketball program is out there embarrassing the University on the first day of March Madness. I try to speak for the fanbase in this space. The fanbase right now? Completely embarrassed. [Read more…]

Let’s Talk About Jalen’s Massive Freshman Year

Jalen Coleman-Lands just completed a freshman year for the ages. He showed that he was indeed one of if not the best shooter in his class, and easily the best pure shooter Illinois has had in a long time. On a scorching 42.2% from downtown, Jalen broke Cory Bradford’s record for threes made by a freshman with 87 to Cory’s 85. [Read more…]

Play It Again

First off, I didn’t watch this game.  Had a Thing, checked the score at halftime when I went to the bathroom while still at my Thing, checked the score when it was 66-66, watched the final 15 seconds once I got the BTN2Go feed to pull up on my phone. So I can’t really speak to what happened. But that’s never stopped me before. [Read more…]

Coach Stays

For about 20 minutes on Saturday, John Groce getting a public vote of confidence from new Illinois AD Josh Whitman was the news of the day in the world of Illini sports.  Then Whitman canned Bill Cubit and all hell broke loose.  About 10 seconds before the Cubit announcement, though, Robert asked for my thoughts on the Groce news and what it means for the program moving forward. [Read more…]

It’s The DaMonte Williams’ Show!

DaMonte Williams is coming to the University of Illinois. I don’t know if I have been this excited about a recruit in…ever? My Illini basketball fandom really started around 2001 watching Frank bulldoze Iowa with Krush going berserk. Dick Vitale’s call “T.O. BABY GET A T.O. THE ORANGE KRUSH ARE GOING CRAZY!!!” is the oldest tangible Illinois basketball memory I have. To have his son coming to play for us now is surreal. But let’s not waste time talking about what this means for Illinois basketball history. Let’s talk about who DaMonte Williams is as a player.

Let’s do the adjectives first. Physically, DaMonte is big, long, and athletic. He’s listed at 6’3 on the major sites, but looks like he might be closer to 6’4 or 6’5. At 180+ pounds with long arms and a college ready body, he’s an intimidating player at the high school level. He uses his physical tools to flat out dominate players defensively. He’s an aggressive defender who looks for steals and blocks at every opportunity. Smaller less physically gifted high school players often find themselves getting waxed by DaMonte as he swoops in from out of nowhere to send their shots flying.


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Worst I’ve Seen

I think I can make this declaration now.  I wasn’t around in the 70’s (well, I was “around” but I cared more about my Matchbox cars and Scooby Doo than I did Illini basketball), so in my time period of the early 1980’s until today, this is the worst Illini team I’ve seen. [Read more…]

Looks Like University Of Illinois – DaMonte Williams

Can I maybe please never go more than a year without handing out four Tom Cruises? The highest rating I gave out in this past football class was 3.5 Cruises. And I believe the last four basketball recruits received 1.5 (Lewis), 2.5 (Lucas), 2 (Nichols), and 2.5 (Pickett). If we want to climb back, we need to land 4+ Cruisers. Like DaMonte. [Read more…]