Talen Horton-Tucker Next Illini Basketball Target with Ayo Dosunmu in Fold

talen horton tucker

“I just want to bring good days back for basketball at Illinois and I want to be one of the cornerstones to start it off,” 5-star guard Ayo Dosunmu said after he committed to the Illini Thursday night. It’s quite possible down the line that we will look back on this moment as the evening that everything began turning back around for the program. 

Potentially, we’ll associate the Jay-Z instrumental “Thank You” with the Illini hoops turning point, as it was the song in Dosunmu’s decision video that initiated his University of Illinois announcement.

[Read more…]

Ayo Dosunmu Picks Illinois Over Wake Forest (Video, Photos)


It’s official now- Ayo Dosunmu has made his decision to attend the University of Illinois

Time of call- Thursday, October 19th, 2017 at 7:02 pm central, when the 6-3 Morgan Park combo guard and Chicago native selected the Fighting Illini over Wake Forest in a press conference held at the Jordan Brand Chicago store on State St.

Ayo Dosunmu plays his AAU basketball with the Mac Irvin Fire, so Illinois Assistant Ron “Chin” Coleman, a Chicago native and head coach of the Mac Irvin Fire from 2005-11, was absolutely critical to his recruitment. 

[Read more…]

Da’Monte Williams: Our Legally Required Frank Williams Themed Feature Story

da'monte williams

All hard core fans of any given team are familiar with this standard broadcast archetype-

When your team is on national television, the announcers espouse an anecdote/factoid/talking point that is news to the national audience, but completely old hat to you. Illinois basketball will not likely have a lot of nationally televised games, but every single one of them will reference something every local fan has already heard a zillion times:

Illini freshman Da’Monte Williams is the son of Illinois legend and former All-American Frank Williams.

[Read more…]

Illini Basketball Target, 5-Star Prospect Ayo Dosunmu Announcing Thursday

ayo dosunmu

UPDATE: official: Ayo Dosunmu picks the Illini, full story here

The wait is just about over and perhaps a metaphorical weight will be lifted for Illini basketball fans. The Ayo Dosunmu decision date and time is set. It’s down to just Wake Forest and Illinois (who coincidentally play each other in this year’s B1G/ACC Challenge) for the services of Ayo Dosunmu.

His college announcement will be this Thursday at 7 p.m. central at the Jordan Brand store on 32 S. State St.

[Read more…]

Illini Basketball: What Mark Alstork Brings to the Table

mark alstork illini basketball

Illini basketball fans will see a ton of newcomers on their team this season. It’s definitely a season of transition with a new coach, new staff and a ton of new players. One newcomer however, Mark Alstork, brings a sense of familiarity because he’s very reminiscent of a recently graduated star player- Rayvonte Rice.

Alstork will even be wearing his old number, #24, this season. 

[Read more…]

Mark Smith Prepared to be the Face of Illini Basketball Renaissance

mark smith illini basketball

From 2002-2006, Illini basketball led the nation in total wins, highlighted by a 37-2 (then tying the single season victories record) national runner-up campaign in 2005. In the 12 years since, Illinois has a total of just three NCAA Tournament victories, and they’ve broken the school record for single season losses not once but twice.

However, it’s a new era of Illini basketball now, as this team welcomes a new head coach in Brad Underwood, a new staff and six new players. Underwood has a track record that indicates he could be the man who turns the program’s fortunes around. If that is the case, there will be an individual player that people in the future will look back upon as a turning point recruit.

[Read more…]

Illini Football Has Same Primary Problem as Chicago Bears: Quarterback

chayce crouch

All the glorious ties and shared proud traditions of Chicago Bears and Illinois Fighting Illini football were highlighted tonight. It’s the inaugural Hall of Fame weekend at the University of Illinois, and the three biggest names being enshrined are Dick Butkus, Red Grange and George Halas.

All are legends in Bears and Illini football lore, but recalling their glory days isn’t enough to distract you from the current mess in front of us. The past 24 hours have shown us that the Bears and Illinois are once again closely related, but this time it’s a serious problem they share- the QB1 position.

Right now, both teams are severely restrained by a really inferior starting quarterback.

[Read more…]

Illini Football vs Nebraska Cornhuskers: Game Preview, Prediction


The last time these two teams met in Champaign, it was one of the oddest Illini football games in recent memory. Illinois emerged victorious that mid-October evening in 2015, but only after a series of extremely bizarre and unexplained phenomena:

The spread shifted several points on the morning of game day, the reliable and seasoned veteran QB Tommy Armstrong didn’t kill the clock when he had obvious, ample opportunities to do so, Illinois ran the same exact passing play to the same corner of the end zone, throwing it to the same guy over and over again on the final series, Nebraska kept bailing them out with pass interference penalties.

[Read more…]

Rick Neuheisel on Infamous Illini Rose Bowl Playboy Mansion Party Tale


Rest in Peace Hugh Hefner. The legendary publisher with a very complex legacy passed away today at the age of 91. Here’s a link to the Washington Post’s story on his passing

In honor of Hef, we re-run this story from summer 2016:

Rick Neuheisel somehow already knew where we were going with our question. We didn’t need to mention the infamous urban legend, because he brought it up first, without being unprompted. Kudos to the former UCLA quarterback and current CBS Sports College Football Analyst for knowing exactly what we were truly asking about.

You’ve heard the narrative:

the 1983 Illini, 10-1 and ranked #5, heavily favored over an unranked 6-4-1 UCLA team, partied too hard at the Playboy mansion with Hugh Hefner the night before the 1984 Rose Bowl, and that’s why the team was obliterated 45-9 by the underdog Bruins.

[Read more…]

Infamous Illini Football Playboy Mansion Story: Fact or Fiction?

jack trudeau illini football

Rest in Peace Hugh Hefner. The legendary publisher with a very complex legacy passed away today at the age of 91. Here’s a link to the Washington Post’s story on his passing

In honor of Hef, we re-run this story from summer 2015:

This legendary Playboy mansion tale we’re about to re-examine again is either  a.) the worst kept secret in Illini football history or

b.) the biggest lie ever told in the history of the program

This “urban legend” from 32 years ago is the perfect topic of discussion for a bye week, and especially during a bye week of a season that looks and feels rather gloomy. If you want a brutally honest assessment of what’s ahead this year, I suggest you check out this offering from the Champaign Room; SB Nation’s Illini community. 

jack trudeau

[Read more…]

TSB Show 9: Akiem Hicks, David Diehl, Vince Wilfork

illini lovie smith podcast illini

TSB Show is back and it’s better than ever, with an extremely action packed and very concise edition. TSB Show 9 covers a ton of ground, and it’s not “sticking to sports.” We have Chicago Bears Team Captain Akiem Hicks, New England Patriots legend Vince Wilfork and New York Giants, Illinois Fighting Illini legend/current NFL and college football announcer David Diehl.

Let’s run down all the topics we covered:

[Read more…]

Lovie Smith Quite Critical of Donald Trump’s NFL Trolling


When you say “events over the weekend” in the sports world, people almost certainly know what you’re talking about. If you phrase that phrase and tack on “in football,” then they definitely know exactly you’re talking about

Illini football Head Coach Lovie Smith met the media yesterday for his weekly news conference, and he was not shy about expressing his opinions on President Donald Trump waging verbal war against the NFL, and the National Football League responding.

[Read more…]