Purdue Football Establishes Progress and Direction, Unlike Division Rivals

jeff brohm

While this 2017 Purdue football team may still, but most likely will not go bowling this season, the fact that they are even in this discussion speaks volumes. Purdue football was truly bleak comedy during the Darell Hazell era, when just being competitive was the ceiling.

The Boilermakers are one of five: Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin are the others, teams in the B1G West with a head coach who is in his third or fewer season at the helm. You have to leave the Badgers out of this discussion, as they were already established where they are when Paul Chryst took over in 2015. Kudos to Chryst though for keeping it going.

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Brad Underwood Era of Illini Basketball Begins as It Should

illini basketball

Harry Doyle, the fictional Cleveland Indians play by play announcer portrayed by the immortal Bob Uecker in the 1988 cinema paradisio known as “Major League” delivered this famous line- “they say you can tell how the season will go from the first at bat.”

If you believe in that rule, and transfer it over to hoops, then you would look at the very first shot attempt of the season. It’s not a good sign for Illini basketball then, as Mark Smith got a good look on a three point field goal attempt, and hit nothing but backboard.

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Illini Basketball: 2017-18 Season Preview and Predictions

brad-underwood illini basketball

Maybe this won’t be the greatest Illini basketball team in school history, but they will certainly be fun to watch nonetheless. With position-less basketball (almost every guy on the floor having a guard skill set much of the time) and the seven-seconds-and-shoot approach, Illinois will at least provide lots of entertainment, if not a ton of wins. 

Expectations are not high for year one of the Brad Underwood era, and the huge embarrassing failure that just transpired last Friday night (80-67 exhibition loss at Eastern Illinois) doesn’t help.

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Ayo Dosunmu Signs With Illini, Brad Underwood Releases Statement

ayo dosunmu

Illini basketball has a signing class of just one currently, but it’s a very stellar signee in Chicagoan Ayo Dosunmu. Today marks only the first day of the autumn signing period, with a second signing period in the spring, and with two scholarships left to give, Illinois will be very active.

Dosunmu said at his announcement event, held at the Jordan Brand store downtown that he had every intention of signing his Illinois letter of intent on the first day possible, and he followed through on that promise today.

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Illini Basketball Asst Orlando Antigua on Recruiting, Harlem Globetrotters (Exclusive)

It’s another huge day in the Illini basketball recruiting world, as Illinois target and four star Simeon wing Talen Horton-Tucker will announce his decision later tonight. Here’s a link to more on him and four other Illini targets beyond Horton-Tucker.

Exactly one week ago, the Ayo Dosunmu announcement was much more than just a revelation of whether he’d attend Illinois or Wake Forest, it was a true Chicago basketball event. It wasn’t just a recruiting thing, it was major sports news. Yes, college basketball recruiting is bigger and bolder than it’s ever been, and right now we’re in to the height of recruiting season.

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Orlando Antigua on John Calipari, Coach Cal 30 for 30 (Exclusive)

orlando-antigua

If you have not seen the John Calipari ESPN 30 for 30 film ”One and Not Done.” I strongly suggest you check it out. 

“I thought they did a solid job of trying to encapsulate’s Cal’s history,” said Illini basketball assistant coach Orlando Antigua, Calipari’s assistant coach for six seasons.

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Four Major Illini Basketball Recruiting Targets Beyond Horton-Tucker

With Ayo Dosunmu on board, and Talen Horton-Tucker including Illinois in his final three, you can see some pieces of the Illini basketball recruiting puzzle starting to fit. Brad Underwood has the top rated player in the state (Dosunmu) for the class of 2018 in the fold and two scholarships left.

One could go to Horton-Tucker, who took an official visit to Champaign this past weekend, and then on Monday narrowed his list down to three. Xavier and Iowa State are in the running for him along with Illini basketball, and THT took his official at UI more recently than his trips to Xavier and Iowa St.

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Arsenal vs Chelsea FC Rivalry Exists Within Illinois Basketball Team

chelsea arsenal

Chelsea are Arsenal are two giant London clubs with popular appeal worldwide. That appeal includes athletes who play other sports, and you’ll find two examples on your 2017-18 Illinois basketball team. Matic Vesel (Arsenal) and Greg Eboigbodin (Chelsea), are two freshmen big men for the Illini, a team and a program that are about to undergo a reset season.

With a new head coach, coaching staff and a slew of newcomers, there will be a lot of new faces getting major minutes in Champaign, and you can include Vessel and Eboigbodin amongst them.

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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.

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

ayo-dosunmu

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. 

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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.

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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.

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