Illini Football: Never Too Early Season Preview

illini football

Illini football season may be a couple of months away, but there’s no time like the present to start discussing it. It’s been as tumultuous as possible this summer, as everyone involved in the Illini football community has grown weary of discussing off-the-field issues.

We all need closure on the pending investigation of Tim Beckman, but that’s not going to happen any time soon. If these allegations against him are true, it’s time for the accusers to produce the proverbial “smoking gun.” If so, then the school can take action and we can all move on before football season begins.

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Illini Athletics needs a total and immediate house cleaning

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Yesterday, CNN aired a “report” on Illini athletics that was universally ripped by both University of Illinois sports fans and Illini sports journalists.

That ripping was well deserved.

“The Lead with Jake Tapper” accomplished nothing but a regurgitation of what the Daily Illini published weeks ago and the theft of time away from our lives. Their segment was a pointless exercise that added nothing worthwhile to the discussion.

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Rayvonte Rice officially on Chicago Bulls summer roster


From the start of the college basketball season in November 2013 until mid January of 2014, Rayvonte Rice was the leading scorer in the Big Ten last season. However, the season went rapidly downhill for both him and his Illinois Fighting Illini in their visit to Northwestern.

An adductor strain slowed Rice down and his production during the back half of that season never matched the numbers he put up in the beginning of the year. I bring this up because January of 2014 was likely when Rice’s NBA Draft stock hit it’s “all time high.”

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2015 NBA Mock Draft-First Round (6/25/15)

karl-anthony towns nba draft

Here is The Sports Bank’s 2015 NBA Mock Draft where team needs and outstanding trades have been taken into account.  By the way, The Sports Bank had the most accurate NBA Mock Draft in both 2011 and 2012 along with the second most accurate mock in 2013.  Our NBA mock draft also appears on’s consensus mock draft.

Check out a list of who has declared for the 2015 NBA Draft.

You can check out my NBA team needs pages posted at

Be sure to check out our 2016 NFL mock draft.

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Tyler Jay: an Illinois Fighting Illini WILL get drafted in 2015

illini baseball tyler jay

The University of Illinois is now a baseball school. It used to be a basketball school for the longest time. Obviously, not anymore. Illinois was also a football school a long time ago; well before most of us were born.

However, the Illini just got shut out of the NFL Draft for the second consecutive year. Illinois was the only Big Ten school not to have anyone get drafted this year. The NBA Draft in a couple weeks will not feature any Illini either. No Illini basketball players were even invited to the NBA Draft combine. No Illinois hoops players has been drafted since Meyers Leonard in 2012.

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Cal Golden Bears good role model for Illini basketball


Shortly after the Illini basketball team closed up shop for the season (It happened in the early going of their Big Ten Tournament first round destruction at the hands of Michigan’s 3/4 of a team) we juxtaposed Illinois to Maryland. It made sense at the time given that the Illini and the Terps had such similar histories and equal levels of success. The Illini and Terps even ebbed and flowed at pretty much the same times.

However, now with what’s transpired in college hoops recruiting since, Illini basketball and Maryland basketball will not be on a level playing field any time soon.

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2015 College Basketball transfers list (6-5-15)


College basketball transfers are becoming a growing trend.  Here is a list of players from the marquee conferences who are transferring out of their respective programs after this past season and a list of college basketball transfers who will be eligible to play at their new school for the 2015-16 season.  Bookmark this page as we will continue to update the list as the off-season progresses.

UPDATED: 6/5/15 [Read more…]

#6 Illini Baseball: FINALLY a POSITIVE Illinois Athletics story

2015-mlb-mock-draft tyler jay

During the past few years, almost all Illinois Fighting Illini sports fans have become frustrated fans. Perhaps the Twitter account @Frustrated_Fan is the best synopsis of what being an Illini fan is like these days. I suggest you follow it because you’ll find more Illini sports truth in that Twitter feed than you will from most Illini press conferences.

It’s witty and tells it like it is. Unfortunately for Illini fans the “is” is pretty brutal since Athletic Director Mike Thomas took over in 2011. However, there is one “is” that IS GREAT though- Illini baseball.

(Apologies for the Bill Clintonian overuse of the word “is”)

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Mike Thomas has been a reverse King Midas to Illini Athletics


When he took over in 2011, University of Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas quickly ousted the head coaches of three Illini sports. Thomas bought out the incumbent football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball coaches, and then replaced them with his own guys.

So how did that work out?

How are Mike Thomas’ guys doing now?

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Tim Beckman to be investigated externally; findings will be made public


There will be an external review of Illinois Fighting Illini Head Coach Tim Beckman. The findings of this investigation, which centers around the claims and allegations made by former Illini football player Simon Cvijanovic will be made public.

Therefore, the process will have a level of transparency. The external reviewer will be the law firm Franczek Radelet of Chicago.

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Tim Beckman character red flags were present at Toledo


Illinois Fighting Illini Football Head Coach Tim Beckman had a reputation that preceded him. While he was at Toledo he was known as allegedly being quite difficult according to some media.  Those that covered the currently embattled Illini head coach depicted him as

1.) a leader who allegedly comprised his staff of nothing but yes men

2.) believed that the media should act mostly as an extension his team

Both of these characterizations are especially relevant today given that former Illini OL Simon Cvijanovic has been publishing a very long series of Tweets that have accused Beckman of grossly mistreating his players. The allegations have been rather serious.

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2015-16 Illini basketball season preview


This year’s McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago had two Illini basketball related themes to it (sort of); despite the fact that zero Illini basketball commits played in it. A record high eight undecideds played at the United Center that night, and Illinois is not on the final list for any of these prospects.

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