Big Ten Media Days start tomorrow, as the season is now a month and change away. The league actually does it much later than the other power conferences, so if you think this is too early, than you must really think the other leagues are insanely early. Over the weekend, the Big Ten released its preseason poll, and the usual favorite in Columbus, is once again expected to win it all. However, Michigan State is right up there as well.Follow paulmbanks
Illini football coach Tim Beckman has not accomplished much in Champaign. That is not news. His 45-17 drubbing of Cincinnati was nice though, as the Bearcats were a really good team that went on to play in their conference championship. That game was Becks’ lone signature win in two years. Landing A.D. Miller would be his recruiting equivalent of that.
The 6’4″ wide receiver is the eleventh commit in the 2015 class, and he choose the Illini football program over Arizona State, Miami, Michigan, Oregon, Brigham Young, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and a bunch more.Follow paulmbanks
Now that the 2014 NBA Draft is in the books, draft nets like myself can look ahead to next year’s class. Here is The Sports Bank’s extremely premature 2015 NBA Mock Draft where team needs and outstanding trades have NOT been taken into account. Click on the player’s name for an in-depth draft profile. 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.Follow paulmbanks
It’s down to 16 teams; single game elimination in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Just like in March madness, it’s “survive and advance” time. So I decided to match each country with their corresponding college basketball program. If you’re a college hoops fan, but still need a rooting interest in the World Cup, this will help you pick a team.
I’m still not sure how much Americans have embraced soccer; as of yet. I do know they’ve embraced skipping work to go drink and watch sports during the day.Follow paulmbanks
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 2014-15 season. Bookmark this page as we will continue to update the list as the off-season progresses.
UPDATED: 6/3/14Follow paulmbanks
Illini basketball team will take on Villanova in the 2014 Jimmy V Men’s Classic on Tuesday, Dec. 9. The teams will square off in the first game of a doubleheader at 6 p.m. CST from Madison Square Garden. ESPN will televise both games, each of which features a Big Ten side.
It’s Indiana vs. Louisville in the prime time tilt. Illinois replaces Maryland – which due to scheduling issues – will now play in the 2016 Jimmy V Classic.Follow paulmbanks
Tim Beckman will be on the big stage! Illini football vs Washington on September 13th was just announced as a nationally televised game on Fox. Not Fox Sports 1 or Fox Sports 2, or FSN Regional networks, but regular old non-cable Fox.
Yes, Illini football is now going to be a marquee, signature game on that specific college football Saturday. Is Becks ready for this?Follow paulmbanks
Darius Paul will have no impact on making the Illini basketball team better. At least not next season. Darius Paul, the little brother of former Illini great Brandon Paul has been suspended from the team for the entire season. This of course due to his arrest back on April 21st, and the charges of resisting a police officer and underage drinking.Follow paulmbanks
For just the second time in the past 42 years, ZERO Illinois football players were selected in the NFL Draft; which concluded last night. The Illini and Northwestern were shut out of the Draft while EIU, NIU (twice) and Illinois State all saw players get picked. Even Pittsburgh State had a guy go in the middle rounds. Illinois football was one of just four programs from a power 5 league without out a player drafted. NU, as mentioned, Kansas and Texas were the others.
On the surface you might blame Tim Beckman, but there’s so much more at work here explaining the decline of Illinois football. It goes well beyond Beckman as I explain here.
There’s blame to be spread around to Ron Zook, Ron Guenther, Mike Thomas etc. Things only became this bleak through a group effort.Follow paulmbanks
For just the second time in the past 42 years, ZERO Illini football players were selected in the NFL Draft; which concluded last night.
Illinois and Northwestern were shut out of the Draft while EIU, NIU (twice) and Illinois State all saw players get picked. Even Pittsburgh State had a guy go in the middle rounds. Illini football was one of just four programs from a power 5 league without out a player drafted. NU, as mentioned, Kansas and Texas were the others.
On the surface you might blame Tim Beckman, but there’s so much more at work here explaining the state of Illini football. Yes, he’s probably not fit for the job, but there’smany other people to blame beyond Becks for what we have in front of us. Let’s take a look at how we got here and where we’re going.Follow paulmbanks
There are two occasions where you can usually rely on Illini football winning: fourth tier bowl games and NFL Draft night. Last year the Illini had more NFL Draft picks than any Big Ten team; despite going 2-10 the previous college football season. From 2007-2012, the Illini had more first round draft picks than any Big Ten team. Illinois saw guys taken in both the first and second round in both 2011 and 2012; despite going just 14-12 in the two season preceding those drafts.
This draft though, brings nothing to get excited about for Illini fans. Ditto for Northwestern.Follow paulmbanks