Lovie Smith Articulating Illini Football Vision (Audio)

lovie-smith

Illini football Head Coach Lovie Smith was the first to speak at the podium on the second Big Ten Media Day this week, and his remarks brimmed with optimism. They were the type of remarks that you would expect a head coach to make on dais, during a media session broadcast live on BTN.

Media Days aren’t about news. It’s rare that actual news is made or released. Lovie Smith, as well as the other coaches, don’t really answer the media questions as much as they utilize the platform to get their program’s messages across. It’s the college football equivalent of a political stump speech, with reporter questions loosely serving as a tie-in to the talking points each coach wants to communicate.

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All B1G Teams as Simpsons characters: Michigan Wolverines =Mr. Burns

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Today kicks off B1G Media Days and your Michigan Wolverines are now deemed the league favorite. Actually, some sports books have ascribed UM the National Championship favorite. Ok, that’s a bit presumptive! Yes, we know that the media fawns over Jim Harbaugh more than they fawn over any other individual, but I still don’t know how we really got here on that one.

Of course, I also have no idea how a casino magnate with three wives and a disturbing tendency to publicly lust over his own daughter became the Presidential nominee of the political party dominated by the religious right, as 2016 is truly bizarro world.

How did we get here? The last time the Michigan Wolverines were last nationally relevant in 2016 and their most recent title came in 1997.

michigan wolverines basketball

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2017 Illini Basketball Could Honestly Be For Real

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University of Illinois sports fans have a very natural state- terrified!

As soon as you think everything is going alright, the other shoe dangles in the air ready for gravity to decide its fate. Thus the verbal commitment of 5-star center Jeremiah Tilmon on Monday, and the celebration that ensued, still invites much trepidation. It’s believed that Tilmon’s commitment precipitates the commitment of Jordan Goodwin, and thus you have Illini basketball trending upward again finally.

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Before USWNT, Jill Ellis Built Illini Soccer From Ground Up

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By the time you read this, United States Women’s National Team Coach Jill Ellis will have informed every member of their team about their status for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio.

The formal public announcement of the final USWNT Olympic roster will happen Tuesday morning, meaning you’ll probably know the final 18 by the time you read this.

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Illini Basketball: John Groce Has Talent, Now Will He Win with it?

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Quoting Chicago based ’90s alternative tour de force Smashing Pumpkins, “today is the greatest, day I’ve ever known.” If 1.) you’ve only known of days since March 2013 and more importantly 2.) the greatness of your days are only measured in relation to Illinois Fighting Illini basketball.

Yes, five-star big man Jeremiah Tilmon announced on Twitter that he is indeed joining the Illini basketball program. It’s a much bigger get than Damonte Williams (who was a huge get in itself) and the best moment for the program since their first round victory over Colorado in the 2013 NCAA Tournament in Austin, Texas.

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College Football Award Watch Lists: Just Please Stop Already!

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Yesterday kicked off, as the great Elvis Costello sang, “the other side of summer.” That’s because Tuesday July 5th initiated the evil scourge that is College Football Award Watch List Season. These pointless press releases are sent out as breaking “news.”

Not only does the journalist receive the email blasts from the award and college football organization themselves, every single school sends out their own individual email blast themselves. Now you cannot blame the SIDs for this. It’s not their fault and don’t shoot the messenger.

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Ex Illini SG Kendrick Nunn to Play at Oakland

kendrick-nunn illini basketball

Former Illinois Fighting Illini shooting guard Kendrick Nunn will take his college basketball career to Oakland. The news broke at the same time via multiple sources, but it’s official now, Nunn will ball for the Grizzlies, a team Big Ten fans know best as being to Michigan State what UIC is to the Illini.

Or maybe like New Zealand; Australia’s Canada.

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Illini Football: 2016 Preseason Publications Pessimistic

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You know that tremendous buzz that all of Illini football nation felt when Lovie Smith was hired?

It’s starting to wear off now as we head towards the start of the college football talking season/preseason, and see expectations for this Illinois Fighting Illini football team are rather low. Those preseason preview magazines, filled with many pessimistic words about Illinois’ upcoming season, have been on the shelves for weeks already, and we’re just 42 days away from Big Ten Media Days now. Both Lindy’s and Athlon picked the Illini to finish 6th in the Big Ten West, ahead of only, you guessed it, Purdue.

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2016 MLB Mock Draft 6-9-16 FINAL

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It’s version 1.0 of The Sports Bank’s 2016 MLB Mock Draft. TSB is the only independently owned, mom and pop on the internet with a mock draft for the top four American professional sports leagues. Be sure to check out our 2017 NFL mock draft, 2016 NBA mock draft, 2016 MLB mock draft and 2016 NHL mock draft.

The 2016 Major League Baseball Draft is June 9th-11th. Let’s get started with the 2016 MLB mock draft.

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Northwestern, Illini Basketball United Center Double Header Announced

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Illini basketball have made a response to the dreadful attendance that we saw at last year’s United Center game versus UIC. The contest had an announced attendance of about 5,000 but the actual amount of fans attending was much lower than that. It’s fitting too given the severe decline of the Illini basketball program that has set in under John Groce, and the dismal state of the opposing program- UIC.

This year, Illinois will take on BYU at the House that Michael Built, as part of a double header with their rival Northwestern, who will face Dayton. The date has been set for December 17th.

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Kendrick Nunn Dismissed; Illini Basketball Makes Correct Call

kendrick-nunn illini basketball

This past winter, three Illini basketball players, Leron Black, Jaylon Tate and Kendrick Nunn, were all arrested on very serious charges and indefinitely suspended from the team. Depending on how the legal process would play out, all three could have potentially faced felony charges.

These serious issues all came on the heels of another player, Darius Paul, being kicked off the team last summer due to persistent legal troubles. Yes, it can be difficult to keep up with all the legal specifics of Illini basketball player court cases. Thus we’ve updated all three precarious situations for you.

Today brought closure to the status of Kendrick Nunn, thus resolving the third and final question.

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Illini Football: 2016 NFL Draft Return a Future Springboard?

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In 2016 Lovie Smith takes over an Illini football program that recently had a really good reputation as a NFL vocational development school. Then Mike Thomas came along; and hired Tim Beckman. For two years the NFL Draft then became an Illini football free zone. Illinois excelled in winning draft night up until 2014, as the program was then shut out in 2015 and 2016.

The Illini were among the best, if not the best in the Big Ten when it came to being a NFL Draft factory, which we covered in more detail here.

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