Illini Basketball Game Preview: Lou Henson Testimonial vs New Mexico St

nick anderson illini basketball lou henson

Lou Henson retired as the all-time Illini basketball coaching wins leader with 423 victories. He holds the same distinction at New Mexico State with 289 victories. Overall, Henson won 779 games, putting him in sixteenth place on the all-time list.

Henson belongs to one specific elite club which has just two members, and the other is John Wooden.

They are the only two individuals to have a basketball court named in their honor at not just one, but two schools. [Read more…]

Illini Basketball: Leading Scorer Leron Black Elbow Injury Update

leron black

Illinois coach Brad Underwood said way back at Illini basketball media day that in order for his team to be special, power forward Leron Black had to be the best that he could be this season. Black came to Champaign as a highly heralded recruit, registering as high at #37 nationally by some services.

This non-conference season is the first time that we’ve seen the junior start to truly realize the potential. Black, who averages a team leading 14.8 points per game, saw his career-long active streak of seven-straight games scoring in double figures come to an end last night in the 89-82 Illini basketball loss at UNLV. 

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Purdue, Illini, Northwestern Give Mixed Opinions on Early, Congested B1G Schedule

purdue hoops

The B1G schedule is disjointed and disoriented this season, beginning and ending earlier than ever before in modern history. We asked the head coaches and a couple players from the three B1G teams closest to home here (Chicago): #21 Purdue Boilermakers, Illinois Fighting Illini and Northwestern Wildcats.

The schedule is so tightly congested on the calendar that it leaves many of us physically congested, because those involved are so worn down from the workload, with quick turnarounds, all taking place inside the perfect breeding ground for germs during flu season.

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Matt Painter Reflects on Historical Coaching Carousel that Established Him

matt painter

Purdue basketball coach Matt Painter reflected this week on being a part of the biggest coaching carousel in the history of college basketball.

“Sometimes the world flips around differently, and you get opportunities,” Painter said about the 2003 coaching changes that had numerous ripple effects beyond several high major and mid major programs.

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Illini Basketball Should Start Aaron Jordan, Effective Immediately

aaron jordan

The 6-0 start that Illini basketball got off to this season masked a lot of the issues that the team has. Junior guard Aaron Jordan is certainly not one of them. He entered the heart-breaking 72-68 OT loss to Northwestern at AllState Arena leading the NCAA in 3-point shooting at 65.5 percent (19-29).

Jordan also came into the game ranked eighth nationally in kenpom offensive rating at 149.6. He also came in to this one fifth in the Big Ten in field goal shooting at 63.6 percent, and fourth on the team in rebounding (4.4 rpg).

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Northwestern Hosts Illini Basketball: Four Things to Watch

illini deron williams

Northwestern and Illini basketball will square off just once this season, therefore making the lone meeting all the more meaningful. To add to the significance, the game will take place at the exact same venue that brought the most glorious moment in modern Illini basketball history.

Yes, NU’s temporary home is AllState Arena, where the famed “Miracle on Mannheim” occurred on March 26, 2005. The Illini, ostensibly left for dead in an Elite 8 game against Arizona, battled their way back from what seemed like an insurmountable deficit to force overtime and eventually win, punching their ticket to the Final Four.

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#23 Northwestern Wildcats at Illini Football Game Preview, Prediction

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Illini football welcomes their in-state rival, the 23rd-ranked Northwestern Wildcats, to Memorial Stadium on Saturday to close out what has been an utterly disastrous season. It’s the battle for the Land of Lincoln Trophy (3 pm CT, FS1) and the final game for 10 Illinois seniors. Yes, just ten seniors, as the Illini are one of the youngest teams in the nation, and arguably the youngest in school history.

Northwestern comes in heavily favored, by 16.5 points actually, to pick up win number nine on the season. If NU then wins their bowl game, they would finish with ten wins on the season, which would tie a school record set on three previous occasions (1995, 2012, 2015).

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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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