2015 NBA Mock Draft-First Round (6/10/15)


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 NBA.com’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 WalterFootball.com.

Be sure to check out our 2016 NFL mock draft.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

Cal Golden Bears good role model for Illini basketball


jaylen-brown

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.

[Read more…]

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


UCLA DANCERS

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”)

[Read more…]

Mike Thomas has been a reverse King Midas to Illini Athletics


mike-thomas-illini-football

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?

[Read more…]

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


tim-beckman-illini-football-cviajnovic

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.

[Read more…]

Tim Beckman character red flags were present at Toledo


tim-beckman-illini-football-cviajnovic

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.

[Read more…]

2015-16 Illini basketball season preview


jaylon-tate-illini-basketball

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.

[Read more…]

Maryland is the standard Illini basketball should aspire to


maryland terrapins illini basketball melo trimble

It wasn’t very long ago that Maryland basketball and Illini basketball were programs on equal footing. About a decade ago the Terrapins had a legitimate rivalry with Duke; just like Illinois had a legitimate rivalry with Michigan State. Both the Illini and the Terps had established themselves as peers with their respective conference’s traditional powers.

Terrapin basketball and Illini basketball are not peers this season, as Illinois is a #3 seed in the Not Important Tournament and Maryland is a #4 seed in the real tournament. (This is all the more maddening given that Illinois won the only meeting between the two schools this year). I’ve been saying for years that Maryland is/was the ACC Illini, but then they went and joined the conference and now re-established themselves this year.

The Terps are the Jennifer Love Hewitt of college basketball: arrived in the ’80s, broke through in the ’90s, peaked in the early ’00s, did absolutely nothing for awhile, and recently made a comeback.

jennifer-love-hewitt

[Read more…]

Mike Thomas is Illini sports biggest problem; not Groce or Beckman


mike-thomas-illini-football

Illini fans have the pitchforks out right now; as they should.

Most of that anger is currently directed towards Illinois basketball Coach John Groce, but the main target should be Athletic Director Mike Thomas instead. It’s understandable that the angst is more so for Groce, but that doesn’t include the bigger picture. The team failed to show up today for their traditional early tip-off in the Big Ten Tournament.

No one under the age of 85 likes being slotted in the 11 a.m. game, but the Illini should be used to it at this point- they’ve only been in the morning #8 vs #9 game four years straight.

[Read more…]

For Illini basketball it’s simple: beat Wisconsin Friday or bust


nnanna-egwu

There’s not a lot of patience right now within Illini basketball nation. There’s three main reasons for that. First, you have the reality this team does not close games. They are like Shelly Levine in Glengarry Glen Ross, can’t close. That consistent tendency to blow double digit leads in games has led to their inability to close the deal on a NCAA Tournament berth.

In our latest bracketology, we have Illinois in the “first four out.”

[Read more…]