College Basketball Season Will Be Lost Too, Unless Major Course Reversal

When our current President referred to “shithole countries” he really should have been about us. Not socioeconomically of course, but intellectually. We lost Big Ten and Pac 12 (still awaiting the decisions of the other Power 5 conferences, as of this writing) college football today.

Why? Because we never got serious about a real, unified plan to try and combat the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a once-in-a-century kind of crisis, and we’ve had it front and center in our lives, everyday, for five months. Yet here we are, because our country is too stupid and too disorganized and too divided to get our act together.

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2020 NBA Mock Draft 8-6-20

NBA-mock-Draft-sacramento kings

The NBA’s Board of Governors approved a plan to restart the 2019-20 season with 22 teams returning to play and a tentative start date of July 31. It all hinges on an agreement with Disney Co. to use their resort in Orlando, FL, as a single site for a campus for all games, practices and housing for the remainder of the season.

The NBA Draft is now scheduled for October 15, with the lottery slated for August 25. If you’re into mock drafts, here is our MLB mock draft, the NHL can be found at this link and the 2021 NFL mock draft is available at this link.

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With Ayo Dosunmu Returning, Illini Could be Top 10 if Kofi Cockburn Also Returns

(UPDATE: Aug 1, 2020- Kofi Cockburn announced he was returning to school just a few hours after this was written and posted)

Ayo Dosnumo, the Illinois Fighting Illini’s best player, announced late last night that he’s returning to school for his junior season. Some saw this as a surprising move, but those are people who aren’t paying close enough attention. Ayo made a smart decision, one that benefits both him and the program.

His NBA Draft stock just isn’t really high enough now for him to bolt, but if continues his development trajectory this season, he could be a lottery pick next in 2021. That is provided of course, we actually have a college basketball season in 2020-21.

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Lou Henson, Godfather of Modern Illini Athletics, Passes Away

lou henson

Lou Henson was the El Pedrino, “The Godfather,” of modern University of Illinois athletics. If you’re a generation X or younger Illini, then you already know how Henson is the Illini legend of all legends in modern sports. Sadly, we lost the Godfather today, as he passed away at the age of 88.

A private graveside service was held with family members earlier today (Wednesday) in Champaign. “It is a sad day for the Illinois Basketball family and Illini Nation as we mourn the passing of Lou Henson, the greatest coach in our program’s proud history,” reads a statement attributed to Illinois Basketball Coach Brad Underwood.

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Coach Cal: “we’ve got to go with the science” (to have Hoops this Year)

University of Kentucky Coach John Calipari met the media, virtually, via Zoom this morning for a session that focused primarily on his recently having partnered with the McClendon Foundation.

Calipari will work with other college basketball coaches to help launch the McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative (follow this link for more), but one of the main takeaways from the session was Cal’s thoughts on whether or not we’ll have a college basketball season in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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John Calipari Pleads Strongly: “just wear a mask”

University of Kentucky Coach John Calipari met the media, virtually, via Zoom this morning for a session that focused primarily on his recently having partnered with the McClendon Foundation.

Calipari will work with other college basketball coaches to help launch the McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative (follow this link for more), but the main takeaway from the session was Coach Cal’s pleas to “just wear a mask.” The Wildcats head man said this phrase a few times, and he’s absolutely right to keep repeating this message. Simply put, a lot of people are just not listening, and they need to finally “get it.”

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Three Great Documentaries to Start Your 30 for 30 Binge


It’s a great time for watching sports documentaries. Netflix’ The Last Dance and Sunderland ‘Til I Die are among the fantastic options out there at the moment, and there are rumours of plenty more on the way. ESPN, the company behind The Last Dance, is, of course, a dab hand at making sports documentaries. And, one of its best collections is found in the stunning 30 for 30 series.  

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Using Sports to Prevent Drug Abuse

Sports may seem like an obvious and common activity in all societies. But, thinking about sports deeply reveals that it is different from other types of physical activity. It is also different from art forms and entertainment. Activities like cycling, skateboarding, figure skating, dance competitions, bocce, sailing, triathlons, formula 1 car racing, survivor competitions, and rock climbing are common physical activities in different cultures and situations. But, are all of these sports?  

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Kentucky Wildcats: Detailing Most Comprehensive Roster Overhaul Yet

There is always a ton of turnover, every offseason, in Lexington. The Kentucky Wildcats college basketball program, the bluest of the blue bloods, sees its fair share of one-and-done and two-and-toodle loo every year. This year, you have a three-and-flee in there as well.

Factor in the transfer market, which seems to be getting busier by the season, and there’s a record (tied) amount of departures from UKMBB this spring. This past season, shortened by the covid-19 pandemic, saw eight players out the door, tying the 2011-12 and 2016-17 for the most all-time. You also have some incomings to discuss and analyze. Let’s take a look at who is gone and who is coming in to replace them.

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Mavericks, Illini Legend Derek Harper on Friendship with Mark Cuban

The Wikipedia page of Derek Harper describes him as one of the best players never to have made an All-Star Game. After being named to the University of Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame this week, the legendary former Illini did a teleconference call with the media.

He was asked what he believes his legacy will be, and he responded by saying he really doesn’t think too much about it, but he also offered this very substantive answer: “I think people will remember Derek Harper because he left it on the floor every single night.”

“Played with a passion, tough-minded…I gave the game every breath I had. To me, that’s enough.”

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Illini Basketball: Five Players Deserving of UI Athletics Hall of Fame


The Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame Class for 2020 was announced earlier today and it includes athletes and coaches from nine different sports. It’s only the fourth such class in U of I sports history and when you look at the full class, aggregated with the previous three, you still have some names missing.

(And we covered who should be next to get in, from football, in this post). What’s the most glaring omission from Illini basketball (on the men’s side)? Well, we’d argue any of the five below on this list…

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Illini Center Kofi Cockburn Announces Entry into NBA Draft

Illinois Fighting Illini Center Kofi Cockburn announced, just minutes ago via his Instagram page, his early entry into the 2020 NBA Draft. It is unclear, given the text of the message he posted, whether he is just testing the waters or not.

The message says nothing about hiring an agent, which is the determining factor for whether or not he can return to school for his sophomore season. If he has representation, then his college career is over. If not, then he can come back to Champaign next year, and even go through this process after his next two seasons, if he so desires. See his IG posting below:

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