Top Eight College Basketball Players for 2021-22

The 2022 Men’s NCAA Tournament will tip off with the First Four in Dayton, Ohio. March Madness. The next edition of March Madness begins on March 15, and will continue on to the Final Four, with the championship game set to be played on April 4 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Selection Sunday is March 13, 2022, so the time to make NCAA basketball picks again will be here before you know it. Here’s a ranking of the top 10 players who are coming back this season after considering the metrics, year-to-year growth, and overall performances.

[Read more…]

2021 NBA Mock Draft 7-29-21 Final Update

The NBA Draft is July 29, with the Draft Lottery set to be held on June 22. The Draft Combine will take place June 21-27. Welcome to our first 2021 NBA mock draft, team needs have not been taken into account at this time. Some player descriptions have been filled out, but the others will be completed at a later date.

You can find out which way BetQL’s model is picking for tonight’s NBA games by checking out their site. They have the latest in in-depth NBA prediction model analysis, and what is a mock draft, but predictive analytics.

[Read more…]

Bilas: Ayo Dosunmu Should Go Somewhere Around #20 in the Draft

Forget the fact that he was completely AWOL and totally MIA in his final collegiate game, the horrific disaster that was Illinois basketball in their second round out of the NCAA Tournament at the hands of Loyola. The Masked Mamba, Ayo Dosunmu was still the USA Today Player of the Year.

It’s hard to predict where Dosunmu will go Thursday night because the NBA Draft isn’t really about selecting the best basketball player. Sounds silly to say, but it’s true.

[Read more…]

Bret Bielema Slays First Big Ten Media Day as an Illini

Shortly after he exited stage right Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Bret Bielema did a breakout media session with a dozen or so reporters. It was there Bielema said that with anything in life, if you have come with no or low expectations, you’ll probably enjoy it and have fun.

It certainly applies to Media Days in general, and his very first season leading the flagship school of his home state. Winning the press conference is one thing, winning football games is another animal entirely. Credit Bielema, today he nailed the former.

[Read more…]

Braves Draft Pick Andrew Hoffman Talks ’90s Dominance, Greg Maddux

Illini baseball’s Friday night guy, right handed pitcher Andrew Hoffman, was selected on day three of the Major League Baseball Draft, going in the 12th round, 367th overall, to the Atlanta Braves. But he came dangerously close to not seeing his name scroll across the MLB Draft ticker.

“I actually almost missed it,” Hoffman said on a media Zoom with Illini reporters. “I was getting out of the shower.”  On a vacation with his family and girlfriend, he was notified in time to witness the life changing moment in real time.

[Read more…]

Two Illini Pitchers Selected on Last Day of 2021 MLB Draft

The 2021 MLB Draft has concluded and it flew even further below the radar than usual, given that it coincided with Major League Baseball All-Star Game week. However, the Illinois Fighting Illini saw two of their own get selected, both pitchers, which is ironic, given how this past season transpired.

The Illini were a strong hitting team that struggled with pitching, generally, this past season, so it would stand to reason that position players would get drafted. However, the opposite is true, so let’s take a look at who got picked and where they went.

[Read more…]

Top Six MLB Draft Prospects on the 2021 Illinois Fighting Illini

Last night saw Illini baseball even their season record at 16-16 with a 2-0 win over Maryland at Illinois Field. As that score would indicate, it was indeed a pitcher’s duel, with redshirt sophomore Andrew Hoffmann getting the victory.

Hoffmann (7.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 12 SO) struck out a career-high 12 opposing hitters, showcasing just how much he really has the stuff to possibly one day pitch in the show. Hoffman exited to a well-deserved standing ovation, as he had just completed a very dominant performance over a really good Maryland Terrapins team.

[Read more…]

MLB Draft Prospect Profile: Illinois RHP Andrew Hoffman

The 2021 MLB Draft will take place on July 11-13, and it will be televised on MLB Network. If you’ll be watching it from Big Ten country, then one prospect you probably might be familar with is Andrew Hoffman, RHP, Illinois. The Plainfield East high school graduate transferred to Illinois from Oakland and he has three years of eligibility remaining.

The winner of the most outstanding pitcher award, from Illinois fall ball season entered the campaign as the No. 5 incoming draft prospect in the Big Ten, according to Baseball America.

[Read more…]

Kofi Cockburn Decision Means Illini Hoops’ Immediate Future Looks Bleak

Protect Andre Curbelo at all costs, Illinois Fighting Illini basketball fans! With yesterday’s news that junior center Kofi Cockburn has entered the transfer portal, the sophomore point guard is now almost certain to be the Illini alpha dog next season. Whilst entering the transfer portal, Cockburn has still kept his name in the NBA Draft, so what does this is all mean?

While he still may and could return to Illinois, don’t bet on it, and now the Illini are losing not just their best player from last season (Ayo Dosunmu), but also their second best, who was going to be top dogthis fall, in Kofi Cockburn. Overall, their prospects for the season just took a major downturn.
[Read more…]

Illini Baseball Aims For Winning Season in Final Series vs Rutgers

In hindsight, the decision to cancel the Big Ten baseball tournament was a very poor one. The call was made right before the 2021 season began, and that point we really had no idea where we would be, in regards to the coronavirus pandemic, come June.

While America had a disastrous response to the plague in 2020, it’s pretty astounding how well we’re doing, as a whole with it in 2021. More and more, we’re all enjoying moments that feel more like normalcy. Every week it feels like more and more of us are doing thing XYZ for the first time since March 2020. But the situation is what it is and now Illini baseball must find a different motivation in closing the season out this weekend at Rutgers.

[Read more…]

Dan Hartleb Passes Mentor to Become 2nd on Illini Baseball All-Time Wins List

Saturday night saw Illinois baseball coach Dan Hartleb move up to second place on the school’s all-time wins list. With the Illini taking two of three against Penn State this past weekend, Hartleb is now up to 475 total Ws, meaning he’s now ahead of his mentor and predecessor, Richard “Itch” Jones, who led the program from 1991-2005.

With the Big Ten Tournament canceled, on account of the pandemic and the Illini not in frame for a NCAA Tournament berth, Illinois (21-20) will travel to Rutgers on the holiday weekend for their final series of the 2021 season. Should the Illini sweep that series, Hartleb would then be 40 wins shy of tying the program’s all-time leader in managerial victories.

[Read more…]

Illini Baseball Coach Dan Hartleb on Approaching Milestones (Exclusive)

Illinois baseball coach Dan Hartleb is closing in on second place on the school’s all-time wins list. With the Illini taking two of three against Iowa this past weekend, he’s now up to 472 total Ws, and that means he needs just three more victories to surpass his mentor, Richard “Itch” Jones, who led the program from 1991-2005.

In 2006, Hartleb assumed the reigns of the Illini, having been the associate head coach for the previous four seasons, and an assistant with the Ilini for nine years prior to assuming that associate coach position. Hartleb, who was named D1Baseball Big Ten Coach of the Decade for 2010s, isn’t too far off fron the number one position either. The penthouse suite, of this list, is currently occupied by Lee Eilbracht (1952-78) with 518 wins. [Read more…]