Illini DJ Richardson’s AWESOME Trick Shot! Sportscenter top Video!

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Last night, the Illinois Fighting Illini absolutely mangled the Northwestern Wildcats in a game that was decided minutes after the tip. The Illini shot the lights out from both inside and outside the arc. But that was nothing compared to this trick shot Illinois sophomore guard D.J. Richardson hit from the concourse in between the A and B sections of Assembly Hall.

It’s really like those old Michael Jordan-Larry Bird commercials “off the scoreboard, off the floor, nothing but net,” and it needs to be seen to be believed. And it made Sportcenter’s top plays last night. (Deservedly so)

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D.J. Richardson, Illini Need to Bring More Defense to the Table

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As you might have noticed Thursday night, given you watched the #13 Illinois Fighting Illini in their 90-84 OT loss to #22 Texas in the 2K Challenge college basketball tournament benfitting Coaches vs. Cancer, Illinois has some problems stopping people.

Sure the Longhorns went seven minutes without a field goal down the stretch, but that was more due to leading scorer Jordan Hamilton being benched with four fouls than anything Illinois did right. Giving up 45 points in the first half, and letting the Horns hook ’em in the first couple overtime minutes is not what a top 15 team does.

Head Coach Bruce Weber has said repeatedly this team will be as good as they defend, and as good as their seniors. So far the Mike and Mike Show (Tisdale and Davis) haven’t locked-down on the defensive side. Weber has said Davis must be a defensive stopper. He’s also said sophomore guard D.J. Richardson, the Big Ten Freshman of the year, is the team’s best defender.

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Illini Basketball Preconference Schedule Released

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Nine home games, seven match-ups with 2010 postseason teams – including five NCAA Tournament teams – and trips to New York, Seattle, Chicago and St. Louis highlight the non-conference slate for the Illini Fighting Illini.

They will tip off the regular season with three consecutive home games: hosting a Regional Round of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer, UC Irvine on Nov. 8 and Toledo on Nov. 10 as part of that event.

Then the Illini welcome their little sister school, the fighting Salukis of Southern Illinois to Champaign on Nov. 13, as Bruce Weber faces his former program for the first time as Illinois’ leader.

Chris Lowery, who previously served as Weber’s assistant for three years, including at Illinois in 2004, leads the Egyptian Dogs. Fighting Illini football team also hosts Minnesota on Nov. 13 in what promises to be a busy day for the college sports media. And just wait till Big Ten season gets here.

By Paul M. Banks

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