Top 5 things Illini fans would miss about Bruce Weber

bruce-weber

It’s complete turmoil in Illini basketball nation right now, but don’t feel too bad for them for much longer. Nebraska Cornhuskers coach Doc Sadler had to help wipe away the tears of Bruce Weber following the Illini loss by 23 in Lincoln (the Huskers were up 32, and as decorum dictates wisely took their foot off the gas pedal and it could have been worse). Weber’s fate appears sealed in Champaign, and if the University does dismiss him at the end of the season, he’ll receive a $3.9 million buy-out.

Everyone hates to lose, and to fail, but $4 million dollars can remove a lot of tears quickly. Likewise with Meyers Leonard, who’s crying image was all over the web, if he gets his head right, truly gets his game together, in a year or two, some NBA team will cut him a check that gives him a lot of reasons to smile instead of cry. Brandon Paul wasn’t publicly crying, even though looking at his turnovers stats causes Illini nation to. If he cleans that up, he could probably get his someday too.

So there will be rainbows ahead for some of the Illini. Including Bruce, who will eventually land a fine mid-major college basketball head coaching job if he decides that’s what he wants. While everyone is understandably (and often deservedly) criticizing Weber right now, let’s look at the positive attributes he brought to his eight years in Champaign.

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Illini basketball season follows same depressing path as Illini football season

bruce weber-upset

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

For Illini fans in 2011-12, both were true.

In both revenue producing sports.

On the college football gridiron, Illinois started 6-0, on the strength of some ugly wins: (Northwestern, Western Michigan), and ascended to #16 in the nation. They lost as favorites to Ohio State, then became the first team in FBS history to finish 6-6 after starting 6-0. This utter collapse prompted Athletic Director Mike Thomas to buy out coach Ron Zook’s contract, and the Illini won a bowl game after firing a coach over a team which also fired it’s coach.

Thus far, the Illini basketball season has been pretty much the same entire bi-polar story.

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Illini Coach Bruce Weber clarifies, apologies for defeatist comments last night

bruce weber demetri mccamey

Illinois Coach Bruce Weber sounded like a dead man walking last night in his post game press conference. Following the Illini home loss to Purdue, which effectively killed his team’s NCAA Tournament at-large chances, Weber sounded very defeatist when meeting the media.

He called out some of his own players (Meyers Leonard, for his body language specifically), gushed over some of his opponents’ players, reflected on the last three years, and apologized for some of the things that went on during his regime in Champaign.

Basically, it sounded a lot like a guy who was saying goodbye, and letting it all out on the way to the door.

Today, he issued a statement explaining himself through the University (obtained via ESPN Chicago):

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