Ayo Dosunmu Has High NBA Draft Stock, but it’s Just Not Reflected in Mock Drafts

ayo dosunmu

Illini basketball in the Brad Underwood era has finally shown signs of a pulse in the past month as the team picked up two very high quality wins over teams ranked in the top 15 at the time. Illinois has now won four of their last five, and played their way above the Wednesday night projection in the Big Ten tournament.

If the Illini can close out the season 4-3 or better, they will avoid breaking the school record for single season losses. A primary reason for the Illini surge has been the stellar play of freshman point guard Ayo Dosunmu. His rapid development has coincided with the drastic Illini improvement.

[Read more…]

Illini all-time leading scorer Deon Thomas joins UIC Coaching Staff

deon-thomas

Deon Thomas has landed a coaching gig at the University of Illinois. Just not in Urbana-Champaign. At the Chicago campus instead. When Assistant Coach Isaac Chew departed Illinois for Marquette, just weeks after he left Mizzou to join the Illini an assistant gig opened up under John Groce at Illinois.

Paris Parham filled the position instead ofFlorida State assistant Dennis Gates, Simeon Coach Robert Smith and Deon Thomas. All were considered candidates.

It was just announced minutes ago Illini fans, that Deon Thomas will be on Howard Moore’s staff at UIC.

[Read more…]

Eleven worst Illini basketball losses of the past 10 years

bruce weber-upset

As proud a program as Illini basketball is, they’ve certainly had some “hiccups” (wow, what a euphemism there) in recent years. A 52-49 loss to the Indiana Hoosiers on January 30th, 2011 was just one disgusting-to-watch debacle that didn’t even make the cut. It marked the first win over a ranked team at IU for Tom Crean. Last night, I experienced something similar to “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream” from “The Book of Mormon.” I dreamed Illini basketball put up only 15 points by halftime, couldn’t make a three-pointer to save their lives, and missed more lay-ups, put-backs and bunnies than any college basketball team in history.

Worse yet this spooky Illini basketball hell dream took place at Northwestern! Versus the worst Northwestern team they’ve had since 2007

[Read more…]

Big Ten football power rankings: lipstick on a pig edition

big-ten-football-colbert

During Big Ten football Saturdays like this, how do you spin what happened? How do you put lipstick on these pigs? And even though Northwestern out-gained an AWFUL Western Michigan team by just 126 yards, they’ve still earned the second slot.

You can argue that a different Big Ten football team deserves to be there. But my argument is pretty solid for NU. Also, Illinois gave up 615 yards and lost “at home,” and yet they move UP not down this week.

[Read more…]

Illinois basketball shafted in Tourney; NCAA changes rule yesterday

illinois basketball

Partially due to a blown call, Illinois basketball has beaten a higher seeded NCAA Tournament team just twice in school history. Trailing 57-55 with 40 seconds remaining, replays clearly showed the Illini should have maintained offensive possession on an out-of-bounds call. Instead, the ball was wrongly awarded to the Miami Hurricanes. And even a Miami player admitted it.

Now the NCAA is going to going to make sure this type of thing doesn’t happen again.

[Read more…]

Illini grab Seton Hall transfer Aaron Cosby: Champaign gets The Cosby Show

illini-aaron-cosby

Aaron Cosby was the Seton Hall Pirates second leading scorer during his sophomore season, averaging 12.6 points per game. After living the Big East program, he appeared to have many potential landing places. Then Aaron Cosby limited it to just the Illini and Mizzou. Well, The Cosby Show is officially coming to Illini basketball.

How’s that for “Braggin Rights,” Missouri?

[Read more…]

Fighting Illini lose to Iowa Hawkeyes; let’s forget we ever watched this

iowa-hawkeyes

Let’s forget we ever watched this one. The Illinois Fighting Illini and Iowa Hawkeyes set the game back a few decades. We’ll wash our eyeballs of a 63-55 contest won by Iowa that was Restoril or Ambien in college basketball form. The Hawks finish 15-2 at home, in a contest where “points in the paint” didn’t seem to apply. I was like one end had Dikembe Mutombo and the other had Manute Bol the way so many bunnies, chip-ins, lay-ins, tip-ins, and lay-ups were missed on both end.

THIS .WAS. UGLY. Unlike Hawkeye cheerleader/pageant winner listed above

The Fighting Illini have probably secured a NCAA bid as of Saturday, by accruing 8 Big Ten wins and 21 overall, especially with their resume. But they looked like a poor NIT team this evening. The Iowa Hawkeyes are squarely on the bubble, trying to become the conference’s eight team in the dance.

[Read more…]

Illini Cheerleader Sister is former WWE Diva Maria Kanellis (pics)

maria_and_janny_kanellis

It’s a great thing we have student media. They’re the guys who gave me leads like this to go research important stories like this. And make no mistake this is hard hitting, extremely important news. Let’s say you’re a fan of WWE and enjoy the work of former  WWE Diva Maria Kanellis. Now let’s say you’re an Illini fan, someone who really watches a lot of Illini games (these two groups of fans overlap quite a bit, I’ll show you the Ven diagrams) you might have noticed a member of the Illinois Dance Team or “Illinettes,” who kind of looks like Maria, but on a multi-year delay.

And you’d be right, they are indeed sisters. Janice Kanellis a.k.a. Janny Kanellis is indeed the younger sister of Maria Kanellis. Forget the wins over the #1 Hoosiers, and top 20 wins over the Gophers, Butler, Ohio State and at Gonzaga. This is truly the Illini feel good story of the college basketball season. How can you look at Maria Kanellis and not feel good?

Let’s get to the pictures.

[Read more…]

College basketball is AWFUL in all of Illinois, yet again

depaul blue demon

What a shame. What a crying shame that Chicago, which every year has some of the best preps talent in the country, has zero going for it on the college level. Unless the Illinois Fighting Illini can somehow go 6-3 down stretch (and they face some brutal opponents so this highly unlikely) what Land of Lincoln team will get into the big dance? An improved UIC team that is 9-2 at home and 5-5 on conference could very possibly win the Horizon League Tournament, the only way they get their ticket punched. So maybe zero teams in the NCAAs this year, just like last year, just like four years ago. Juxtapose that with Indiana in 2000, when the Crossroads of America got seven teams in the big dance.

[Read more…]

9 things really wrong with Illini basketball right now

brandon-paul-illinois

Last night the #23 Illini lost at home to a Northwestern team that has their coach squarely on the hot seat, is reeling from injuries and without their best player in Drew Crawford. The loss was the third in a row by double digits for the Illini, and the three defeats have been even more lopsided than the scores indicate. This shouldn’t be happening to a team that was ranked in the top ten just a few short weeks ago.

[Read more…]

Illini guard D.J. Richardson can’t seem to find his shot

d.j.-richardson

After starting 12-0 the Illinois Fighting Illini are 2-3 in their last 5. And one of those wins was rather ugly. A big reason for their recent struggles is the ramped up level of competition as Big Ten play has begun. But it’s also they fact the team lives and dies by the three, and no one was more so than senior guard D.J. Richardson. Of all his field goal attempts on the season, only 46 have been of the 2-point variety. The three is D.J.’s game so when it’s off, so is he, as are the Illini?

Richardson has always been streaky, he’s had major struggles with his shot at various times during his college basketball career, but this slump could be his worst. Or it seems that way since the Illini are ranked so high and playing in so many high profile games?

Maybe it’s time for Coach John Groce to sub Joseph Bertrand in the lineup for Richardson?

[Read more…]

#11 Illini crush #8 Ohio State, rebound literally and figuratively

john groce

This is what it’s like to rebound: both winning the battle on the glass and coming back from a loss. In their last three games (Mizzou, Auburn and Purdue) the Illini got owned on the backboards and went 1-2. In their Big Ten opener Illinois got upset by a .500 Purdue team. The loss was shocking, but the #11 Illini recovered nicely, CRUSHING the #8 Ohio State Buckeyes 74-55 in their conference home opener. They won the battle of the boards 40-30.

It was their second win over a top ten team this season, and their most lopsided defeat of a top ten ranked Big Ten team since 1954. Although it appears both teams in this one are over-ranked and overrated. Or it’s just that no one will be able to win on the road in the Big Ten this year. Either way, it was Illinois’ best defensive effort of the year by far, and a career game for center Nnanna Egwu.

[Read more…]