Illini C Meyers Leonard declares for NBA Draft; tough break for John Groce

meyers-leonard-hot-girl

The first season for new Illini head coach John Groce just got a lot tougher. He’ll be without his big 7 foot post presence in Center Meyers Leonard, who declared for the NBA Draft.

His sounds-like-it-tested-well-with-focus-groups statement regarding the matter:

“This was a very difficult decision because I love the University of Illinois. But I feel the timing is right for me to follow my dream of playing in the NBA and having the opportunity to provide for my mom and family. I want to thank everyone in the Illini program for their support these past two years. It starts with Coach Weber, who has always believed in me.

[Read more…]

Illini Meyers Leonard and Brandon Paul testing NBA Draft waters

brandon_paul

The 2011-12 Illinois Fighting Illini alpha dog (Brandon Paul) and second banana (Meyers Leonard)  have submitted their names to the NBA’s undergraduate advisory committee to receive feedback on their draft stock. Therefore, they will have the chance to receive feedback from NBA scouts on their game, but still retain the ability to return to school next season.

I think I know what they’ll hear.

[Read more…]

Embattled Illini avoid first winless February since 1907

meyers-leonard-hot-girl

The college basketball season is only five months long, so any time you’re talking about a winless month, it’s not a good sign. And in their seventh and final game of the year’s shortest month, the Illini would not come up short.

They picked up a 65-54 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes, avoiding the February donut, which hasn’t happened to the program since 1907.

The Illini also improved their record vs Iowa at home to 61-14 all time; they’ve won 11 in a row at Assembly Hall vs. the Hawks and seven in a row overall against the team from Iowa City.

[Read more…]

Illini Outlast Gophers in Never Ending Big Ten Opener

meyers-leonard-hot-girl

One of my all time favorite The Simpsons quotes:

“Mr. Simpson, this is the biggest case of false advertising since my suit against the film the Never Ending Story” –Lionel Hutz

The legendary lawyer played by the late, great Phil Hartman refers to a 1984 film with a running time of 94 minutes. Illinois escaping 81-72 in 2 OT over the Minnesota Golden Gophers ran about 2 hours, 40 minutes. It was a game in which no one ever seemed to want to take it, until finally, the Illini dominated the final four minutes of the final OT.

[Read more…]

Illini Upset #18 Gonzaga; Illinois is Better than You Think

meyers-leonard-illinois

Even when Illinois is having a down year, or a “rebuilding year,” they still get at least one win in over a ranked team. In 1998-99 and 2007-08 (two college basketball seasons that saw Illinois break the school record for losses) they still beat a couple ranked teams- even if it didn’t happen until the Big Ten Tournament.

It’s a hallmark of where Illinois is as a program, even in lean years they’re serviceable. Most experts expected this season to be a down year in Champaign, and that’s understandable given all the questions marks. However, as today’s solid, comfortable win over a top 20 team shows, the Illini might be a better team than you think they are.

[Read more…]

2012 Illini Hoops Most Important Player? Meyers Leonard!

meyers leonard illinois

Last night’s 79-51 exhibition rout of Wayne State was expected for most Illini basketball fans. The most important number of the box score is found in the game’s leading scorer, Meyers Leonard. He had 18 points, in just 16 minutes, that’s a great sign for your Illinois Fighting Illini, because they’ll really need Leonard to be good, if they’re going to be good. [Read more…]

Illini Frosh Meyers Leonard Already YouTube Sensation

meyers-leonard

When most freshmen begin their college basketball careers, they’re usually an unknown commodity. (Other than the the blue-chip commodities) But in today’s age of YouTube, Twitter, Flipshare, IPhone camcorders etc., one can become a star quite easily given the right set of circumstances.

Take Illini freshman recruit Meyers Leonard. The seven footer from Robinson, IL is a consensus top 50 recruit and should be one of the most noticeable players in the Big Ten this winter. He teams with Crandall Head and Jereme Richmond to give the Illini a phenomenal recruiting class. But in addition to the recruiting hype, Leonard is noteworthy for a special dunk that’s been viewed on YouTube about 50,000 times.

At Illini Media Day, I asked Meyers to recap it for me step-by-step.

By Paul M. Banks

[Read more…]

Illini Recruit Attending All-American game this weekend

illinois fighting illini

By Paul M. Banks

When it comes to Illinois’ highly heralded recruiting class of 2010, everyone talks about Jereme Richmond first, and Crandall Head second. And for good reason, but don’t forget about Illini recruit Meyers Leonard (best known for this sick dunk). Leonard will be a part of a attending All-Star game this weekend

[Read more…]