#12 Illini struggle too often in beating bad teams

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The 12th ranked Illinois Fighting Illini have struggled this pre-conference season in blowing out/closing out teams that are supposedly very inferior to them. When you’re a top 15 ranked team, with very solid signature wins over #13 Gonzaga and #18 Butler, you should handle the mid-major and low-major scrubs very easily.

But the Illini don’t do that. They let bad teams hang around. After leading a 5-6 Auburn team by 11 at the United Center, they found themselves up by just one within four minutes to play at the home of the Chicago Bulls. This Auburn team is HORRIBLE. They lost to DePaul, Winthrop at home and Murray St by 20. This never should have been close. But it’s a pattern that’s been continuous all non-conference season.

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Bradley University Grants Sam Maniscalco His Release


Updating yesterday’s story on Bradley point guard Sam Maniscalco’s possible transfer, Bradley University has granted the senior his realease and given permission to ten schools to talk to him about his services for the upcoming season.

Under the rules of the NCAA’s graduate school waiver, Maniscalco is allowed to transfer and play next season without sitting out a year as long as, at his new school, he transfers into a graduate program that is not offered at Bradley. [Read more…]

Is Bradley’s Sam Maniscalco Transferring to Illinois?


The University of Illinois has spent most of the week preparing for the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.

Off the court on Thursday, however, they may have gotten the best news that they’ll get before Selection Sunday. [Read more…]

Illini Sign 4 Chicagoans, Net 3rd Straight top 15 Recruiting Class.

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National signing day in college basketball is always very anti-climactic, because all it does is make official what we’ve already known for some time. But it’s still a great chance to summate another year of recruiting, and another class. And it’s very promising to see the Illini locking down their borders by continuing to recruit the Chicagoland area so well. It yielded them the top rated class in the Big Ten.

Illinois head coach Bruce Weber announced today the signing of four student-athletes to national letters of intent in Tracy Abrams, Nnanna Egwu, Mycheal Henry and Mike Shaw.

All four players hail from Chicago and are ranked in the Top 100 by various recruiting services, giving the Fighting Illini the No. 9 class in the nation by Rivals.com, No. 11 nationally by Scout.com and No. 14 nationally by ESPNU. The class also ranks first in the Big Ten by both Rivals and Scout. This marks the third consecutive year that Illinois has signed a Top-15 recruiting class.

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