BRISTOL, Conn. - Tim Beckman got the ESPN royal treatment on Wednesday. They call it the "Car Wash." Beckman spent most of the day at ESPN's headquarters in Bristol for a series of interviews across all of ESPN's platforms. That included stops on SportsCenter, College Football Live and in-depth interviews with ESPN's writers. It was all part of a two-day event where all 14 Big Ten coaches visit Bristol for ESPN's own media days.
COLUMBIA, Mo. - One of John Groce's top targets for the Class of 2015 narrowed his list of schools Wednesday, and Illinois made the cut. 4-star point guard Jimmy Whitt, from Hickman High School in Columbia, cut his list to nine. That list includes Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, SMU, Marquette, California, Arkansas and Kansas State. Whitt is listed at 6-3, 170 lbs and is ranked among the Top 60 players nationally.
DECATUR, Ill. - One of the top basketball recruits in central Illinois is switching schools. St. Teresa shooting guard Christian Williams will enroll at Lanphier High School in Springfield this fall, and he will play his senior season for the Lions. Lanphier coach Blake Turner confirmed the move to WCIA 3. Williams is one of the top prospects in the state for the Class of 2015. He already holds offers from Bradley, Illinois State, Northern Illinois and Green Bay. He averaged more than 18 points and 8 rebounds a game last season, and he will join a Lanphier team that spent most of last season ranked No. 1 in the state.
ST. JOSEPH, Ill. - St. Joseph-Ogden's Cole Berry has always been ahead of the game. He is only 16 years old, but he will be a senior this fall. WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten explains why now his baseball talent is making everyone stop and take notice.
Highlights from Round 1 in Savoy
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois baseball team's newest assistant coach, Spencer Allen, was in town and on the job Monday. Allen has 12 years of coaching experience, including stints with Purdue, Washington State and most recently Creighton. He is known as a top-notch recruiter, and he is ready to hit the ground running.
CHICAGO - If Tim Beckman is feeling any pressure heading into year three at Illinois, he isn't showing it. The Illini head coach answered questions from the media Monday with confidence and a calm demeanor even after two losing season with the Orange and Blue.
CHICAGO - Tim Beckman wasn't ready to name a starting quarterback as he took the podium at Big Ten Media Day in Chicago Monday, and according to the head coach, it could be as many as four more weeks before Illini fans find out who will start the season opener August 30 against Youngstown State. Beckman told reporters he anticipates picking a starting quarterback by the end of two-a-days.
CHICAGO - Illinois has won just six games in Tim Beckman's first two years in Champaign-Urbana, and the Illini haven't played in a bowl game since 2011 - and senior Simon Cvijanovic has had enough. The offensive lineman will be leaned on to anchor a veteran group up front, but also mentor the next group of Illini players who are just beginning to make names for themselves. And Cvijanovic says the losing has to stop.
The Illinois football team opens practice in just over a week. It's an exciting time for offensive coordinator Bill Cubit. WCIA 3's Bret Beherns has more on Cubit and one of his biggest hobbies away from the field.
Former Illini and Central golf standout Clayton Parkhill won his record sixth Twin City golf championship Sunday. He shot -7 total in the 36 holes event. David Deschler was second at even par. Jay Scott took third at +1.
Former Illinois basketball player Brett Melton has spent the last few days giving back to his hometown. Melton was a standout player at Mahomet-Seymour in the late 90's. Bad ankles forced him to transfer after just two seasons with the Illini, but as our Bret Beherns shows us, Melton still bleeds orange and blue.
Champaign school district officials have settled on a site for the new Central High School, and it's the one Athletic Director John Woods has wanted all along. Superintendent Judy Weigand said Thursday they will pursue the interstate drive site, eliminating Spalding Park and Dodds Park from consideration. Interstate drive will have the most space for athletic facilities and future growth. Right now, most central athletic sites are off-campus and some are even shared with other schools. "Allowing them the opportunity to stay on campus and do their thing is so important. The time that they lose traveling to all of our off-campus sites is time away from their family, time away from after school help, time away from homework, and it's just time lost. Now it's going be really neat to be able to provide those opportunities - an all-inclusive campus for all of our kids and the community", said Woods. The district has already purchased the land needed on interstate drive. The board will now decide whether to put a referendum on the November ballot.
Danville Dans pitcher Cam Wysocki has one goal in life, to make you smile. Whether it's serving at the Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor or performing magic tricks in front of his teammates, Cam is constantly striving to make the world a better place, one smile at a time.
Update: 6:17, 7/25/14, Friday PANA -- An old drive-in in Our Town transformed into the Tanner Park Sports Complex nearly two decades ago.