The Illinois men's basketball team spent the last four days training with former Navy SEALs, learning about teamwork, communication and leadership.
Illinois head football coach Tim Beckman landed another in-state 2015 recruit Wednesday. Hales Franciscan senior-to-be Patrick Nelson verbally committed to play for the Illini via his twitter account. Nelson is a three-star safety.
Illinois golfer Alex Burge is using the summer to improve his game. The senior-to-be won the U of I Open in Savoy last weekend.
Illinois golf coach Mike Small just missed qualifying for his sixth straight PGA Championship, finishing T-22 at the PGA Professional National Championship in South Carolina Wednesday.
CHICAGO - No matter how far away basketball takes Dee Brown, he's always wearing his orange and blue. He keeps close tabs on the Illini - watching them on TV any chance he gets. As we finish our three-part series in-depth with Dee, he talks recruiting, his relationship with John Groce, and his dream of one day coaching at Illinois.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Some of the University of Illinois' all-time great basketball players are on board with the U of I's plan to try to land the IHSA boys and girls state basketball tournaments beginning in 2016. Players from the 1988-89 Flyin' Illini, a team made up of exclusively in-state players, have been some of the most outspoken advocates for bringing the tournament back to State Farm Center.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - If Champaign-Urbana wants to bring the IHSA state basketball tournament back to State Farm Center, it won't be easy. And it will have to be a joint effort between the local tourism departments, business leaders and most importantly the University of Illinois. The three entities will form a committee later this summer to consider bidding on both the boys and girls state finals. They will bid on at least one.
CHICAGO, Ill. - For the last decade Dee Brown has put together a successful basketball career - both in the NBA and overseas - but its what he does off the court that makes him just as proud.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The City of Champaign and the University of Illinois will work together to bring the IHSA state basketball tournament back to Champaign. The IHSA opened up the bidding Monday for the tournaments beginning with the 2015-16 season and running through the 2019-20 season. Jayne DeLuce, President and CEO of Visit Champaign County, says they're considering bidding on both the boys and girls tournaments, but will definitely bid on at least one. The U of I hosted the boys state tournament for 77 years before losing it to Peoria after the 1995 season. It has been in Peoria ever since.
CHICAGO - After seven seasons overseas playing in six different countries, former Illinois star Dee Brown is now a free agent waiting to find out which team will sign him for next season. "I moved back to Chicago maybe three weeks ago," Brown said. "Just been working out, getting ready for next season. The process in the summer is you're just working out, staying healthy, staying sharp on your game. Waiting for your agent to shop you around. For me it's always tough because you never know where you're going to end up."
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois junior Aaron Cosby is hoping to make a big impact this season, now that he is eligible to play after transferring in from Seton Hall. Cosby actually spent some time in China last month playing against some of the local teams from the Far East.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (UI Release) – University of Illinois head coach Matt Bollant announced the signing of senior guard Brittany Carter to the Fighting Illini roster on Thursday. Carter will be eligible for the 2014-15 season and will have one year of eligibility remaining after graduating from Ball State in three years.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois senior-to-be Brian Campbell will be one of five current or former Illini in the field at this week's U.S. Open at Pinehurst. WCIA 3's Bret Beherns caught up with the California native as he prepares for the biggest tournament of his life.
Former Illini great Dee Brown sat down with WCIA 3 to talk about baseball, music, family and coaching. Here he talks about recruiting Chicago and why John Groce can't win without the Windy City's elite talent.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - One Illinois player was drafted in last weekend's Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, and head coach Dan Hartleb thinks he has a chances to have a long professional career. Illinois senior relief pitcher Ronnie Muck was taken by the Los Angeles Angels in the 30th round of the draft on Saturday.
JOLIET, Ill. - Former USC running back and five-star recruit Ty Isaac visited both Illinois and Michigan within the last week, and Thursday he made his decision on where he will transfer. Isaac announced via Twitter Thursday morning he is headed to Ann Arbor to become a Michigan Wolverine.
PORT ARTHUR, Tex. - Darius Paul's new head coach at Lamar State - Port Arthur, Lance Madison, says he's excited to have suspended Illini forward Darius Paul join his team, and his main goal is to help Paul improve as both a person and a player. "Darius made some poor decisions," Madison said. "And I think part of his process being here is developing some personal growth. Hopefully Darius will mature as a person and make good decisions. We want him to be successful, and we're going to try to give him all the resources to be a successful student here at Lamar State."
GURNEE, Ill. - Suspended Illinois forward Darius Paul has decided to play junior college basketball next year. Paul has signed a letter of intent with Lamar State College - Port Arthur, according to the NJCAA website. Paul was suspended for the entire upcoming Illinois season following two failed drug tests and an arrest. He has said he wants to finish his career at Illinois, and that still could be possible. After one year at a junior college, Paul could come back to Division I basketball for the 2015-2016 season.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The future looks bright for the Illinois men's golf team after they finished fifth at the NCAA Championships this week. Head coach Mike Small is already back in Champaign, and he's getting down to work trying to figure out to take his team to the next level next season. The Illini only lose one senior, and most of his starting lineup will have now played in two match play championships. Small is hoping that experience will pay dividends moving forward.
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (UI Release) – It came down to the final putt on the final hole of the final match, but No. 8 Illinois fell just short against top-seeded Stanford as the Cardinal took a 3-2 win in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships at Prairie Dunes Country Club on Tuesday. The Fighting Illini finish tied for fifth for the second time in the last four years, giving them three top-five finishes in that span when the 2013 runner-up finish is included.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - While 64 teams prepare for the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament, Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb is looking ahead to next season after his team was left on the outside looking in at the NCAA Tournament picture. Illinois was not selected for the field on Monday despite a strong resume.
The Illinois baseball team was not one of the 64 teams selected to participate in the NCAA tournament. The Illini finish the season with a 32-21 record.
OMAHA, Neb. (UI Release) - After the start of the Thursday's game was pushed back an hour and a half due to a rain delay, No. 3 Illinois (32-20) knocked No. 7 Ohio State (30-28) out of the Big Ten Tournament with a 6-5 victory at TD Ameritrade Park. The Illini never trailed and saw their offense come alive with every player in the lineup recording a hit for their second-highest output this season (15).
HUTCHINSON, Kan. - The Illinois men's golf team begins play at the NCAA Championships Friday afternoon in Hutchinson, Kansas. The Orange and Blue finished second in the country last year, and they are they No. 8 seed at nationals this year. They have a target on their back all year, and they know they won't surprise anyone this time around.
OMAHA, Neb. (UI Release) - No. 3 Illinois' comeback streak against No. 6 Michigan State came to an end on Wednesday in the Big Ten Tournament opener, falling 2-1 to the Spartans at TD Ameritrade Park. Starter Drasen Johnson tied his career high with 10 strikeouts, but the Illini offense left 12 men on base and only scored on a bases-loaded walk.
OMAHA, Neb. - The Illinois baseball team's postseason journey begins Wednesday in the same place where the college baseball postseason ends - at T.D. AmeriTrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska, the site of the College World Series. For Illinois, it's the first round of the Big Ten Tournament Wednesday morning against Michigan State.
The Illinois golf team advances to its seventh straight NCAA finals.
The Illini men's track and field team took second place at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. The women's team placed 11th.
Illinois lost to Nebraska 7-4. The Illini will be the three-seed in the Big Ten Tournament.
The Illinois golf team advances to the NCAA finals after winning the regional behind Brian Campbell's individual title.
LINCOLN, Neb. (UI Release) - Sophomore Kevin Duchene looked back to his old form on Friday night, helping Illinois even the series with Nebraska and move back into a tie for second place in the Big Ten with a 5-1 victory. Duchene (3-1) earned his first win since March 14 and retired 14 in a row at one point while only allowing one run in six innings. Sophomore Adam Walton went 3-for-4 and belted his first career home run to put the Illini in front.
SUGAR GROVE, Ill. (UI Release) – Junior Brian Campbell opened up a six-shot lead over the field, while No. 9 and second-seeded Illinois remained one shot behind leader UAB after Friday’s second round of the NCAA Sugar Grove Regional at the par-72, 7,151-yard Rich Harvest Farms course. The Fighting Illini also have an 11-shot cushion over sixth-place Purdue heading into Saturday’s final round, which Illinois is scheduled to tee off No. 1 at 8:45 a.m. alongside the Blazers and third-place Clemson. The top five teams and top individual not on a qualifying team advance to next week’s NCAA Championships at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kansas.
ATHENS, Ga. (UI Release) - There's only been one team this year who was able to shutout #12 Illinois men's tennis this season, and that one team struck again in the Round of 16. #5 Baylor stopped the Illini's NCAA Tournament run after a 4-0 victory on Friday in Athens, Ga. The Illini end 2014 with a 24-9 overall record on Brad Dancer's seventh trip to the Sweet 16 in his ninth year at the helm.
LINCOLN, Neb. (UI Release) - The Illini came up on the wrong end of a pitcher's duel on Thursday night, dropping the opener to No. 28 Nebraska, 2-1, at Haymarket Park. Redshirt-junior Drasen Johnson (5-6) threw his second career eight-inning complete game, but suffered the loss for the second time this year while doing so. Illinois struck out 12 times and only managed three hits, equaling its season low.
PEORIA, Ill. - Illinois basketball coach John Groce wants Darius Paul back, and insists Paul is still a "part of [the] family," but wouldn't elaborate Thursday night on what Paul's path back to the team will entail.
SUGAR GROVE, Ill. - Brian Campbell fired a first round 69 to lead Illinois (+5) to a strong start at the NCAA Regional. Illinois is one shot behind UAB (+4) after day one at Rich Harvest Farms. Campbell (-3) is atop the individual leaderboard with teammate Charlie Danielson (+1) just behind at T-6.
URBANA, Ill. - We are learning more about the circumstances that led to Darius Paul's season-long suspension from the Illinois basketball team. According to police records, Paul admitted to officers he has failed two drug tests for marijuana since transferring to Illinois from Western Michigan.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois is not considering selling alcohol to the general public at Memorial Stadium. This news comes a day after reports that athletic director Mike Thomas was considering allowing beer sales during Illinois football games. Thomas released a statement Wednesday refuting that report.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois baseball team (30-17) will take a seven-game winning streak into its last Big Ten series of the year at Nebraska this weekend. By all accounts Illinois needs to win at least two out of three to feel good about earning an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten has more.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois head coach John Groce announced forward Darius Paul has been suspended for the entire 2014-2015 season after what Groce calls a review of "multiple transgressions." Paul was arrested last month for underage drinking and resisting police. “After a thorough review of Darius’ year, which includes multiple transgressions, I am suspending Darius from all team-related activities for the entire 2014-15 season,” Groce said in a statement. “As head coach, my concerns are always what is best for the University of Illinois, what is best for the men’s basketball program, and what is best for our student-athletes as people. I feel this penalty is necessary to help Darius as a person. We will continue to support him through this process.” An University of Illinois spokesman confirmed to WCIA 3 that Paul will not be on scholarship during his season-long suspension. Paul transferred to Illinois after an outstanding freshman season at Western Michigan. He had three seasons of eligibility remaining.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Illinois junior Brian Campbell shot a 69 Monday to advance to the sectional round of US Open qualifying. Campbell, who won Big Ten Player of the Year honors, was one of four golfers to make it out of the local qualifier at Illini Country Club in Springfield.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In John Groce's words, this summer will be "huge' for his team as they try to build off a strong finish to last season and work their way back into the NCAA Tournament picture next year. Illinois returns all but two players (Bertrand, Ekey) from last year's team, and Groce - who is entering his third season - is looking forward to the chance to work his team for eight weeks in the offseason. Strength and conditioning will be an important point of emphasis heading into next season.
The Illinois men's tennis team is heading to the NCAA Championships in Athens, Georgia after coming back to beat Memphis 4-3 Saturday. Illini head coach Brad Dancer sits down in studio to talk about his team's comeback.
For the first time in eight years, no Illinois football players were selected in the NFL Draft. Several guys signed free agent contracts over the weekend though, including Jonathan Brown, Evan WIlson and Ryan Lankford.
Illinois sophomore Charlie Danielson won the Big Ten title, now he's leading the Illini to the NCAA Regionals at Sugar Grove later this week.
The 12th-ranked Illinois men's tennis team trailed 3-0 to Memphis in the second round of the NCAA tournament Saturday, but the Illini rallied to win the match, 4-3.
URBANA, Ill. (UI Release) - The Fighting Illini men's tennis team remained undefeated in first round action of the NCAA Tournament with a 4-0 shutout over Ball State, moving to 16-0 since the tournament opened to a 64-team field in 1999. As a result of the Orange and Blue earning its 19th straight victory over Ball State, the Illini will now meet No. 22 Memphis on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT.
Evanston, Ill. (UI Release) – The University of Illinois softball team played close to Big Ten Co-Champion No. 10 Michigan for four and a half innings, but a two-out grand slam by Caitlin Blanchard in the bottom of the fifth helped lift the top-seeded Wolverines to an 8-2 victory in the Big Ten Quarterfinals. Illinois closes the 2014 season with a 24-26 record, while Michigan improves to 41-11 and will face the winner of the quarterfinal matchup between Northwestern and Wisconsin in the second semifinal on Saturday.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (UI Release) - Illini pitchers Drasen Johnson and Tyler Jay shined on the mound and junior Casey Fletcher turned in his third straight game-winning hit in Illinois' 4-1 victory over Iowa. Johnson allowed one run in the first inning before he and Jay followed it with eight scoreless stanzas. Fletcher blooped a go-ahead two-out, two-run single in the sixth that propelled Illinois to its fifth straight win.
COAL VALLEY, Ill. - John Groce has been hitting the recruiting trail hard this summer looking for the next big point guard. Groce calls that position "the quarterback" of his team, and it is a big time position of need moving forward. You can imagine that was a popular topic of conversation as the Illini Caravan stopped in the quad cities Thursday night.