In the oldest trick in the coaching book to not get his players to overlook the likes of South Dakota State, Texas Pan American, and Texas Southern he is calling these first three home games as being a "home tournament."
For those of you in the Champaign area (or those of you who want to drive down there), the University will be showing the North Carolina / Illinois game in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge on the videoboard in Assembly Hall free of charge.
Fighting Illini fans unable to make it down to Chapel Hill to watch the Illinois men's basketball team face North Carolina in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Nov. 29 will be able to catch all the action right here at Assembly Hall. The rematch of last year's NCAA title game will be shown on the state-of-the-art Assembly Hall videoboard. The watch party will be free of charge, with doors opening for the event at 7 p.m. and ESPN national broadcast scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.Nice savvy marketing move to try to get more than one thousand people into Assembly Hall on the same night as a women's basketball game. Now, the question is simple ... will the University start the men's game on the videoboard if the women's game that starts at 6:00 is not yet complete by 8:00? If they don't, let's just say I don't want to witness the carnage that would happen as some Illini fans would have to miss the beginning of the men's game while they are watching the women take on Northern Illinois.
Also funny, parking for women's games at Assembly Hall is just $3. You have to love the idea if supply & demand.
The Illini are still ranked 17thin the latest Associated Press poll.
Mark Tupper blogs on the tough job that Ron Zook has this December in recruiting. Mark discusses the "negative" recruiting that is happening as other coaches point out to Illinois recruits the record of the Illinois football program since 2001, and how Ron Zook must combat it. This will be a big month for Zook when it comes to recruiting, and hopefully he can keep the Illini commitments, and then get more solid players to decide to attend Illinois and help rebuild the moribund football program.
In some recruiting news, Illinois received a commitment from P/K Kyle Yelton over the weekend. After he committed to Illinois, Yelton became a recruiter for the Illini as well.
"I called Brandon Jordan (Merrillville O-Lineman) right away to give him the news. Brandon committed to Illinois before the season and now we get to be teammates. I also called Dexter (Larimore) and told him that we need him at Illinois as well."I have always thought the best recruiters for your school are the current players, and your current commitments. It is good to see that Kyle is excited about coming to Illinois, and is already calling players that he wants to join him in the Orange & Blue (Dexter Larimore).
In an update from Scout.com's Miller Safrit, Isiah Williams discussed his official visit to North Carolina. One of the key points in the article was that Juice is just making sure Illinois is the place for him with these visits that he is taking.
Looking around Big Ten basketball, the Iowa Hawkeyes have started the season 2-0, and will be traveling to Kansas City to play Kentucky on Monday night in the Guardian's Classic. It will be the first real game of the season for both teams, and it should give their (and opposing) fans the first chance to truly see how good both of these teams are. Iowa had four starters score in double figures including a team-high 16 points for Gregg Brunner, who also had a team high 8 rebounds, 5 offensive.
Of course after beating Charlotte last night, at the time I write this Northwestern is down by 12 to NC-Wilmington.