It was a good weekend in Chicago, the Illini came to town and won, and the Bears defeated the hated Packers, thank you Nathan Vasher.
Illinois' win in the United Center means that Dee Brown and James Augustine will finish their Illinois career's undefeated in the United Center, including two Big Ten Tournament Championships (2003 and 2005). If you consider the games in the All State Arena, both local players will have finished their Illinois careers undefeated in the Chicago-area.
The Illini's next opponent is Arkansas – Little Rock. The Trojans took on Michigan State on Saturday, and lost to the Spartans in East Lansing 72-67. The Trojans and the Spartans were tied at 30 heading into halftime, but Michigan State proved to be just too much as they started off the second half on a 13-3 run, and then held on for the five-point victory.
How did Arkansas – Little Rock keep it close against the Spartans?
The Trojans outrebounded Michigan State, 29-18.
The Trojans shot 43.2% from the floor, but their offensive rebounding allowed them to be a very efficient offensive team (108.5) against the Spartans. This may say more about Michigan State, and their ability to stop opposing teams from getting the ball in the bucket than it does about Arkansas – Little Rock, though. This is another game this season when Michigan State could not stop their opponents from scoring, including the epic game against Gonzaga in the Maui Invitational.
I watched the Duke vs. Virginia Tech game as I was doing other things, and the one thing I got from that game was that Virginia Tech is going to be a tough out for every one they play this season. To go into Cameron Indoor Stadium, and play the game they did, proves to me they are not going to be an easy out for anyone, especially when you combine it with the comeback they had before allowing Ohio State to score the final ten points in the game in the Big Ten / ACC Challenge.
If you don't know, Duke won by two points thanks to a Sean Dockery half court shot with 1.7 seconds left on the clock. Virginia Tech had scored 12 straight points in the final four minutes against the Blue Devils, and took the lead on a tip in Coleman Collins. Duke then got the ball to Dockery at half court, who took one dribble and made the uncontested heave to win the game. In a stunning turn of events, the Duke crowd actually rushed the court when they beat Virginia Tech. Come on, you are Duke and you beat Virginia Tech in basketball. Sure it was a great shot, but you should not be rushing the court for a game you were supposed to win, especially one that was the first game in conference play, and in December.
Now, on to the Illini football program …
As Ron Zook told the Fighting Illini fans in a message over the jumbotron in the United Center, he was in Champaign recruiting to continue building the Illinois football program into one that is on par with the basketball program. Zook had quite a few visitors in Champaign this weekend, and the Scout.com recruiting experts caught up with a bunch of Illini prospects that visited Champaign, and other campuses this weekend on Official Visits.
Kyle Yelton - Story
Yelton talked to Chris Pool and commented on meeting Kyle Hudson and Jason Reda, as well as the other recruits in town.
Antonio Gully - Story
Antonio Gully talked to John Decker of HoosierNation.com about his visit to Indiana, and how the Illini and the Hoosiers are the top two in his eyes.
Vontae Davis - Story
Vontae Davis tripped to Virginia this weeked, and in this update from Miller Safrit, he said he would decide where he would go after his visits. Davis visited Illinois in October, and has one visit left.
Isiah "Juice" Williams - Story
Juice was expected to go to Tennessee this weekend, but he did not go. He now says he has a final four of schools: Illinois, Iowa, North Carolina, and Tennessee. He has not scheduled any visits besides next week's trip to Champaign.
Robert Williams - Story
Robert Williams really enjoyed his trip to Minnesota, and it turned out he also enjoyed his trip to Maryland. He will be coming to Illinois on December 16, so hopefully he will enjoy the Illini's visit as much, and with Williams, it is probably be a good thing to have the last visit.
Reshad Jones - Story
Jones was supposed to visit Illinois this weekend, but he will be coming next weekend.
Garrett Brown - Story
Brown enjoyed his visit to Rutgers, but he did not commit. He hopes to make a decision by Christmas-time, and he will be visiting Illinois next weekend, and then Minnesota the following week.
Brumby's Daily Column: December 5, 2005
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