Illinois Rumors & News

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  • John Groce gets one-year extension on his contract at Illinois

    CBSSports.com "Illinois coach John Groce had his contract officially extended through the 2018-19 season on Thursday. The new deal means Groce will now make $1.7 million per season, up $100,000 from his old deal. Illinois has gone 43-28 in Groce's two seasons in Champaign. No NCAA Tournament appearance yet,..." July 26

  • UI trustees may extend Groce's contract

    The News-Gazette "Basketball coach John Groce was rewarded with a $200,000 raise, and a $25,000 bonus, after his first Illini team made the NCAA tournament in 2013. This year's team failed to reach the tournament, with the Illini losing in the second round of the NIT. But University of Illinois trustees are..." July 09

  • Illinois’ Aaron Cosby looking to step forward after sitting out last season as a transfer

    College Basketball Talk "The 2013-14 season didn’t provide the results the Illinois Fighting Illini hoped for, with John Groce’s team landing in the Postseason NIT and finishing the year with a 20-15 record. Illinois will return all five starters from that team, led by guards Rayvonte Rice (15.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and Tracy..." June 15

  • Illinois basketball suspends Darius Paul for season

    Chicago Tribune "Citing “multiple transgressions,” Illinois basketball coach John Groce suspended Darius Paul for the 2014-15 season. Paul, 20, was arrested on April 21 for underage drinking and resisting a police officer after he ran from an officer who attempted to question him as he walked through a parking..." May 14

  • Illinois point guard Nick Norton will join father Randy at UAB

    Alabama.com "Nearly one year ago, Randy Norton was hired to be UAB's head women's basketball coach. In a few months, his son Nick will join him in Birmingham for the next few years. Nick Norton, who spent his senior year at Bloomington Central Catholic (Ill.), verbally committed to sign with head coach..." March 26

  • Clemson 50, Illinois 49

    ProSportsDaily "Rod Hall's driving layup with nine seconds to go rallied the host Tigers past the Illini in the second round of the NIT. K.J. McDaniels had 12 points, five rebounds and four blocked shots, Landry Nnoko finished with 11 points and a game-high eight rebounds and Jordan Roper added 10 points for..." March 23

  • Illinois 66, Boston U 62

    ProSportsDaily "Rayvonte Rice scored 20 of his 28 points in the second half as the visiting Fighting Illini rallied to earn a win in the first round of the NIT. Rice shot 11-of-14 from the field and had eight rebounds while Malcolm Hill notched 10 points and eight boards for Illinois (20-14), which will visit..." March 20

  • Michigan 64, Illinois 63

    ProSportsDaily "Nik Stauskas scored 19 points and found Jordan Morgan for the go-ahead basket with eight seconds to go as the Wolverines edged the Illini in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis. Glenn Robinson III added 15 points and seven rebounds while Caris LeVert contributed 13..." March 15

  • Illinois 64, Indiana 54

    ProSportsDaily "Tracy Abrams scored 17 of his season-high 25 points in the second half as the Illini pulled away late to down the Hoosiers in a first-round Big Ten tournament game in Indianapolis. Rayvonte Rice chipped in with 13 points for No. 9 seed Illinois (19-13), which has won five of its last six and..." March 14

  • Illinois stuns Iowa on Jon Ekey’s last-second three

    Chicago Sun-Times "Ladies and gentlemen, Jon Ekey. Make that Jon Three-key. Actually, what Illinois fans love to call the senior forward on social media is “3key” — perfect for a guy with a well-honed stroke from beyond the arc. It’s an undeniably cool nickname for a role player who spent three years at..." March 09

  • Michigan 84, Illinois 53

    ProSportsDaily "Nik Stauskas scored 24 points, including seven 3-pointers, as the visiting Wolverines clinched their first outright Big Ten title since 1986 with a convincing win over the Fighting Illini. Caris LeVert added 15 points while Glenn Robinson III tallied 13 for Michigan (22-7, 14-3 Big Ten), which..." March 05

  • Bertrand, Ekey look back, ahead

    The News-Gazette "Tuesday night marks the final home game in the careers of fifth-year seniors Joseph Bertrand and Jon Ekey. Each has experienced his own ups and downs throughout the last five years in college basketball. Bertrand battled back from injury as a true freshman, a coaching change two years ago..." March 04

  • Illini shock Spartans 53-46 for third straight win

    Chicago Sun-Times "There was no good reason to see this coming. Sure, Illinois rode its first Big Ten winning streak in nearly two months into the Breslin Center. No doubt, those two straight victories, and three consecutive games holding their opponents under 50 points, were impressive. They might even have..." March 02

  • Illini’s Nnanna Egwu a tall order on defense

    Chicago Sun-Times "An epic Public League championship game, in which Curie’s Cliff Alexander got the better of Young’s Jahlil Okafor on the scoreboard and in the box score, reopened a wound for some Illinois fans. Or, at the least, it made them consider anew just what could have been had Big Cliff chosen to take..." March 01

  • Illinois 60, Nebraska 49

    ProSportsDaily "Kendrick Nunn scored 13 points to lead a balanced scoring effort as the host Illini snapped the Cornhuskers’ five-game winning streak. Rayvonte Rice tallied 10 points, nine rebounds and four steals while Malcolm Hill also contributed 10 points for Illinois (16-12, 5-10 Big Ten), which won..." February 27

  • Illini’s postseason hopes rest with little-known CBI tourney

    Chicago Sun-Times "March Sadness. If there’s a catchphrase likely to fit our college basketball scene like a glove next month, that would have to be it. Barring a miraculous conference tournament run by one of the teams in our coverage area — as if that’s going to happen — the NCAA Tournament will go on with..." February 26

  • Illini's Nunn wins Big Ten freshman honor

    Chicago Tribune "Illinois guard Kendrick Nunn was named the Big Ten's freshman of the week Monday. Nunn, a Simeon graduate, scored a game-high 19 points in Wednesday's victory at Minnesota. He made a career-high five 3-pointers, which was the most for any Illini player this season. Since being inserted into..." February 25

  • Illini back on track with 62-49 win over Minnesota

    Chicago Sun-Times "John Groce’s balancing act of a second season continued here on Wednesday night. For a change, after a 62-49 upset victory over Minnesota, the Illini didn’t seem one step closer to utter disaster. Are we crazy, or did this team actually look pretty capable against the Gophers? Pretty confident,..." February 20

  • Big Ten basketball is more unpredictable than ever

    USA Today "One can debate whether or not Big Ten Conference men's basketball is as good as it's ever been. But has it ever been this unpredictable? Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, in his 19th season, said Monday there is "no question" the league is better top to bottom than he's ever seen. Nebraska's win..." February 19

  • Ohio State overcomes another poor shooting performance to steal 48-39 win at Illinois

    Cleveland Plain Dealer "LaQuinton Ross walked off the floor and to Ohio State bench looking to take his seat, but Thad Matta wasn’t going to let him walk by without getting in a few words. With his armed wrapped around Ross’ torso, Matta got within an inch of Ross’ face and opened the floodgates. By the time the..." February 16

  • Rice can’t do it alone as Illini fall to Nebraska 67-58

    Chicago Sun-Times "In a rocking new arena, with a fan base suddenly alive, Nebraska basketball has a good thing going these days. Forget the Cornhuskers’ overall record, which stands at 13-10 after a 67-58 victory Wednesday against struggling Illinois. They’re 11-1 at Pinnacle Bank Arena — really a heck of a..." February 13

  • Balanced Big Ten doesn’t have clear torch-bearers yet

    Chicago Sun-Times "We know this is shaping up as a really good year in the Big Ten. How good? A month before the teams gather in Indianapolis for what ought to be a raucous conference tournament, we don’t know. Will the Big Ten, which had three teams ranked in the top five until early January, finish what it..." February 12

  • Groce wants a follow-up hit after Illinois snapped skid

    Chicago Sun-Times "Frankly, we couldn’t tell you where Men Without Hats, Dexys Midnight Runners and Tommy Tutone stand on Illinois basketball, but we do know this: Illini coach John Groce loves him some 1980s pop music. We know it because Groce said as much — come to think of it, ‘‘admitted’’ is a better word —..." February 12

  • Illini fall to Wisconsin 75-63, drop 8th straight

    Chicago Sun-Times "A snowstorm kept away about three-quarters of the announced crowd of 16,618 at State Farm Center on Tuesday night. Unfortunately for Illinois, the Wisconsin Badgers were among the brave few who made it to the arena. You know what that means: ­Another loss for the Illini, this one by a score of..." February 06

  • Sam Dekker, Ben Brust lead Badgers to road win over Illinois

    Wisconsin State Journal "The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team stopped the bleeding, at least temporarily. Sophomore forward Sam Dekker hit some big shots in the second half and finished with 16 points as UW beat Illinois 75-63 Tuesday night in a Big Ten Conference game at the State Farm Center. Senior..." February 05

  • Iowa men survive Illinois charge to win there for first time since 1999

    Hawk Central "Iowa’s 21-point first-half lead was long gone, in an arena that has been a hall of horrors for the Hawkeye basketball program. Illinois had No. 15 Iowa on the ropes. But the Hawkeyes dug deep down the stretch, finished the game with a 15-4 run and got a much-needed 81-74 Big Ten victory..." February 02

  • Illinois critics need to realize things are looking good in the long term

    Chicago Sun-Times "Back in the heady days of early January, when Illinois had cracked the top 25 and we had no idea that Chicago would be subjected to multiple polar vortexes, I was thinking John Groce was just the right guy for Illinois. He runs good stuff. He knows how to recruit. He has the required..." January 31

  • Drake transfer helping Iowa’s next foe

    Hawk Central "Rayvonte Rice left Drake after two seasons to help his hometown team. Now, the junior guard is the leading scorer at Illinois, averaging 16.7 points and 5.6 rebounds for a team that will try ande and snap a six-game losing streak when it hosts Iowa Saturday. “He needs some help,” Illinois..." January 31

  • Big Ten race crowded in middle

    Fox Sports Ohio "If Ohio State wants to get back in the Big Ten race, it can't afford many more slips. The conference race is suddenly very crowded in the middle, where the Buckeyes reside heading into a Wednesday night home game vs. bottom dwelling Penn State. But Ohio State has won just once in its last five..." January 29

  • Illinois, Indiana unlikely to match 1989 classic

    Chicago Sun-Times "Every Illinois fan loves to debate which team was better: the 1988-89 ‘‘Flying Illini’’ of Nick Anderson, Kenny Battle, Kendall Gill, et al., or the 2004-05 squad led by Dee Brown, Deron Williams and Luther Head. Both teams reached the Final Four. Of course, neither was able to bring home a..." January 25

  • Buckeyes step back from the edge, snap four-game skid by beating Illinois

    Cleveland Plain Dealer "Thad Matta pointed to the final play of regulation from Ohio State’s loss to Michigan State, a missed layup by Shannon Scott, that if made, would have ended the Buckeyes’ four-game losing streak before it even started. Matta used that play to illustrate the perils of life in the Big Ten, a..." January 24

  • Illini’s emotionally charged John Groce has been there ‘be-four’

    Chicago Sun-Times "Illinois coach John Groce did some tweeting Wednesday, a rarity for him. Acknowledging the highly charged sideline outburst that got him teed up during a weekend loss to Michigan State, Groce mentioned the “fine line” separating good emotion from bad emotion. “I need to model that balance..." January 23

  • Egwu lays lots of eggs, contributing to four-game skid by Illini

    Chicago Sun-Times "In the Big Ten, only Northwestern ranks lower than Illinois in points per game, field-goal percentage and three-point-shooting percentage. So let’s just all agree right now that, offensively, the Illini are a subpar group, and that it would be unreasonable to expect that to change. The..." January 21

  • Tom Izzo matches Lou Henson on all-time Big Ten wins list

    CSN Chicago "Tom Izzo is now tied with an Illini legend. Michigan State's win over Northwestern on Wednesday night was Izzo's 214th career Big Ten victory, tying him for fourth place on the all-time list with former Illinois head coach Lou Henson. Henson also racked up 214 wins in his Big Ten career,..." January 17

  • Groce calls Illini toughness 'unacceptable' in loss to Purdue

    CSN Chicago "Toughness is a thing John Groce has prided his team on throughout the season. It's a word he uses a lot. So when his Illini didn't show that toughness and lost a third straight game Wednesday night in Champaign, the coach was upset. "They were tougher than us physically, and they threw us..." January 17

  • It’s too early for Illini to panic, but it isn’t too soon to worry

    Chicago Sun-Times "Has must-win time arrived for Illinois? John Groce would scoff at the notion. It’s only January, and he is, after all, a coach. His personal version of the ‘‘one game at a time’’ mentality espoused by every woman or man with a whistle is to compare each Big Ten game to a round of a heavyweight..." January 17

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