Looks Like University Of Illinois - Josh Plohr

OK so this will be a weird one for me to write. I do not know Josh Plohr, nor do I know his family, but I "know" them. My youngest son went to high school with his older brother. I had lunch at his mom's restaurant last Tuesday. St. Louis is a big city

Back to the Future Part IV (Pitching)

Some might be wondering why I'm so high on this ballclub given the losses sustained in the draft. Simply put: it's the pitching. We've talked about the talented returnees and freshman in the field, but Dan Hartleb's club is particularly rich in both

But If We Win The Next One

How many times have I said that in the last ten years? How many times - in football or basketball - have I said "this is a nice little run we're on, but these are home wins - win that one on the road next week and then we can talk". Well, let's talk

Back & Forth - Resurgence

That title feels like this is a film series. "Did you guys see that Back & Forth - Resurgence comes out this summer? I didn't like the third one because I didn't feel like it held true to the original but I'm hopeful for this since Antoine Fuqua

Fighting Illini Upcoming Schedule

Back to the Future Part III (Infielders)

I really thought about just leaving these three GIFs here as the infielders edition of our Illini 9 preview. To quote one of my favorite shows, however, that seems like lazy journalism. Plus these young men deserve to be lauded and discussed.


Back to the Future Part II (Outfielders)

Outfielders are a rare breed at the college level. Some recruiters almost consider a true outfielder at the high school or junior college level to be an afterthought. One veteran coach used to tell me he'd recruit six shortstops every year. The best

What It Will (Hopefully) Look Like

I've written this post about football several times. The old "if everything goes to plan, here's what next year will look like, and then here's what the year after that will look like". Perhaps it's time to do that for basketball. Because this whole

Back to the Future

Hey everybody, it's Ben. I'm back for my fourth season writing about Illinois baseball for IlliniBoard.

I'm a history teacher by trade and a sports fan by birth, so one of my favorite past-times is collecting historical sports periodicals. I've got


All basketball games have a pace or flow to them. Fluid and rhythmic at times, grinding and mechanical at others. A game of runs it is often said. But every basketball play also brings with it a unique context. The flow and those runs are made up of a


If someone were to archive every post I've written in the last 10 years, and they were to give each post a tag, the tag with the most posts would probably be "football coaching staff consistency". It's the one thing I've harped on forever. In my view

2019 Recruiting Class Summary

I already wrote the long Signing Day Summary back in December. And this year, we only added two recruits during the February signing period. So for this post I think I'll go with an evaluation of the class as a whole. When you add Shammond Cooper and

Show Up

I got off the plane in St. Louis at 3:26. Got my bag at 3:38. Got on the parking shuttle at 3:44, two hours and 16 minutes before tipoff (it's a 2:45 drive from Lambert to Champaign). I texted my wife, saying I was thinking of not going to the game.

Revisiting Expectations

So I'm in this strange spot where my basketball team is 7-15 and I feel... encouraged? Does that mean I let last season (and Nov/Dec of this season) lower the bar so much that three Big Ten wins suddenly feels like the Sweet 16? As always, I need to


"We are light years ahead of last year"

-- Brad Underwood

Rebuilding a basketball program is a journey. Along the way a team will encounter many different types of games over the course of things. There will be a few surprise wins here and

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