Chicago Colleges: Illinois State Redbirds

Big Ten viewer’s guide: Week 7

October, 10, 2014
Oct 10
Week 7 is here, and let’s not sugarcoat it: Big Ten football has looked more interesting on other weekends. This first Saturday of the season without nonconference action lacks marquee matchups. Still, the division races will continue to take shape.

Here’s a look at the five games (all times Eastern):


Illinois (3-3) and Wisconsin (3-2), ESPN2: Will Melvin Gordon run for 300 yards? If the Badgers wanted it to happen, Illinois’ 119th-ranked rushing defense would likely comply. More of the intrigue in Madison involves the quarterbacks. For Wisconsin, Joel Stave, who returned last week against Northwestern, will see time, in addition to Tanner McEvoy, who might also take a shot at receiver. And with Illinois’ Wes Lunt out with a fractured leg, senior Reilly O’Toole and sophomore Aaron Bailey, who was set to redshirt, have competed in practice this week.

Indiana (3-2) and Iowa (4-1), ESPNU: Indiana has shown it can win on the road in tough spots, handing Missouri its lone loss on Sept. 20. The Hoosiers are more explosive on offense than any foe Iowa has faced. But Indiana still can’t defend well, in particular against proficient quarterbacks. The Hawkeyes are going back to Jake Rudock at the start, but C.J. Beathard will play. How well can Greg Davis manage this? If it’s a disaster, Indiana might just find itself in the right place at the right time for an upset bid.

[+] EnlargeDavid Cobb
Leon Halip/Getty ImagesDavid Cobb and Minnesota can take a big step in their quest for a Western Division crown by beating Northwestern on Saturday.
Northwestern (3-2) at Minnesota (4-1), BTN: Who would have guessed a month ago, as the Golden Gophers fell flat at TCU and the Wildcats sat winless, that this game would have legitimate implications for the West Division title race? It does, with NU in quest of a third straight unexpected win to open league play. Its defense led the charge against Penn State and Wisconsin. Minnesota is simply solid, led by David Cobb, statistically the league’s most valuable offensive player. Minnesota has defended the pass especially well in recent games and will test Northwestern’s Trevor Siemian, 13th in the Big Ten in QBR.

3:30 p.m.

No. 8 Michigan State (4-1) at Purdue (3-3), ESPN2: At least it’s not the best team in the Big Ten against the worst. Purdue escaped the low spot last week with a win over Illinois. And sophomore quarterback Austin Appleby looked good in the victory. Very good, in fact. Back at home, he figures to find a much more difficult situation against the Spartans, who might come in a bit angry after nearly blowing a 24-point, fourth-quarter lead against Nebraska.

7 p.m.

Penn State (4-1) at Michigan (2-4), ESPN2: The visitors from Happy Valley, after an off week, get an opportunity to show that their anemic performance against Northwestern was just a fluke. With an upcoming stretch of three challenging games, no better time exists for PSU to get healthy than at Michigan, trying to avoid its first 0-3 start in the Big Ten since 1965. Against a good Penn State front, the Wolverines must protect Devin Gardner and throw the football, neither of which they’ve done well in recent weeks.

Required reading

College basketball: State of the state

February, 11, 2014
Feb 11
Rayvonte RiceJoe Robbins/Getty ImagesRayvonte Rice is leading the Illini in scoring this season.
Illinois college basketball has seen some dark years in the last decade.

The state didn’t place a single team in the NCAA tournament in three of the last six seasons. Only the Illinois Fighting Illini kept the state from complete embarrassment with tournament appearances as a No. 5 seed in 2009, a No. 9 seed in 2011 and a No. 7 seed last season.

The last time a state team other than the Illini made the tournament was in 2007 when Southern Illinois was still riding high. That was also the last year the state had two tournament teams. The state landed three tournament teams in 2006 with Bradley joining Illinois and Southern Illinois.

But as bad as the state has been in recent years, it’s even worse this season. The state is not only likely headed to another season without an NCAA tournament berth, but most of its teams are struggling to stay above .500 in conference. Of the 13 teams in Illinois, only Chicago State and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville have winning records in conference.

Here’s a look at the present and future for all 13 teams in the state:

Illinois (14-10, 3-8 Big Ten), last NCAA tournament appearance: 2013

Illinois was expected to return to reality after a 12-2 start, which was inflated by a win over a suspect Missouri team, but no one could have predicted the Illini’s dramatic fall. They have won twice in 2014, and both those victories came against the conference’s worst team, Penn State. Between their two wins over the Nittany Lions, the Illini suffered eight consecutive losses. Illinois is likely headed to its third consecutive season under .500 in the Big Ten and its second under coach John Groce. Lack of scoring has been Illinois’ biggest problem as of late as the Illini averaged 55.1 points during an eight-game losing streak. With even the NIT unlikely at this point, it’s best to look to next season when transfers Ahmad Starks, Aaron Cosby and Darius Paul will be eligible and the arrival of Leron Black, Groce’s first top-50 recruit. The Illini will also return leading scorer Rayvonte Rice, Tracy Abrams, Nnanna Egwu and improving freshmen Malcolm Hill and Kendrick Nunn. Expectations should be high next season.

(Read full post)

Signing Day: Illini seeking instant help

February, 6, 2013

Illinois coach Tim Beckman received a rude awakening with last season’s 2-10 finish, which included a winless Big Ten campaign.

Beckman is now looking for his second Illini recruiting class to help fix some of those problems.

Early start: Beckman signed 10 recruits early, and they have enrolled into Illinois for the spring semester. The 10 players included five from high school and five from junior college.

Of the early enrollees, defensive back Darius Mosley was the highest ranked by ESPN. Mosley, who is 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, is ranked No. 42 among athletes. As a senior at O’Fallon (Ill.), he caught 10 touchdown passes, returned two punts and one kickoff for touchdowns, had 33 tackles and intercepted one pass. He’s expected to play in the secondary for Illinois.

“Some schools go the juco route because that’s what they do,” ESPN Midwest recruiting coordinator Jared Shanker said. “Illinois is probably more indicative that they feel like they need help right away. You can’t go 2-10 too many times and remain there. They feel like they need immediate help and juco is the best route to go there.”

Top recruit: Miami Norland (Fla.) defensive end Paul James III is the Illini’s most highly-ranked recruit. He is ranked No. 200 overall and No. 15 at his position. He also happens to be the last commitment Illinois received. He committed on Jan. 30.

“It looked like he was going to end up at West Virginia,” Shanker said. “Out of nowhere, he decided to commit to Illinois. I think it’s definitely a huge pickup and gives them some momentum to close out the class.”

[+] EnlargeBailey
Scott Powers/ Bolingbrook quarterback Aaron Bailey is the Illini's top in-state recruit in the 2013 class.
In-state recruiting: Of the state’s top 50 recruits, Illinois landed eight of them. The Illini missed out on the top eight players from Illinois. Mosley, who was No. 9 in the state, was their top in-state recruit.

Illinois’ other Top-50 in-state recruits were Bolingbrook athlete Aaron Bailey (No. 12), Charleston safety Dillan Cazley (No. 16), Belleville Althoff Catholic defensive tackle Merrick Jackson (No. 17), Peoria Richwoods running back Kendrick Foster (No. 35), Ottawa wide receiver Miguel Hermosillo (No. 41), Plainfield Central defensive tackle Bryce Douglas (No. 45) and Crete-Monee cornerback Jaylen Dunlap (No. 49).

“They still need to do a better job in state,” Shanker said. “I think the biggest issue is they weren’t really in the running for a lot of the top players.”

Future quarterback: Bailey could be a future starting quarterback for the Illini. He wasn’t recruited everywhere as a quarterback because some questioned his throwing ability, but Beckman has promised him a shot at the position. Bailey led Bolingbrook to a Class 8A state title as a junior while at quarterback.

“He might have been the No. 1 guy they thought they had to get in the 2013 class, Shanker said. “They beat out some big schools for him. He’s the headline recruit for Beckman since coming to Illinois.”

Secondary depth: Beckman talked after last season about needing more depth in his secondary. He addressed in that recruiting class and has up to seven players who could play cornerback or safety.

BU's Simms-Edwards going on defensive

January, 10, 2013
Bradley senior Dyricus Simms-Edwards got a good taste of basketball thievery at the start of the season and he’s been obsessed with it ever since.

“Even in a game, I get mad if I juggle the ball and don’t get a steal,” Simms-Edwards said.

Simms-Edwards has had plenty of games with two, three, four or five steals this year. He’s even had one of eight steals. Yet, none of them fill his craving.

“I just want to repeat it,” he said. “I just want to do it again. I want to top it.

“It definitely drives me. I want to be considered one of the best defenders in the country. I just want to leave my mark when I leave Bradley. I’ve really been thinking about that this season.”

Simms-Edwards appears headed toward achieving that goal. He’s just eclipsed 1,000 points for his career. He’s averaging 3.38 steals, which is second in the country, and with 54 steals in 16 games is near pace to break the Missouri Valley single-season steals record of 96. Finally, Simms-Edwards has been a key piece in Bradley’s program returning to a respectable level.

“Dyricus is going about it the right way,” Bradley coach Geno Ford said. “He was here when the program was really down. He’s been a part of some bad basketball teams. In spite of that, he’s found a way. If he can finish the last half of the year as he’s played the first half of the year, people will remember him for being one of the best to ever play here.”

Simms-Edwards’ love for defense arrived late in his career. A year ago, Ford thought Simms-Edwards was actually a liability as a defender at times.

But at the start of this season, something clicked for Simms-Edwards. He started utilizing his wingspan and strength to begin snatching the ball from opponents, and he hasn’t stopped doing it.

Simms-Edwards had three steals against Michigan. He’s had four games of four steals, two games of five steals and he swiped a career-high eight steals against Drake.

“I didn’t dream he’d get this many steals,” Ford said. “We don’t press and we don’t get out and deny and gamble. For him to get that amount of steals, it’s remarkable what he’s done.”

Western Illinois rolling: Who from the state could be dancing come March and is currently the hottest team in Illinois?

It may be a surprise to some, but the answer is Western Illinois.

Building off last year’s run to the Summit Conference championship game and a CBI tournament appearance, the Leathernecks are 13-3 overall, 5-0 in conference and are currently riding a 10-game winning streak.

And it’s been defense that has put Western Illinois in such a favorable spot. The Leathernecks rank second in the country in defense, allowing 50.8 points a game. They’ve held four opponents to under 40 points and have only allowed one team more than 70 points.

“If you play defense in any sport, you have a chance to win,” said fifth-year coach Jim Molinari. “We really take pride in defending.”

Western Illinois’ effort has been led by seniors Ceola Clark and Terrell Parks. Clark is key to the top of the defense as the point guard, and Parks, a center, is the rim protector. They’ve combined for nearly three steals and three blocks per game.

Clark, who was a granted sixth year of eligibly this season due to multiple injuries in his career, has a special place in Molinari’s heart.

“I say this to people: for our system, I don’t think there’s a guard in the country I would rather have than Ceola Clark,” Molinari said. “I would think Jim Beilein would say the same thing about Trey Burke because they like to run up and down. Because we pack our defense and play a lot of ball-screen offense like we do, I wouldn’t want any other than Ceola Clark.”

UIC, Illinois State declining: Illinois State and UIC were two of the state’s most impressive programs during the non-conference season.

Illinois State looked like a potential NCAA tournament team with a 9-3 non-conference mark and respectable losses to Louisville, Northwestern and Wyoming. UIC opened the year 9-1 and knocked off Northwestern on the road.

As of late, both programs have looked just the opposite.

Illinois State has dropped its first four Missouri Valley games. On top of that, Redbirds coach Dan Muller suspended star guard Tyler Brown indefinitely Wednesday for conduct detrimental to the team.

As for UIC, the Flames have lost five of their last six games and are 1-2 in the Horizon League. Their defense has been the problem lately. They allowed only one opponent to score 70 points in their first 10 games. Four of their last six opponents have reached that mark. Player of the Week: DePaul junior guard Brandon Young is doing all he can to keep the Blue Demons competitive in the Big East. He’s averaged 21.7 points, four rebounds and four assists in DePaul’s three conference games. He scored a career-high 35 points in a loss to Connecticut on Tuesday. Team of the Week: Northern Illinois used a true team effort to snap a five-game losing streak and defeat Miami (Ohio) 72-61 on Wednesday. The Huskies had 11 players score in the win. Aksel Bolin had 11 points and five rebounds off the bench.

Sanni: Success will come with Beckman

November, 20, 2012
Tim BeckmanBradley Leeb/US PresswireIt has not been an easy season for Tim Beckman, whose team has lost eight straight.
Illinois senior defensive back Supo Sanni said Tuesday the Illini deserve to be criticized for their play this season, but their fans need to be patient with first-year coach Tim Beckman.

Illinois fans have been critical of Beckman this season as the Illini have gone 2-9 overall and 0-7 in the Big Ten. The Illini are currently on an eight-game losing streak and have been outscored 283-104 during that span. They play their final game of the season against rival Northwestern on Saturday.

(Read full post)

Ten predictions for state basketball teams

November, 9, 2012
Brandon Paul and Drew CrawfordAP Photo/Nam Y. HuhIllinois' Brandon Paul and Northwestern's Drew Crawford should be in the running for the Big Ten scoring title this season.

The college basketball season tips off on Friday, and here are my 10 predictions for the hoops year in Illinois:

1. This is finally the year for Northwestern to reach the NCAA tournament: The Wildcats don’t exactly have the star power of John Shurna, but they’re deeper than they have ever been. Depth has been one of the main reasons Northwestern has fallen just short of the tournament in the last few years. Senior swingman Drew Crawford will take over Shurna’s role and was among the Big Ten’s top scorers last season. Even without shooting guard JerShon Cobb, who is ineligible this season, Northwestern has a deep backcourt in sophomore point guard Dave Sobolewski, redshirt freshman point guard Tre Demps, senior shooting guard Alex Marcotullio and senior shooting guard Reggie Hearn. Louisville transfer Jared Swopshire, a 6-8 forward, gives Northwestern size and skill in the frontcourt. TCU transfer Nikola Cerina, a 6-9 forward, will help on the boards, another weakness in recent years. Plus, 7-foot, 275-pound center Alex Olah could be a legitimate difference-maker this season. Northwestern coach Bill Carmody could also turn to a few others off the bench.

(Read full post)

Nonconference schedule analysis: MVC

October, 11, 2012
This week, is breaking down the nonconference schedules of each and every team in a dozen of the nation's top leagues. On Monday, we began in the South with the ACC, SEC and C-USA. On Tuesday, we focused on the East with the A-10, Big East and CAA. Wednesday was all about the West with the Mountain West, Pac-12 and WCC. Today we focus on the Midwest with the Big Ten, Big 12, Missouri Valley and the best of the rest.


Toughest: at South Florida (Nov. 20), Michigan (Dec. 1), Las Vegas Classic (Dec. 22-23)
Next-toughest: George Washington (Dec. 4)
The rest: Eastern Illinois (Nov. 9), Texas-Pan American (Nov. 12), at IUPUI (Nov. 17), Tennessee-Martin (Nov. 24), at Central Michigan (Nov. 28)
Toughness scale (1-10): 5 -- Considering it went 7-25 last season, Bradley certainly could’ve scheduled easier. South Florida will contend for a second-straight NCAA tournament berth and Michigan is a preseason top-10 team. The Braves will face Virginia Tech and either Colorado State or Portland in Vegas. George Washington won only 10 games a year ago but returns four starters.


Toughest: Las Vegas Invitational (Nov. 23-24), at Cal (Dec. 15), BracketBusters (TBA)
Next-toughest: North Texas (Nov. 9), Saint Joseph’s (Dec. 1), Akron (Dec. 9)
The rest: Presbyterian (Nov. 18), Longwood (Nov. 20), Boise State (Nov. 28), at Nebraska (Dec. 6), Tulsa (Dec. 19)
Toughness scale (1-10): 6 -- Although it’s not as soft as last year’s, the Bluejays’ nonconference schedule is a bit underwhelming for a top-15-caliber team. They’ll be challenged by Wisconsin and either Arkansas or Arizona State in Las Vegas, and a trip to Cal won’t be easy. North Texas, Saint Joseph’s and Akron all will pose threats in Omaha and will help the RPI. But Creighton’s best nonconference game may be its BracketBusters showdown with a to-be-determined opponent in late February.


Toughest: DIRECTV Classic (Nov. 22-25), at Nevada (Nov. 30), Saint Mary’s (Dec. 5), vs. Iowa State (Dec. 15 in Des Moines)
Next-toughest: at Detroit (Nov. 17), BracketBusters (TBA)
The rest: William Jewell (Nov. 10), IPFW (Dec. 8), North Carolina Central (Dec. 19), Eastern Illinois (Dec. 22)
Toughness scale (1-10): 8 -- Kudos to coach Mark Phelps for building one of the conference’s most challenging nonconference schedules. The Bulldogs travel to Horizon League favorite Detroit and will then face Cal and then either Georgia Tech or Rice in Anaheim. Nevada and Saint Mary’s are stiff tests from out West. The schedule could play huge dividends for Drake in MVC play.


Toughest: at Notre Dame (Dec. 10), at Colorado State (Dec. 1), Murray State (Dec. 8), at Butler (Dec. 22)
Next-toughest: Coaches vs. Cancer Classic (Nov. 15-17), at Tennessee Tech (Nov. 20)
The rest: Alabama A&M (Nov. 26), Miami-Ohio (Dec. 5), Alabama State (Dec. 15), Oakland City (Dec. 18)
Toughness scale (1-10): 9 -- After opening on the road at Notre Dame -- an upper-echelon Big East team -- the Purple Aces play three straight home games in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. But that doesn’t mean the wins will come easy. Buffalo, Yale and Western Illinois all return three starters from winning teams. Colorado State, Butler and Murray State will all contend for NCAA tournament bids. This schedule gives an improving Evansville program a chance to take that “next step.”


Toughest: at Drexel (Nov. 15), at Louisville (Dec. 1), at Dayton (Dec. 19)
Next-toughest: UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 12), South Padre Island Invitational (Nov. 23-24), Wyoming (Dec. 4)
The rest: Delaware State (Nov. 18), Fairleigh Dickinson (Nov. 20), Western Michigan (Dec. 8), Morgan State (Dec. 16), Austin Peay (Dec. 22)
Toughness scale (1-10): 6 -- For a fringe top-25 team hoping to earn its first NCAA berth since 1998, this is a relatively weak nonconference schedule. Louisville is an NCAA title contender, Drexel returns four starters from a 29-7 team and Dayton is a tough place to play. Otherwise, there are no marquee matchups on the slate. The South Padre Island Field is weak with UAB, TCU and Northwestern.


Toughest: at UCLA (Nov. 9), New Mexico (Dec. 1), Diamond Head Classic (Dec. 22-25 in Honolulu)
Next-toughest: at Ball State (Nov. 2), BracketBusters (TBA)
The rest: Winthrop (Nov. 13), Truman State (Nov. 17), High Point (Nov. 25), at Morehead State (Dec. 8), IUPUI (Dec. 15)
Toughness scale (1-10): 7 -- This slate provides plenty of challenges for a program that lost four starters from an 18-15 team. Opening on the road against UCLA looks to be an insurmountable feat, but the experience will pay off in the long run. The Sycamores will also faced a much-improved Ole Miss squad in the Diamond Head Classic, which also features San Diego State, Arizona and Miami.


Toughest: San Diego State (Nov. 17), at Oklahoma State (Dec. 8)
Next-toughest: Hoops for Hope Challenge (Nov. 24-25 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico), Oral Roberts (Dec. 1), Valparaiso (Dec. 15), at New Mexico State (Dec. 22)
The rest: Philander Smith (Nov. 9), Jacksonville (Nov. 19), Alcorn State (Nov. 21), at Tulsa (Dec. 5), at Alabama A&M (Dec. 18)
Toughness scale (1-10): 8 -- The Bears will have plenty of chances to impress the NCAA tournament selection committee with this slate. The problem is that Missouri State will be loaded with new faces, making victories against postseason contenders such as San Diego State and Oklahoma State seem unlikely. A championship in the Hoops for Hope Challenge (where the Bears open against rebuilding South Carolina) would provide a nice confidence boost.


Toughest: Battle 4 Atlantis (Nov. 22-24), at UNLV (Dec. 19), Saint Mary’s (Dec. 22)
Next-toughest: at George Mason (Dec. 8), vs. Iowa (Dec. 15 in Des Moines)
The rest: Wartburg (Nov. 10), Toledo (Nov. 14), North Dakota (Nov. 17), Milwaukee (Dec. 1), Northern Colorado (Dec. 5)
Toughness scale (1-10): 9 -- The Panthers open play against Final Four favorite Louisville in the Battle 4 Atlantis, one of the most loaded tournaments in recent memory. Duke, Memphis, Missouri and Stanford are also in the field. UNLV will almost certainly be ranked in the preseason top 25, and Saint Mary’s -- last year’s WCC champion -- features one of the nation’s top point guards in Matthew Dellavedova. Iowa and George Mason will both contend for NCAA bids. What a schedule.


Toughest: at Saint Louis (Nov. 24), at Western Kentucky (Dec. 5), World Vision Classic (Dec. 20-22 in Logan, Utah)
Next-toughest: Fresno State (Nov. 28), at Green Bay (Dec. 14), BracketBusters
The rest: at New Orleans (Nov. 12), Benedictine-Springfield (Nov. 17), at SIU (Nov. 20)
Toughness scale (1-10): 6 -- Other than Saint Louis, Barry Hinson won’t play many top-25 caliber teams in his first season at Southern Illinois. But the Salukis won’t face many patsies, either. One of the most difficult tests probably will come three days before Christmas, when Hinson’s squad squares off against host Utah State in the World Vision Classic.


Toughest: at VCU (Nov. 13), at Tennessee (Dec. 13)
Next-toughest: Cancun Challenge (Nov. 20-21), vs. Southern Miss (at INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita), BracketBusters
The rest: NC Central (Nov. 10), Western Carolina (Nov. 15), Howard (Nov. 17), Tulsa (Nov. 28), at Air Force (Dec. 2), Northern Colorado (Dec. 8), Charleston Southern (Dec. 20)
Toughness scale (1-10): 7 -- Victories at VCU or Tennessee could go a long way toward enhancing the Shockers’ NCAA tournament résumé, but there isn’t too much to get excited about on the rest of the slate. It’s a shame Wichita State couldn’t schedule at least one marquee opponent to play at home. To be fair, teams from major conferences probably aren’t too eager to face Gregg Marshall’s squad on the road. Koch Arena is an incredibly difficult place to play, especially when the Shockers are on a roll, which they have been in recent years.
Kevin Young and David WearBrian Spurlock/US Presswire

A lot has happened in the college basketball world since mid-April. So with just two months until Midnight Madness, Joe Lunardi is back with a fresh bracket featuring just one team from the state of Illinois.

View the entire bracket here.

Late start doesn't deter Dan Muller at ISU

July, 20, 2012
Tim Jankovich agonized over his decision to become Larry Brown's coach-in-waiting at SMU.

It took so long that it could have put Illinois State's 2012-13 season, which could end with an NCAA tournament bid, in jeopardy.

But the Redbirds saved face by finding an alumnus who was ready to become a head coach in Vanderbilt assistant Dan Muller.

Muller's first head coaching job, at his alma mater no less, has eased plenty of angst.

But his May 8 start date has been a challenge.

Here are five key issues he has had to deal with.
CreightonAP Photo/Chuck BurtonCreighton returns almost every contributor from a 27-win team that won the Valley tourney title.

Are Doug McDermott and Creighton the overwhelming favorite or can stacked Illinois State or reloaded Wichita State challenge? Let’s catch up on news and notes from the Mountain West halfway through the offseason.

Click here to read the entire story.

Beane father, son leave ISU for SIU

May, 19, 2012
Former Illinois State assistant Anthony Beane has joined the Southern Illinois coaching staff, and his son Anthony Beane Jr., a high school senior guard, has received his release from his letter of intent from Illinois State and has committed to Southern Illinois.

Beane was an Illinois State assistant from 2000-02 and 2007-2012. He recently departed the staff after head coach Tim Jankovich left Illinois State for SMU and Dan Muller was hired as Jankovich’s replacement.

Beane is the third assistant named to Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson’s staff.

“When they made the selection of Dan Muller, I know Dan, and he’s a really good guy,” Beane said. “I had a previous relationship with him. It made it interesting. The main reason to go ahead to Southern Illinois was I knew coach Hinson, and he’s a very, very experienced coach. It was also closer to an area where we’re familiar with. I also felt my family needed a fresh start at this time.

“It was definitely difficult to leave because I’m very close to the players. I know I’m leaving good people. You have to dispose of personal feeling and do what’s best.”

Beane Jr., a 6-2 guard at Normal Community High School, was recently given his release from Illinois State and followed his father to Southern Illinois. He averaged 16 points, five rebounds and two assists during his senior year. He will be on scholarship at Southern Illinois.

“Certainly as his father, having a chance to coach your son is truly a blessing,” Beane said. “I certainly think he’s stepping into a better situation than at Illinois State. I think he’ll have a chance right from the being to compete and play right away.”
Illinois State announced Wednesday freshman point guard Nic Moore has been granted his release and will transfer from the program.

Moore started 29 games and averaged 10 points, 3.9 assists and 2.3 rebounds as a freshman. He was named to the Missouri Valley's all-freshman team.

Moore is allowed to transfer to any BCS program.

Moore was recruited by former Illinois State coach Tim Jankovich, who recently departed for SMU. Dan Muller was named Illinois State's coach on Monday.

"As soon as coach Jankovich left, I made up my mind and knew I wanted to go play for a BCS program," Moore said in a statement. "It didn't matter who was going to be the head coach. My decision had already been made."

Muller had no hard feelings over Moore's transfer.

"As a proud alumnus and new head coach here at Illinois State, I appreciate all Nic did for this program on-and-off the court," Muller said in a statement. "I have really enjoyed getting to know Nic over the past couple of days and wish him nothing but the best of luck."

Moore played at Warsaw High School and was the runner-up in Indiana's Mr. Basketball voting in 2011.

Chris Collins out of Illinois St. search

April, 30, 2012
DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke assistant Chris Collins says he's not pursuing the vacant coaching position at Illinois State.

Collins issued a statement through Duke on Monday saying he'll remain the Blue Devils' associate head coach.

Collins says he has "a great love and strong emotional ties to" Illinois State. His father Doug played for the Redbirds before beginning his NBA head coaching career.

Collins says he discussed the job with Illinois State athletic director Gary Friedman on Sunday. Collins says he wants to be a head coach, but "it was not the right fit for me and the university at this time."

Read the entire story.

Illinois St. gets NIT bid, Illinois out

March, 11, 2012
Illinois State was selected to play in the NIT on Sunday while Illinois' season came to an end without a postseason invitation.

Read the entire story.

Week 12 college football preview

November, 18, 2011

Minnesota (2-8) at Northwestern (5-5)

When, where: 11 a.m. Saturday at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill.
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: WGN-720 AM
NorthwesternMinnesotaWhat you need to know: Northwestern can earn bowl eligibility with a win over Minnesota on Saturday. The Wildcats have returned to .500 after having a 2-5 record. Northwestern’s offense has been consistent throughout its three-game winning streak, and the defense has continued to improve. Minnesota isn’t a team to overlook, though. The Gophers did defeat Iowa and lost to Michigan State by only seven points.
Scott Powers’ prediction: Northwestern 42, Minnesota 20

No. 17 Wisconsin (8-2) at Illinois (6-4)

When, where: 11 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.
Radio: WIND-560 AM
IllinoisWisconsinWhat you need to know: Illinois’ season has been a tale of two halves. The Illini went 6-0 during the first part. In the second half, they’ve spun the wrong way and gone 0-4. They’ll be the underdogs again this weekend against Wisconsin. Illinois coach Ron Zook is feeling the pressure and even walked out of a press conference this week after being asked about his job. This week could be Zook’s last chance to save himself. A win over Wisconsin would be notable. Illinois’ offense will have to come to play for that to happen. The Illini haven’t scored more than 14 points in their last four games.
Powers’ prediction: Wisconsin 31, Illinois 17

Boston College (3-7) at Notre Dame (7-3)

When, where: 3 p.m. Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind.
Radio: WLS-890 AM
Notre DameBoston CollegeWhat you need to know: Notre Dame has bounced back nicely after its loss to USC last month. The Irish have won their last three games and are back in the AP poll. They should be able to roll again this week against Boston College. The Eagles have struggled to score points for most of the season. They haven’t put up more than 19 points since September. They did pull out a 14-10 win over NC State last week.
Scott Powers’ prediction: Notre Dame 41, Boston College 17

Northern Iowa (8-2) at Illinois State (7-3)

When, where: 11 a.m. Saturday at Hancock Stadium in Normal, Ill.
TV: None
Radio: None
Illinois StateNorthern IowaWhat you need to know: This could be one of the better FCS games this week. Northern Iowa is ranked No. 4 in the FCS rankings, Illinois State is at No. 14. Illinois State is also riding a five-game winning streak and had last week off to prepare for Northern Iowa. After a rough start to the season, Illinois State’s defense has come through for the Redbirds. Northern Iowa’s losses have been to Iowa State and North Dakota State.
Powers’ prediction: Illinois State 27, Northern Iowa 24

Southern Illinois (3-7) at Indiana State (6-4)

When, where: 1 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Terre Haute, Ind.
TV: None
Radio: None
Indiana StateSouthern IllinoisWhat you need to know: Southern Illinois is coming off one of its better games of the season with its 45-28 win over Eastern Illinois. The Salukis’ offense has especially clicked the last three weeks. Outside of a season-opening loss to Penn State, Indiana State has been competitive with everyone on its schedule. The Sycamores offense has, at times, struggled this season.
Powers’ prediction: Indiana State 37, Southern Illinois 31

North Dakota State (9-1) at Western Illinois (2-8)

When, where: 1 p.m. Saturday at Hanson Stadium in Macomb, Ill.
TV: None
Radio: None
Western IllinoisNorth Dakota StateWhat you need to know: Western Illinois closes out its season against one of the top FCS schools in North Dakota State. Western Illinois dropped its fifth consecutive game last week when its offense struggled again in a loss to South Dakota State. The Leathernecks haven’t scored more than 17 points in their last four games. North Dakota State did endure its first loss last week when Youngstown State pulled off an upset.
Powers’ prediction: North Dakota State 31, Western Illinois 17



Thursday, 10/16
Saturday, 10/18