Wednesday, February 23, 2005

In the news

Some great articles in the papers today:

In the Sun-Times, James Augustine finally gets his due. One of the best comments comes from Michigan State coach Tom Izzo discussing how Augustine has grown into his role as an anchor in the paint. "The other guys are the marquee names, but Augustine is the glue guy that keeps them all together. He's maybe the most efficient player on that team. That doesn't mean he has the big numbers. But when does he have a bad game? He's steady.'' That is a great compliment coming from a coach like Izzo.

Another compliment comes from Minnesota coach Don Monson. "Everybody tries to say their inside players are their weak link. I just laugh at that. Their inside guys are very underrated because they're such hard matchups. Augustine is invaluable because he's so versatile. He can do so many things -- from score to guard people to pass the ball. He's just a complete player.'' It is nice to see Augustine get some credit for his play this season. As Illinitalk has pointed out previously, we believe the Illini big men are underrated and will not be a weak link come tournament time. Teams who underestimate them do so at their own peril.

Moving on, there is another good article in the Sun-Times with comments from John Havlicek, who was on the 1960-61 Ohio State team that is currently in third place on the Big 10's list of longest in-season winning streaks (Illinois can surpass them tonight with a win against the Northwestern Mildcats). My favorite is his closing comment as follows: ''These are days and nights that the members of the Illinois team, their coaches, their families and fans and everyone else around the program will never live through again. Revel in them, enjoy them and make more of them happen. It is such a unique position to be in. And such a great one. Isn't the whole goal of competing to win?''

The Tribune has a good preview of tonight's game against Northwestern.

Finally, the Daily Herald has an interesting Dee Brown comparison and discusses the Illini's focus on a title.

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