Thursday, April 28, 2005

Catch up

First of all, allow me to apologize to all of our readers on behalf of the Chief and I for going so long without a new post. We have each been swamped at work and at home and simply haven't been able to get things up in as timely a manner as we would have liked. Also, there really hasn't been a whole lot going on to report and comment about. That being said, we will try to catch you up on a few things that have taken place over the past couple of weeks.

--Deron Williams officially entered the NBA draft and hired an agent. While I am sure all of us Illini fans were holding out a small, tiny bit of hope that he wouldn't hire an agent and maybe even decide to come back, I think we all knew that wasn't very realistic. He is projected to be a top 15 pick and could go as high as #4 or #6 overall according to some rumors. I can't really blame a guy for choosing to go pro when he has that type of an opportunity and has played 3 years of college ball. He is a great player and represented the Illini well. In case any of you missed it, he put ads in the sports sections of the Tribune, Sun-Times, and the News-Gazette this past Monday to thank the students, alumi, and fans for all of their support. Now that is a class act!

--Recruiting. Apparently some good news and some bad. Greg Oden, a 7-foot jr. in Indiana who may have the ability to go straight to the NBA, has narrowed his choices and the Illini are not one of them. On the flip side, his highly rated 6-1 point guard teammate, Mike Conley has Illinois as one of his final four universities under consideration. Illinois stopped recruiting him so Westinghouse center DeAndre Thomas is headed for Missouri. I don't have any strong feelings on this either way since I trust Coach Weber's judgement on who he wants to have play for him. That being said, you always hope something like this doesn't come back to bite you down the road.

--The Rev. For those of you that live in the Chicagoland area and are interested in having the chance to see Roger "The Rev" Powell, Jr. in a ministry setting, your opportunity has arrived. Powell, a licensed Pentecostal minister will be appearing this Saturday and Sunday (April 30th and May 1st) at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington where he will be interviewed by Associate Pastor Gene Appel about the "God Who Sits Next to You." Powell will be at the 5:30 p.m. service on Saturday and at the 9:00 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. services on Sunday.

--On newstands now. Check out 96 pages of Illini cheer (according to the Sun-Times) in the new Illini Magic publication from Sporting News Books. It covers the entire regular season game by game as well as the post-season and is $9.99. It should be available on newstands now for those of you who are interested in this commemorative keepsake magazine. (Note: Illinitalk receives no proceeds from the sale of this publication.)

I am running out of time so I need to be brief here. Lots of good articles the past couple of weeks, especially the one Chief posted on earlier. Here are some others worth a read:

--Illini unveil their no-huddle offense and are also using the shotgun formation

--We may have a new starting quarterback. Although nothing is final yet, Tim Brasic of Riverside-Brookfield is the leading candidate after the spring game.

--Ron Zook came with a reputation as being a great recruiter. Need proof? Click here for the full story from the Sun-Times.

That's all for now. We will try to never go this long again between posts. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

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