Friday, February 24, 2006

Hail to the Seniors

A Joint Post from Good Hope Orange and Chief:

Tomorrow night is senior night at Assembly Hall as the Fighting Illini take on the Iowa Squawkeyes. It is hard to believe that we are already to senior night. It feels like the season just started. We have all been very fortunate to watch two outstanding basketball players spend four years as a part of the University of Illinois Basketball Program.

This year, both players have taken some criticism at times, some of it fair and some of it unfair. Today we ask that all of you out there take a moment to appreciate what Dee Brown and James Augustine have done for the program and remember to enjoy watching them play these last three conference games and hopefully several more in the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments. All of the remaining games should be on TV from here on out so no excuses for missing these final chances to watch Dee and Augie.

These two guys have not only left their marks in the Illinois record books but they have also left an enormous mark on the entire program. They will go down as the two winningest (hope that is a word!) basketball players in school history. Dee has become the face of the program and really all of college basketball while Augie has personified the concept of putting on a hard hat and going to work. Chief and I are really going to miss these two players. We lose seniors every year but these two are going to have a special place in the hearts of a lot of Illini fans.

John Brumbaugh gives a great list of their career highlights here that honestly choked us up.

Below are our some of our favorites...what are yours? Comment below or "Talk Back" to us at In addition, vote here (on for your favorite Dee Brown and James Augustine moments.

Our Favorite Moments:

1. Wake Forest

2. Jersey pop

3. Seeing the look on Dee's face towards the end of the AZ game when he didn't call timeout and almost threw the game and the season away (he was petrified)...followed by this.

4. Augustine's performances in the Big Ten Tournament last year were outstanding and he was rewarded by being selected as the tournement MVP.

5. My (Chief) favorite Augustine play was at Purdue last year. Augie saved the ball from going out of bounds, was on his back and threw it to his teammates. Not sure the order of who touched it after that (did it matter with last year's squad?) but I think at least three if not four players touched the ball before someone slammed it home. I'll never remember who scored but I'll always remember Augie on his back saving the ball, which gave the Fighting Illini, who were playing sluggish in that game, the spark they needed to win.

6. My (Good Hope Orange) favorite Augustine moment is yet to come. It will be when he scores his 1000th point and becomes the first 1000 rebound/1000 point player in the history of Illinois basketball. Augustine was often overshadowed for much of his career by players from Bryan Cook to Deron Williams and Luther Head to Dee Brown but this accomplishment speaks to the consistent effort he gave every game, every season, every year.

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