Featured

Finding His Chee: Canadian OF Cameron Chee-Aloy Making Instant Freshman Impact

Finding His Chee: Canadian OF Cameron Chee-Aloy Making Instant Freshman Impact

Cameron Chee-Aloy has an eight-game hitting streak to start his collegiate baseball career after the Toronto native was one of the most coveted signees in Dan Hartleb’s Illini program in several years.

Matt Stevens, IlliniGuys Staff Writer

February 28, 2024

CHAMPAIGN — The way anybody can tell the Illinois baseball coaching staff loves Cameron Chee-Aloy is where he was listed on the Illini lineup card. 

By Chee-Aloy’s third collegiate baseball game, the Toronto native was the first name that Illini head coach Dan Hartleb wrote at the top of the lineup and the 18-year veteran head coach doesn’t typically race out to put a true freshman in the leadoff spot.

Read
Ked's Recruiting Roundup - Zion Gross Basketball Prospect from Joliet West HS

Ked's Recruiting Roundup - Zion Gross Basketball Prospect from Joliet West HS

Kedric Prince, IlliniGuys Director of Recruiting

February 27, 2024

Zion Gross is a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Joliet West High School in the Chicagoland area. Despite not being highly ranked in the state of Illinois for the class of 2025, Gross has proven himself as a formidable player with a possible bright future at the next level.

Read
Illini Legendary Wrestling Coach Mark Johnson Excited to See Cole Rusk in Orange & Blue

Illini Legendary Wrestling Coach Mark Johnson Excited to See Cole Rusk in Orange & Blue

Former Illini wrestling head coach Mark Johnson recruited Steve Rusk from his home area of the Quad Cities almost 30 years ago and is thrilled Steve’s son is a graduate transfer for Illini football. 

Matt Stevens, IlliniGuys Staff Writer

February 27, 2024

CHAMPAIGN — During his first week after moving into his residence at the University of Illinois, Cole Rusk was told there was a delivery for him on the front stoop at their family home in Rock Island.

Rusk immediately thought this was strange until he was told who the gift came from. 

“My dad told me that the next time I get home there was an Illini shirt waiting for me,” said Cole Rusk, the newest tight end signee for Illinois out of the transfer portal. “And then (my dad) said it was from his coach at Illinois and I was like ‘oh, that’s so awesome’.” 

Read
The Farrell Files Illinois - 2 Key 2025 Targets & 1 Emerging 2026 Star

The Farrell Files Illinois - 2 Key 2025 Targets & 1 Emerging 2026 Star

Mike Farrell, IlliniGuys & Big Sports Radio National Football Recruiting Expert

February 26, 2024

(Mike Farrell also has his own website: https://mikefarrellsports.com/)

In this edition of the Farrell Files Illinois, I’ll take a look at two key 2025 targets and a 2026 emerging quickly.

Read
Pursuit of Illinois Women's Basketball Recruit Divine Bourrage Intensifies with South Carolina Pursuing

Pursuit of Illinois Women's Basketball Recruit Divine Bourrage Intensifies with South Carolina Pursuing

Kedric Prince, IlliniGuys Director of Recruiting

February 26, 2024

Amidst the buzz surrounding Illinois women's basketball recruit, Divine Bourrage, the 6-foot–0 point guard from Davenport North has become a focal point of attention in the world of collegiate basketball. With an impressive journey that has led to 34 Division I scholarship offers. 

Read
Sturdy's Rewind - More Bite in this Defense

Sturdy's Rewind - More Bite in this Defense

Brad Sturdy, Uber-Illini Insider & Co-Host of IlliniGuys Sports Spectacular & Big Sports Radio

February 26, 2024

Look, I’m not going to tell you that this Illinois defense is becoming elite like Houston or Tennessee, or even very good. But it was better on Saturday when they took on the high scoring Iowa Hawkeyes. Iowa scored 85 points, but in a 74-possession game for a top 12 offense, that isn’t bad. But the second half was much better. The Hawkeyes scored 1.077 PPP in the second half, and after Brad Underwood subbed at the 18-minute mark, the Hawks were under 1 point per possession for the remainder of the second half. That’s very good defensively against that team.

And perhaps even more importantly, they forced Iowa into mostly difficult shots. Although the Hawks shot 62% in the first half from 2-point range, they shot just 34% in the second half on mostly the same shots. They also only allowed 12 3-point attempts, essentially playing the type of defense that Brad Underwood loves. Diving deeper, Iowa was 12-19 at the rim, the fewest shots at the rim that Illinois has allowed since the Rutgers game, back on December 2nd. That’s a big improvement. 

Read

"They make you look like that”: Shauna Green Applauds Caitlin Clark’s Iowa Offense She’d Like to Replicate in Champaign

All Illinois head coach Shauna Green could do after a game where they gave up 101 points was hope and believe one day her Illini offense can come close to looking like 2023-24 Iowa. 

Matt Stevens, IlliniGuys Staff Writer

February 25, 2024

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Imagine being an opposing head coach and coming out of the 40-minute assignment of Caitlin Clark’s Iowa onslaught with a smile on your face after giving up 101 points. 

Read
No. 4 Hawkeyes Nation’s Best Offense Flies Past Illini 101-85

No. 4 Hawkeyes Nation’s Best Offense Flies Past Illini 101-85

After giving up a 30-point opening quarter, Illinois couldn’t properly settle down in the final 30 minutes during a 101-85 loss at No. 4 Iowa on Sunday afternoon. 

Matt Stevens, IlliniGuys Staff Writer

February 25, 2024

IOWA CITY, Iowa — While the motto for this 2023-24 season has been for Illinois women’s basketball to ignore the start and focus on the finish, its 40 minutes at Carver-Hawkeye resembled its season progress. 

A bad start that saw No. 4 Iowa rack up 30 points in the opening quarter never allowed Illinois to maintain any momentum toward a viable comeback effort in a 101-85 loss for the upset-minded Illini on Sunday afternoon. 

Read
Heat Checks & Hail Marys - Pivotal Victory Over Iowa

Heat Checks & Hail Marys - Pivotal Victory Over Iowa

Mike Cagley, Co-Host IlliniGuys Sports Spectacular and Big Sports […]

Read
‘We need wins’ - Shauna Green’s Illini Trying to Knock Off No. 4 Iowa in Carver-Hawkeye

‘We need wins’ - Shauna Green’s Illini Trying to Knock Off No. 4 Iowa in Carver-Hawkeye

  Premium Members Only. Please Subscribe To View The […]

Read
Moretti Goes from Underwood’s Motivational Prop to Key Closeout Contributor

Moretti Goes from Underwood’s Motivational Prop to Key Closeout Contributor

Illinois redshirt freshman guard Niccolo Moretti was part of a five-player substitution by an angry Brad Underwood with 18 minutes to go but would only leave the floor again for 48 seconds.

Matt Stevens, IlliniGuys Staff Writer

February 24, 2024

CHAMPAIGN — Niccolo Moretti went from being used as a motivational prop to being a motivational hero in just 19 minutes of action Saturday. 

Read
Illini Take Offensive Slugfest Over Iowa 95-85

Illini Take Offensive Slugfest Over Iowa 95-85

Illinois got enough defensive stops to survive a test from an offensively confident Iowa squad to get to its 20th win of the 2023-24 season. 

Matt Stevens, IlliniGuys Staff Writer

February 24, 2024

CHAMPAIGN — In a matchup of the two of the league’s best scoring teams, Illinois won an offensive slugfest in State Farm Center. 

The Illini dispatched an upset-minded Iowa squad 95-85 in a game where the home team shot nearly 50 percent from the field to negate the idea that they gave up over 80 points for the fifth time this month.

Read
Sturdy's Illini Basketball Preview - Shootout versus Iowa at the State Farm Center

Sturdy's Illini Basketball Preview - Shootout versus Iowa at the State Farm Center

Brad Sturdy, Illini Uber-Insider & Co-Host IlliniGuys Sports Spectacular and Big Sports Radio

February 24, 2024

Iowa and Illinois are two of the highest scoring and best offensive teams in the country. They are also two teams that are struggling mightily on the defensive end of the floor. The ?Hawkeyes are trying to get a scalp for their NCAA tournament hopes, while the Illini are hoping to slide up a line in NCAA bracketology. It’s the annual orange out game for the Illini, so the place should be rocking.

Setting the Stage

#12 Illinois (19-7, 10-5 B1G) vs. Iowa (16-11, 8-8 B1G) 

Feb. 24, 2024 // 1:15 p.m. CT // Champaign, Ill. // State Farm Center 

TV: BTN – Connor Onion (Play-by-Play), Robbie Hummel (Analyst) 

Radio: Busey Bank Illini Sports Network – Brian Barnhart (Play-By-Play), Deon Thomas 

Illini Notables

Read
Pay-For-Play is Legal: Federal Judge Issues Injunction on NCAA Rules Enforcement Regarding NIL Issues

Pay-For-Play is Legal: Federal Judge Issues Injunction on NCAA Rules Enforcement Regarding NIL Issues

A federal judge ruling in Tennessee issuing an injunction prohibiting the NCAA from enforcing its regulations on using name, image and likeness payment inducements in recruiting fully opens pay-for-play activities across the nation.

Matt Stevens, IlliniGuys Staff Writer

February 24, 2024

CHAMPAIGN — During his end-of-season media conference on November 30, Illinois head coach Bret Bielema said he believed the recent news surrounding name, image and likeness issues in college athletics and specifically his sport of college football would “lead to something breaking” involving legislation on the matter.

The third-year Illini football coach likely had no idea he would be this fundamentally correct and philosophically incorrect at the same time. What Bielema, and several other people inside college athletics, was hoping for was federal legislation leading to further restrictions on NIL inducements being used in player acquisition and, therefore, providing a more even platform across the nation. What happened was the opposite after a federal judge issued a ban on the NCAA being able to enforce any rules or regulations regarding NIL inducements in recruiting.

Read
“If they can’t, I do” Illini Experience Brutal ‘Brad Underwood practice’ After Upset Loss at Penn State

“If they can’t, I do” Illini Experience Brutal ‘Brad Underwood practice’ After Upset Loss at Penn State

Illinois head coach Brad Underwood put his team through a brutal and physical two-hour practice session following another disappointing defensive effort at Penn State. 

Matt Stevens, IlliniGuys Staff Writer

February 23, 2024

CHAMPAIGN — Luke Goode has been on this roster long enough to know what it meant when he arrived at the Ubben Basketball Facility for practice Thursday without being sent a practice plan yet.

The junior forward understood this set of events meant he and his teammates were in for a mentally awakening and physical tasking two-hour session. 

Read