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Continue Fearing the Turtle: Slow Offensive Start Buries Illini in Home Loss to Maryland

Continue Fearing the Turtle: Slow Offensive Start Buries Illini in Home Loss to Maryland

Illinois’ trio of stars (Makira Cook, Genesis Bryant and […]

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Prophecy Fulfilled: The Super Bowl Lands in Las Vegas

Prophecy Fulfilled: The Super Bowl Lands in Las Vegas

By Larry Smith, Co-Founder, IlliniGuys & Co-Host/Executive Producer, IlliniGuys Sports Spectacular

February 11, 2024

(Photos courtesy Larry Smith)

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - It was January, 2007 and the story I was working on was 'could pro sports play in Las Vegas?'  My producer at CNN Sports twisted my arm (wink wink) to make the three-day trip to Sin City immediately after the BCS game in suburban Phoenix.  Florida shocked favored Ohio State to reign as king of college football on that night, but the real stunner came during our interviews in Vegas. 

I sat down with then-mayor - and former mob lawyer - Oscar Goodman, an executive at MGM Grand, and the general manager of the Triple-AAA baseball affiliate that called Las Vegas home and they were very persuasive in their collective view.  I landed on that Tuesday a skeptic, but I left on Friday a convert - firmly believing Las Vegas would eventually be a major league sports city.

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Ked's Recruiting Roundup - Divine, Destiny & Illini Women's Basketball

Ked's Recruiting Roundup - Divine, Destiny & Illini Women's Basketball

Illinois Women's Basketball Program Eyes Top Talents in 2025 Class at Today's Maryland Game.

Kedric Prince, IlliniGuys Director of Recruiting

February 11, 2024

The Illinois women's basketball program is setting its sights on securing a formidable backcourt for the future, with two of the nation's top prep players in the class of 2025 on their radar and in attendance for today's Maryland game. 

ESPN HoopGurlz Super 60 ranks Divine Bourrage, a 6-foot-0 guard from Davenport North (HS) in Davenport, IA, at the 9th spot nationally, while Destiny Jackson, a 5-foot-6 guard from Whitney Young (HS) in Illinois, has climbed to the 29th position.

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Spartans Take Advantage of Late-Game Illini Meltdown

Spartans Take Advantage of Late-Game Illini Meltdown

Michigan State outscored No. 10 Illinois 23-8 from the […]

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Sturdy's Illini Basketball Preview - At Michigan State

Sturdy's Illini Basketball Preview - At Michigan State

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

February 10, 2024

The Fighting Illini are on the road on Saturday in a road tilt that will likely determine whether they are a legit player for the Big Ten title. Illinois is ranked in the top 10 in the opening poll of February for the first time since Feb. 6, 2006, and the Illini sit one game behind Purdue in the loss column in 2nd place alone and will need a strong finish to catch the Boilers. It starts on Saturday at Michigan State against a desperate Spartan squad that needs this win if they want to continue their 25-year streak of NCAA tournament appearances. 

The Spartans have just 2 Quad 1 wins at the moment, and one will likely slide to a Quad 2, and have only at Purdue remaining as a Quad 1. Should they lose this game, they would have almost no margin for error down the stretch. 

Here are our keys and a pick:

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Ked's Recruiting Roundup - Sophomore Lincoln Williams Receives Scholarship Offer from Illinois

Ked's Recruiting Roundup - Sophomore Lincoln Williams Receives Scholarship Offer from Illinois

Kedric Prince, IlliniGuys Director of Recruiting

February 10, 2024

Lincoln Williams, a 6-foot-5, 180-pound shooting guard from the class of 2026, who recently received a scholarship offer from Illinois, making this his first Power 5 offer.

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Football Recruiting Spotlight - Focusing on the Walk-ons

Football Recruiting Spotlight - Focusing on the Walk-ons

Steve Sturm, IlliniGuys Football Analyst

February 9, 2024

Maybe its just me, but I get more excited about the yearly crop of PWO commits at the second signing day as they come in than I do about the first signing day. The reason is these guys are "free" and don't count against any of the scholarship limitations so you can take as many of them as you want. My excitement has intensified with these last two classes under Bielema though, because Coach Bert has made his grassroots recruiting campaign a priority and it has paid off especially well on guys like this. Last year's PWO crop was the best I'd ever seen.... until this year.

Here they are, in order of commitment:

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Bielema Targets Texas Ties in New Illini LB Coach Archie McDaniel

Bielema Targets Texas Ties in New Illini LB Coach Archie McDaniel

New Illinois linebackers coach Archie McDaniel brings a vast amount of experience developing talent and recruiting prospects in the Lone Star State of Texas. 

Matt Stevens, IlliniGuys Staff Writer

February 9, 2024

CHAMPAIGN — Bret Bielema believes he has found a connection to Texas prospects in the form of his new linebackers coach hire. 

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The Farrell Files Illinois - Absolute Home Run Hire

The Farrell Files Illinois - Absolute Home Run Hire

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

February 9, 2024

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

In this edition of the Farrell Files Illinois, I’ll look at the new wide receiver hire (hint, it’s a good one) from a positional and recruiting aspect.

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McKenzie Scores 20 As Illini Complete Season Sweep of Wildcats

McKenzie Scores 20 As Illini Complete Season Sweep of Wildcats

(From Illinois Sports Information Office) Media Box | YouTube […]

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Justin Stepp Reunites With Illini OC Barry Lunney Jr. As New Illinois WR Coach

Justin Stepp Reunites With Illini OC Barry Lunney Jr. As New Illinois WR Coach

Stepp’s move to Illinois marks his first collegiate assistant job north of the Mason-Dixon Line after spending the last six years as a wide receivers coach in the Southeastern Conference. 

Matt Stevens, IlliniGuys Staff Writer

February 8, 2024

CHAMPAIGN — Justin Stepp gets to reunite with Barry Lunney Jr.’s offensive philosophy once again. 

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Ked's Recruiting Roundup - Jamarion Batemon

Ked's Recruiting Roundup - Jamarion Batemon

Jamarion Batemon, 3-star recruit from Milwaukee Considering Illinois in His Top Three

Kedric Prince, IlliniGuys Director of Recruiting

February 8, 2024

In the world of college basketball recruiting, Jamarion Batemon, a 6-3, 170-pound combo guard from Milwaukee, WI, is making noise as a 2025 three-star recruit. He is currently attending the Milwaukee Academy of Science. Sunday, Batemon made his second unofficial visit to the University of Illinois. 

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Tanner Heckel Commits to Illinois, Brings Versatility to the Fighting Illini

Tanner Heckel Commits to Illinois, Brings Versatility to the Fighting Illini

Kedric Prince, IlliniGuys Director of Recruiting

February 8, 2023

On Wednesday, Illinois signed a valuable addition to its football roster as three-star Kansas defensive back Tanner Heckel signed a national letter of intent. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound athlete hails from Lyndon (HS) in Kansas and is set to bring a diverse skill set to Illinois.

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Charlie Bullen Returning to National Football League As New York Giants OLB Coach 

Charlie Bullen Returning to National Football League As New York Giants OLB Coach 

The outside linebackers coaching position is open at Illinois for the third time in four offseasons as Charlie Bullen leaves for the NFL’s New York Giants. 

Matt Stevens, IlliniGuys Staff Writer

February 7, 2024

CHAMPAIGN — Charlie Bullen’s time as a full-time position coach at the collegiate level lasted just 13 months. 

Shortly after Illinois head coach Bret Bielema completed a local media conference inside the Smith Family Football Complex, the New York Giants announced Charlie Bullen was leaving the Illini program after just one season for the same job title with the National Football League franchise.

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Bielema on Fmr. Illini Signee Josaiah Knight Signing With Mississippi State: ‘He wanted to be here’

Bielema on Fmr. Illini Signee Josaiah Knight Signing With Mississippi State: ‘He wanted to be here’

Illinois head coach Bret Bielema hinted an enrollment problem popped up with three-star OLB/DE Josaiah Knight after he signed with Mississippi State Wednesday. 

Matt Stevens, IlliniGuys Staff Writer

February 7, 2024

CHAMPAIGN — Despite signing a National Letter-of-Intent and being introduced as an early enrollee a few weeks later, Josaiah Knight will not be a member of the University of Illinois football program. 

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