The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


March 16, 2013

Illini wait to see where they go

CHICAGO —  A year ago, the Illinois Fighting Illini left the Big Ten Tournament with a myriad of questions hanging over the program.

This year, there is really only one question for the fans of the Orange & Blue to ponder — where are we going in the NCAA Tournament?

“Right now, we’re just excited for (today) to see where we go,’’ said Illinois senior guard Brandon Paul, who has appeared in just one NCAA Tournament in his collegiate career. “We had a goal going into the season, so we’re excited to see what happens.’’

And that was definitely not the attitude after last year’s Big Ten Tournament loss to Iowa.

“This year, it’s a little easier because we believe that we have done enough to be in the NCAA Tournament,’’ Illinois sophomore center Nnanna Egwu said. “Last year, we really didn’t know what was going to happen with the postseason or other things.

“We still don’t know what will officially happen, but it’s going to fun on Sunday to watch the pairings show.’’

All year, Illinois first-year coach John Groce has been inspiring his players to achieve the NCAA Tournament goal by having the players wear rubber bracelets that read “TNT” and “3-19-13.”

The “TNT” was the team’s slogan of Toughness and Togetherness, while “3-19-13” is the opening date of this year’s tournament in Dayton, Ohio.

“I told the guys when we were talking — we won seven of our last 11 games,’’ said Groce, reaffirming the idea that Illinois will be in the NCAA Tournament field. “The losses being at Michigan, at Iowa, and at Ohio State — those teams were 51-5 at home and then you have the loss to Indiana.’’

Groce also pointed out that his team has multiple wins over Top-25 RPI teams.

As of Saturday, Indiana had the most Top-25 RPI victories with seven, Duke was next with six and then came Kansas and Georgetown with five each, followed by a group of six schools, including Illinois, with four.

“We’ve played pretty good basketball,’’ Groce said. “We’re capable of playing really good basketball.’’

The Illini have also shown a great deal of growth during the 2013 portion of their season.

A year ago, Illinois lost 12 of its final 14 games to finish the year at 17-15, costing Bruce Weber his coaching position.

This year when the Illini lost six of seven and dropped to 2-7 in league play, it could have been a repeat performance but that didn’t happen.

“The thing I appreciated the most about them is their resiliency,’’ Groce said. “These guys care a lot about one another. They care about Illinois and about our team, about doing well, about playing well.

“This time of year that’s really important.’’

Instead of collapsing in the final months, the Illini won seven of their final 11, including an upset of the Indiana Hoosiers on Feb. 7.

And the team believes that resilient attitude will serve them well in the postseason.

“That’s a word to describe us a team,’’ said Illinois senior Tyler Griffey. “No matter where we are playing or what tournament we are in or who were playing, we will be ready to go next week.’’

But Griffey didn’t talk about the NCAA Tournament, he just knew the Illini would still be playing basketball this week.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen on Sunday,’’ he said. “That’s up to the selection committee.’’

The Illinois team took Saturday off and the Illini will watch the NCAA Selection Show at 5 p.m. today.

Text Only
  • Danville Post 210 Speakers fall to Rantoul CHARLESTON — Playing five games in five days finally took its toll on the Danville Post 210 Speakers.Rantoul’s Tanner McLain delivered a game-winning, two-out single to left to give his team a 6-5 victory over Danville in an elimination game of the F

    July 24, 2014

  • Juniors continue to play at Danville Tennis Open DANVILLE — The juniors were still on the court in the Greater Danville Tennis Open on Wednesday as three division titles were given out.Rachael Lewis won the girls 18 and under singles title with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Lauren Ellis, while the team of Er

    July 24, 2014

  • SPT- CN0723- Dans photo 2 Thurston gets first win DANVILLE — Getting those Ws is the goal of every pitcher.Danville’s Chase Thurston has been seeking his first collegiate victory all year. The former Danville High standout finally got it on Tuesday night when the Danville Dans defeated the Springfie

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT- CN0723 - Dustbowl photo 1 Shooting Stars sprint past MB Squad DANVILLE —Tuesday’s action from the Dustbowl at the David S. Palmer Arena featured two games in the Girls High School Division with two local teams — MB Squad and Shooting Stars — squaring off in round-robin play to advance to Sunday’s championship.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pitching boosts Speakers CHARLESTON — The Danville Post 210 Speakers’ pitching is coming along at the right time.With strong performances from Austin Millholland and Dalton Strawser, the Speakers defeated Piatt County 5-1 to move on in the Fourth Division Tournament.“The sto

    July 23, 2014

  • SPT - CN0722 - Post 210 Baseball photo 1 Speakers stay alive TILTON — Danville Post 210 baseball got their revenge Sunday afternoon and did it in style. After losing to Shelby County in the Fourth Division Tournament opener on Saturday, Danville had to win two games on Sunday if they wanted to advance and keep

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0722 - VCS photo Youth gets served at VCS Fan Appreciation Night OAKWOOD — The Vermilion County Speedway Fan Appreciation Night was more a spotlight for the youth on and off the track.While kids in the stands had bike races and decided the order for racers in certain feature races, there was a bunch of kids going

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Roundup: Dans drop third straight SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Ninth-inning rallies are becoming the norm for the Danville Dans.Unfortunately, all three of the comebacks have failed to produce a victory.On Monday night, Danville shortstop Matt Henderson delivered a two-run single in the ninth

    July 22, 2014

  • No Headline Provided TODAYBasketballDustbowl at Palmer ArenaLegion BaseballFourth Division Tournament at Charleston: Danville Post 210 Speakers vs. Piatt County, 7:15 p.m.Prospect League BaseballSpringfield Sliders at Danville Dans, 6:30 p.m.TennisGreater Danville Open a

    July 22, 2014

  • Legion Baseball Galnce LEGION BASEBALLIllinois Fourth Division TournamentSaturday, July 19 scoresAt CharlestonGame 1 — Mattoon 14, Charleston 4Game 2 — Piatt County 14, Paris 0At DanvilleGame 3 — Rantoul 10, Lincoln 1Game 4 — Shelby County 1, Danville 0Sunday, July 20 scor

    July 22, 2014

NJCAA Tourney Photos 2014

Check out the action at the NJCAA Division II National Men's Basketball Tournament March 18-22 at DACC. Buy photos from the Commercial-News here:

Must Read
AP Video
Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
NDN Video
Facebook Is Officially A Mobile Company 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Swiftair Loses Contact With Air Algerie Aircraft Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid