The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

March 6, 2013

Illinois goes to work

HOFFMAN ESTATES — At this time of the season, a lot of college basketball coaches start to sound like politicians before an election.

Illinois first-year women’s basketball coach Matt Bollant is doing his best grassroots campaigning as his Fighting Illini prepare for the Big Ten Tournament.

The Fighting Illini, who are 16-12 overall and 9-7 in the Big Ten Conference, are fighting for the school’s first NCAA Tournament berth since 2003.

Ironically, that was the last time Illinois was over .500 in the Big Ten Conference, but the Illini have suffered back-to-back losses to Ohio State and at Purdue heading into the league tournament. That doesn’t deter Bollant’s belief that his team is a tournament ready.

“I’m excited about how we played against Purdue,’’ said Bollant as the Boilermakers defeated the Illini 76-65. “I felt like it was a high-level game. Right from the start, you could see it was an NCAA Tournament level type of game.

“The NCAA committee talks about the eye test, whether a team looks like they deserve to be in the NCAA Tournament. I can’t believe that anyone that watched that game, would look at the level of play and not think that both teams deserved to be in the tournament.’’

And Bollant believes the numbers are on his side.

“We have six wins against teams in the top-50 of the RPI. There is no one that has wins over Georgia and Nebraska, two top-15 teams,’’ Bollant said. “If you look at quality wins and the last 10, we are 6-4. I feel like we are in, but you are always want to improve your résumé.’’

The Illini can solidify their hopes at the Big Ten Tournament, starting with today’s first-round contest against the Wisconsin Badgers (11-18, 3-13).

“Regardless of the other stuff, our focus is on Wisconsin,’’ Bollant said. “They are playing really well down the stretch, they lost by 2 to Nebraska, who finished second in the Big Ten, and they lost by six at Michigan State, who finished tied for third.’’

If Illinois is able to beat Wisconsin for the third time this season, the Illini would advance to the quarterfinals to play the Purdue Boilermakers.

“We want to end on a good note,’’ Bollant said. “We want to make a run in the Big Ten Tournament.’’

And the first-year coach would welcome that opportunity to play the Boilermakers (21-8 overall, 10-6 in the Big Ten) for a third time this year after losing to them 67-66 in overtime in Champaign and last Sunday’s setback.

“I felt really good about how hard we played, and how together we were,’’ he said. “It was a high level basketball game.’’

Illinois senior guard Adrienne GodBold was voted the 2013 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year on Monday, while senior forward Karisma Penn was a first-team all-conference selection.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • NASCAR Brickyard 400 Auto Racing [Duplicate] Harvick sets the pace at Indy INDIANAPOLIS — Growing up in Bakersfield, Calif., IndyCar driver Rick Mears was the childhood hero for Kevin Harvick.Mears is one of three men to have won four Indianapolis 500s and he has won a career-best six poles for the “Greatest Spectacle in Ra

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT- CN0727 - Dustbowl photo 1 Click Clak Tre wins consolation championship DANVILLE — Saturday’s Dustbowl action at the David S. Palmer Arena had a full day of action ending with the Men’s Division Consolation Championship Game. The Consolation Championship was played between Rantoul’s Mon Stars (Rantoul) and Click Clak Tre

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • No Headline Provided DANVILLE — Adult action started at the Greater Danville Tennis Open on Saturday with one title decided. Stacy Wells won the women's open singles division with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 win over Katie Larck. The rest of the action was mostly semifinal play. IN

    July 27, 2014

  • Dans photo 27.jpg Dans get past Cavemen

    Shumaker hits a home run with two RBIs as Danville defeats Hannibal after delay

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT- CN0726 - Dans photo 1 Dans make most of second chance DANVILLE — Baseball can be a funny game, and as often is the case, a player can be the goat one minute, and the hero the next.Trevor Rucker blooped a shot down the right field line that caromed off the glove of Hannibal second baseman Jeff Smith to d

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT- CN0725 - Dustbowl photo 2 Stars advance to boys final DANVILLE — The 42nd Annual Dustbowl action continued Thursday at David S. Palmer Arena with the High School Boys basketball division in full swing as four games were played and all eight teams participated. In game one of the winner’s bracket of sem

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0725 - Atwood photo Baseball community to honor Atwood DANVILLE — Whether it was working on the field or running a tournament, there wasn’t anything that Frank Atwood wouldn’t do for the game of baseball.His love for the game created numerous opportunities for the youth of the Danville area as Atwood ser

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dans get a split of doubleheader with Cavemen HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Danville Dans won the first game of a doubleheader with the Hannibal Cavemen 3-1 on Thursday before losing the second game 5-3 to get a split.In the first game, Corbin Olmstead pitched seven innings with eight strikeouts to get th

    July 25, 2014

  • 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

E-edition
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: http://smu.gs/1iCWKnP

Must Read
AP Video
Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground
NDN Video
GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1" Trailer is Here! Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali 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