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Rayvonte Rice scores 22 in his debut as Illinois cruises past Alabama State 80-63

After finishing 23-13 and returning to the NCAA tournament under coach John Groce, Illinois opened the 2013 season at Memorial Stadium prepared to continue to build on their success. The Illini welcomed Alabama State from of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, who finished 10-22 last season. Groce threw his freshman into the fire and rotated in fresh bodies throughout the game. It was a team performance, ...

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Illinois counter a rebuilding season with depth

After failing to even reach the NIT in 2011, not much was expected from coach John Groce in his first year as Illinois head coach. The word “rebuild” is often mentioned in any conversation regarding the Illini squad. Under the tutelage of Groce, seniors Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson soared to new heights and led the team past a rebuild season and back into the NCAA tournament.  Illinois reached the 3rd r ...

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Illinois transfer Ahmad Starks denied eligibility for 2013-14 season

On Tuesday, the NCAA refused to approve the hardship waiver petitioned by Illini point guard Ahmad Starks. After transferring from Oregon State, he was hoping to play his senior season in orange and blue in order to be closer to his ailing grandmother in Chicago. The NCAA's reason for denying the request was because Starks' home is more than 100 miles from Champaign, Ill. Though a seemingly understandable r ...

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5-star Power Forward Leron Black Commits to Illinois

John Groce has secured his highest rated commitment since he became the Illini head coach. Leron Black, a 5-star power forward from Memphis, Tennessee, joins Michael Finke as the second member of the 2014 recruiting class. Black chose Illinois over Baylor, Indiana, and Tennessee. The newest member of the 2014 class was originally committed to Baylor a year ago before decommitting. Black comes in at 6'7" 215 ...

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Top Recruit Jahlil Okafor cuts list down to Eight

Jahlil Okafor of Chicago's Whitney Young  narrowed down his final college list to eight earlier today. Okafor is the number one ranked recruit in the 2014 class according to ESPN.com. The 6-11, 270-pound Okafor finished second to Jabari Parker in this years Illinois Mr. Basketball voting. Okafor averaged 21 points and 9 rebounds during his junior season. He tweeted his list earlier today of the eight teams, ...

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Darius Paul to Transfer to Illinois, Hoping to Find the Success His Brother Did

Brandon Paul may be leaving the Fighting Illini this year as he will enter the 2013 NBA Draft, but not before his younger brother takes a spot on that very same roster. Western Michigan forward Darius Paul is opting to move to Champaign and play while attending the University of Illinois. He broke the news via Twitter on Saturday: His brother Brandon responded by retweeting the statement and instagramming a ...

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Illinois’ Two-Faced Attack: If the three’s are falling Michigan is in trouble

It wasn’t the most pretty thing in the world, but the Fighting Illini’s three-game skid finally came to an end as they left Lincoln with a 20 point victory over the Cornhuskers on Tuesday. After conquering the likes of Gonzaga and Ohio State earlier this season, the win over Nebraska fell short of igniting the Champaign faithful. The Illini skeptics are still in search of a verdict for this squad. This team ...

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Illinois vs. Northwestern Recap

After starting the season 12-0, no one, especially John Groce could’ve expected that Illini would be staring down the barrel of a 1-4 Big Ten start.  After being handed a 68-54 loss to the Northwestern Wildcats in Assembly Hall, the Illini did just that. Illinois now sit at the bottom of the Big Ten, only in front of 0-5 Penn State and Nebraska in the conference standings. The Fighting Illini and the Northw ...

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Illinois vs. Wisconsin Preview

The Fighting Illini immediately shifted gears from a momentous victory against Ohio State to an 84-67 drubbing against the #8 Minnesota Golden Gophers in Champaign on Wednesday. Just when everything was starting to pick up for the Illini, they’ve once again began to skid, losing their third game in five tries, including a shaky 1-2 Big Ten start. Eight weeks into the season it’s still difficult where to peg ...

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Addressing the Illini’s Weaknesses Heading into Ohio State

Toughness and Togetherness. This motto has been the driving force for the Fighting Illini this season. Every practice, every game, each player has had a “TNT” wristband strapped across their wrist. A constant reminder of what they strive for. It’s been the theme for Illini this season—and also their downfall.  As the Illini head back to Champaign to face the #8 Ohio State Buckeyes after suffering a deflatin ...

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