AUGUST 29TH UPDATE: Scratch that opening statement. It’s been a very difficult week for the Illini, with the latest news the absolute worst of all. According to the Chicago Tribune, the younger brother of 2011 Illinois basketball recruit Mycheal Henry was shot and killed last night. Only 15 years old, Darrell McKinney was killed at a block party by gunfire that was not intended for him. Talk about senseless violence that makes you wonder what the hell is wrong with people! McKinney was entering his sophomore year at Orr High School, where his brother Mycheal will be a senior. Condolences to the McKinney/Henry families on this tragic news.
Safe to say that the Illinois men’s basketball team had a much better week than the football team, which was decimated by injuries to Terry Hawthorne, Supo Sanni and Zach Becker and the dismissal of Walt Aikens from the university.
Back on campus for the new school year, the Illini basketball team added someone new (walk-on Kevin Berardini) and old (former point guard and new graduate assistant Chester Frazier), got a first look at its Big Ten Conference schedule, and was praised by head coach Bruce Weber.
BASKETBALL NEWS ON WRITING ILLINI THIS WEEK
ILLINI BASKETBALL PLAYER NEWS
#3 Brandon Paul and #42 Tyler Griffey
Some more stories on Brandon and Tyler’s most excellent adventure in Europe.
#4 Crandall Head
After missing his senior season at Rich South with a knee injury, heralded freshman recruit Crandall Head has impressed Weber during individual workouts.
Walk-on Guard Kevin Berardini
The Illini now field a 12-man roster with the addition of walk-on guard Kevin Berardini, who played in high school at Lake Forest with Michigan’s Matt Vogrich and spent one year at Loyola-Marymount.
ILLINI COACHING NEWS
Head Coach Bruce Weber
Weber thinks that his Illinois team could be “very, very good” this season.
Graduate Assistant Chester Frazier
File this one under “just a matter of time,” as popular former Illini point guard Chester Frazier has rejoined the program as a graduate assistant.
→ CHESTER FRAZIER: HIS FATHER’S SON (MUST-READ)
ILLINI BASKETBALL SCHEDULING NEWS
After much anticipation, Illinois’ complete conference schedule was released on Thursday, with the Illini facing heavyweights Michigan State, Purdue, Ohio State, Wisconsin and every other Big Ten team with the exception of Michigan and Minnesota twice.
FORMER ILLINI PLAYER NEWS
#34 Brian Johnson
Lucas’ older brother, a member of Illinois’ 1998 co-Big Ten championship team, recently celebrated a birthday.
#13 Jeff Jordan
The privileged Jordan brothers — Jeff and Marcus — apparently went wild in Las Vegas last weekend, stirring up some controversy in the progress.
ILLINI RECRUITING NEWS
The News Gazette’s recruiting blogger Cody Westerlund got some more information on Illini Class of 2011 verbal commitment Mycheal Henry, a sharp-shooting wing at Chicago’s Orr High School.
Westerlund also tracked down the progress of Illini recruit and Rock Island standout Chasson Randle, who has Illinois, Purdue and Standford in his final three.
Illinois Prep Bulls-eye provides more details on the recruitment of De La Salle forward Mike Shaw, whom Illinois, DePaul, Marquette and other schools have offered scholarships to.
Class of 2012
ESPNU came out with its top 60 players in the class of 2012, with no players from the state of Illinois listed.
Already loaded with prep stars in the class of 2012, the state of Indiana also has some intriguing prospects for 2013, with Basil Smotherman another name to keep tabs on.
BIG TEN/COLLEGE BASKETBALL NEWS
Early last week, the News Gazette’s Paul Klee broke down the basketball prospects of all 11 Big Ten teams.
Here’s a look at Michigan State’s conference schedule and new uniforms.
New Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg is rebuilding the Cyclones via Big Ten transfers like former Michigan State guard Chris Allen, Penn State guard Chris Babb and Minnesota recruit Royce White.
Speaking of the state of Iowa, here some details on new Hawkeye coach Fran McCaffery’s contract.
UIC hired former Wisconsin player and assistant Howard Moore as its new head coach, and the Chicago Public Schools’ product is ready to get the Flames going.
And to finish this week’s “Sunday Morning” on a touching note, learn more about new UIC forward Paul Carter, who transferred from Minnesota to be closer to his younger sister Bria, an inspiring 14-year-old who is courageously battling bone cancer. Trust me, you’ll want to read this piece.
→ CARTER’S TRANSFER TO UIC ALL ABOUT FAMILY (MUST READ)
Topics: Assembly Hall, Brandon Paul, Bruce Weber, Chasson Randle, Chester Frazier, Chris Allen, Chris Babb, Crandall Head, D.J. Richardson, Football, Illini Basketball, Illini Football, Illinois Basketball, Illinois Fighting Illini Football, Illinois Football, Jay Price, Jeff Jordan, Jeffrey Jordan, Jereme Richmond, Kevin Berardini, Mike Shaw, Mychael Henry, Paul Carter, Royce White, Tyler Griffey, U-of-I Basketball, University Of Illinois