On the basketball front, the men's program continues to point upward, while the women's program remains a question mark. Coach Bruce Weber got yet another commitment from Mychael Henry, which means that the program is in good hands for the distant future. With all of the interest in assistant coach Jerrance Howard lately, the Illini are in need to make a move to keep him in place. However, Jerrance's heart bleeds orange and blue, so that shouldn't be a problem. Howard has been courted by Coach John Calipari of Kentucky, where he was an assistant before coming to the Illini coaching staff. Howard played for the Illini and is a good candidate for a future head coach one day.
Another semester, another player dismissed from the Illini women's team. It really should come as no surprise, but freshman guard Brianna Jones has been booted by Jolette Law for a violation of team rules. Also announced earlier this week was the transfer of Fabiola Josil to North Florida. This has become a broken record of sorts, with the total of players leaving the program for one reason or another increasing on a yearly basis. Something needs to be done about this and quick, or else this program will remain in limbo and will never rise to the level that it is capable of.
Now for some better news. Illini junior Scott Langley made quite a splash in the golfing world recently. Langley won the individual title in the NCAA Tournament in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and then won a US Open qualifier in his home area of St. Louis to get to play with the pros at Pebble Beach. Langley finished the tournament at 8 over par, shooting a 292 for the weekend, giving him a tie for 16th place overall. Not a bad showing for the youngster, who insists that he will be back at Illinois for his senior season to try and help the Illini win the NCAA team title next season.
Finally, Illini track and field standout Angela Bizzari has completed a sensational season on the track, winning the Dike Eddelman award for the third time. This is unprecedented, and I am sure that she has an Olympic future in front of her. Bizzari had to withdraw from the 5000 meters at the NCAA Championships, citing a case of nerves as the culprit.
Enjoy the rest of the summer folks, as Camp Rantoul is only 50 days away!