If you haven’t heard already, Jamar Smith has been dismissed from Illinois for violating his probation from his DUI incident last summer. Pretty big loss for the Illini. This sincerely hurts their chances for a bounceback season. I haven’t read too much into their new players, but I would have to think Illini fans are just waiting until the monstrous 2009 recruiting class gets to campus.
Penn State and Iowa are still the only schools to release their non-con schedules. I’ve seen/heard partial schedules from Purdue, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan State, but I’m not going to post anything until they become official.
Not too much on the recruiting front. Eric Gordan’s younger brother is visiting sometime this month, and we offered MJ’s son, Marcus (Jeff, the older son, is a walkon at Illinois). No clue the interest level of these two prospects, but there’s obviously some interest if you’re going to make the trip to State College and visit.
ESPN released their ‘Big Ten Shoot-a-Round’. Doug Gottlieb picked us 10th. Clueless, but I can’t really blame him. He’s been deeming us a surprise team the last 2 years. He just gave in. I want a 5th place finish, expect at least a sixth place finish, and will accept a 7th place finish. Anything worse and this program isn’t going anywhere.
Also, CollegeHoopsNet.com has been going to work on their 144 previews in 144 days. They are up to 107 and there’s no Penn State. I can’t really believe they would have us much higher. I won’t start freaking until they get to about 90 teams left and there’s no PSU. But somehow NW made an appearance at 128. I’ll be shocked if NW is ranked that much higher than us (assuming we are out of the top 144).