Illini Wonk
Friday, December 30, 2005
  Blue-collar Illini face Skyhawks
Having just defeated the Redhawks on Wednesday night, the Illini will now face the Skyhawks on Friday night. (Who's next...the Chickenhawks?) UTM is coming off a 62-54 loss to Purdue on Wednesday night and are 5-4 on the season.

Tonight's game is the final obstacle between Illinois and their second consecutive undefeated pre-conference schedule. Although the records are similar, this year's Illini have achieved it in a vastly different manner. Last year, it was offense. This year, defense and rebounding. Coach Bruce Weber describes it thusly: last year we were white collar, this year, blue. Still, Weber would like to see more consistency from his team.

Speaking of rebounding, Illinois senior James Augustine is in need of 11 rebounds to surpass the 853 Efrem Winters recorded between 1983 and 1986 and become Illinois' all-time leading rebounder. Apparently, Augie's also popular with the ladies.

With Illinois listed as 26 or 27-point favorites, the biggest drama of the night could be whether or not Bruce Weber offers Michael Tisdale a scholarship. The 7-foot junior from Riverton High School just set the Carlinville Holiday Tournament scoring record with 118 points in four games and will be in attendance at Assembly Hall tonight.

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