Illini Wonk
Thursday, October 19, 2006
  Will Carlwell help the Illini forget about you-know-who?
In today's Chicago Daily Herald, Lindsey Willhite offers some advice to Illini fans: Stop obsessing over Eric Gordon’s decision to attend Indiana and start obsessing over 6-foot-11 freshman center Brian Carlwell. Wonk couldn't agree more. The only other time I want to talk about Gordon is the reception he's going to get from the Orange Krush during his first visit to Assembly Hall.

Here are some quotes from Willhite's article. First about getting in shape:

...during Illinois’ six-week conditioning program that preceded the start
of practice, Carlwell shed 15 pounds.

Carlwell's length:

Carlwell is so long, he owns a 9-foot-2 standing reach. Yao Ming’s reach is
just five inches more.

That should lead to a few blocked shots, eh? Could Deon Thomas' career record of 177 be in jeapordy? Willhite's commentary:

If I didn’t know better, I’d guess Bill Russell is Carlwell’s grandfather
or great uncle or somewhere else on his family tree.

Bill Russell? Didn't he win two NCAA championships? Nothing like setting the expectations on the high side. Bruce Weber:

“Brian Carlwell down the road — and I’m not sure if it’s going to be this
year, one year, two years — he could be somebody that I’m not sure anyone in my
memory of Illini basketball has been like that,” Weber said. “Because of his

Not the most eloquent quote to come out of Weber's mouth, but I think he means that in a good way. Could Brian Carlwell help Illinois fans forget about the one who got away? Only time will tell.
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