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#AskTCR: Is Leron Black Worth A Riot?


Rich Lam

Are you ready to have all of life's mysteries solved? Good, because it's time for the #AskTCR Mailbag. We got more questions this week than we have in any other week, so there's a good chance your question might not make the cut. If that's the case, don't feel bad about it or anything because people fail at things all the time. Life is essentially a long series of failures and then you die.

If you're wondering how you can go about possibly failing to get your question into next week's mailbag just follow these simple instructions.

There are two ways to ask The Champaign Room your questions. You can tweet them at us on Twitter using the hashtag #AskTCR -- it just makes it easier to keep track -- or you can email them to us at And if you've got a personal question and you're worried about your privacy, just tell us. Well change your name to Tom Crean when we publish it on the site. And remember, you can ask us ANYTHING. It doesn't have to be about Illinois or even sports.

Now let's get to breaking some hearts.

There's a lot of excitement about Leron Black this week, and understandably so. While Black may not be Jahlil Okafor or Cliff Alexander in that he's a big star from Chicago, there's nothing wrong with getting highly-ranked players from elsewhere, and Black is a highly-ranked player.

He's even a five-star depending on who you ask. Rivals has him at five, while 247Sports' composite rankings has him as a four-star. Of course, his rating is 98.88888. You need a 99 to be a five-star, so I wouldn't get caught up in the rankings all that much.

But as for whether or not you should riot if he commits, rioting is never acceptable. If rioting was acceptable then it wouldn't be any fun. It'd just be a group of people legally destroying property, overturning cars and setting shit on fire. And at some point when you're overturning that car with a group of friends you'd think to yourself "why exactly are we doing this? And why is the owner of the car helping?"

Takes some of the fun out of it, no?

So, no, there's never an acceptable time to riot. But there are plenty of unacceptable times to riot, though I don't think Leron Black committing would be the time to do so. It might scare him off, so wait until he signs his letter of intent first. Then he has to come!

Thanks, NCAA!

I would not know for I have never had deep dish pizza from Papa Del's. In fact, I rarely have deep dish pizza. You see, there's a thing a lot of non-Chicagoans don't realize about Chicagoans, and that's that most Chicagoans don't like deep-dish pizza. We also don't know who the fuck started the whole CHICAGO IS DEEP DISH PIZZA meme to begin with, but if we did we'd toss him off one of our many tall buildings.

Deep dish pizza is a tourist thing in the city of Chicago. The only time I have it is when friends from out of town are visiting and they say they want to go get deep dish pizza. When this happens I'll ask them if they're sure and give them some much better thin crust pizza options in the city because there are a shit ton of great pizza joints in this city.

Most of the time they say "I'm in Chicago! I want deep-dish!" and we eventually end up at Giordano's or some shit eating deep-dish fucking pizza and I'm already sitting there waiting for these assholes to go back home.

I mean, there are not many cities in the world that offer the number of great restaurants -- of an incredible variety -- that Chicago does. It's hard not to find a great place to eat here. But no. Everybody wants fucking deep-dish pizza because they've been brain-washed by the Deep Dish Pizza lobby or some shit.

So if you happen to be coming to Chicago in September for the game at Soldier Field, do yourself a favor and do not go looking for deep-dish pizza. Try a real restaurant and get real food. You'll be much happier because of it.

I'm going to say Brandon Paul because it turns out the only reason he's going to Russia is to bring Edward Snowden back.

And if you'll now excuse me, I'm going to go on a mini-rant.

If you were one of those people who were absolutely shocked to find out that the government is keeping tabs on you, you're an idiot. An absolute fucking idiot. Where the fuck were you when they passed the Patriot Act? You remember the Patriot Act, don't you? It's that thing that got passed following 9/11 in which the government basically made it legal to spy on you in the name of stopping terrorism.

I was 21 and drunk when they passed that thing and even I knew about it. What was your excuse?

You know, I didn't do a whole lot of tailgating when I was in Champaign. Generally when I did I would just be in that space to the west of the stadium, I don't know if it has an actual name. But even then it would only be those rare times when the Illini didn't start at 11am.

My tailgating was done the night before, as my friends and I would be up until about 5am drinking, pass out for a few hours and then wake up and start drinking beer at the apartment(s) before making the walk over to the stadium while drinking more beer.

So I guess my answer is your living room.

Yeah, though I'm not all that optimistic. I've gone over it in my head a few times and generally this is the only way I can see it happening.

Southern Illinois - Win
Cincinnati - Win
Washington - Loss
Miami OH - Win
Nebraska - Loss
Wisconsin - Loss
Michigan State - Win
Penn State - Loss
Indiana - Win
Ohio State - Loss
Purdue - Win
Northwestern - Loss

That's a 6-6 (3-5) record, and a few of those games are interchangeable. What's important is that the Illini go at least 1-1 in those games against Cincinnati and Washington. If they can somehow manage to win both it makes things even easier, because I don't care who they are, it's going to be hard for this Illini team to beat both Indiana and Purdue on the road this season. Though I wouldn't be all that surprised if the Illini upset Northwestern at home to end the season either.

Now, again, I don't think a 6-6 record is likely. That's not a prediction of what the Illini will do up there but rather a prediction of what the results would be if the Illini somehow did managed to get to six wins this year.

I think you can go to prison just for being the Governor of Illinois at this point, so just pick a charge.

You know, I agree with the majority of people who think it's idiotic that the NCAA made this decision, but I can't help but laugh about it either. I mean, think about it.

People are angry that the NCAA would make a ruling on something as insignificant as the Illini practicing at a high school, but at the same time those same people are making a big deal about something as insignificant as the Illini practicing at a high school.

I mean I saw some people on Twitter that were angry, man. And I mean angry. About practice.

I think Allen Iverson said it best.


Thanks for the questions! If you submitted a question that didn't get answered, don't worry, it's possible that I'm just saving it for the next mailbag. It's also possible the question sucked and you need to ask better questions next time. I guess you'll just have to wait to find out.

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