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#AskTCR: Greetings From The Mountains!


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Life in lovely Manhattan, Kansas can turn into quite the slog. Sometimes you just need to get away. So I decided to go to Breckenridge. After eight hours of driving through western Kansas and eastern Colorado (two of the ugliest places on Earth), I arrived in heaven. If heaven is a place that's hard to breathe. So I'm writing this from the third floor balcony of a rental house while the rest of the group is out skiing. Because I love you all that much (and because nothing will top stiff-arming that little kid like I did my first day on the slopes).

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. We'll 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.


You're asking this of someone whose traditional breakfast is a can of Pepsi and a multivitamin. But the answer is links. Patties are only good for breakfast sandwiches and if you're eating a breakfast sandwich, you may as well just have a burger. Go eat a burger. Links work so much better because they know their supporting role.

If you can find it, Zombie Dust. Three Floyds makes amazing beers, with Zombie Dust being the top choice. That being said, I've never been able to find it anywhere other than their brewery in Munster, Indiana. So if you want something more realistic, you should consider something by Tallgrass Brewery who recently expanded distribution to Illinois. Tallgrass is brewed about three or four miles from my apartment and is fantastic. I know for a fact that the Friar Tuck's in Savoy sells their beer. If you enjoy stouts, you really need to try their Buffalo Sweat.

An email from Scott-

What mythological character does Bruce Pearl most remind you of?

I'm going to stick with Greek mythology, since it happens to be my strongest non-comic book mythology knowledge base (looks down at his Flash t-shirt and smiles). I was tempted to go with a hydra due to his reptilian nature and seeming inability to die, but the hydra doesn't have much of a story other than getting whomped by Heracles. No, Bruce Pearl deserves something a little meatier than that. Prometheus was another early choice on account of his smugness and deceptions, ultimately resulting in punishment from the gods (NCAA & various ADs). But after a day of consideration, the answer seems obvious: he's Tantalus.

Tantalus was invited to a cookout with the gods and decided to make a stew out of his son Pelops as an attempt to curry favor and move up in the world. The gods were disgusted and sent him down to Tartarus to be eternally tormented by not being able to reach the food or water around him. Bruce Pearl had a cookout in an attempt to land Aaron Craft. This happened years after he sacrificed his integrity in an attempt to move up in the coaching ranks via the Deon Thomas incident. Other coaches, ADs, and the NCAA wound up blackballing him from any major coaching jobs for a decade and then smote him again for cheating at Tennessee. He'll fuck up at Auburn. It's just a matter of time.

This is a good question, just a hard one to answer. First, we wouldn't have had to spend this entire season hearing about his weight loss. But more honestly, whose minutes would he have been eating up? The likely answer is Joseph Bertrand. I can't imagine he would have completely displaced Brandon Paul or D.J. Richardson in the starting lineup, making him the first or second man off the bench. The team may have been a little bit better, but at a significant cost to the future.

For those of you who didn't grow up listening to Dick Biondi and Oldies 104.3, Love Potion No. 9 is a wonderful song about an incredibly lonely man who visits a Gypsy and drinks a mystery potion. He winds up being sexually attracted to literally everything and ultimately winds up assaulted by an officer of the law for his amorous nature.

So no, I would not drink it. Or rub it on my body parts.

Well I don't like this at all. I'm going to lose no matter which option I choose. I'm just one man! And that's 100 adults, out for my blood! Knowing that I'm going to die no matter what, I'm tempted to choose the option that would bring the end about so much faster. But no. I am a man and I will die fighting the easier option so that I look more manly when they write songs about that fateful day. Give me the 100 Groce-sized Beckmans. I wouldn't want to fight one Groce, much less 100. He's too tenacious. I don't want to fight Beckman either, but I feel I could maybe distract him with a shiny object and land a cheapshot.

An email from P.N.-

Thoughts on the rumors of Tom Crean being bought out and replaced with Woodson of the Knicks?

Also is there a way to get a poster of some sort of all the sbnation big 10 logos? I would enjoy having the Champaign Room logo hung around in my room.

I'd love it if the Hoosiers brought Woodson in to replace Crean, because professional coaches taking over NCAA programs always ends sooooooo well. Also, no more ever having to look at Tom Crean! That's the biggest bonus ever! But seriously, I would be thrilled with this move. It just seems so stupidly reactionary and destined to fail, so if Indiana wants to damage their program even more, I'm all for it.

Currently there is no official place to purchase said poster, so you'd have to create your own. That being said, I'm shooting an email to the higher ups in charge because I think that would be a pretty solid idea. I would enjoy having that poster in my room as well.

Well if I'm not allowed to pick the starting QB or RB, that leaves me with wide receivers and tight ends to choose from. And with Steve Hull leaving, the team needs a new receiver to blow up in Bill Cubit's pass heavy offense. The receiver I think will have the highest impact (and will be the most fun to watch) is Geronimo Allison. GMO is both tall (6'3") and fast (4.5 40), which is really the ideal combination. Anything less than 800 yards receiving would be a huge disappointment in my eyes.

Making the Final Four would be very nice. I mean, I'd like the Illini to just go out and win the entire damn thing, but if that doesn't happen, I would be okay with three games and solid improvement/play out of the youngsters. Every extra game is more combat time and barring injuries, that's never a bad thing.

I'm going to assume this is a battle royale with all twelve combatants fighting at once. Shortly after the opening bell, the eleven other coaches descend on Tom Crean, literally ripping him into tiny pieces. The eleven agree to take a ten minute break to celebrate before resuming the battle.

Immediately after the break ends, Chris Collins is eliminated by Fran McCaffery. The angry Iowa coach felt a need to assert early dominance and it currently wielding one of Collins' arms as a weapon. Tom Izzo somehow managed to convince Tim Miles to rush Fran for the good of the group. Miles was dead instantly. While John Groce was distracted by the carnage, Matt Painter rushed in to attack and avenge the man who replaced his friend at Illinois. Painter forgot to watch his own back though, as Groce's former mentor Thad Matta was lying in wait. Matta swept Painter's legs out from under him and then applied a technically perfect stranglehold.

The tag team of Groce and Matta quickly turned their sites towards the bickering Michigan coaches currently engaged in a slapfight. Izzo and Beilein never saw the rabbit punches that did them in. Fran and Bo Ryan found each other on opposite corners of the battlefield. Both charged, screaming and gesticulating; faces reddening, blood vessels popping. Both died of cerebral hemorrhaging before getting within 10 yards of one another.

Richard Pitino saw his opening. He snuck up behind Matta, snapping the older coach's neck with cold-blooded ease. The sight of his hero dead at the hands of a dirty Pitino was more than Groce could bear. He reached back and quickly ripped out Pitino's throat. Standing there triumphant, Groce felt remorse at what he had done. Until Pat Chambers beat him unconscious. Pat Chambers wins because no one ever remembers he exists.

I'm not entirely sure how much a school gets just for making the tournament, but I would have to imagine that winning the NIT would bring in more money than being a one and done. Unless your home court is undergoing renovations or hosting weird circuses, you get to host home games in the NIT. You get to take all the concessions and apparel money. It just seems more logical to believe that would result in more money.

As soon as the team starts winning. Very few sports teams, professional or otherwise, maintain good attendance figures without putting a good product on the field. If you had the option of staying home or going out in November in Central Illinois to watch a two win team lose, what would you pick? If the team gets off to a hot start this year, the attendance numbers will go up. Make a bowl game? They keep going up. Establish something good? Baby, you've got a stew going.