Light week for question volume (not quality though), but that'll happen with the combo of late July and Big Ten Media Days. We were tweeting so many things that #AskTCR requests got buried rather quickly. But that's going to happen when there's actually stuff to talk about, so who cares? Not this guy, that's who.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
@Champaign_Room #asktcr Do you see the EIU transfer fitting in anywhere? replacement for Paul or LaTulip maybe?— Don Smith (@DCSThree) July 24, 2014
Don asked this question right after I finished typing up last week's mailbag and I am lazy, so it gets answered today. Alex Austin is definitely an interesting pickup, more in the "how will we use you" than "what a great steal" vein. No one can truly replace Mike LaTulip. Ever. Throw in the fact that it will be his senior season when Austin is eligible, and I just don't see Groce bumping a three year walk-on guy for that. He can't really replace Darius Paul either because different positions. Wherever he plays he's unlikely to be a starter, but we'll need experienced backup guards by then.
@Champaign_Room #AskTCR bc TB wishes his mom happy birthday @ media days where do you think he takes her for dinner? somewhere w lasagna?— Dave Simon (@nyillini311) July 28, 2014
It's impossible for a restaurant to top good homemade lasagna. Completely impossible. But now we get to imagine Beckman in the big city with his mom and I want him to take her to the Italian Village over on Monroe because I love that place. If you've never been, the food is pretty good and you get placed in booths that are businesses or buildings you'd find in an old village. It's quaintly adorable.
@Champaign_Room What game do they break out the white on white unis? #AskTCR— Matthew Agase (@mattagase) July 28, 2014
I'd be pretty surprised if they used them against Youngstown State or Western Kentucky, both being 11 AM out of conference starts on the Big Ten Network. I could maybe see it against Texas State if it's an afternoon game, but still probably not. I'll go with the October 4th game against Purdue. It just feels right. A game against a conference opponent whose colors are the opposite of pure white and that you're likely to beat? Sounds like a good time to bust out the brightness to me. If not then, the Iowa game looks like the best bet since you're not going to try and white out on Homecoming Weekend.
An email from Shane-
What is your favorite and least favorite lyric from a song?Non-sport related questionsMy dog tore her ACL (I didn't even know they have those) in my backyard chasing a rabbit. We've elected to have surgery to correct it. What have you spent an unreasonable amount of money on and had a significant amount of your friends and family doubt/judge you?
We call it the cranial cruciate ligament in animals since we use cranial instead of anterior, but yeah, they definitely have them. Animal anatomy is almost exactly like ours, just bent over on all fours. And while it's definitely a costly procedure to repair (especially in a somewhat larger/active breed dog like yours), it's worth it. Rehabbing the leg is going to be a pain though. My family's beloved lab/mastiff mix tore both of his, but thankfully he's a lazy bum anyways so it hardly impacts his lifestyle of laying on the couch and watching movies with me when I'm home.
Vet school wasn't exactly the wisest financial decision as holy shit, it's insanely expensive and there are too many vets being cranked out by an increasing amount of schools. But most people seemed proud instead of doubtful. I don't really have any money to spend on purchases that make people shake their heads, but my motorcycle riding friends seemed unhappy that I spend $600 on a used scooter. I love the damn thing though, so I don't mind in the least.
Favorite song lyric is far too hard, but I do know my favorite line from a music video. It would be Big Boi telling Andre 3000 "Greyhound don't float on water" from the start of the "Hey Ya" video. It's been written on every marker board I've owned for the past decade or so.
Least favorite is hard as well, because there are so many bad ones out there. I could pick almost any Lil Wayne line of the past half decade and be happy, but instead I have to pick a Nicki Minaj one from the horrible song "Bedrock". She opens her verse with "Okay, I get it, let me think, I guess it's my turn. Maybe it's time to put this pussy on your side burns". Which ... what? That has bothered me for years. That's not sexual in any way. What pleasure is possibly going to be derived from that? Awful, awful lyric.
@Champaign_Room #AskTCR Is it just me or is some of the press coverage NU gets kind of homerific? Product of alums in media?— Mike Rohan (@MikePRohan) July 29, 2014
I don't know that I'd say it's due to a large media alumni base. I think it's more that when Northwestern is doing well, it makes for the kind of cliched story people seem to love. Despite being a very wealthy university located right outside the third biggest city in the country and playing in a power conference, NW will always be assigned the role of "underdog you just can't help but root for!" Obviously we have no problem cheering against them, but a lot of people choose them as a secondary team because they're generally harmless and occasionally have a magic season where it all clicks. Despite it being a terrible movie, people still like Rudy. Northwestern is the bizarre rich and advantaged underdog, so they get the benefit of expectations not really mattering.
@Champaign_Room Now AAU season is over: give us your Crystal Ball picks for #illini bball 2015 class, and project a 2015 starting 5 #AskTCR— Anthony Borkowski (@AJB_29) July 29, 2014
Well we've already got Aaron Jordan and D.J. Williams and still have three open slots now that Darius Paul is gone. I think this is finally the year John Groce snags one of his coveted point guards and I think that's going to be Jawun Evans. That gives the 2015 class a 1, 2, and 3. I'm starting to feel pretty good about center Doral Moore committing, which would be pretty damn nice. Ideally they'd get either Elijah Thomas or Carlton Bragg to round it out, but that's saying we'll have the best Illini basketball recruiting class ever and I'm not sure I'm comfortable saying that.
Projected 2015 starting five using those recruits though? Tate-Nunn-Hill-Black-Morgan.
In all reality, what are the chances the illini football team wins 8 games or more? #AskTCR— Jared Pate (@powermonster1) July 29, 2014
This year? Somewhere around 10% maybe. I think this is likely a six win team that would probably match up well with whomever they play in that lower tier bowl game. The most I can see them winning in the regular season is seven, which would give them a chance at eight with a bowl win. But that's not a likely outcome. Not yet, at least.
I work every Sat and won't be able to go to any games this year. WHAT DO I DO?! How do I keep up with Illini football? #panicking #askTCR— Chelsey (@chel_sey23) July 29, 2014
You follow us on Twitter and hangout in the gamethread while having a stream of the game up on your work computer. Simple enough!
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