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Illinois News: Transfer guard Alex Austin turning heads during offseason workouts

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Today's news in #ILLINI athletics

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

"He has proved he can play defense and that gives him at least a chance. That defensive effort and his consistency with making very few mistakes defensively, has certainly got our attention."

- John Groce on Alex Austin, Pantagraph

John Groce took time the other day to praise now-eligible transfer Alex Austin for his work this offseason. In the midst of preparing the Fighting Illini's top 25 freshman class, it seems the former Eastern Illinois guard is making a positive impression on the head coach.

"He has really improved," Groce said. "He's picked up our defense vey quickly."

Austin looks to be a deep bench sub for the Illini this year. A former teammate of Tracy Abrams at Mount Carmel High School, he averaged 8.2 PPG in his previous two years at EIU. He also could give Illinois a solid boost from beyond the three point arc come November.

Here's his high school mixtape for your entertainment:

Six Illini athletes named to 2015-2016 Big Ten Golfers to Watch List

- Big Ten Press Release

On Wednesday, six Illinois golfers were named as "Players to Watch" for the 2015 season. On the men's side are Charlie Danielson, reigning Freshmen of the Year Nick Hardy, and 2015 Big Ten Player of the Year Thomas Detry. Coached by Mike Small, the team finished last season ranked #3 in the nation.

The Illini women are represented by Illinois natives Dana Gattone and Stephanie Miller, as well as Thailand native Chayanid Prapassarangkul.

Best of luck to both squads as they kick off their seasons in the coming weeks!

"It might feel like "rock bottom" to you, Illinois, and you may indeed be headed there. But I'm here to tell you - it could still get worse."

In a piece posted Wednesday by Kansas' SB Nation blog 'Rock Chalk Talk', writer Michael Plank argues that, as poor of shape Illinois football is in, Kansas football is much worse. As evidenced by this here chart, we can't exactly argue the facts:

WINNING SEASONS Kansas Illinois
Since 2010 (post Mangino) 0 2
Since 1987 7 10
The Commodore computer (1977) 8 15
Since Dick Butkus (1964) 13 18
Since Red Grange (1925) 26 38
Consective coaches with sub-.500 record 2 4
Number of scholarship players (2015) 64 *85
2015 Over/Under Wins 1.5 3.5
Historical record 521-575 582-558
All-time bowl record 6-6 8-10

Congrats, Jayhawk fans. You win the battle of the bums. Likely a product of your own Self-ish desires. Haha! Anyone? Hi-five? Ok, sorry. Please give us our coach back.

*****

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