How do Jaylon Tate and Khalid Lewis compare to the rest of the point guards in the Big Ten?
The News-Gazette compiled stats from the 13 other starting point guards in the Big Ten to see how they stack up with Jaylon Tate and Khalid Lewis, who average a combined 5.8 points and 5.9 assists per game. Scott Richey didn't make any conclusions from the data, but I'll suffice to say that Illinois is clearly at the bottom of the conference here.
The closest player (note: singular) on the list was Purdue's P.J. Thompson, who averages 5.8 points and 2.8 assists per game. Luckily for the Boilermakers, they have fifth-year transfer Johnny Hill (5.3 points, 2.3 assists per game) to go along with one of the best front courts in the nation.
Illinois' likely isn't going to appear in any postseason tournament so it might be time to experiment with other options at point guard.
Illinois football ranked No. 76 in preliminary projected S&P+ ratings
If you put any value in Football Outsider's S&P+ numbers, you may want to shield your eyes. Bill Connelly's latest projections have Illinois finishing 2016 as the No. 76 team in the country; for comparison, the Fighting Illini finished at No. 61 overall in 2015. Rutgers (No. 87) and Purdue (No. 88) are the only two Big Ten programs with a lower projection.
This less than optimistic projection probably has something to do with the fact that Illinois has the fourth-worst recruiting average amongst Power Five teams over the past two years. Depth is going to be a huge concern this upcoming season, and the Illini could be in major trouble when they inevitably suffer injuries.
Former Illinois football coach Ron Turner wants the university to hire Josh Whitman
Well in case you were wondering, Ron Turner DOES have a favorite candidate for the Illinois athletic director job. The former Illini football coach had some glowing praise for Josh Whitman, who started at tight end under Turner for four seasons.
"I said a long time ago, ‘I don’t know if Josh Whitman will be the next AD at Illinois, but he will be the AD at Illinois at some point'. I’ve been saying that for six years.
He loves Illinois. He’s got a passion for Illinois."
~ Ron Turner
With an announcement rumored to be coming this week, Whitman is considered to be one of the 'favorites' to land the job along with Rick George and Craig Tiley.