On Wednesday, Fighting Illini football updated their roster to reflect 25 newcomers to the program. Obviously, the main takeaway here is that we finally have a new list of uniform numbers. The two graduate transfers -- Hardy Nickerson Jr. and Gimel President -- have been assigned No. 10 and No. 14, respectively. Highlighted by De'le Harding, the 23 members of the freshmen class have also received their numbers; you can check them all out in the below graphic.
Initial jersey numbers for the #Illini newcomers! #️⃣— Illini Football (@IlliniFootball) June 22, 2016
Roster " https://t.co/g7tRJEUW6t pic.twitter.com/WdFoZoYRsQ
We'll see if this changes under new leadership, but the Fighting Illini recently stopped selling retail versions of jerseys that featured numbers of key players (i.e. Josh Ferguson's old No. 6). So, in all likelihood, fans will only be able to purchase a sweet Rob Bain/Zarrian Holcombe No. 16 uniform this Fall. Lame, I know. But maybe they'll surprise us and offer up some Red Grange and/or Dick Butkus options.
Which uniform would you purchase if given the chance? What color would it be? Would you even spend the money on one this year? Let us know down in the comments.
Illinois Fighting Illini Links | June 23, 2016
- Junior defensive lineman Teko Powell transferring from Illinois (TCR)
While injury history may have played a big factor in this decision, Powell instead pointed towards a lack of program stability as a driving force for his departure. That makes sense, considering he's had relationships with four different head coaches at Illinois.
- Kendrick Nunn transfering to Oakland to finish college career (TCR)
The senior was dismissed from the program last month after pleading guilty to a single count of misdemeanor battery; he was accused of hitting a woman in the head, pushing her to the ground, and pouring water on her.
- Is Lovie Smith a Top-50 college football coach? (TCR)
According to Athlon Sports, he isn't. The website's staff recently ranked him as the No. 65 head coach in the country. That obviously seems quite low, but I guess it makes sense because he hasn't coached at his level yet.
National Sports News & Stories
- Derrick Rose traded to the New York Knicks (SB Nation)
The blockbuster deal closes the book on an era that began with so much promise, but ultimately ended sadly thanks to Rose's many knee injuries. Rose appeared on the verge of becoming one of the NBA's greatest players after he won the MVP and led the Bulls to 62 wins in just his third season.
- LeBron James and Cleveland have a championship parade (SB Nation)
After 52 years, Cleveland has a championship again, thanks to a spectacular Game 7 win by the Cavaliers on Sunday. Over 1.2 million fans showed up downtown on Wednesday, and the results were predictably amazing.
- Patrick Kane wins the NHL MVP award (SB Nation)
Kane became the first American-born player to win the Hart Memorial Trophy on Wednesday night at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas. The Chicago Blackhawks winger beat out finalists Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars to bring home his first Hart Trophy.
- NHL formally announces Las Vegas expansion team (SB Nation)
On Wednesday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed that the league is officially adding an expansion franchise in Las Vegas for the 2017-18 season.