There's a lot going on in Champaign these days -- the Fighting Illini football team is gearing up for training camp, students are preparing for the Fall semester, and the ongoing renovations at State Farm Center are on the verge of completion. But how exactly is that construction progressing? The Illinois athletic department released what may be one of their final photo galleries on Tuesday, and the project continues to shape up nicely.
Illinois AD Josh Whitman previously said the $169.5 million project is on schedule and budget. He also mentioned that the completed version of the venue will be, "one of the best in college basketball."
Additionally, the brand new 'Orange Krush Club' appears to be coming along well. The Fighting Illini student section provided a $1 million gift in February of 2014 to earn naming rights for the area.
Orange Krush members will benefit from this new space during the exciting time leading up to each and every home game. Our members and the community will also benefit throughout the year as we will use the space to host numerous Orange Krush functions, including an increasing number of charitable events.
~ Ryan Gant, 2014 Orange Krush Foundation board member
So, basically, this space will allow a predetermined number of students to wait inside of State Farm Center before games. The Orange Krush has held 'tailgates' inside Memorial Stadium for the past few years, and members were funneled across the street about an hour before tip-off. This will definitely be a better setup for everyone involved.
Illinois Fighting Illini Links
On Tuesday, three-star prospect Larry Boyd released a Top 4 of Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma State. The big 6-foot-5, 310-pound St. Louis product is the No. 441 overall player in 247Sports' class-of-2017 composite rankings.
Four-star wing Terrence Lewis announced that Illinois, Marquette, UNLV, and Iowa State comprise his final list of four schools. The Wisconsin native is the No. 99 overall player in 247Sports' class-of-2017 composite rankings.
Here are five questions about the offense that will be worth monitoring during training camp as the Illini prepare for their Sept. 3 season opener against Murray State.
Now it's August, and the first domino has fallen: Antwan Collier. Collier is an ATH from Miami who likely projects as a defensive back but, as we learned with Desmond Cain, might end up as a receiver. Collier had a nice offer list, too - Nebraska, Cal, Louisville, Maryland, NC State and others. That's the kind of battle we need to be winning.