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REPORT: Deon Thomas likely to join Illinois Basketball radio team

Welcome to the Orange Minute for Wednesday, September 21.

It sounds like Illinois basketball has found a new radio analyst. During a radio show on Tuesday morning, Loren Tate reported that Deon Thomas, the program’s all-time leading scorer, will likely join Brian Barnhart on the sidelines starting this Winter. Thomas played at Illinois from 1991-94 while totaling 2,129 career points.

Thomas will replace Jerry Hester, who retired from the role in late June to spend more time with his family. We’ll make sure to update this post if/when Illinois makes an official announcement.

Illinois Fighting Illini Links

- Illini not worried about Jalen Coleman-Lands’ injury (The News-Gazette)

"I don’t think anyone, especially J-Cole, is worried about the injury," senior center Maverick Morgan said. "I don’t think it’s any kind of downward spiral or whatever. I know different people portray it different ways, but we’re the people who are here putting in work and we know what we’re doing."

- Illinois drawing a line in the sand (Herald & Review)

"We have to keep fighting and figure out what’s going on," Lunt said after Illinois slipped to 1-2 following a 34-10 loss to Western Michigan Saturday. "We need to find out what the issues are and fix them.

- Lovie Smith’s Year 1 conundrum, visualized (Illini Board)

It’s such a difficult spot. Hired in March, upperclassman roster is 25 seniors and 9 juniors, recruiting class was ranked 72nd, no chance to add new recruits until next year, best player injured, strength of the roster is the seniors at every position. Everything points to one year of adjustment and then a second year overhaul.