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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: The Illini Summer

As Champaign welcomes back students and football, let’s look back on the summer.

The Black Sheep

Well, we did it. We survived the dog days of summer. Illini Athletics make its triumphant return with Illinois Football hosting Kent State on Saturday.

We are excited to get back to covering some actual football and basketball games. On behalf of everyone at TCR, I’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone who has followed and read all summer long.

Alright, let’s get to it.

The Good

Spillane and Co. Drafted

Illini Baseball star Bren Spillane was selected in the third round of the MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds after collecting numerous awards for his performance last season. Spillane was not the only Illini drafted, relief pitcher Joey Gerber was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the eigth round and outfielder Doran Turchin was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 14th round.

$30 Million Ubben Upgrade Announced

Josh Whitman, Brad Underwood and Nancy Fahey held a press conference to launch a campaign to raise money to renovate the Ubben Basketball practice facilities.

Most importantly, there will be a fountain.

Ayo runs with Team USA

The star of Brad Underwood’s recruiting class was selected to the U18 Team USA basketball roster. Dosunmu led the team in assists and showed great promise on his way to a gold medal.

Dylan Meyer at the US Open

Right after turning professional, Dylan Meyer hung around the top of the leaderboard at Shinnecock and finished 20th at the U.S Open.

Higgs, De La Rosa fill out hoops Roster

After a summer of turnover and open scholarships, Brad Underwood was able to secure commitments from a high flying forward and an experienced seven-footer to bolster next year’s frontcourt.

Kevin Anderson at Wimbledon

The former Illini Tennis star knocked off Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. And if beating the best ever wasn’t enough, Anderson defeated Isner in a five-set marathon. Anderson held off the American 26-24 in the 50-game final set.

The Return of #LovieBeard

After a brief hiatus, Lovie’s majestic beard graced our presence yet again. It survived the heat of training camp, and hopefully it will wander the sidelines for this entire season and for many seasons to come.

The Illini Inn

Love’s beard wasn’t the only comeback of the summer. The revamped Illini Inn has opened it’s doors. Isn’t she beautiful?

The Bad

Eboigbodin Transfers

Late in the offseason, Illinois lost the man who was slated to be the starting center. Eboigbodin would go on to commit to Northeastern. Thankfully, the staff was able to reel in the aforementioned Anthony Higgs and Adonis De La Rosa.

Billingsley to Bama

The Illini were in the running for 4-star Chicago Phillips tight end Jaleel Billingsley early in the recruiting cycle, but once the Tide comes rolling, it’s hard to stop.

Terrence Shannon Jr.

The Illini were in the top four for Chicago top-100 wing Terrence Shannon Jr. before he committed to DePaul. However, he decommitted from the Blue Demons less than a week after making his pledge. That leaves the door open for the Illini, but things aren’t trending the right direction.

Where Are The Basketball Uniforms?

I’m getting antsy.

People Are Still Writing Lovie Smith Hot Seat Articles

HEADLINE: Stupid People Continue Saying Stupid Things

Don’t worry, we’ll tell you when Lovie is actually on the hot seat.

The Ugly

Khalil Whitney commits to Kentucky

Khalil Whitney was Illinois’ No. 1 basketball recuiting target for 2019. Kahlil Whitney is going to be very good. Kahlil... why.

Donnie Abraham abruptly resigns

With only two weeks before the start of the season, DB Coach Donnie Abraham resigned from Lovie Smith’s staff citing personal reasons. It’s tough to lose a coach that close to the start of the year, but it pales in comparison to what happened in 2015. Lovie Smith announced that his son, Miles, would fill the 10th assistant position vacated by Abraham.

The Football Uniforms

I actually really like the football uniforms. Most of our staff and most of the fanbase does not. The popular opinion is that we just look like Syracuse now and that Nike hates us. We’ll see how they look on Saturday.

Firehaus and Cly’s Closing

New ownership bought KAM’S, but it appears the beloved home of the Blue Guy isn’t going anywhere. However, the domino effect of that purchase is that Cly’s and Firehaus will be closing to make way for another high rise apartment. Wine night at Cly’s was a Champaign staple, and I personally spent many nights at Haus enjoying far too may fishbowls far too late into the evening.

RIP to our sweet princes, Cly’s and Haus.