Good Reads: 3/11/19

Illini lose to Penn State by 16

16! Points!

Wednesday at the Big Ten Tournament, it is, lads. Yikes.

As is Illini custom, I expect a #FakeRally, which means we’ll probably be somehow play well until Thursday or Friday, getting the fan base’s hopes up before we lose to Purdue or Wisconsin by 45.

Bruce Weber wins Big 12 title, is good

Started a tweet war about this yesterday but I legitimately believe the data speaks for itself.

Bruce took over Kansas State, a program in the literal middle of nowhere, and made them consistently nationally relevant. When he makes the tournament this year, it will be his fifth in seven years. He has consistently convinced good recruits to come to Manhattan, KS, and has built a foundation from the ground-up.

We never should have fired Bruce Weber.

At the time he was fired, Weber had the second-best winning percentage in modern Illini history next to Bill Self. He had been to the tournament in two-thirds of his seasons here, yet a rabid (and unrealistic) fan base prematurely called for his head without realizing just how far our stock could fall. He didn’t make the tournament enough, his critics said, or his teams weren’t high enough seeds in the tournament, or his offense didn’t score enough points.

Even with a sterling NCAA record and winning percentage, Illini fans were hasty to cast him aside, angrily declaring that they were somehow entitled to a better coach, even though on paper Bruce is very clearly a good coach.

Well look where we are now, Illini folks!

A failed experiment and a tenuous hire later, the Illini just experienced their first-ever 20-loss season.

Look at Bruce now, though! He’s flexing on us! From the middle of nowhere in Kansas!

(These stats are from when these coaches left Illinois, the choice is pretty clear)

Yes, Groce was a bad choice to replace Weber. I understand that those are separate issues, but that botched hire couldn’t happen without Weber’s firing, and as long as we continue to struggle, the firing of one of the best coaches in Illini history is at least partially to blame. It marks a legitimate tipping point for a decade-plus downturn.

Sorry. I don’t make the data. Weber is clearly a good coach. He wouldn’t be able to build Kansas State into a relevant program if he wasn’t. Since firing Weber, we have been bad. Thus, we should not have fired Weber.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

(Featured photo from @KStateMBB on Twitter)

This fresh hell will never end

Alma Otter only lost by ~300 votes


(Julie Wurth / News-Gazette)

Inside Illini Wheelchair Basketball

(Anthony Zilis / News-Gazette)

Public Official A charts Rod Blagojevich’s spectacular fall from grace

There’s a Blago podcast now.

(Andrew Liptak / The Verge)

Illini baseball is (still) good

A strange and sexy night with Carnivále Debauche

Champaign-Urbana may not have a vibrant music scene anymore but our *checks notes* nerdy burlesque scene is off the charts.

(Elisabeth Paulus / Smile Politely)

It was pretty windy this weekend

That wind was pretty strong last night… from r/UIUC