Not a whole lot is really happening in the world of Illini basketball, seeing as how it’s the summer. After the whirlwind we experience during the coaching frenzy, I’m not complaining. However, a few tidbits have flown onto my radar that I’m happy to share.
First of all, Brandon Paul suffered a broken jaw last week in practice. He collided with Devin Langford as they went for a loose ball during practice. Nice to see them getting their full-force hustle on during the off-season, but a broken jaw is never good. He was supposed to go in for surgery Friday, and will be out of practice for at least two weeks. When he does return, he will have to avoid contact for a while longer.
Broken bones of any kind suck (my foot was broken four months ago and I’m still not at 100%), but thankfully this happened in June and not November. And, breaking a jaw must suck, but at least he should have no problem making a full recovery. For Derron Williams, the broken jaw led to serious weight loss and a complete turnaround in his junior season. However, Paul doesn’t need to lose any weight and it’s probably not going to help him turn the ball over any less.
Best of luck on a speedy recovery!
Jersey Numbers Set
The new Illini members have picked their jersey numbers, and they look a little something like this:
Sam McLaurin – 0
Rayvonte Rice – 24
Mike LaTulip – 10
(Kevin Berardini will change his # to 31)
It always takes a real man to wear 0 on his jersey, so McLaurin has to be hardcore. Twenty-four has inexplicably always been my favorite number, which I told Mike Davis once when I had the honor of meeting him. He was a freshman and I asked him to please do that number justice. I’m pretty pleased with his four-year response. This also means that I am expecting a lot from Rice, and it makes him instantly my favorite of the new players. LaTulip is 10, and I’m having a hard time finding someone else who had that number. Feel free to inform me in the comments.
Record Hired as Strength Coach
Lon Record has been hired as strength and conditioning coach and will be in charge of the Fighting Illini men’s and women’s basketball teams. Record has 13 years of experience in the profession and comes to Champaign after serving the last five seasons as strength and conditioning coach at Villanova, where he worked with both the men’s and women’s basketball squads.
Since we have a history of skinny guys that can’t put on weight (Mike Tisdale, Mike Davis) or bigger guys that can’t shave off the weight (Demetri McCamey), hiring a new strength coach seems like a fine idea to me.
Parham to Fill Coaching Hole
This one is hot off the presses. Paris Parham (name is almost as good as Maverick Morgan) from ISU will be joining the basketball staff as an assistant coach. Parham will replace the hole left by Isaac Chew’s abrupt exit one month on the job. Before ISU Parham was a Chicago Public League coach, which could be a huge boost for the Illini.
Welcome to the family, Parham!