Eastern IL at Huff Lindenwood at Valmeyer, IL Notre Dame at Mother McAuley HS!
'Ho hum' was first thought of Illini spring schedule (after seeing Purdue's schedule vs Ball State, Northwestern, Kentucky, and Wisconsin).
Second thought is great for Illini will be on the court and with opponents not usually on fall schedule. Opportunity for a young team to gain experience and for coaches to plug & play & experiment.
Jumbled thoughts ....I wonder how Tamas will schedule fall pre-conference? One of most difficult pre-conference schedules? Ease up to load up on what should be wins (doesn't seem to work for bottom half of BIG teams)? When Illini are top 25 caliber, I very much enjoy Illini having one of the most difficult pre-conference schedules (vs Stanford, Washington, Colorado, Marquette, Creighton, etc), especially when ranked teams are hosted at the Illini Classic. I vaugely remember someone posting Illini/Iowa/Colorado/Washington scheduling has concluded. With Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Penn State loading up rosters, I foresee the Illini finishing at best 5th in the BIG. 12+ BIG wins with 20+ overall wins (almost always yields RPI above the cut-off) is an automatic NCAA tournament bid.
How can Illini regain their swagger?
I'd love a new installment of the Illini Classic this fall! Haven't had one since 2018. Would be cool to get a big dose of volleyball at Huff during preseason.
She obviously visited Illinois. Hopefully she doesn’t take any other visits.
I heard she also visited MN? Hopefully she will land here... Can Burbage play outside or Weske can play outside?
I hope so, too! All the USC game footage I've seen on YouTube going back to 2019 (a handful of games) has Weske playing opposite but she seems like a versatile athlete- could see her playing OH. We haven't seen Stephenson or de Boer compete at the college level yet but I have to imagine Weske would find the court on the 2023 Illini roster. If she were to beat out Burbage at opposite in a 5-1, could see Kayla shifting to MB, as oldmanvb just wondered aloud.
New facilities would help but Tamas simply isn't a good recruiter and I don't expect it to change. He couldn't pull top recruits after a sweet 16 and final 4. No chance he starts getting them now that the team is average at best.
Hambly recruited to Huff, as did Hebert. They seemed to recruit pretty well. In the early, years when he was building the program, Hebert actually recruited to the Men's Old Gym. Fancy facilities certainly help, but aren't the only factor. Hambly frequently stated that he wouldn't want to move away from Huff.
Recruiting is way different now then it was under Hebert and even different then it was when Hambly was at Illinois.