Tag Archives: Leron Black

Michael Finke, Te’Jon Lucas Become the Latest to Leave the Illinois Men’s Basketball Program

Lucas, Te'Jon (2)
Sophomore guard Te’Jon Lucas (above) and redshirt junior Michael Finke (top) became the latest players to leave the Illinois men’s basketball program following the completion of the 2017-18 season. (Source: Big Ten Powerhouse) (Header: ABC7 Chicago)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — As if Mondays weren’t bad enough already, it wasn’t a positive start to the week for the Illinois Fighting Illini and head coach Brad Underwood.

In separate announcements on Monday, sophomore guard Te’Jon Lucas and redshirt junior forward Michael Finke both announced that they would be transferring from Illinois.

Finke will be a graduate transfer next season and will be eligible in 2018-19, while Lucas will have to sit out the 2018-19 season and have two years of eligibility remaining.

The list of players who have left Illinois before their eligibility has expired this off-season is now up to four. Leron Black left early to pursue professional opportunities, while freshman Mark Smith announced his intentions to transfer after a disappointing first season in the NCAA. Continue reading Michael Finke, Te’Jon Lucas Become the Latest to Leave the Illinois Men’s Basketball Program

Michigan State Shoots Past Illinois for Second Straight Win, 87-74

Nairn, Lourawls
Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn and the Michigan State Spartans overcame 25 turnovers on Monday to pick up an 87-74 win over Illinois. (Source: Stephen Haas – The Associated Press) (Header: Kirthmon F. Dozier – Detroit Free Press)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — In the past, the Michigan State Spartans have had their issues with the Illinois Fighting Illini.

Coming into Monday’s tilt, the Spartans had just three wins over Illinois over the past 10 seasons. Last year, the teams met just once, with the Illini coming away with the 73-70 victory on their home floor.

Monday night had a different narrative, as the Spartans used a strong start to the second half to break away from Illinois as the game wound down. Michigan State shot better than 68% as a team in Champaign, and picked up their second straight win with an 87-74 decision over the Fighting Illini.

After losing two of three games, the Spartans have now won back-to-back games and move to 6-2 in Big Ten play. The loss was the sixth straight for Illinois, who fall to 0-8 against conference foes. Continue reading Michigan State Shoots Past Illinois for Second Straight Win, 87-74

Michigan State Basketball: Previewing the Illinois Fighting Illini

Black, Leron
Leron Black and the Illinois Fighting Illini may have lost five straight games overall, but they have only lost to the Spartans three times over the past 10 years. (Source: USA Today Sports)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Through seven games, the race for the Big Ten title is heating up.

At the top, you have the Purdue Boilermakers and the Ohio State Buckeyes, both of whom are 7-0 thus far. The Boilermakers received a first-place vote in the latest AP Top 25 rankings, while the Buckeyes are knocking on the door of the top 10.

In between the two, you have the sixth-ranked Michigan State Spartans, who are 5-2 in conference play and are looking to pick up their second straight win on Monday night when they face the Illinois Fighting Illini on the road. After a tough stretch of three games, the Spartans bounced back last time out for a big win to keep pace in the Big Ten race.

As for Illinois, they are trending in the opposite direction. They have lost five straight games overall, and are dead last in the conference at 0-7. Illinois is the only team in the Big Ten without a conference win, and they would like to change that on Monday night.

Here’s what you need to know in advance of Monday’s showdown between Michigan State and Illinois from Champaign. Continue reading Michigan State Basketball: Previewing the Illinois Fighting Illini