Thoughts for all to ponder while I wish I was spending a lot of time at Cass Gym this week for the boys county tournament…

• The Illinois basketball team is very talented, but the lack of consistency will bite them come postseason time. Thursday night, I was on a text chain with the other columnist and one of our best friends from Eureka, going off about the first half against Chicago’s (SUPPOSED) Big 10 team. The last few minutes of the first half were especially egregious, as a decent, but by no means uber-talented, Northwestern team, was taking the Illini to the woodshed, and the looks on Brad Underwood’s face during parts of that game were epic, and not in a good way. Even then, I did not stop watching the game (not live, of course, much to the chagrin of the other columnist, who blows up my phone during every game, knowing I am ignoring it); of course, an entirely different team showed up after halftime and destroyed the Mildcats to the tune of 53-13!

Then there was Sunday night against a decent, but struggling, Maryland team, playing without its point guard. Not sure what the issue was, but the Illini got outhustled and outplayed again, and suffered what I would term their first ‘bad’ loss. Yes, the Big 14 is stacked and there are no gimme games, but a team as good as Illinois is CANNOT lose at home to the Terps.

(Rest of story available in E-edition. Must be a subscriber to get both the E-Edition and print versions. Call 217-438-6155 to subscribe. We now accept credit cards over the phone).