Daily Digest | Illini football closing in on sellout; Illini golf wraps up fall season

There’s a lot of news each day. Illini Inquirer will try to make it easier to digest each weekday morning with the Daily Digest.


(Photo: Getty)
Illinois football is closing in on a sellout for the Michigan State game on Nov. 5, Illini athletics director Josh Whitman wrote in a letter to Illinois donors.

Why it matters: The No. 17-ranked Illini’s five-game win streak has prompted ticket sales to jump past 44,000 — but that’s far lower than the Memorial Stadium capacity. The Illini haven’t had a sellout since its Sept. 10, 2016, game against North Carolina.

Whitman wrote: “Illinois football is having one of its best seasons in many years, and the #famILLy has helped create a loud, energetic, intimidating environment in Memorial Stadium. But one box remains unchecked — a sell-out! I’ve played in and watched sold-out games at Memorial Stadium, and the emotions for the players and fans alike are electric. This team deserves to experience a sold-out stadium this season to feed off your energy and enthusiasm! There are only 3,000 public tickets remaining for the November 5 game against Michigan State. Let’s make it happen! Together, we can have a season for the record books!”

Bottom line: The Illini will have their first crowd of 50,000 plus since 2016, showing that, in fact, if you win, they will come.

What’s next: Illinois travels to Nebraska (3-4, 2-2 Big Ten) for a 2:30 p.m. Saturday kickoff (ABC). Illinois opened as a 5.5-point favorite but is now a 7.5-point favorite, according to Caesars Sportsbook.


(Photo: Jeremy Werner, 247Sports)
Illinois guard Terrence Shannon was named to the Jerry West Award watch list, an award given annually to college basketball’s top shooting guard. The Illini guard, who transferred from Texas Tech, is one of 20 players named to the list.

Shannon averaged 11.0 points over three seasons with the Red Raiders.
Shannon was also named Preseason All-Big Ten.

Previous winners of the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award are Johnny Davis, Wisconsin (2022), Chris Duarte, Oregon (2021), Myles Powell, Seton Hall (2020), RJ Barrett, Duke (2019), Carsen Edwards, Purdue (2018), Malik Monk, Kentucky (2017), Buddy Hield, Oklahoma (2016) and D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State (2015).

“Each of the student-athletes nominated for this honor has emulated Jerry West’s skillset on the court and should be extremely proud of this accomplishment,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Our committee, alongside Mr. West, are honored to watch this exceptional group this season.”

2023 Jerry West Award Candidates*

Nick Smith Jr., Arkansas
Adam Flagler, Baylor
Charles Pride, Bryant
Tyrese Proctor, Duke
Malachi Smith, Gonzaga
Rasir Bolton, Gonzaga
Marcus Sasser, Houston
Terrence Shannon Jr., Illinois
Kevin McCullar Jr., Kansas
Antonio Reeves, Kentucky
Cason Wallace, Kentucky
Taevion Kinsey, Marshall
Isaiah Wong, Miami
Isiaih Mosley, Missouri
Terquavion Smith, N.C. State
Dane Goodwin, Notre Dame
Matt Bradley, San Diego State
Joseph Girard III, Syracuse
Santiago Vescovi, Tennessee
Amari Bailey, UCLA

*Players can play their way onto and off the list at any point in the 2022-23 season

What’s next: Illinois will host its lone exhibition game at 7 p.m. Friday against Quincy. The Illini then tip off the regular season with a Monday, Nov. 7, game against Eastern Illinois at State Farm Center.


(Photo: courtesy Illinois athletics)
No. 9-ranked Illini men’s golf finished third at the Isleworth Collegiate, rising seven spots on the leaderboard during the final two rounds of the three-round tournament. Illinois rose from fifth place to third place during Tuesday’s final round after shooting a team score of 10-under 278, the second-lowest score recorded during the 15-team, three-day event.

No. 3 Auburn won the event at 27-under, 20 strokes ahead of Illinois and 12 strokes ahead of No. 11 Florida, which finished second.

The Illini’s trio of fifth-year seniors – Adrien Dumont de Chassart (T11), Tommy Kuhl (T15), and Matthis Besard (T15) – all finished inside the top-15.

Sophomore Jackson Buchanan shot a team-best 5-under 67 on Wednesday and birdied six of his final 12 holes. With the big day, Buchanan moved up 31 spots on the leaderboard into a tie for 37th.
Junior Piercen Hunt finished tied for 34th.

Why it matters: Illinois wrapped up its fall schedule with two tournament wins at events it was favored in and two other top-three finishes in loaded fields. The Illini have two super-senior stars at the top of the lineup in Adrien Dumont de Chassart and Tommy Kuhl but also appear to have more depth this season with Jackson Buchanan taking a big sophomore step and Matthis Besard and Piercen Hunt as proven, experienced players.

What’s next: Illinois will compete in the Tinervin Cup Alumni Match on Jan. 28 in Placida (Fla.) before competing in the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate in Mobile Ala.) on Feb. 13-14.


What a hit by #illini Kerby Joseph pic.twitter.com/HEhpu9QYvl
— Jeremy Werner (@JWerner247) October 23, 2022

Stats and notes from former Fighting Illini during Week 7 of the NFL season, courtesy Illini sports information.

Tony Adams, DB, New York Jets – Participated in nine special teams snaps in the Jets’ 16-9 win against the Denver Broncos.  
Nick Allegretti, OL, Kansas City Chiefs – Participated in six offensive and seven special teams snaps in the Chiefs’ 44-23 win against the San Francisco 49ers.  
Clayton Fejedelem, FS, Miami Dolphins – Participated in 18 defensive and 20 special teams snaps while recording five total tackles in the Dolphins’ 16-10 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. 
Kendrick Green, OL, Pittsburgh Steelers – Not active in the Steelers’ 16-10 loss against the Miami Dolphins.  
Jake Hansen, LB, Houston Texans – Not active in the Texans’ 38-20 loss against the Las Vegas Raiders.  
Justin Hardee, CB, New York Jets – Participated in 20 special teams snaps while recording a tackle in the Jets’ 16-9 win against the Denver Broncos. 
Nate Hobbs, CB, Las Vegas Raiders – Placed on Injured Reserve due to a broken hand.  
Kerby Joseph, S, Detroit Lions – Started at S and participated in 63 defensive snaps while recording four tackles, a pass breakup, and a forced fumble in the Lions’ 24-6 loss against the Los Angeles Rams.  
Ted Karras, OL, Cincinnati Bengals – Started at C and participated in 68 offensive snaps in the Bengals’ 35-17 win against the Atlanta Falcons.  
Vederian Lowe, OL, Minnesota Vikings – Bye Week. 
Chase McLaughlin, K, Indianapolis Colts – Started at K and participated in 5 special teams snaps while converting a field goal and an extra point attempt in the Colts’ 19-10 loss against the Tennessee Titans.  
Del’Shawn Phillips, LB, Baltimore Ravens – Participated in 16 special teams snaps in the Ravens’ 23-20 win against the Cleveland Browns.  
Akeem Spence, DL, San Francisco 49ers – Participated in 21 defensive snaps while recording a tackle in the 49ers’ 44-23 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs. 
Dawuane Smoot, DL, Jacksonville Jaguars – Participated in 22 defensive snaps while recording a tackle and a pass deflection in the Jaguars’ 23-17 loss against the New York Giants.  
Jihad Ward, DL, New York Giants – Started at DE and participated in 47 defensive snaps and four special teams snaps while recording two tackles in the Giants’ 23-17 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars.  




Have a great Wednesday! Just a reminder that Aaron Rodgers and Justin Fields have the same record…

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