>> Illinois Sits at First Place in Big Ten; Heads To Penn State
Illinois is in the middle of a long layoff and that's OK: The 22nd-ranked Illini are in first place in the Big Ten.
Illinois is the lone Big Ten team left with one loss after Michigan's win over Michigan State. Illinois (15-3, 4-1) will put its top spot on the line Thursday at Penn State. The Nittany Lions have given the Illini fits the past few seasons.
Illinois coach Bruce Weber said the game will be a test of his team's maturity.
The Illini's last game was an emotional upset of then-No. 5 Ohio State on Jan. 10. Weber said the break gave his team to come back to Earth after that high.
NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball
#10 Murray State Racers 66, Morehead State Eagles 60
Cincinnati Bearcats 70, #11 Connecticut Huskies 67
Nebraska Cornhuskers 70, #13 Indiana Hoosiers 69
Ole Miss Rebels 75, #15 Mississippi State Bulldogs 68
#16 San Diego State Aztecs 75, New Mexico Lobos 70
#18 Creighton Bluejays 66, Missouri State Bears 65
#20 UNLV Rebels 101, TCU Horned Frogs 78
Denver Nuggets 108, Philadelphia 76ers 104 (OT)
San Antonio Spurs 85, Orlando Magic 83 (OT)
Washington Wizards 105, Oklahoma City Thunder 102
New Jersey Nets 107, Golden State Warriors 100
Phoenix Suns 91, New York Knicks 88
Boston Celtics 96, Toronto Raptors 73
Minnesota Timberwolves 93, Detroit Pistons 85
Atlanta Hawks 92, Portland Trail Blazers 89
Memphis Grizzlies 93, New Orleans Hornets 87
Sacramento Kings 92, Indiana Pacers 88
Los Angeles Clippers 91, Dallas Mavericks 89
>> Illini FB Prosch Transferring To Auburn
Illinois fullback Jay Prosch is transferring to Auburn.
Illinois said Wednesday that the Mobile, Ala., native will be closer to his family. The move also follows the hiring of new head coach Tim Beckman, who plans to run a spread offense that wouldn't use a fullback.
Prosch, a sophomore, was a starter this fall but served primarily as a blocker. He carried the ball twice for nine yards.
Beckman said he wished Prosch the best with his move.
>> Illini Hire Defensive Coordinator
New Illinois coach Tim Beckman has hired Cincinnati co-defensive coordinator Tim Banks as his defensive coordinator.
Banks, whose hiring was announced Wednesday, spent two seasons at Cincinnati after leading Central Michigan's defense for three years.
Under Banks, the Bearcats defense was ranked sixth in the country against the run at 96 yards per game and 42nd in total defense at 357.4 yards per game. Cincinnati led the country in tackles for loss with 111 and was No. 2 in sacks with 45.
Beckman said Banks will run "a very aggressive" defense at Illinois.
Banks fills the last opening on Beckman's staff and replaces Vic Koenning.