John Groce

Illinois does their version of Taylor University’s “Silent Night”


On the outset, it would appear that Illinois was stealing Taylor University’s thunder by remaining silent for the beginning of their game against Nebraska-Omaha tonight. and then promptly erupting in cheers when the Illini scored their tenth point.

On the Friday before final exams each year at Taylor University, the students gather in the quaint Odle Arena for the “Silent Night” men’s basketball game where the crowd remains quiet until the tenth point is scored and then erupt in cheering. Afterwards, the crowd harmoniously sings “Silent Night.”

It’s one of the best college basketball traditions every year at the small Division III school in Indiana:

Why did Illinois have their own version of “Silent Night?”

John Groce, the head coach at Illinois, is a 1994 graduate of Taylor University, and was an assistant on the coaching staff at his alma mater from 1994-1996. He experienced “Silent Night” as both a player and coach.

Illinois called this “Orange Hush.” A jumper by Joseph Bertrand sent the Illinois students and fans into a frenzy:

PHOTO: Ohio State’s new LeBron James shoe display

during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
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Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.

The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.