Chicago Sports Inside and Out – The Chicago Sports Maven

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Illinois Definitely Doesn’t Have Luck Of The Irish

Posted by sportsmaven on February 15, 2007

Illinois certainly has not been a team of destiny or luck this season. From the ongoing recruiting battles with other not named but heavily suspected University to the injuries/suspensions of the basketball team, the Illini definitely have had challenges this season. At their game in Indiana on Saturday, the Fighting Illini had a lead for most of the game, but when push came to shove, they couldn’t close it out and lost a tough game at #24 ranked Indiana 65-61 in Bloomington. This year’s Illini basketball team lacks a go to scorer or leader. It feels like a team with no emotional leader, with players at roughly the same skill level, a team still searching for it’s identity with 5 games left in the regular season.

Illinois Loses to Indiana 65-61
(AP Photo/Tom Strattman)

Meanwhile, Illinois basketball season took yet another turn for the worse on Monday evening with a reported single car automobile accident involving G Jamar Smith and C Brian Carlwell. The car crossed the center line and hit a tree head on. A snowstorm that hit the Champaign area that may have contributed to the accident. Smith was apparently treated and released that evening, while Carlwell was in critical condition, reportedly fighting for his life with a massive concussion. WSCR Radio 670 Chicago reported that Smith left the scene of the accident and went to his nearby apartment to call police while Carlwell was still in the car. WSCR also reported that Carlwell had to be cut out of the vehicle.

Illinois’ Brian Carlwell Injured In Auto Accident
(AP Photo/Tom Strattman)

It appears that Carlwell has been upgraded to fair condition and that he will likely be released from the hospital the next two days. Smith has left the team to be home with his family. With all the tragic luck the Illini have had this season, this was the kicker. The Sports Maven is happy to hear that all parties are physically in good shape and that no lives were lost in this incident, but it appears that the Illini will enter this Sunday’s game with heavy hearts and down two men.

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