Herald & Review Executive Sports Editor Mark Tupper writes that the Illini basketball team's roster has already experienced some changes, and there are more to come this offseason.
In other H&R sports news, Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky spoke about new coach Matt Nagy's offense, teams are running out of time to sign Jake Arrieta, a backup catcher with a familiar name provided the heroics in the Cardinals' spring win, and the Bulls will adhere to the NBA's rules about resting players.
Illini hoops roster in flux
Mark Tupper writes that he's not sure anyone could write out the Illini basketball roster as it will look one week from now. The thing is that fluid, with the program seemingly trapped in a period of additions and subtractions that coach Brad Underwood hopes will give him a competitive group when next November rolls around.
Bears QB Trubisky speaks about Nagy's offense
Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky spoke publicly Tuesday evening for the first time since coach Matt Nagy was hired Jan. 8. And by the sound of it, his excitement has been building this whole time.
Time is running out on acquiring Arrieta
Tuesday was Jake Arrieta's 32nd birthday, an occasion the Washington Nationals marked by giving the ball to a different starting pitcher, getting on with the task of preparing for the 2018 season and otherwise ignoring the ethereal existence, somewhere out there in the free agent wasteland, of the 2015 National League Cy Young Award winner. Twenty-nine other teams, spread across Florida and Arizona, did more or less the same.
Cards catcher Pena provides 4-3 win
Backup catcher Francisco Pena, son of former Cardinals catcher Tony Pena, saved the potential go-ahead run in the top of the eighth when he scrambled to recover Matt Bowman’s pitch in the dirt with the bases loaded and threw to Bowman covering the plate for the final out. Then, Pena, who had been just one for seven this spring, singled in the winning run in the home eighth as the Cardinals nipped the Washington Nationals 4-3, Wednesday in exhibition baseball.
Bulls to adhere to NBA rules about resting players, tanking
The Chicago Bulls will start playing Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday again after receiving a reminder from the league about player rest and tanking.
Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said the league communicated with the team after the All-Star break about those two players and their diminishing roles.
Holiday was back in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Lopez was sitting out his seventh straight game, though coach Fred Hoiberg said both players will start Friday at Detroit.