Illinois basketball coach Bruce Weber said he hopes to finish his career with the Illini after a week that saw him criticize both himself and his players before apologizing for being frustrated. Illinois has lost seven of eight.
Weber says he wants to remain Illini coach
Illinois coach Bruce Weber said Friday he hopes to finish his career with the Illini after a week that saw him criticize both himself and his players before apologizing for being frustrated.
The ninth-year coach said his players took the right message from his harsh critique: They need to play tougher.
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“I want to finish my career here,” Weber said. “Do I want to do better? No doubt. And that’s my disappointment and frustration, because I know I’m a good coach, and I’ve done it for a long time.”
Illinois (16-10 overall, 5-8 Big Ten Conference) has lost seven of eight. After a 67-62 home loss Wednesday to Purdue, Weber said in an emotional news conference he had failed the past few years to create a culture of toughness.
Weber said players told him after practice Thursday they understood what he was saying.
“They said that we need to be tougher, and I said that’s exactly right,” Weber said.
Purdue disciplines Barlow, Byrd
Purdue guard Kelsey Barlow was kicked off the team and swingman D.J. Byrd was suspended after an alleged incident at a bar in West Lafayette, Ind.
Lt. Gary Sparger said West Lafayette police are investigating an allegation Byrd assaulted one of the bar’s bouncers. Sparger said Barlow had been kicked out of the bar earlier that night, then told bar staff he had left his wallet inside but was not allowed back in.
Byrd was arrested by state police on suspicion of public intoxication and spent five hours in jail. He will miss Sunday’s home game against No. 7 Michigan State.
Cincinnati’s Maualuga pleads not guilty
Cincinnati linebacker Rey Maualuga has pleaded not guilty to a charge of misdemeanor assault .
An employee at a downtown Cincinnati bar told police Maualuga punched him in the face Feb. 5. Maualuga and the Bengals have not commented on the charge, which could bring a fine or suspension from the NFL.
Maualuga, 25, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in Kentucky in 2010; the league suspended him for two games for violating its conduct policy.
Bengals hire Jackson
Hue Jackson, who was fired by the Oakland Raiders last month after they went 8-8 in his only season as coach, has been hired by Cincinnati as an assistant to help with the secondary and special teams.
Red Wings extend record home streak
Pavel Datsyuk scored with 5.8 seconds left in the third period to give host Detroit a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators.
The Red Wings have won 22 consecutive home games, extending their league record for a home winning streak in one season; the previous record was 20. Boston closed the 1929-30 season with 20 straight victories at home and won its first two home games the next season.
Vitali Klitschko gets slapped at weigh-in
Challenger Dereck Chisora of Britain slapped WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko of Ukraine across the face during the weigh-in for Saturday’s title fight in Munich, Germany.
Klitschko, who did not retaliate, said, “I am going to hit back on Saturday. He will get his beating.”
• Elana Meyers of Douglasville, Ga., and Katie Eberling of Palos Hills, Ill., were in third place after the first day of the bobsled world championships in Lake Placid, N.Y. Reigning Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries and Jennifer Ciochetti of Canada led.
Pilot Bree Schaaf of Bremerton and Emily Azevedo of Chico, Calif., were in 12th place. Schaaf, who is coping with an illness, was visibly disappointed.
“I’ve felt better,” she said. “You’re always looking for an opportunity to resurrect your season. I guess that is what tomorrow will be, one last opportunity to bring it back.”
• American Andy Roddick, hobbled by an ankle problem, lost to Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-2, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the SAP Open tennis tournament in San Jose, Calif. Roddick was the No. 2 seed and Istomin is unseeded.
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