- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 9, 2004

Last night from MCI Center:

52 Percent shooting (224 of 429) by No. 1 Illinois through seven games, seventh in the NCAA.


With 7:15 left and Illinois comfortably ahead, guard Deron Williams fired a lob toward the front of the rim. Senior guard Luther Head, who has an NCAA-best 52-inch vertical jump, caught the feed and slammed home a twisting sidewinder.


So who gets credit for luring college basketball’s No. 1 team to the nation’s capital? First-year Georgetown coach John Thompson III. Thompson and Illinois coach Bruce Weber worked out a home-and-home series without much help from their respective athletic departments. Illinois tried to schedule Texas in Dallas and even tried to play the Longhorns in Austin as a tribute to guard Deron Williams, a Lone Star state native. Texas coach Rick Barnes was against it, and the game fell through. Looking to get a big name to come to Champaign, Ill., Weber approached Thompson, and Georgetown’s young coach accepted.

Next season the Hoyas travel to Illinois. …

Eighteen NBA scouts were credentialed for the game, including former Washington Bullets forward Harvey Grant, who was working for the Wizards.

Ken Wright

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