Tales from the 2004-05 Fighting Illini

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9781596701212: Tales from the 2004-05 Fighting Illini

The word "team" is often overused in sports writing. It's used casually to refer to a collection of players that represent any old franchise or college. It's used passionately to describe a rooting interest-that's our team. And, occasionally, it's used to discuss what has come to be a cliché: the idea of a group of individuals coming together for the common good, sacrificing all personal gain for the greater goal of winning a championship. Serious scribes don't toss around that meaning of the word team lightly-or very often. And with good reason. In sports, there's rarely a cause to use it. But, there is no wiser usage of the word "team"-a unified core of players all working toward the same goal-than when applying it to the 2004-05 Fighting Illini squad that we've all come to cherish. They were a "team" like no other. Tales from the 2004-05 Fighting Illini captures the team stepby- step on its March to the Arch. News-Gazette reporter Brett Dawson shadowed Bruce Weber's boys the entire season and shares his insights into what made this team so special. The entire season was a rollercoaster ride of emotion: from the thrilling peaks-victories over Wake Forest, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Arizona-and unfortunate lows-the loss to Ohio State and the death of coach Weber's mother. Dawson adds a new perspective to those moments, plus goes behind the scenes to discover what made this team tick. He examines their funny bone as well as their fierce will to win. It's all here: from Midnight Madness to the first "Dee for Threeeeee" to the hoisting of two Big Ten trophies and finally a date with North Carolina in the NCAA finals. Dee, Deron, Luther, Roger, and James-led by the national coach of the year-have a story to tell. Until today, only half of it has been told.

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About the Author:

Brett Dawson is the News-Gazette beat reporter for the Illinois men's basketball team. He followed the team on every thrilling step of their run to the NCAA Finals in 2004-05. Throughout the season, Dawson composed game recaps as well as profiles on the players and coaches. Now, he uses that background to write the story-party untold-of the Fighting Illini's March to the Arch.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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