The daily pitch from Sports Editor Matt Daniels: April 16, 2024

Apr. 16—➜ if you're an Illinois basketball fan. The annual Coaches vs. Cancer event will feature Illinois men's basketball coach , Oakland men's basketball coach , decorated TV analyst and former official . All raising money for a good cause and telling a story — or 100 — throughout the night. Enjoy.

➜ . Included in the quartet? Possible first-round pick . The All-American defensive tackle will be joined by Danville native and offensive lineman , safety and linebacker .

➜ . Costs range from $250 to $500 depending on the size of the brick and if they want to put a Block I logo on them. Customized bricks purchased before July 15 will be installed in August before the season kicks off.

Career MLB wins by , the former Illini who pitched 15 seasons in the majors with the Cubs, Athletics, Orioles and Yankees from 1965-79. Holtzman, who died Sunday at the age of 78, pitched at Illinois during the 1965 season. He compiled a 6-2 record with the Illini and finished with 72 strikeouts in 57 innings, earning the team's Most Valuable Player and Third-Team All-Big Ten honors before embarking upon a successful MLB career. In the majors, Holtzman threw two no-hitters with the Cubs before getting traded to the Athletics in 1972. He was a key part of of three World Series championship teams with the Athletics in 1972, 1973 and 1974.

➜ The Illini (20-13) will try to extend their win streak to five games when they host the Cougars (13-23) at Illinois Field when the nonconference game gets going at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Illinois is fresh off a dominating weekend in Champaign, averaging 17.3 runs during a three-game sweep of Northern Illinois.

➜ . Don't know how much of an actual game this will be, but the annual scrimmage starts at 1 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

➜ . If both of these area programs are at the Louisville Sluggers Complex in Peoria in early June for the IHSA state tournament, don't be surprised. The marquee nonconference game brings the Panthers and Tigers together in Vermilion County for a 4:30 p.m. first pitch on Wednesday. LeRoy finished third at the Class 1A state tournament last year and has nearly its entire team back. Westville features dominant left-handed pitcher Abby Sabalaskey, a Northern Kentucky signee. Should be a good one.

➜ the Minnesota Gophers football team. I know this will make a lot of Illini fans upset, but because I'm a Kaneland graduate like Minnesota coach , I always have to go back to my roots. I've always been a Chicago Bears' fan, too, unfortunately.

➜ , and . I'll go a different route instead of famous coaches because I've been blessed to work with so many amazing coaches that I don't get a chance to go out to eat with and enjoy their company, so I'm going with those three.

➜ when athletes are not warming up enough before a race.