ISN Now Episode 2: HOF’ers Kevin Hardy & Derek Harper

In episode two, host Peyton Wesner discusses the latest Fighting Illini news, including Kofi Cockburn declaring for the NBA Draft. Peyton provides a brief history of the NBA Draft and the more recent shift to underclassman top picks (SPOILER: The last time a senior was taken first was 2000).

For the past 10 drafts, a freshman has been selected with the top pick. Could this fact have played into Cockburn’s rationale? Regardless, Peyton points out that 42 percent of last year’s underclassmen who declared for the NBA Draft returned to school to use more college eligibility. This year’s deadline for a decision is June 3.

Plus, Peyton talks about football head coach Lovie Smith’s preference for transfers as wide receiver Drew Dan commits to Illinois. Dan posted a career-high three touchdowns and 491 receiving yards in 2018 with New Mexico State. The six-foot, three-inch wide receiver picked the Fighting Illini over UT-Martin, Western Illinois and Duquesne.

Then, Peyton cooks up an interview medley from this week’s Fighting Illini Athletics 2020 Hall of Fame teleconferences. From the No. 2 pick in the 1996 NFL Draft Kevin Hardy to 16-year NBA player Derek Harper, the memorable stories told by each Illinois great is worth a listen! Also featured is volleyball great Michelle Bartsch-Hackley and discus record holder Gia Lewis-Smallwood. Has Lewis-Smallwood ever thrown a discus at a cow? Find out!

On Tuesday, April 14, Peyton talks with head coach Brad Dancer about how he is juggling his roster in the aftermath of COVID-19. You will not want to miss it!

Until then, you can keep up with all things ISN on Twitter (@UI7ISN) and Facebook. To connect with the show, feel free to get in touch with Peyton on Twitter (@pcwesner).


ISN Now is the official podcast of Illini Sports Night as hosted by producer and men’s basketball reporter Peyton Wesner. ISN Now will provide you in-depth, long-form conversations with past, present and prospective Fighting Illini student-athletes.

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