Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball

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Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball
2017–18 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team
Illinois Fighting Illini logo.svg
University University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
All-time record 1,764–973 (.645)
Athletic director Josh Whitman
Head coach Brad Underwood (1st season)
Conference Big Ten
Arena State Farm Center
(Capacity: 15,500)
Nickname Fighting Illini
Student section Orange Krush
Colors Orange and Blue[1]
         
Uniforms
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Home jersey
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Team colours
Home
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Away jersey
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Team colours
Away
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Alternate jersey
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Team colours
Alternate
Pre-tournament Premo-Porretta champions
1915
Pre-tournament Helms champions
1915
NCAA Tournament runner-up
2005
NCAA Tournament Final Four
1949, 1951, 1952, 1989, 2005
NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
1942, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1963, 1984, 1989, 2001, 2005
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1951, 1952, 1963, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1989, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005
NCAA Tournament Round of 32
1981, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2011, 2013
NCAA Tournament appearances
1942, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1963, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013
Conference tournament champions
2003, 2005
Conference regular season champions
1915, 1917, 1924, 1935, 1937, 1942, 1943, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1963, 1984, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005

The Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team is an NCAA Division I college basketball team competing in the Big Ten Conference. Home games are played at the State Farm Center, located on the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign's campus in Champaign.

The team is currently coached by Brad Underwood, hired on March 18, 2017. Through the end of the 2016–17 season, Illinois ranks 16th all-time in winning percentage and 14th all-time in wins among all NCAA Division I men's college basketball programs.

Eras of Illini Basketball

The Early Years

The Fighting Illini began play in 1906 with Elwood Brown as their first coach. In 1915, Illinois won their first ever Big Ten title, going 16–0 (and 12–0 in Big Ten play) under coach Ralph Jones. They were retroactively declared champion of that season by the Helms Athletic Foundation and the Premo-Porretta Power Poll. They won two more Big Ten titles in the next nine years, both shared titles. In 1935, they won the Big Ten once again, sharing it with Purdue. They won the Big Ten title five years later in 1942, their first unanimous Big Ten title since 1915.

When duty calls

The Whiz Kids

Prior to World War II breaking out, the Fighting Illini men's basketball program had achieved a status which it had never seen prior. Under the direction of head coach and athletic director Douglas R. Mills, the Illini grouped a team of players, all around 6' 3", into a nearly undefeatable lineup later to be known as "The Whiz Kids". As freshman and sophomores, the 1941–42 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team dominated the Big Ten conference basketball season by posting a 13–2 record, overall finishing with 18 wins and only 5 losses. A starting lineup of freshman and sophomores, Arthur "Jack" Smiley, Ken Menke, Andy Phillip, Ellis "Gene" Vance, Victor Wukovits and Art Mathison, developed a winning attitude that would maintain for the next 15 years, a time period where the Illini would finish no less than third in the conference for 13 of them. Despite being ranked No. 1 in the nation, the 1943 Illinois men's basketball squad opted not to play in the NCAA Tournament when three of its five 'Whiz Kids' were called to duty in World War II

Harry Combes era (1947–1967)

Champaign High School basketball coach Harry Combes was hired to succeed Doug Mills as Mills left the position to focus on his duties as the athletic director. Through his first five seasons as head coach, Combes led the Fighting Illini to three NCAA Final Four appearances in 1949, 1951, and 1952.[2] During his tenure as coach, Combes increased the Fighting Illini's offensive output by changing their style of play. Combes implemented Full-court press defense, causing turnovers at a high rate which translated into Fast break points.[2]

During the 1957–58 season, Mannie Jackson and Govoner Vaughn were inserted into the starting lineup as the first two African-Americans to start and letter in basketball at Illinois.[3] Combes also oversaw the Illini's move from Huff Hall to Assembly Hall in 1963 and during that same season the Illini won a fourth Big Ten Conference championship under Combes. However, the Illini lost to eventual national champion Loyola (Chicago) in the Elite Eight of the 1963 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. The following 1964–65 season, saw several upset victories over defending national champion UCLA Bruins and national powerhouse Kentucky Wildcats at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky.[2]

Lou Henson era (1975–1996)

In 1975, after having taken New Mexico State (and future Illinois assistant coach Jimmy Collins) to the 1970 Final Four, Lou Henson moved to the University of Illinois to replace Gene Bartow, after Bartow left Illinois to replace the legendary John Wooden at UCLA. Henson would lead the Fighting Illini back to their glory after having a number of difficult years following the Illinois slush fund scandal (where Illinois was hit with severe penalties for infractions that other Big 10 schools had in years prior been punished much more leniently (according to Sports Illustrated) at the time). In 21 years at Illinois, Henson garnered 423 wins and 224 losses (.654 winning percentage), and with a record of 214 wins and 164 losses (.567) in Big Ten Conference games. The 214 wins in Big Ten games were the third highest total ever at the time of his retirement. At Illinois, Henson coached many future NBA players, including Eddie Johnson, Derek Harper, Ken Norman, Nick Anderson, Kendall Gill, Kenny Battle, Marcus Liberty, Steve Bardo, and Kiwane Garris.

Early 1980s

In 1981, Illinois made strides in its return to the national spotlight with a 21–8 record, a third-place Big Ten finish and an invitation to the NCAA Tournament. The team received a first-round bye in the NCAA Tournament and beat Wyoming, 67–65, in Los Angeles to advance to the regionals in Salt Lake City, where Illinois lost to Kansas State, 57–52. During this season, the Fighting Illini led the Big Ten in scoring for the second consecutive season and were again led by Eddie Johnson and Mark Smith. Guards Craig Tucker and Derek Harper arrived to add backcourt punch, and Harper began his Illini career being named First-Team Freshman All-America by ESPN and ABC.

Flyin' Illini

The top-seeded and top-ranked 1989 Illini were upset 83–81 in the Final Four on a last second basket by Michigan's Sean Higgins, ending the school's deepest run in the tournament at that time. Illinois had beaten the Wolverines by 12 and 16 points in two previous meetings that season. The 1988–89 Illinois Fighting Illini team gained the moniker "Flyin' Illini" by Dick Vitale during an ESPN broadcast that season. The team also gained national prominence for its athletic players, such as NCAA slam dunk champions Kenny Battle and Kendall Gill, as well as Lowell Hamilton, Nick Anderson, Marcus Liberty, and Stephen Bardo.

1990s

The early 1990s Illini were dominated by players such as guards Andy Kauffman, Richard Keene, and Kiwane Garris, as well as centers Shelly Clark and Deon Thomas. Thomas was at the center of a report of misconduct by Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball assistant coach Bruce Pearl, who alleged that Thomas had been offered cash to attend Illinois. The Illini were suspended from postseason play for one season for unrelated violations uncovered during the investigation.


Lon Kruger era (1996–2000)

After longtime coach Lou Henson's departure, Illinois hired Lon Kruger to fill the vacancy for the 1996 season. Lon Kruger the 14th head basketball hired at the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign. During his four-year tenure he compiled a 59–38 record. He immediately made an impact at Illinois leading them to a 22–10 record and a second round NCAA tournament appearance in his first year. This created excitement because of the ninth-place finish the Illini had taken just before his arrival. Kruger inherited players such as Victor Chukwudebe, Jerry Hester, Kevin Turner, Jerry Gee, Matt Heldman, Brian Johnson, Kiwane Garris and Cleotis Brown. During his four seasons at Illinois, three of which resulted in NCAA Tournament berths, (all three of which saw the Illini eliminated in the 2nd round) Kruger became the only Big Ten coach to successfully sign three consecutive Illinois Mr. Basketball winners, inking Sergio McClain, Frank Williams, and Brian Cook between 1997 and 1999.Several times during his coaching tenure the Illini were predicted to be at the bottom of the Big Ten, however he overcame adversity each time performing far better than expected.

Bill Self era (2000–2003)

Illinois picked Tulsa coach Bill Self from a list of numerous candidates, including popular assistant Jimmy Collins, to succeed Kruger, who moved on to the NBA to coach the Atlanta Hawks. Bill Self was hired to the Illini coaching staff as the 15th head coach in the history of the program. He spent his previous seven years as the head coach of Oral Roberts University and Tulsa University where he compiled an overall record of 129–71. In 2001, his first season at Illinois, Self coached his new Fighting Illini squad to a 27–8 record, a share of the Big Ten title, and a number 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. That 27-game winning season in Self's first year was the second most winning season in school history at that time. McClain, Cook and preseason Big Ten player of the year Cory Bradford led the Illini to the Elite Eight, where they fell to eventual finalist Arizona in a much disputed contest. The Illini were accused of being overly physical most of the season, especially McClain and pesky guards Sean Harrington and Lucas Johnson (younger brother of former Illini forward Brian Johnson). The '01 Illini team also included Robert Archibald, Damir Krupalija and Marcus Griffin. With mostly the same core, Illinois followed up the season with impressive 2002 and 2003 campaigns, but fell in the Sweet 16 in 2002. He was the first head coach in the Big Ten, since 1912, to lead his team to conference championships in each of his first two seasons. It was also the first time Illinois won back-to-back titles in 50 years. Self, also, had an overall record of 53–17 in his two years as Illinois head coach. Self left for Kansas after the 2003 season.[4]

Bruce Weber era (2003–2012)

Bruce Weber served as the head coach of Illinois basketball for nine seasons from 2003 to 2012.

After Bill Self left, Illinois AD Ron Guenther hired Weber to coach the Fighting Illini on April 30, 2003. Weber came from Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale and was touted as a loyal coach, which was valued by the Illinois AD after both Kruger and Self left Champaign with relatively short tenures. In his five seasons as head coach at SIU, Weber took the Saluki program to the top of the Missouri Valley Conference, winning league titles in 2002 and 2003. He posted records of 28–8 and 24–7 in his last two seasons, leading the Salukis to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, including a run to the Sweet 16 in 2002 with wins over Texas Tech and Georgia at the United Center in Chicago. His .689 (62–28) winning percentage in MVC play ranked 12th in the long history of the league. Weber earned Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year honors following the 2003 season.

Illinois totaled 210 victories under Weber from 2004 to 2012. He ranks third on the Illinois career coaching wins list. He won 67.5 percent of his games while in charge of the Fighting Illini (210–101). Under Weber, the Illini had two Big Ten Championships (2004, 2005), two runner-up finishes (2006, 2009) and seven upper-division finishes.

Illinois has had four players selected in the NBA Draft under Weber, as Deron Williams (No. 3, Utah Jazz) and Luther Head (No. 24, Houston Rockets) were taken in the first round of the 2005 NBA draft, and James Augustine (No. 41, Orlando Magic) and Dee Brown (No. 46, Utah Jazz) were chosen in the second round of the 2006 NBA draft. Utah's selection of Williams at No. 3 overall in the 2005 lottery made him the highest-drafted player in Illinois history.

2003–2004

It took just one season for Weber to etch his name in the Big Ten and Illinois record books after leading the Fighting Illini to its first outright Big Ten title in 52 years during the 2003–04 season. In leading his young team that featured just one senior on the roster, Weber became just the third coach in the history of the Big Ten to win an outright title in his first season. Illinois had to win 10 straight to end the regular season to claim the championship, including six-straight wins on the road. Illinois' 26 wins in 2003–04 tied the fourth-winningest season in school history. Weber also led the Illini to the Sweet 16 with NCAA Tournament victories over Murray State and Cincinnati.

2004–2005

Weber's second year at Illinois, the 2004–05 season, will be remembered as one of the greatest in Fighting Illini history, finishing 37–2 as the National Runner-Up in the NCAA tournament. In a remarkable year where Illinois celebrated its centennial season of basketball, the Illini reeled off 29 straight wins to start the year, tying the 12th-best start in NCAA Div. I history and the third-best start in Big Ten history. Illinois also secured its second-straight outright Big Ten championship with a 15–1 league record, as Weber became the first coach in Big Ten history to win consecutive outright titles in his first two seasons. Illinois then added a Big Ten Tournament championship in addition to its regular season title. The Illini were ranked No. 1 in the nation for 15 straight weeks, including a first-ever No. 1 ranking in the final Associated Press poll.

They gained a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and prevailed in one of the most memorable games in NCAA history against Arizona. Down 15 points with around 4 minutes left, the Illini rallied with a run led by Luther Head and Deron Williams. The game was sent into overtime and the Illini pulled off a one-point win to advance to the 2005 Final Four in St. Louis. It was the Fighting Illini's first Final Four Appearance since the 1988–89 season. Against the Louisville Cardinals in the national semifinal game, the Illini posted their final victory of the season. All of the five Illini starters–Deron Williams, Luther Head, Dee Brown, James Augustine, and Roger Powell, Jr.–would eventually play in the NBA. Williams and Brown both joined the Utah Jazz roster, while Luther Head went on to play for the Sacramento Kings.

With all that Illinois accomplished during the season, Weber swept the 2005 National Coach of the Year awards, claiming the following: the Naismith Award, the most prestigious coaching award in college basketball; the Henry Iba Award, presented by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association; and, the Adolph F. Rupp Cup. Weber was also named National Coach of the Year by the NABC, Associated Press, The Sporting News, Basketball Times, CBS/Chevrolet, Victor Awards and Nike Championship Basketball Clinic.

2005–2006

Despite losing three starters and 63 percent of its scoring from the 2004–05 NCAA runner-up squad, Weber directed the 2005–06 Illini to a third-consecutive 25-win season, a runner-up finish in the Big Ten, the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and a ranking among the nation's top 17 teams throughout the entire season. The Illini spent the majority of 2005–06 ranked in the Top 10 and recorded 26 wins on the year to tie the fourth-winningest season in school history. The Illini were given a number 4 seed in the NCAA tournament, where they beat Air Force in the opening round, before falling to the University of Washington in the second round.

2006–2012

The 2006–07 team finished with a record of 23–12 (9–7) and finished tied for fourth in the Big Ten. With a depleted roster that had six different players combine to miss a total of 58 games due to injury, the Illini still advanced to the NCAA Tournament. They were awarded a 12 seed and lost in the opening round to Virginia Tech.

The 2007–08 season was one of the worst seasons in Illinois history, highlighted be a string of close losses. The lone bright spot came as Illinois came on strong to win four of its last five and five of its final seven games, which culminated with a runner-up finish at the Big Ten Tournament. Weber's Illini became the first No. 10 seed in the tournament's history to advance to the title game, winning three games in three days with victories over Penn State, No. 17 Purdue and Minnesota to reach the championship game vs. No. 8 Wisconsin. However, with an overall record of 16–19 (5–13), the Illini were not selected to participate in postseason play.

Weber's 2008–09 UI squad was one of the most improved teams in the country finishing with a record of 24–10 (11–7). With 10 more regular season victories than it achieved the year before, Illinois posted the third-biggest turnaround in NCAA Division I and the second-biggest turnaround among BCS programs on the year. The Illini recorded 24 wins, ranking as the 10th-winningest season in school history. Illinois was the Big Ten runner-up, earned a No. 5 seed in the 2009 NCAA Tournament, and finished the year ranked 24th in the Pomeroy rankings. The Illini lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament to the 12th seeded Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

The 2009–10 season, the Illini finished 21–15 (10–8), and finished 5th in the Big Ten. The team was widely considered to be "on the bubble" for the NCAA tournament, and missed the tournament field by a narrow margin. The Illini competed in the NIT, falling at home to the Dayton Flyers in the NIT Quarterfinals.

Illinois rebounded in 2010–11 to finish 20–14 (9–9), and tied for fourth in the Big Ten. The Illini were selected to join the NCAA tournament as a #9 seed, where they defeated the #8 seeded UNLV Rebels setting up a matchup with the #1 seeded Kansas Jayhawks and former coach Bill Self. Kansas proved to be to much for the Illini, and the season came to an end in the round of 32.

In 2011–12, Weber's last as coach of the Illini, the team finished 17–15 (6–12), good for 9th in the conference. The team did not compete in the post season. Weber was fired by Illinois' new AD Mike Thomas after the 2011–12 season.

John Groce era (2012–2017)

Coach Groce

John Groce was hired by new athletic director Mike Thomas on March 28, 2012.[5]

In the 2012–13 season the Illini were the 2012 Maui Invitational Tournament Champions and later made the 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, losing their second game. The Illini lost 63–59 to the 2013 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament Champions Miami Hurricanes.

The Illini spent 8 weeks nationally ranked in the 2012–13 NCAA Division I men's basketball rankings, and for two weeks were ranked as high as 10th in the country.

In 2014, Groce continued Illinois' success in the month of November, improving to 21–0 under Groce and 32–0 overall during the past four seasons. Illinois is the only program in the nation with an undefeated November record dating back to 2011.[6]

The 2014–2015 season was once again disappointing for the Illini. Illinois finished with a record of 19–14, finishing tied for 7th place in the Big Ten with a record of 9–9. The Illini were then beaten in the first round of the NIT.

The 2015–2016 season ended with the fewest total wins in almost 20 years, since the 98–99 Lon Kruger crew won only 14 games. Groce's squad finished with a record of 15–19, taking 12th place in the Big Ten and receiving no post season tournament invitations.

The 2016–2017 basketball season was another disappointing season for the Fighting Illini, as they finished the season at 18–14 and 8–10 in conference, failing to make the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive year. On March 11, 2017, the university announced via press release that Groce had been relieved of his duties as head men's basketball coach. The next day, the team was put into the NIT as a 2-seed. The team was coached during the NIT by interim coach Jamall Walker, making it to the quarterfinals before being eliminated by the University of Central Florida.

Brad Underwood era (2017–present)

On March 18, 2017, Brad Underwood was hired by athletic director Josh Whitman.[7] Underwood previously coached at Stephen F. Austin from 2013–16, before spending one year at Oklahoma State. Underwood made an immediate splash after being hired by landing highly touted recruit Mark Smith, beating the likes of Kentucky, Michigan State, and Duke for Illinois' 2017 Mr. Basketball and reeling in the number one recruiting class in the B1G only months into the job.

Championships

National Championships

Year Coach Awarding body Record
1915 Ralph Jones Helms Athletic Foundation, Premo-Porretta Power Poll 16–0
1943 Doug Mills Premo-Porretta Power Poll 17–1
National Championships 2

Big Ten Regular Season Championships

Year Coach Overall record Big Ten record
1915 Ralph Jones 16–0 12–0
1917§ Ralph Jones 13–3 10–2
1924§ J. Craig Ruby 11–6 8–4
1935§ J. Craig Ruby 15–5 9–3
1937§ Douglas R. Mills 14–4 10–2
1942 Douglas R. Mills 18–5 13–2
1943 Douglas R. Mills 17–1 12–0
1949 Harry Combes 21–4 10–2
1951 Harry Combes 22–5 13–1
1952 Harry Combes 22–4 12–2
1963§ Harry Combes 20–6 11–3
1984§ Lou Henson 26–5 15–3
1998§ Lon Kruger 23–10 13–3
2001§ Bill Self 27–8 13–3
2002§ Bill Self 26–9 11–5
2004 Bruce Weber 26–7 13–3
2005 Bruce Weber 37–2 15–1
Big Ten Regular Season Championships 17

§–Conference Co-champions

Big Ten Tournament Championships

Year Coach Opponent Score Site Record
2003 Bill Self Ohio State 72–59 Chicago 27–5
2005 Bruce Weber Wisconsin 54–43 Chicago 37–2
Big Ten Tournament Championships 2

Coaching history

Coach Years Record Conference
record
Conference
titles
NCAA
appearances
Elwood Brown 1906–1907 6–8 3–6
Frank L. Pinckney 1907–1908 1–10 0–8
Fletcher Lane 1908–1909 20–6 6–5
Herb V. Juul 1909–1910 12–10 10–10
Thomas E. Thompson 1910–1912 14–14 10–13
Ralph R. Jones 1912–1920 85–34 64–31 2
Frank J. Winters 1920–1922 25–12 14–10
J. Craig Ruby 1922–1936 148–95 94–74 2
Douglas R. Mills 1936–1947 151–66 88–47 3 1
Harry Combes 1947–1967 316–150 174–104 4 4
Harv Schmidt 1967–1974 89–77 43–55
Gene Bartow 1974–1975 8–18 4–14
Lou Henson 1975–1996 423–224 214–164 1 12
Lon Kruger 1996–2000 81–48 38–28 1 3
Bill Self 2000–2003 78–24 35–13 2 3
Bruce Weber 2003–2012 210–101 89–65 2 6
John Groce 2012–2017 95–74 37–53 1
Jamall Walker (interim) 2017 2–1
Brad Underwood 2017–
Totals 1762-971 901-668 17 30

Statistical leaders

Former Fighting Illini Demetri McCamey

All-time leaders

Season leaders

Game leaders

Career milestones

1,500 points
Years Player Points
1991–94 Deon Thomas 2,129
1994–97 Kiwane Garris 1,948
2014–17 Malcolm Hill 1,817
2003–06 Dee Brown 1,812
2000–03 Brian Cook 1,748
1999–02 Cory Bradford 1,735
2008–11 Demetri McCamey 1,718
1978–81 Eddie Johnson 1,692
2010–13 Brandon Paul 1,654
1978–81 Mark Smith 1,653
1989–93 Andy Kaufmann 1,533
200 three-point field goals
Years Player Three-pointers
1999–02 Cory Bradford 327
2003–06 Dee Brown 299
2010–13 D.J. Richardson 278
1993–96 Richard Keene 237
2008–11 Demetri McCamey 236
2004–07 Rich McBride 216
2010–13 Brandon Paul 211
2002–05 Luther Head 209
500 assists
Years Player Assists
1983–86 Bruce Douglas 765
2008–11 Demetri McCamey 733
2003–06 Dee Brown 674
2003–05 Deron Williams 594
1994–97 Kiwane Garris 502
750 rebounds
Years Player Rebounds
2003–06 James Augustine 1,023
2008–11 Mike Davis 909
1983–86 Efrem Winters 853
1991–94 Deon Thomas 846
1978–81 Eddie Johnson 831
1963–65 Skip Thoren 830
2000–03 Brian Cook 815
1971–73 Nick Weatherspoon 803
1961–63 Dave Downey 790
150 blocks
Years Player Blocks
2012–15 Nnanna Egwu 201
1991–94 Deon Thomas 177
2008–11 Mike Tisdale 176
1979–81 Derek Holcomb 174
1979–82 James Griffin 156

Source for all statistical leaders[8]

Individual honors

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

The following 4 Fighting Illini have been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame:

Year Player Inducted as a
1960 Henry Porter Contributor
1961 Andy Phillip Player
1971 Abe Saperstein Contributor
2004 Jerry Colangelo Contributor

Consensus All-American

Player Year(s)
Ray Woods 1915, 1916 & 1917
Clyde Alwood 1917
Earl Anderson 1918
Chuck Carney 1920 & 1922
Bill Hapac 1940
Andy Phillip 1942 & 1943
Walt Kirk 1945
Rod Fletcher 1952
Dee Brown 2005 & 2006

NCAA Men's Basketball All-American

Key to abbreviations:
AP Associated Press, Arg Argosy, Ath Athletic Publications, BN Basketball News, BT Basketball Times, BKW Basketball Weekly, BW Basketball Writers of America, Col Colliers, Con Converse, CSAF Citizens Savings Athletic Foundation, Helms Helms Foundation, INS International News Service, K Kodak, Look Look magazine, MSG Madison Square Garden, NABC National Association of Basketball Coaches, NEA Newspaper Enterprise Association, Omaha Omaha World Newspaper, PM Pic Magazine, SN Sporting News, True True Magazine, UP United Press, W Wooden
1st First Team, 2nd Second Team, 3rd Third Team, HM Honorable Mention
1915 Ray Woods–1st (Helms)
1916 Ray Woods–1st (Helms)
1917 Ray Woods–1st (Helms), Clyde Alwood–1st (Helms)
1918 Earl Anderson–1st (Helms)
1920 Chuck Carney–1st (Helms)
1922 Chuck Carney–1st (Helms)
1937 Harry Combes–2nd (Omaha)
1938 Lou Boudreau–1st (MSG), Louis Dehner–3rd (Con)
1939 Louis Dehner–1st (MSG), 3rd (Con)
1940 Bill Hapac–1st (Helms, Con)
1942 Andy Phillip–1st (Helms), 2nd (PM), 3rd (Con), Jack Smiley–HM (SN), Art Mathisen–HM (SN), Ken Menke–HM (SN, Con), Gene Vance–HM (SN)
1943 Andy Phillip–1st (Con, PM, Helms, SN, AP, UP, NEA, Look,), Jack Smiley–3rd (Con), Art Mathisen–HM (Con), Gene Vance–HM (Con)
1944 Walt Kirk–HM (Con)
1945 Walt Kirk–1st (Helms, Con), 2nd (AM), HM (Con)
1946 Jack Burmaster–HM (SN), Bob Doster–HM (SN)
1947 Andy Phillip–1st (True, NABC), HM (Con), Jack Smiley–3rd (Helms), HM (Con), Gene Vance–HM (Con)
1948 Dwight Eddleman–2nd (AP), 3rd (Con, True), Jack Burmaster–HM (Con)
1949 Bill Erickson–1st (Helms, Col, NABC), 3rd (SN, UP), 4th (Con), Dwight Eddleman–1st (Con), 2nd (AP, UP)
1950 Bill Erickson–HM (Con)
1951 Don Sunderlage–2nd (Helms, SN), 3rd (UP, Con), HM (AP), Ted Beach–HM (Con), Rod Fletcher–HM (Con)
1952 Rod Fletcher–1st (Look, Con, Helms), 2nd (AP, UP, INS, NABC, Col, Ath), John Kerr–HM (AP, UP, Con), Irv Bemoras–HM (UP, Con), Jim Bredar–HM (UP, Con), Bob Peterson–HM (UP)
1953 Irv Bemoras–2nd (Con, Helms, Look), HM (AP), Jim Bredar–2nd (Con, Helms, Look, INS), 3rd (AP), John Kerr–HM (AP, INS, Con)
1954 John Kerr–2nd (Helms), 3rd (Look, AP, UP), 4th (Con)
1955 Bill Ridley–HM (AP, Con), Paul Judson–HM (INS, Con), George Bon Salle–HM (Con)
1956 Paul Judson–2nd (Con), 3rd (NABC, UP, NEA), HM (INS), Bill Ridley–2nd (Con), 3rd (NABC, UP, AP), Bruce Brothers–HM (Con), Harv Schmidt–HM (Con)
1957 Harv Schmidt–2nd (Con), George Bon Salle–2nd (NABC) HM (Con), Don Ohl–HM (AP, Con)
1958 Don Ohl–2nd (Con), 3rd (Helms), Govoner Vaughn–HM (Con)
1959 Roger Taylor–HM (Con)
1960 Mannie Jackson–HM (Con), Govoner Vaughn–HM (Con)
1961 Dave Downey–HM (Con), John Wessels–HM (Con)
1962 Dave Downey–HM (Con), Bill Burwell–HM (Con)
1963 Dave Downey–1st (Helms), 2nd (Con), HM (AP), Bill Small–HM (Con)
1964 Tal Brody–HM (SN, Con), Duane Thoren–HM (Con)
1965 Duane Thoren–1st (Helms), 2nd (AP, Con), 3rd (UPI, BN, NABC), Bogie Redmon–HM (Con), Tal Brody–1st (Helms), 2nd (SN, Con)
1966 Donnie Freeman–1st (Helms), 2nd (Con, BN), HM (UPI), Rich Jones–HM (Con)
1967 Jim Dawson–HM (Con), Dave Scholz–HM (Con)
1968 Dave Scholz–1st (Helms), HM (Con)
1969 Dave Scholz–1st (Helms), 3rd (AP), HM (Con)
1970 Mike Price–HM (Con)
1972 Nick Weatherspoon–HM (Con)
1973 Nick Weatherspoon–1st (CASF, Helms), HM (Con)
1974 Jeff Dawson–HM (Con)
1975 Rick Schmidt–HM (Con)
1977 Audie Matthews–HM (Con), Levi Cobb–HM (Con)
1983 Derek Harper–2nd (AP, Con), 3rd (BN)
1984 Bruce Douglas–3rd (UPI)
1987 Ken Norman–2nd (AP, BW, SN, K), 3rd (BT, NABC), HM (UPI)
1988 Nick Anderson–HM (SN), Kenny Battle–HM (SN)
1989 Nick Anderson–HM (AP, UPI, SN), Kenny Battle–HM (AP, UPI, SN), Kendall Gill–HM (SN)
1990 Kendall Gill–1st (UPI), 2nd (BKW), 3rd (AP, SN, NABC)
1994 Deon Thomas–HM (AP)
2001 Frank Williams–1st (W), 3rd (AP, NABC), Cory Bradford–HM (AP)
2002 Frank Williams–2nd (NABC) HM (AP)
2003 Brian Cook–2nd (SN), 3rd (AP, NABC, BT)
2004 Dee Brown–HM (AP)
2005 Dee Brown–1st (W, BW, SN) 2nd (AP, NABC, BT), Luther Head–2nd (AP, NABC, BW), Deron Williams–1st (W), 2nd (NABC, SN), 3rd (AP)
2006 Dee Brown–2nd (AP, BW, NABC)
Ray Woods–1917
Chuck Carney–1922
Andy Phillip–1943
Dee Brown–2005
  • NCAA All-Decade Team
Dwight "Dike" Eddleman–1940s
Dee Brown–2006
Dee Brown–2006
  • NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team
Jim Bredar1952
Johnny "Red" Kerr1952
Luther Head2005
Deron Williams2005
  • NCAA Tournament Regional Most Outstanding Player
Nick Anderson–1989
Deron Williams–2005
Andy Phillip–1943
Dwight "Dike" Eddleman–1949
Don Sunderlage–1951
Johnny "Red" Kerr–1954
Jim Dawson–1967
Bruce Douglas–1984
Frank Williams–2001
Brian Cook–2003
Dee Brown–2005
Bruce Douglas–1985 & 1986
Stephen Bardo–1989
Dee Brown–2005
  • Big Ten Freshman of the Year
Cory Bradford–1999
Brian Cook–2000
D.J. Richardson–2010
  • Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player
Brian Cook–2003
James Augustine–2005
Deron Williams2008 & 2012
Bruce Weber–2005
Lou Henson–1993
Bruce Weber–2005

McDonald's All-Americans

The following 13 McDonald's All-Americans have played for Illinois:[9]

Year Player High School Hometown
1980 Derek Harper North Shore (FL) Royston, Georgia
1982 Bruce Douglas Quincy Senior High School Quincy, Illinois
1982 Efrem Winters King College Prep Chicago
1985 Lowell Hamilton Providence St. Mel School Chicago
1986 Nick Anderson Simeon Career Academy Chicago
1987 Marcus Liberty King College Prep Chicago
1989 Deon Thomas Simeon Career Academy Chicago
1992 Richard Keene Collinsville High School Collinsville, Illinois
1997 Marcus Griffin Manual High School Peoria, Illinois
1998 Frank Williams Manual High School Peoria, Illinois
1999 Brian Cook Lincoln Community High School Lincoln, Illinois
2002 Dee Brown Proviso East Maywood, Illinois
2010 Jereme Richmond Waukegan High School Waukegan, Illinois

Mr. Basketball

The following 13 Mr. Basketball award winners have played for Illinois:

Year Player High school Hometown
1982 Bruce Douglas Quincy Senior High School Quincy, Illinois
1986 Nick Anderson Simeon Career Academy Chicago
1987 Marcus Liberty King College Prep Chicago
1989 Deon Thomas Simeon Career Academy Chicago
1994 Jarrod Gee St. Martin de Porres Chicago
1997 Sergio McClain Manual High School Peoria, Illinois
1998 Frank Williams Manual High School Peoria, Illinois
1999 Brian Cook Lincoln Community High School Lincoln, Illinois
2002 Dee Brown Proviso East Maywood, Illinois
2009 Brandon Paul Warren Township High School Gurnee, Illinois
2010 Jereme Richmond Waukegan High School Waukegan, Illinois
2014 Leron Black White Station High School Memphis, Tennessee
2017 Mark Smith Edwardsville High School Edwardsville, Illinois

Fighting Illini in the Pros

Fighting Illini Playing Internationally

Position Name Height Weight (lbs.) Hometown Years with
Illinois
Professional Team Country
PF James Augustine 6'10" 235 Midlothian, Illinois 2003–2006 PBC CSKA Moscow  Russia[10]
SG Joseph Bertrand 6'5" 200 Sterling, Illinois 2009–2014 Dresden Titans  Germany[11]
C Brian Carlwell 6'11" 265 Maywood, Illinois 2006–2008 Perry Lakes Hawks  Australia[12]
SG Cory Bradford 6'3" 200 Memphis, Tennessee 1999–2001 Baloncesto Liberia  Costa Rica[13]
PG Aaron Cosby 6'3" 290 Louisville, Kentucky 2014–2015 Bristol Flyers  United Kingdom[14]
PF Mike Davis 6'9" 225 Alexandria, Virginia 2008–2011 Socar Petkim S.K.  Turkey[15]
PF/C Nnanna Egwu 6'11" 250 Nigeria 2011–2015 Super City Rangers  Australia[16]
F Myke Henry 6'6" 240 Chicago, Illinois 2012–2013 Rayos de Hermosillo  Mexico[17]
PF Dominique Keller 6'7" 230 Port Arthur, Texas 2008–2010 Frayles de Guasave  Mexico[18]
F Damir Krupalija 6'9" 232 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina 1998–2002 Keravnos B.C.  Cyprus[19]
G Alex Legion 6'5" 200 Detroit 2008–2010 Fortitudo Bologna  Italy[20]
PG Trent Meacham 6'2" 195 Champaign, Illinois 2007–2009 ASVEL Basket  France[21]
PF Brian Randle 6'8" 220 Peoria, Illinois 2003–2008 Hapoel Jerusalem B.C.  Israel[22]
G Rayvonte Rice 6'5" 234 Champaign, Illinois 2013–2015 Aix Maurienne Savoie Basket  France[23]
SG D. J. Richardson 6'3" 195 Peoria, Illinois 2008–2013 s.Oliver Würzburg  Germany[24]
SG Jamar Smith 6'3" 185 Peoria, Illinois 2006–2007 Baloncesto Málaga  Spain[25]
PG Ahmad Starks 5'9" 175 Chicago 2015 North-West Tasmania Thunder  Australia[26]

Fighting Illini in the NBA D-League

Position Name Height Weight (lbs.) Hometown Draft Year Pick Current D-League Team
PG Demetri McCamey 6'3" 200 Bellwood, Illinois 2011 Undrafted Austin Spurs

Fighting Illini in the NBA

Position Name Height Weight (lbs.) Hometown Draft year Pick Current NBA team
C Meyers Leonard 7'1" 245 Robinson, Illinois 2012 11th Portland Trail Blazers
SG Brandon Paul 6'4" 200 Gurnee, Illinois 2013 Undrafted San Antonio Spurs
PG Deron Williams 6'3" 209 The Colony, Texas 2005 3rd Cleveland Cavaliers
Fighting Illini in the NBA[27]
NBA Draft Selections
Total selected: 68
Lottery Picks in Draft: 3
1st round: 15
Notable achievements
Olympic Gold Medal Winners: 1 player twice
NBA Champions: 4
Naismith Basketball-Hall-of-Famers: 4

Illinois honored players

All-Century Team

During the celebration of the program's 100th year of basketball as a varsity sport, the University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics announced its All-Century Team. The 20-man team was selected after voting by fans on www.fightingillini.com and the Illinois Basketball Centennial Committee. The honorees were feted during the Illinois Basketball Centennial Reunion Weekend, Jan. 28–30, 2005.[28]

Former Fighting Illini Deron Williams with the Brooklyn Nets.

Honored jerseys

The University of Illinois has honored its most decorated basketball players in school history by hanging a banner with their name and number from the rafters of State Farm Center. A total of 33 men's players have their jersey honored. To have his jersey honored, a player must have met one of the following criteria:

No. Player Pos. Career National POY National HOF US Olympian Big Ten POY Consensus All-American Illinois All-Century Basketball Pioneer
1 Ray Woods G 1915–17 Green tickY         Green tickY  
2 Chuck Carney F 1920–22 Green tickY         Green tickY  
19 Bill Hapac F 1938–40         Green tickY    
47 Andy Phillip F 1942–43, 1947 Green tickY Green tickY   Green tickY   Green tickY  
25 Gene Vance G 1942–43, 1947           Green tickY  
14 Walt Kirk G 1942–43, 1947         Green tickY    
40 Dwight "Dike" Eddleman F 1947–49     Green tickY Green tickY   Green tickY  
33 Bill Erickson G 1947–50         Green tickY    
11 Don Sunderlage G 1949–51       Green tickY      
37 Rod Fletcher G 1950–52       Green tickY      
22 Johnny "Red" Kerr C 1952–54       Green tickY   Green tickY  
35 Govoner Vaughn F 1958–60             Green tickY
30 Mannie Jackson G 1958–60             Green tickY
23 Jerry Colangelo G 1960–62   Green tickY          
40 Dave Downey F 1961–63           Green tickY  
35 Duane "Skip" Thoren C 1963–65           Green tickY  
12 Tal Brody G 1963–65             Green tickY
15 Donnie Freeman F           Green tickY  
24 Jim Dawson G 1965–67       Green tickY      
12 Nick Weatherspoon F 1971–73           Green tickY  
33 Eddie Johnson F 1978–81           Green tickY  
12 Derek Harper G 1981–83           Green tickY  
25 Bruce Douglas G 1983–86           Green tickY  
33 Ken Norman F 1985–87         Green tickY Green tickY  
33 Kenny Battle F 1988–89           Green tickY  
25 Nick Anderson F 1988–89           Green tickY  
13 Kendall Gill G 1987–90         Green tickY Green tickY  
25 Deon Thomas F/C 1991–94           Green tickY  
20 Frank Williams G 2000–02       Green tickY   Green tickY  
34 Brian Cook F 2000–03       Green tickY   Green tickY  
4 Luther Head G 2002–05         Green tickY    
5 Deron Williams G 2003–05     Green tickY   Green tickY    
11 Dee Brown G 2003–06 Green tickY     Green tickY Green tickY    

Season-by-season records

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Elwood Brown (1905–1906)
1905–06 Elwood Brown 6–8 3–6 4th
Frank L. Pinckney (1906–1907)
1906–07 Frank L. Pinckney 1–10 0–8 5th
Fletcher Lane (1907–1908)
1907–08 Fletcher Lane 20–6 6–5 3rd
Herb Juul (1908–1910)
1908–09 Herb Juul 7–6 5–6 4th
1909–10 Herb Juul 5–4 5–4 4th
Herb Juul: 12–10 10–10
Thomas E. Thompson (1910–1912)
1910–11 T.E. Thompson 6–6 6–5 4th
1911–12 T.E. Thompson 8–8 4–8 5th
T.E. Thompson: 14–14 10–13
Ralph Jones (1912–1920)
1912–13 Ralph Jones 10–6 7–6 5th
1913–14 Ralph Jones 9–4 7–3 3rd
1914–15 Ralph Jones 16–0 12–0 1st(T) Helms and Premo-Porretta National Champions[29]
1915–16 Ralph Jones 13–3 9–3 2nd(T)
1916–17 Ralph Jones 13–3 10–2 1st(T)
1917–18 Ralph Jones 9–6 6–6 4th(T)
1918–19 Ralph Jones 6–8 5–7 5th
1919–20 Ralph Jones 9–4 8–4 3rd
Ralph Jones: 85–34 64–31
Frank Winters (1920–1922)
1920–21 Frank Winters 11–7 7–5 4th(T)
1921–22 Frank Winters 14–5 7–5 4th(T)
Frank Winters: 25–12 14–10
J. Craig Ruby (1922–1936)
1922–23 J. Craig Ruby 9–6 7–5 4th(T)
1923–24 J. Craig Ruby 11–6 8–4 1st(T)
1924–25 J. Craig Ruby 11–6 8–4 3rd(T)
1925–26 J. Craig Ruby 9–8 6–6 5th(T)
1926–27 J. Craig Ruby 10–7 7–5 4th(T)
1927–28 J. Craig Ruby 5–12 2–10 9th(T)
1928–29 J. Craig Ruby 10–7 6–6 5th(T)
1929–30 J. Craig Ruby 8–8 7–5 4th(T)
1930–31 J. Craig Ruby 12–5 7–5 5th
1931–32 J. Craig Ruby 11–6 7–5 5th
1932–33 J. Craig Ruby 11–7 6–6 5th(T)
1933–34 J. Craig Ruby 13–6 7–5 4th
1934–35 J. Craig Ruby 15–5 9–3 1st(T)
1935–36 J. Craig Ruby 13–6 7–5 3rd(T)
J. Craig Ruby: 148–95 94–74
Douglas Mills (1936–1947)
1936–37 Douglas Mills 14–4 10–2 1st(T)
1937–38 Douglas Mills 9–9 4–8 8th(T)
1938–39 Douglas Mills 14–5 8–4 3rd
1939–40 Douglas Mills 14–6 7–5 4th(T)
1940–41 Douglas Mills 13–7 7–5 3rd(T)
1941–42 Douglas Mills 18–5 13–2 1st NCAA Elite Eight
1942–43 Douglas Mills 17–1 12–0 1st
1943–44 Douglas Mills 11–9 5–7 6th
1944–45 Douglas Mills 13–7 7–5 3rd
1945–46 Douglas Mills 14–7 7–5 5th(T)
1946–47 Douglas Mills 14–6 8–4 2nd(T)
Douglas Mills: 151–66 88–47
Harry Combes (1947–1967)
1947–48 Harry Combes 15–5 7–5 3rd(T)
1948–49 Harry Combes 21–4 10–2 1st NCAA 3rd Place
1949–50 Harry Combes 14–8 7–5 3rd(T)
1950–51 Harry Combes 22–5 13–1 1st NCAA 3rd Place
1951–52 Harry Combes 22–4 12–2 1st NCAA 3rd Place
1952–53 Harry Combes 18–4 14–4 2nd
1953–54 Harry Combes 17–5 10–4 3rd(T)
1954–55 Harry Combes 17–5 10–4 2nd(T)
1955–56 Harry Combes 18–4 11–3 2nd
1956–57 Harry Combes 14–8 7–7 7th
1957–58 Harry Combes 11–11 5–9 8th(T)
1958–59 Harry Combes 12–10 7–7 5th(T)
1959–60 Harry Combes 16–7 8–6 3rd(T)
1960–61 Harry Combes 9–15 5–9 7th
1961–62 Harry Combes 15–8 7–7 4th(T)
1962–63 Harry Combes 20–6 11–3 1st(T) NCAA Elite Eight
1963–64 Harry Combes 13–11 6–8 6th(T)
1964–65 Harry Combes 18–6 10–4 3rd
1965–66 Harry Combes 12–12 8–6 3rd(T)
1966–67 Harry Combes 12–12 6–8 7th(T)
Harry Combes: 316–150 174–104
Harv Schmidt (1967–1974)
1967–68 Harv Schmidt 11–13 6–8 7th(T)
1968–69 Harv Schmidt 19–5 9–5 2nd(T)
1969–70 Harv Schmidt 15–9 8–6 3rd(T)
1970–71 Harv Schmidt 11–12 5–9 5th(T)
1971–72 Harv Schmidt 14–10 5–9 8th(T)
1972–73 Harv Schmidt 14–10 8–6 3rd(T)
1973–74 Harv Schmidt 5–18 2–12 10th
Harv Schmidt: 89–77 43–55
Gene Bartow (1974–1975)
1974–75 Gene Bartow 8–18 4–14 9th(T)
Lou Henson (1975–1996)
1975–76 Lou Henson 14–13 7–11 7th(T)
1976–77 Lou Henson 16–14 8–10 6th
1977–78 Lou Henson 13–14 7–11 7th
1978–79 Lou Henson 19–11 7–11 7th
1979–80 Lou Henson 22–13 8–10 6th(T) NIT 3rd Place
1980–81 Lou Henson 21–8 12–6 3rd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1981–82 Lou Henson 18–11 10–8 6th NIT 2nd Round
1982–83 Lou Henson 21–11 11–7 2nd(T) NCAA 1st Round
1983–84 Lou Henson 26–5 15–3 1st(T) NCAA Elite Eight
1984–85 Lou Henson 26–9 12–6 2nd NCAA Sweet 16
1985–86 Lou Henson 22–10 11–7 4th(T) NCAA 2nd Round
1986–87 Lou Henson 23–8 13–5 4th NCAA 1st Round
1987–88 Lou Henson 23–10 12–6 3rd(T) NCAA 2nd Round
1988–89 Lou Henson 31–5 14–4 2nd NCAA Final Four
1989–90 Lou Henson 21–8 11–7 4th(T) NCAA 1st Round
1990–91 Lou Henson 21–10 11–7 3rd(T)
1991–92 Lou Henson 13–15 7–11 8th
1992–93 Lou Henson 19–13 11–7 3rd(T) NCAA 2nd Round
1993–94 Lou Henson 17–11 10–8 4th(T) NCAA 1st Round
1994–95 Lou Henson 19–12 10–8 5th(T) NCAA 1st Round
1995–96 Lou Henson 18–13 7–11 9th NIT 1st Round
Lou Henson: 423–224 214–164
Lon Kruger (1996–2000)
1996–97 Lon Kruger 22–10 11–7 4th(T) NCAA 2nd Round
1997–98 Lon Kruger 23–10 13–3 1st(T) NCAA 2nd Round
1998–99 Lon Kruger 14–18 3–13 11th
1999–00 Lon Kruger 22–10 11–5 4th NCAA 2nd Round
Lon Kruger: 81–48 38–28
Bill Self (2000–2003)
2000–01 Bill Self 27–8 13–3 1st(T) NCAA Elite Eight
2001–02 Bill Self 26–9 11–5 1st(T) NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2002–03 Bill Self 25–7 11–5 2nd NCAA 2nd Round
Bill Self: 78–24 35–13
Bruce Weber (2003–2012)
2003–04 Bruce Weber 26–7 13–3 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2004–05 Bruce Weber 37–2 15–1 1st NCAA Runner-Up
2005–06 Bruce Weber 26–7 11–5 2nd(T) NCAA Round of 32
2006–07 Bruce Weber 23–12 9–7 4th(T) NCAA Round of 64
2007–08 Bruce Weber 16–19 5–13 9th(T)
2008–09 Bruce Weber 24–10 11–7 2nd(T) NCAA Round of 64
2009–10 Bruce Weber 21–15 10–8 5th NIT Quarterfinals
2010–11 Bruce Weber 20–14 9–9 4th NCAA Round of 32
2011–12 Bruce Weber 17–15 6–12 9th
Bruce Weber: 210–101 89–65
John Groce (2012–2017)
2012–13 John Groce 23–13 8–10 7th (T) NCAA Round of 32
2013–14 John Groce 20–15 7–11 8th (T) NIT 2nd round
2014–15 John Groce 19–14 9–9 7th (T) NIT 1st round
2015–16 John Groce 15–19 5–13 12th
2016–17 John Groce 18–14 8–10 9th
John Groce: 95–75 37–53
Jamall Walker (2017–2017)
2016–17 Jamall Walker (Interim) 2–1 NIT 3rd round
Jamall Walker: 2–1 --
Total: 1762-975

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Postseason

NCAA tournament results

The Fighting Illini have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 30 times. Their combined record is 40–31.

Year Seed Round Opponent Results
1942 Elite Eight
Regional 3rd Place Game
Kentucky
Penn State
L 44–46
L 34–41
1949 Elite Eight
Final Four
National 3rd Place Game
Yale
Kentucky
Oregon State
W 71–67
L 47–76
W 57–53
1951 Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
National 3rd Place Game
Columbia
NC State
Kentucky
Oklahoma A&M
W 79–71
W 84–70
L 74–76
W 61–46
1952 Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
National 3rd Place Game
Dayton
Duquesne
St. John's
Santa Clara
W 80–61
W 74–68
L 59–61
W 67–64
1963 Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Bowling Green
Loyola–Chicago
W 70–67
L 64–79
1981 #4 Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#5 Wyoming
#8 Kansas State
W 67–65
L 52–57
1983 #7 First Round #10 Utah L 49–52
1984 #2 Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#7 Villanova
#3 Maryland
#1 Kentucky
W 64–56
W 72–70
L 51–54
1985 #3 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#14 Northeastern
#6 Georgia
#2 Georgia Tech
W 76–57
W 74–58
L 53–61
1986 #4 First Round
Second Round
#13 Fairfield
#5 Alabama
W 75–51
L 56–58
1987 #3 First Round #14 Austin Peay L 67–68
1988 #3 First Round
Second Round
#14 UTSA
#6 Villanova
W 81–72
L 63–66
1989 #1 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
#16 McNeese State
#9 Ball State
#4 Louisville
#2 Syracuse
#3 Michigan
W 77–71
W 72–60
W 83–69
W 89–86
L 81–83
1990 #5 First Round #12 Dayton L 86–88
1993 #6 First Round
Second Round
#11 Long Beach State
#3 Vanderbilt
W 75–72
L 68–85
1994 #8 First Round #9 Georgetown L 77–84
1995 #11 First Round #6 Tulsa L 62–68
1997 #6 First Round
Second Round
#11 USC
#14 Chattanooga
W 90–77
L 63–75
1998 #5 First Round
Second Round
#12 South Alabama
#4 Maryland
W 64–51
L 61–67
2000 #4 First Round
Second Round
#13 Penn
#5 Florida
W 68–58
L 76–93
2001 #1 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#16 Northwestern State
#9 Charlotte
#4 Kansas
#2 Arizona
W 96–54
W 79–61
W 80–64
L 81–87
2002 #4 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#13 San Diego State
#12 Creighton
#1 Kansas
W 93–64
W 72–60
L 69–73
2003 #4 First Round
Second Round
#13 WKU
#5 Notre Dame
W 65–60
L 60–68
2004 #5 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#12 Murray State
#4 Cincinniati
#1 Duke
W 72–53
W 92–68
L 62–72
2005 #1 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
National Championship
#16 Fairleigh Dickinson
#9 Nevada
#12 Milwaukee
#3 Arizona
#4 Louisville
#1 North Carolina
W 67–55
W 71–59
W 77–63
W 90–89 OT
W 72–57
L 70–75
2006 #4 First Round
Second Round
#13 Air Force
#5 Washington
W 78–69
L 64–67
2007 #12 First Round #5 Virginia Tech L 52–54
2009 #5 First Round #12 WKU L 72–76
2011 #9 Second Round
Third Round
#8 UNLV
#1 Kansas
W 73–62
L 59–73
2013 #7 Second Round
Third Round
#10 Colorado
#2 Miami (FL)
W 57–49
L 59–63

NCAA Tournament seeding history

The NCAA began seeding the tournament with the 1979 edition.

Years → '81 '83 '84 '85 '86 '87 '88 '89 '90 '93 '94 '95 '97 '98 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '09 '11 '13
Seeds → 4 7 2 3 4 3 3 1 5 6 8 11 6 5 4 1 4 4 5 1 4 12 5 9 7

NIT results

The Fighting Illini have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) seven times. Their combined record is 10–7.

Year Round Opponent Result
1980 First Round
Second Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
3rd Place Game
Loyola–Chicago
Illinois State
Murray State
Minnesota
UNLV
W 105–87
W 75–65
W 65–63
L 63–65
W 84–74
1982 First Round
Second Round
LIU Brooklyn
Dayton
W 126–78
L 58–61
1996 First Round Alabama L 69–72
2010 First Round
Second Round
Quarterfinals
Stony Brook
Kent State
Dayton
W 76–66
W 75–58
L 71–77
2014 First Round
Second Round
Boston University
Clemson
W 66–62
L 49–50
2015 First Round Alabama L 58–79
2017 First Round
Second Round
Quarterfinals
Valparaiso
Boise State
UCF
W 82–57
W 71–56
L 58–68

Head-to-head Big Ten records

Team Total meetings Overall record Home record Road record Neutral record
Indiana 175 86–89 51–33 29–54 6–2
Iowa 154 83–71 61–16 21–54 1–1
Maryland 11 5–6 1–1 1–3 3–2
Michigan 167 86–81 55–27 29–50 2–4
Michigan State 117 58–59 37–19 20–37 1–3
Minnesota 187 122–65 71–18 45–45 6–1
Nebraska 18 12–6 9–2 3–3 0–1
Northwestern 172 132–40 67–14 61–26 4–0
Ohio State 180 104–76 61–27 41–47 2–2
Penn State 42 28–14 14–5 11–8 3–1
Purdue 186 87–99 57–35 28–61 2–3
Rutgers 4 4–0 2–0 1–0 1–0
Wisconsin 194 110–84 68–25 39–56 3–3

Facilities

Kenney Gym

Kenney Gym (1905–1925)

Kenney Gym Annex is a 5,000-seat multi-purpose arena which is the practice facility for the Fighting Illini gymnastics team. Prior to the opening of Huff Hall in 1925, Kenney Gym housed the Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team. It also was home to the Women's Volleyball program from 1974 until 1989, after which the program moved to Huff Hall in 1990.


Huff Hall (1925–1963)

Huff Hall is a 4,050-seat multi-purpose arena in Champaign, Illinois, United States. The arena opened in 1925 and was known as Huff Gymnasium until the 1990s. It is named after George Huff, who was the school's athletic director from 1895 to 1935. Huff Hall is home to the University of Illinois Fighting Illini volleyball and wrestling teams. Prior to the opening of Assembly Hall in 1963, it was home to the basketball team as well.

State Farm Center

State Farm Center (1963–present)

The State Farm Center was originally opened as The Assembly Hall on March 2, 1963 and is known for its unique design. This is where the men and women's basketball teams hold their home games. The architect of the Building was Max Abramovitz and he is an alumnus from the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign. The stadium has been described as one of the toughest places to play because of the student section dubbed the "Orange Krush" that is located around one of the baskets. It has become customary for the fans of the stadium to wear orange to the games aligning themselves with the fans that started the trend. The stadium is the third largest dome in the state of Illinois following only the United Center and All-State Arena. The Illinois High School Association has also taken advantage of its size hosting numerous events including the men and women's state championships, along with the wrestling state championships. The stadium has also recently been named a landmark and joins Wrigley Field as the only two athletic sites on the list. With its latest update, finished fall of 2016, the Orange Krush sits on three sides of the court, including around each basket.


Ubben Basketball Complex (1998–present)

The 2-story, 40,000 square foot building is home to the University of Illinois Men’s and Women’s basketball programs. The facility includes offices, locker areas, weight training facilities and team meeting rooms in addition to the practice basketball courts.

Men's basketball records at Kenney Gym and Huff Hall

Season Wins Losses Win pct. Total attendance Season Wins Losses Win pct. Total attendance
1905–06 6 0 1.000 N/R 1925–26 6 3 0.667 N/R
1906–07 0 4 0.000 N/R 1926–27 8 3 0.727 61,590
1907–08 3 2 0.600 N/R 1927–28 3 5 0.375 48,202
1908–09 5 1 0.833 N/R 1928–29 8 3 0.727 30,139*
1909–10 3 2 0.600 N/R 1929–30 5 4 0.556 49,418*
1910–11 3 2 0.600 N/R 1930–31 7 3 0.700 52,440
1911–12 4 3 0.571 N/R 1931–32 8 2 0.800 57,000
1912–13 6 2 0.750 N/R 1932–33 8 3 0.727 34,500*
1913–14 5 2 0.714 N/R 1933–34 9 1 0.900 55,500
1914–15 9 0 1.000 N/R 1934–35 8 2 0.800 62,000
1915–16 6 1 0.857 16,644* 1935–36 7 3 0.700 78,028
1916–17 9 1 0.900 6,417* 1936–37 7 2 0.778 63,238
1917–18 7 1 0.875 5,066* 1937–38 7 2 0.778 63,600
1918–19 3 5 0.375 10,739 1938–39 9 1 0.900 57,933
1919–20 6 1 0.857 24,250* 1939–40 10 1 0.909 55,513
1920–21 6 4 0.600 34,875 1940–41 8 2 0.800 52,751
1921–22 10 2 0.833 40,112 1941–42 12 1 0.923 65,357
1922–23 6 3 0.667 8,424* 1942–43 10 0 1.000 62,648
1923–24 8 3 0.727 41,848 1943–44 6 4 0.600 29,812
1924–25 9 0 1.000 36,222 1944–45 7 3 0.700 44,951
Kenney Gym Totals 94 39 .707 224,597* 1945–46 11 2 0.846 66,553
Kenney Gym Facts 1946–47 10 1 0.909 77,808*
Fighting Illini played 20 years in Kenney Gym 1947–48 11 1 0.917 78,388
Attendance averaged 2,739 fans per game 1948–49 14 0 1.000 49,036*
Single game attendance record: January 24, 1925 vs. Iowa–4,725 1949–50 11 2 0.846 83,736
Hosted 3 Big Ten Champions (1915, 1917, 1924) 1950–51 12 1 0.923 75,116
Hosted 1 National Champion (1915) 1951–52 12 0 1.000 57,788*
Produced 6 All-Americans 1952–53 12 1 0.923 79,957*
Developed 2 National Players of the Year 1953–54 10 3 0.769 77,378
1954–55 9 2 0.818 64,721
Huff Hall Facts 1955–56 12 0 1.000 63,912
Fighting Illini played 38 years in Huff Hall 1956–57 9 2 0.818 68,448
Attendance averaged 7,025 fans per game 1957–58 10 3 0.769 76,032
Single game attendance record: February 22, 1937 vs. Wisconsin–9,000 1958–59 9 3 0.750 68,292
Hosted 8 Big Ten Champions (1935, 1937, 1942, 1943, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1963) 1959–60 10 2 0.833 74,719
Hosted 1 National Champion (1943) & 3 Final Four teams (1949, 1951, 1952)

3

1960–61 7 3 0.700 60,457
Produced 33 All-Americans 1961–62 8 4 0.667 75,376
Developed 1 National Player of the Year 1962–63** 9 0 1.000 61,025
Combined Totals 433 116 .789 2,507,959* Huff Hall Totals 339 77 .815 2,283,362*

Notes:

  • *Denotes incomplete or partial records.
  • **Played 9 games at Huff Hall but played final 2 games at Assembly Hall.
  • (N/R) denotes no records [30]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Logos and Colors | Illinois Brand Guidelines". August 14, 2017. Retrieved September 5, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Tate, Loren (January 22, 2012). "Harry Combes knew about offense". News-Gazette. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Three Illini Basketball Legends Join Honored Jerseys". University of Illinois Alumni Association. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  4. ^ http://illinihq.com/news/mens_basketball/2010/03/17/if_not_illinois_then_who
  5. ^ http://www.fightingillini.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/john_groce_798164.html
  6. ^ http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/ill/sports/m-baskbl/auto_pdf/2014-15/release/release_20141128aaa.pdf.  Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help);
  7. ^ http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/18944037/illinois-fighting-illini-hire-brad-underwood-oklahoma-state-cowboys-next-coach
  8. ^ "Illini Basketball History" (PDF). Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Boy's Alumni" (PDF). McDonald's. December 1, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
  10. ^ "James Augustine Player Profile". EuroLeague Basketball. Retrieved July 21, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Joseph Bertrand Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Brian Carlwell Player Profile". LatinBasket. Retrieved July 21, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Cory Bradford Player Profile". LatinBasket. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Aaron Cosby Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Mike Davis Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Nnanna Egwu Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Myke Henry Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Dominique Keller Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Damir Krupalija Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved September 10, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Alex Legion Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Trent Meacham Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved September 10, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Brian Randle Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  23. ^ "Rayvonte Rice Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  24. ^ "D.J. Richardson Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  25. ^ "Jamar Smith Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved September 10, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Ahmad Starks Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved July 14, 2017. 
  27. ^ http://www.fightingillini.com/sports/m-baskbl/inthepros.html
  28. ^ http://www.fightingillini.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/101604aaa.html
  29. ^ ESPN, ed. (2009). ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia: The Complete History of the Men's Game. New York: ESPN Books. p. 533. ISBN 978-0-345-51392-2. 
  30. ^ Men's basketball all-time records

External links

  • Official website
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