1979–80 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team

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1979–80 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball
Fighting Illini logo.svg
Illini Classic, Champion
Rainbow Classic, Champion [1]
Conference Big Ten Conference
Ranking
Coaches #Not ranked
AP #Not ranked
1979–80 record 22–13 (8–10 Big Ten)
Head coach Lou Henson
Assistant coach Tony Yates
Assistant coach Dick Nagy
Assistant coach Larry Lubin
MVP Eddie Johnson
Captain Levi Cobb
Home arena Assembly Hall
Seasons
« 1978–79 1980–81 »
1979–80 Big Ten Conference men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
#7 Indiana 13 5   .722     21 8   .724
#10 Ohio State 12 6   .667     21 8   .724
#20 Purdue 11 7   .611     23 10   .697
Iowa 10 8   .556     23 10   .697
Minnesota 10 8   .556     21 11   .656
Illinois 8 10   .444     22 13   .629
Michigan 8 10   .444     17 13   .567
Wisconsin 7 11   .389     15 14   .517
Michigan State 6 12   .333     12 15   .444
Northwestern 5 13   .278     10 17   .370
Rankings from AP Poll)

The 1979–80 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team represented the University of Illinois.

Regular season[edit]

For the 1979-80 season, head coach Lou Henson returned everyone from a team that finished with 19 wins. The team gave the head coach his first of 11, 20-win seasons at Illinois. That year, Illinois made its first postseason appearance since 1963, finishing third in the NIT. During the course of the season, the Illini would defeat eventual NCAA Tournament Champion, Louisville

Team[edit]

No. Player Hometown High School Class Position
10 Reno Gray Chicago, Illinois Hales Franciscan High School Sr. Guard
12 Kevin Westervelt Peoria, Illinois Richwoods High School Sr. Guard
13 James Griffin Grandview, Texas Dunbar High School So. Center
20 Kevin Bontemps Morton, Illinois Morton High School Fr. Guard
21 Quinn Richardson Robbins, Illinois Eisenhower High School Fr. Guard
22 Perry Range South Beloit, Illinois South Beloit High School So. Guard
30 Rob Judson Zion, Illinois Zion-Benton High School Sr. Guard
31 Neil Bresnahan (co-captain) Oak Park, Illinois Fenwick High School Sr. Forward
32 Levi Cobb (co-captain) Chicago, Illinois Morgan Park High School Sr. Forward
33 Eddie Johnson Chicago, Illinois Westinghouse High School Jr. Forward
42 Mark Smith Peoria, Illinois Richwoods High School Jr. Forward
43 Bryan Leonard Belleville, Illinois Belleville High School-East So. Forward
44 Derek Holcomb Peoria, Illinois Richwoods High School Jr. Center

Schedule[edit]

Source[3]

Date Opponent Site


Result Attendance Record
Regular Season
11/30/1979* BYU (#15) Marriott CenterProvo, UT W 86-76  23,042 1-0
12/4/1979* Missouri Assembly HallChampaign, IL
(Show-Me Classic)
L 66-67 OT 14,004 1-1
12/6/1979* Kent State Assembly Hall • Champaign, IL W 74-65  13,090 2-1
12/8/1979* Long Beach State Assembly Hall • Champaign, IL W 77-60  14,075 3-1
12/10/1979* TCU Daniel–Meyer ColiseumFort Worth, TX W 79-64  4,110 4-1
12/11/1979* Missouri-St. Louis Assembly Hall • Champaign, IL W 91-65  13,021 5-1
12/14/1979* Kentucky State Assembly Hall • Champaign, IL
(Illini Classic)
W 94-65  14,363 6-1
12/15/1979* Illinois State Assembly Hall • Champaign, IL
(Illini Classic)
W 47-40  16,257 7-1
12/22/1979* Marquette Assembly Hall • Champaign, IL L 78-80  12,618 7-2
12/28/1979* Army Neal S. Blaisdell CenterHonolulu, HI
(Rainbow Classic)
W 75-48  - 8-2
12/29/1979* Louisville (#12) Honolulu, HI
(Rainbow Classic)
W 77-64  - 9-2
12/30/1979* Hawaii Neal S. Blaisdell Center • Honolulu, HI
(Rainbow Classic)
W 94-82  - 10-2
1/3/1980 Iowa (#10) Assembly Hall • Champaign, IL L 71-72  10,839 10-3 (0-1)
1/5/1980 Northwestern Assembly Hall • Champaign, IL W 81-71  9,174 11-3 (1-1)
1/10/1980 Purdue (#10) Mackey ArenaWest Lafayette, IN L 66-74  12,982 11-4 (1-2)
1/12/1980 Minnesota Williams ArenaMinneapolis, MN L 75-79  15,381 11-5 (1-3)
1/17/1980 Michigan Assembly Hall • Champaign, IL W 80-69  14,746 12-5 (2-3)
1/19/1980 Wisconsin Wisconsin Field HouseMadison, WI W 69-64  10,386 13-5 (3-3)
1/24/1980 Ohio State (#4) Assembly Hall • Champaign, IL L 76-79  16,383 13-6 (3-4)
1/26/1980 Michigan State Assembly Hall • Champaign, IL W 74-65  16,490 14-6 (4-4)
1/31/1980 Indiana (#18) Assembly HallBloomington, IN W 54-60  16,723 14-7 (4-5)
2/2/1980 Michigan State Jenison FieldhouseEast Lansing, MI L 59-68  10,004 14-8 (4-6)
2/7/1980 Wisconsin Assembly Hall • Champaign, IL W 67-50  13,873 15-8 (5-6)
2/9/1980 Indiana (#20) Assembly Hall • Champaign, IL W 89-68  16,614 16-8 (6-6)
2/14/1980 Michigan Crisler CenterAnn Arbor, MI L 76-78  9,738 16-9 (6-7)
2/16/1980 Ohio State (#9) St. John ArenaColumbus, OH L 57-71  13,591 16-10 (6-8)
2/21/1980 Minnesota Assembly Hall • Champaign, IL W 60-58 OT 14,592 17-10 (7-8)
2/23/1980 Purdue (#15) Assembly Hall • Champaign, IL L 69-72  16,647 17-11 (7-9)
2/28/1980 Northwestern Welsh-Ryan ArenaEvanston, IL W 90-66  5,426 18-11 (8-9)
3/1/1980 Iowa Iowa Field HouseIowa City, IA L 71-75  13,365 18-12 (8-10)
National Invitational Tournament
3/5/1980* Loyola Chicago Assembly Hall • Champaign, IL
(National Invitational Tournament)
W 105-87  13,326 19-12
3/10/1980* Illinois State Assembly Hall • Champaign, IL
(National Invitation Tournament)
W 75-65  16,193 20-12
3/13/1980* Murray State Assembly Hall • Champaign, IL
(National Invitational Tournament)
W 65-63  15,070 21-12
3/17/1980* Minnesota Madison Square GardenNew York, NY
(National Invitational Tournament)
L 63-65  11,223 21-13
3/19/1980* UNLV Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
(National Invitational Tournament)
W 84-74  - 22-13
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Central Time.

Player stats[edit]

Player Games Played Field Goals Free Throws Rebounds Assists Blocks Steals Points
Eddie Johnson[4] 35 266 78 310 71 7 13 610
Mark Smith[5] 35 187 161 214 95 11 35 535
Reno Gray[6] 35 131 57 47 109 2 39 319
James Griffin[7] 35 119 36 154 25 39 18 274
Perry Range[8] 35 90 63 85 64 2 36 243
Derek Holcomb[9] 31 72 36 164 44 46 15 180
Neil Bresnahan[10] 35 67 27 121 64 11 14 161
Rob Judson[11] 31 59 32 44 47 0 15 150

National Invitation Tournament[edit]

  • First Round
    • Illinois 105, Loyola 87
  • Second Round
    • Illinois 75, Illinois State 65
  • Quarterfinal
    • Illinois 65, Murray State 63
  • Semifinal
    • Minnesota 65, Illinois 63
  • Third Place Game
    • Illinois 84, UNLV 74

[12]

Awards and honors[edit]

Team players drafted into the NBA[edit]

Round Pick Player NBA Club
6 117 Neil Bresnahan Golden State Warriors

[14]

Rankings[edit]

References[edit]