Craig Ruby, a two-time All-American and All-Missouri Valley Conference forward for the University of Missouri Tigers, came to the University of Illinois after being the head coach of his alma-mater from 1920–1922. Compiling a record of 33 wins and only 2 losses at Missouri, Ruby was recruited by University of Illinois athletic directorGeorge Huff to take over the Fighting Illini’s men’s basketball coaching duties. The 1922–23 season, the first of 14 for Ruby, was also the first of twelve winning seasons as head coach. During this season, five of the Illini's six losses would be at the hands of Big Ten Conference opponents, placing them in a tie for fourth place. The overall record for this team would be nine wins and six losses. The Big Ten record for the season would be seven wins and five losses. The starting lineup included captain Norton Hellstrom, Wally Roettger, and G.E. Potter at forward, Leland Stillwell at center, and Jack Lipe, and R.H. Popken as guards.