1939–40 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team

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1939–40 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball
1939-40 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team.jpg
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
1939–40 record14–6 (7-5 Big Ten)
Head coachDouglas Mills
Assistant coaches
CaptainWilliam Hapac
Home arenaHuff Hall
Seasons
1939–40 Big Ten Conference men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
Purdue 10 2   .833     16 4   .800
Indiana 9 3   .750     20 3   .870
Ohio State 8 4   .667     13 7   .650
Illinois 7 5   .583     14 6   .700
Northwestern 7 5   .583     13 7   .650
Michigan 6 6   .500     13 7   .650
Minnesota 5 7   .417     12 8   .600
Iowa 4 8   .333     9 12   .429
Wisconsin 3 9   .250     5 15   .250
Chicago 1 11   .083     5 15   .250
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1939–40 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team represented the University of Illinois.

Regular season[edit]

Doug Mills entered his fourth year as the head coach of the Fighting Illini with high hopes as well as a player with national prominence. William "Bill" Hapac was the program's first consensus first-team All-American as recognized by the NCAA. During the 1939-40 season, he became the first-ever recipient of the University of Illinois Athlete of the Year award. Hapac set the Big Ten single-game scoring record on February 10, 1940, with 34 points vs. Minnesota, a point total unheard of at that time. In addition to his success on the hardwood, Hapac also was a three-year letterwinner for the Illini baseball team. During the season, the Illini won 10 of their 11 home games only losing to conference rival Purdue on the last game of the season. Unfortunately for the Illini they finished with a 4-5 record on the road to finish in a fourth place tie overall in conference action. Mills' team featured 9 returning letterman including team captain William Hapac. The Illini also featured a starting lineup of John Drish at the center position and Harold Shapiro, Joe Frank, and William Hapac at forward and Victor Wukovits and future major league baseball player Walter Evers at the guard spot.[2]

Roster[edit]

1939–40 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Height Weight Year Hometown
G 3 Colin Handlon
Sr Connersville, Indiana
G 4 Henry Sachs
So Chicago, Illinois
F 5 Walter Evers
So Collinsville, Illinois
C 6 Robert O'Neill
Jr Pitman, New Jersey
G 8 Harry Lasater
Jr Fairfield, Illinois
C 9 J. Frederick Townshend
So
F 10 Norman Cusick
So Chicago Heights, Illinois
G 12 Robert Richmond
Jr Johnston City, Illinois
C 13 Victor Wukovits
So Mishawaka, Indiana
G 14 Howard Cronk
Jr Anderson, Indiana
F 15 Rex Sherman
So Pekin, Illinois
G 16 William Hocking
So Evanston, Illinois
F 17 Joe Frank
Sr Urbana, Illinois
G 18 Kenneth Brown
Fr Catlin, Illinois
F 19 William Hapac (C)
Sr Cicero, Illinois
G 20 Harold Shapiro
Jr Chicago, Illinois
F 21 John Drish
Jr Evanston, Illinois
F 22 Scott Gill
So
F 24 David Miller
So Taylorville, Illinois
F 28 Leonard Sharp
So Kewanee, Illinois
F 29 Howard Cronk
So
F 30 Paul Milosevich
So Zeigler, Illinois
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • (W) Walk-on

All-Time Illini Rosters Roster

Source[3]

Schedule[edit]

Date
time, TV
Opponent Result Record Site (attendance)
city, state
Non-Conference regular season
12/6/1939*
no, no
Monmouth (IL) W 37–19  1–0 (0–0)
Huff Hall (4,346)
Champaign, IL
12/6/1939*
no, no
Wabash W 60–21  2–0 (0–0)
Huff Hall (4,346)
Champaign, IL
12/15/1939*
no, no
Carleton W 46–15  3–0 (0–0)
Huff Hall (4,164)
Champaign, IL
12/18/1939*
no, no
Princeton W 41–25  4–0 (0–0)
Huff Hall (4,346)
Champaign, IL
12/27/1939*
no, no
Notre Dame W 42–29  5–0 (0–0)
Huff Hall (3,747)
Champaign, IL
12/29/1939*
no, no
Drake W 35-34  6–0 (0–0)
Drake Fieldhouse (-)
Des Moines, IA
1/1/1940
no, no
Butler W 37–18  7–0 (0–0)
Hinkle Fieldhouse (4,000)
Indianapolis, IN
Big Ten regular season
1/6/1940
no, no
Indiana
Rivalry
L 36–38  7–1 (0–1)
Wildermuth Intramural Center (6,000)
Bloomington, IN
1/8/1940
no, no
University of Chicago W 34–33  8–1 (1–1)
Huff Hall (5,200)
Champaign, IL
1/13/1940
no, no
Ohio State L 31–37  8–2 (1–2)
Ohio Expo Center Coliseum (4,046)
Columbus, OH
1/15/1940
no, no
Michigan W 48–43  9–2 (2–2)
Yost Fieldhouse (4,500)
Ann Arbor, MI
2/3/1940*
no, no
Notre Dame L 40–58  9-3 (2–2)
Notre Dame Fieldhouse (5,500)
Notre Dame, IN
2/10/1940
no, no
Minnesota W 60–31  10–3 (3–2)
Huff Hall (5,402)
Champaign, IL
2/12/1940
no, no
Northwestern W 35–33  11–3 (4–2)
Huff Hall (5,400)
Champaign, IL
2/17/1940
no, no
Purdue L 27–33  11–4 (4–3)
Lambert Fieldhouse (8,800)
West Lafayette, IN
2/19/1940
no, no
Wisconsin W 37-35  12–4 (5–3)
Huff Hall (5,400)
Champaign, IL
2/24/1940
no, no
Michigan W 51–28  13–4 (6–3)
Huff Hall (5,692)
Champaign, IL
2/26/1940
no, no
University of Chicago W 42–40  14–4 (7–3)
Henry Crown Field House (3,500)
Chicago, IL
3/2/1940
no, no
Iowa L 47–62  14–5 (7–4)
Iowa Field House (7,000)
Iowa City, IA
3/4/1940
no, no
Purdue L 31–34  14–6 (7–5)
Huff Hall (7,172)
Champaign, IL
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. (#) Tournament seedings in parentheses.
All times are in Central Time.

Bold Italic connotes conference game Source[4]

Player stats[edit]

Player Games Played Field Goals Free Throws Points
William Hapac 18 95 54 244
Walter Evers 17 40 33 113
Victor Wukovits 19 32 28 92
Colin Handlon 19 23 23 69
Joe Frank 19 25 10 60
John Drish 18 20 7 47
Harold Shapiro 15 17 5 39
William Hocking 13 13 9 35
Henry Sachs 18 15 2 32
Robert Richmond 10 10 9 29
Robert O'Neill 10 10 6 26
Howard Cronk 10 3 2 8
Rex Sherman 4 3 0 6
Paul Milosevich 1 1 1 3
Scott Gill 1 1 1 3
Frederick Townshend 4 1 1 3
Norman Cusick 1 1 0 2
Kenneth Brown 1 1 0 2
Edward Evers 5 0 2 2
Harry Lasater 5 1 0 2
Leonard Sharp 1 0 1 1

[5]

Awards and honors[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Athletic Trainer Association
  2. ^ Fighting Illini Basketball: A Hardwood History By News-Gazette, Sports Publishing LLC ISBN 1-58261-356-7
  3. ^ FightingIllini.com
  4. ^ University of Illinois Fighting Illini Statistics Summary for 1939–40 pg.79, FightingIllini.com
  5. ^ "Season Stats". Archived from the original on 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2014-04-23.