1942–43 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team

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1942–43 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball
1942–43 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team.jpg
Conference Big Ten Conference
1942–43 record 17–1 (12–0 Big Ten)
Head coach Douglas R. Mills
Assistant coach Howie Braun
Assistant coach Wally Roettger
Assistant coach Ralph Fletcher
David M. Bullock (Trainer)[1]
MVP Andy Phillip
Captain Arthur Mathisen
Home arena Huff Hall
Seasons
1942–43 Big Ten Conference men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
Illinois 12 0   1.000     17 1   .944
Indiana 11 2   .846     18 2   .900
Northwestern 7 5   .583     8 9   .471
Wisconsin 6 6   .500     12 9   .571
Purdue 6 6   .500     9 11   .450
Minnesota 5 7   .417     8 9   .471
Ohio State 5 7   .417     8 9   .471
Michigan 4 8   .333     10 8   .556
Iowa 3 9   .250     7 10   .412
Chicago 0 9   .000     0 21   .000
Rankings from AP Poll
"1942-43 Fighting Illini men's basketball team"

The 1942–43 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team represented the University of Illinois.

Regular season[edit]

The 1942–43 Illinois Fighting Illini men’s basketball team represented the University of Illinois. The Illinois Fighting Illini finished the season with a record of 17 wins and 1 loss. The season was cut short as three of the five starters headed off to active duty in the armed forces. Illinois won the Big Ten Conference Title and had finished the regular season as the nations' top ranked team. Paced by a group of players known as the Whiz Kids, the team consisted of 20-year-old All-America forward Andy Phillip and teenagers Ken Menke, Gene Vance, Jack Smiley and team captain Art Mathisen. These players were so dominant in the Big Ten, that only Northwestern's Otto Graham could crack the all-conference team.[2]

The Army drafted Mathisen, Menke and Smiley. That left only Vance and Phillip, both good enough to be selected to Illinois' All-Century team. Head coach Doug Mills made a decision in February 1943 that all five always supported, the club did not participate in either the NCAA or NIT tournament.[3] Wyoming's NCAA championship that season may not have happened had Illinois’ season not coincided with World War II. The team was retroactively named the national champion by the Premo-Porretta Power Poll.[4]

Four of the five, minus Mathisen, returned to Illinois and tried to recapture the glory for one more season in 1946–47 after the war ended, but the chemistry had changed as well as their talent. Illinois went 14–6.

The final living Whiz Kid, Gene Vance, died in 2012.

Roster[edit]

1942–43 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Height Weight Year Hometown
G 3 Bohac, FrankFrank Bohac
So Braidwood, Illinois
G 4 Barrick, BishopBishop Barrick
Jr Stillman Valley, Illinois
C 5 Bergeson, RaymondRaymond Bergeson
Jr Bridgeton, New Jersey
G 6 Fulton, CliftonClifton Fulton
So Pittsburg, Kansas
F 7 Grierson, RaymondRaymond Grierson
So Champaign, Illinois
F 8 Parker, EdwinEdwin Parker
Sr Taft, California
G 9 Parker, KennethKenneth Parker
Sr Granite City, Illinois
G 10 Hortin, GordonGordon Hortin
So Evansville, Indiana
G 11 Kjellstrom, JohnJohn Kjellstrom
So Hebron, Illinois
F 12 Menke, KenKen Menke
Jr Dundee, Illinois
C 13 Shirley, AltonAlton Shirley
So Edmond, Oklahoma
F 14 Shoaff, OliverOliver Shoaff
So Mt. Carmel, Illinois
G 15 Smiley, ArthurArthur Smiley
Jr Waterman, Illinois
F 16 Miller, W.L.W.L. Miller
Fr Chicago, Illinois
F 17 Matter, HerbHerb Matter
Jr Naperville, Illinois
C 19 Mathisen, ArthurArthur Mathisen (C)
Sr Dwight, Illinois
G 25 Vance, EllisEllis Vance
Jr Clinton, Illinois
F 33 Fowler, CharlesCharles Fowler
So Watseka, Illinois
G/F 47 Phillip, AndrewAndrew Phillip
Jr Granite City, Illinois
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

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

All-Time Illini Roster

Source[5]

Schedule[edit]

Date
time, TV
Opponent Result Record Site (attendance)
city, state
Non-Conference regular season
12/7/1942*
no, no
Detroit W 38–25  1–0 (0–0)
Huff Hall (5,277)
Champaign, IL
12/12/1942*
no, no
Nebraska W 69–27  2–0 (0–0)
Huff Hall (4,884)
Champaign, IL
12/14/1942*
no, no
Missouri
Rivalry
W 51–30  3–0 (0–0)
Huff Hall (4,465)
Champaign, IL
12/19/1942*
no, no
Great Lakes W 57–53  4–0 (0–0)
Chicago Stadium (13,295)
Chicago, IL
12/21/1942*
no, no
Camp Grant L 31–41  4–1 (0–0)
Camp Grant Y.M.C.A. (2,200)
Rockford, IL
1/2/1943*
no, no
Stanford W 38–26  5–1 (0–0)
Huff Hall (6,835)
Champaign, IL
Big Ten regular season
1/9/1943
no, no
Michigan W 47–34  6–1 (1–0)
Huff Hall (7,188)
Champaign, IL
1/11/1943
no, no
Wisconsin W 47–34  7–1 (2–0)
Wisconsin Field House (14,000)
Madison, WI
1/16/1943
no, no
Iowa W 61–41  8–1 (3–0)
Huff Hall (7,004)
Champaign, IL
1/18/1943
no, no
Iowa W 66–34  9–1 (4–0)
Huff Hall (6,684)
Champaign, IL
2/1/1943
no, no
Northwestern W 68–51  10–1 (5–0)
Huff Hall (6,766)
Champaign, IL
2/6/1942
no, no
Ohio State W 60–48  11-1 (6–0)
Ohio Expo Center Coliseum (3,300)
Columbus, OH
2/8/1943
no, no
Ohio State W 50–44  12–1 (7–0)
Ohio Expo Center Coliseum (2,900)
Columbus, OH
2/13/1943
no, no
Minnesota W 56–35  13–1 (8–0)
Williams Arena (6,800)
Minneapolis, MN
2/15/1943
no, no
Minnesota W 55–29  14–1 (9–0)
Williams Arena (5,100)
Minneapolis, MN
2/20/1943
no, no
Wisconsin W 50–26  15–1 (10–0)
Huff Hall (7,102)
Champaign, IL
2/27/1943
no, no
Northwestern W 68–51  16–1 (11–0)
Chicago Stadium (19,880)
Chicago, IL
2/27/1943
no, no
University of Chicago W 92–25  17–1 (12–0)
Huff Hall (6,443)
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[6]

Player stats[edit]

Player Games Played Field Goals Free Throws Points
Andy Phillip 18 131 43 305
Arthur Mathisen 18 86 51 201
Ken Menke 17 70 43 183
Jack Smiley 17 59 17 135
Gene Vance 18 56 14 126
Edwin Parker 18 12 10 34
Oliver Shoaff 14 7 3 17
Kenneth Parker 14 7 2 16
Alton Shirley 14 3 0 6
Cliff Fulton 6 1 2 4
Herbert Matter 2 1 2 4
Charles Fowler 7 2 0 4
W.L. Miller 5 1 0 2
Gordon Hortin 6 1 0 2

[7]

Awards and honors[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Athletic Trainer Association
  2. ^ http://www.infoplease.com/ipsa/A0747268.html
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  4. ^ ESPN, ed. (2009). ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia: The Complete History of the Men's Game. New York, NY: ESPN Books. p. 565. ISBN 978-0-345-51392-2. 
  5. ^ FightingIllini.com
  6. ^ University of Illinois Fighting Illini Statistics Summary for 1942–43 pg.79, FightingIllini.com
  7. ^ Season Stats
  8. ^ List of MVPs