1978–79 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team

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1978–79 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball
Kentucky Invitational Tournament, Champion
Glacier Bowl Classic, Champion
Conference Big Ten Conference
Ranking
Coaches No. Not ranked
AP No. Not ranked
1978–79 record 19–11 (7–11 Big Ten)
Head coach Lou Henson
Assistant coach Tony Yates
Assistant coach Mark Bial
Assistant coach Les Wothke
MVP Mark Smith
Captain Larry Lubin
Home arena Assembly Hall
Seasons
1978–79 Big Ten Conference men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
#3 Michigan State 13 5   .722     26 6   .813
#15 Purdue 13 5   .722     27 8   .771
#20 Iowa 13 5   .722     20 8   .714
Ohio State 12 6   .667     19 12   .613
Indiana 10 8   .556     22 12   .647
Michigan 8 10   .444     15 12   .556
Illinois 7 11   .389     19 11   .633
Wisconsin 6 12   .333     12 15   .444
Minnesota 6 12   .333     11 16   .407
Northwestern 2 16   .111     6 21   .222
Rankings from AP Poll)

The 1978–79 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team represented the University of Illinois.

Regular season[edit]

In 1978-79 season, Illinois finished seventh in the Big Ten, but went 19-11 overall, including ascension to No. 2 in the national polls after starting the year 15-0. During this season, Illinois upset top-ranked Michigan State and Magic Johnson, 57-55, in one of the school’s most memorable games. It was during this season that Illinois also led the nation in field-goal percentage defense (.404).

Team[edit]

No. Player Hometown High School Class Position
12 Kevin Westervelt Peoria, Illinois Richwoods High School Sr. Guard
13 James Griffin Grandview, Texas Dunbar High School So. Center
15 Cletis Hubbard Ft. Worth, Texas Dunbar High School Fr. Guard
20 Matt Meyer Manito, Illinois Foreman High School Sr. Guard
21 Steve Lanter Belleville, Illinois Mascoutah Community High School Jr. Guard
22 Perry Range South Beloit, Illinois South Beloit High School Fr. Guard
23 Larry Lubin (captain) Glencoe, Illinois Evanston Township High School Sr. Guard
30 Rob Judson Zion, Illinois Zion-Benton High School Jr. Guard
31 Neil Bresnahan (captain) Oak Park, Illinois Fenwick High School Jr. Forward
32 Levi Cobb Chicago, Illinois Morgan Park High School Jr. Forward
33 Eddie Johnson Chicago, Illinois Westinghouse High School So. Forward
42 Mark Smith Peoria, Illinois Richwoods High School So. Forward
43 Bryan Leonard Belleville, Illinois Belleville High School-East Fr. Forward
44 Derek Holcomb Peoria, Illinois Richwoods High School Jr. Center

Schedule[edit]

Source[2]

Date
time, TV
Opponent Result Record Site (attendance)
city, state
11/24/1978*
no, no
Texas-Arlington W 109-74  1-0
Assembly Hall (9,097)
Champaign, IL
11/28/1978*
no, no
Denver W 81-57  2-0
Assembly Hall (10,092)
Champaign, IL
12/2/1978*
no, no
Tulane W 65-60  3-0
Devlin Fieldhouse (3,542)
New Orleans, LA
12/5/1978*
no, no
Missouri
Show-Me Classic
W 69-57  4-0
Hearnes Center (6,002)
Columbia, MO
12/8/1978*
no, no
South Carolina W 64-57  5-0
Assembly Hall (12,156)
Champaign, IL
12/9/1978*
no, no
Centenary W 86-60  6-0
Assembly Hall (10,082)
Champaign, IL
12/16/1978*
no, no
Kent State W 82-44  7-0
Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center (1,020)
Kent, OH
12/22/1978*
no, no
Syracuse (#8)
Kentucky Invitational Tournament
W 64-61  8-0
Rupp Arena (21,000)
Lexington, KY
12/23/1978*
no, no
Texas A&M (#7)
Kentucky Invitational Tournament
W 71-57  9-0
Rupp Arena (23,272)
Lexington, KY
12/28/1978*
no, no
Western Michigan
Glacier Bowl Classic
W 84-79  10-0
Buckner Fieldhouse (-)
Anchorage, AK
12/29/1978*
no, no
Ozarks
Glacier Bowl Classic
W 88-82  11-0
Buckner Fieldhouse (-)
Anchorage, AK
12/30/1978*
no, no
Alaska-Anchorage
Glacier Bowl Classic
W 92-80  12-0
Buckner Fieldhouse (-)
Anchorage, AK
1/4/1979
no, no
Indiana W 65-61  13-0 (1-0)
Assembly Hall (16,104)
Bloomington, IN
1/6/1979
no, no
Northwestern W 75-56  14-0 (2-0)
Welsh-Ryan Arena (7,122)
Evanston, IL
1/11/1979
no, no
Michigan State (#1) W 57-55  15-0 (3-0)
Assembly Hall (16,209)
Champaign, IL
1/13/1979
no, no
Ohio State L 66-69 OT 15-1 (3-1)
Assembly Hall (12,088)
Champaign, IL
1/18/1979
no, no
Wisconsin W 81-74  16-1 (4-1)
Wisconsin Field House (12,204)
Madison, WI
1/20/1979
no, no
Purdue L 57-69  16-2 (4-2)
Assembly Hall (16,458)
Champaign, IL
1/25/1979
no, no
Iowa L 52-58  16-3 (4-3)
Iowa Field House (13,355)
Iowa City, IA
1/27/1979
no, no
Michigan L 54-56  16-4 (4-4)
Assembly Hall (16,473)
Champaign, IL
2/1/1979
no, no
Minnesota W 67-57  17-4 (5-4)
Assembly Hall (14,383)
Champaign, IL
2/3/1979
no, no
Michigan L 65-74  17-5 (5-5)
Crisler Center (13,609)
Ann Arbor, MI
2/8/1979
no, no
Purdue L 65-71  17-6 (5-6)
Mackey Arena (14,123)
West Lafayette, IN
2/10/1979
no, no
Minnesota W 59-57  18-6 (6-6)
Williams Arena (16,615)
Minneapolis, MN
2/15/1979
no, no
Wisconsin W 81-64  19-6 (7-6)
Assembly Hall (12,880)
Champaign, IL
2/17/1979
no, no
Iowa (#14) L 53-67  19-7 (7-7)
Assembly Hall (9,441)
Champaign, IL
2/22/1979
no, no
Ohio State (#14) L 55-73  19-8 (7-8)
St. John Arena (13,489)
Columbus, OH
2/24/1979
no, no
Michigan State (#7) L 62-76  19-9 (7-9)
Jenison Fieldhouse (10,004)
East Lansing, MI
3/1/1979
no, no
Northwestern L 64-71  19-10 (7-10)
Assembly Hall (12,390)
Champaign, IL
3/3/1979
no, no
Indiana L 60-72  19-11 (7-11)
Assembly Hall (16,503)
Champaign, IL
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. (#) Tournament seedings in parentheses.
All times are in Central Time.

Player stats[edit]

Player Games Played Field Goals Free Throws Rebounds Assists Blocks Steals Points
Mark Smith[3] 30 160 84 173 121 23 53 404
Eddie Johnson[4] 30 168 26 170 52 4 18 362
Rob Judson[5] 30 123 35 68 61 3 33 281
Neil Bresnahan[6] 30 105 40 236 75 7 32 250
James Griffin[7] 30 105 19 98 7 29 12 229
Derek Holcomb[8] 29 90 34 190 49 86 17 214
Levi Cobb[9] 30 68 24 122 29 4 19 160
Perry Range[10] 24 21 14 25 12 0 8 56

Awards and honors[edit]

Team players drafted into the NBA[edit]

Round Pick Player NBA Club

[12]

Rankings[edit]

References[edit]