Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball

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Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball
2015–16 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team
Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball athletic logo
University University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Conference Big Ten
Location Champaign, IL
Head coach John Groce (3rd year)
Arena State Farm Center
(Capacity: 15,500)
Nickname Fighting Illini
Student section Orange Krush
Colors

Blue and Orange

            
Uniforms
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Home jersey
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Team colours
Home
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Away jersey
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Team colours
Away
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Alternate jersey
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Team colours
Alternate
Pre-tournament Premo-Porretta champions
1915
Pre-tournament Helms champions
1915
NCAA Tournament runner-up
2005
NCAA Tournament Final Four
1949, 1951, 1952, 1989, 2005
NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
1942, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1963, 1984, 1989, 2001, 2005
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1951, 1952, 1963, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1989, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005
NCAA Tournament Round of 32
1981, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2011, 2013
NCAA Tournament appearances
1942, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1963, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013
Conference tournament champions
2003, 2005
Conference regular season champions
1915, 1917, 1924, 1935, 1937, 1942, 1943, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1963, 1984, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005

The Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team is an NCAA Division I college basketball team competing in the Big Ten Conference. Home games are played at the State Farm Center, located on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's campus in Champaign.

The team's head coach is currently John Groce. Through the end of the 2013-14 season, Illinois ranks 11th all-time in winning percentage and 14th all-time in wins among all NCAA Division I men's college basketball programs.

Eras of Illini Basketball[edit]

When duty calls[edit]

The Whiz Kids

Prior to World War II breaking out, the Fighting Illini men's basketball program had achieved a status which it had never seen prior. Under the direction of head coach and athletic director Douglas Mills, the Illini grouped a team of players, all around 6' 3", into a nearly undefeatable lineup later to be known as "The Whiz Kids". As freshman and sophomores, the 1941–42 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team dominated the Big Ten conference basketball season by posting a 13 - 2 record, overall finishing with 18 wins and only 5 losses. A starting lineup of freshman and sophomores, Arthur "Jack" Smiley, Ken Menke, Andy Phillip, Ellis "Gene" Vance, Victor Wukovits and Art Mathison, developed a winning attitude that would maintain for the next 15 years, a time period where the Illini would finish no less than third in the conference for 13 of them. Despite being ranked No. 1 in the nation, the 1943 Illinois men's basketball squad opted not to play in the NCAA Tournament when three of its five `Whiz Kids' were called to duty in World War II

Harry Combes era (1947-1967)[edit]

Champaign High School basketball coach Harry Combes was hired to succeed Doug Mills as Mills left the position to focus on his duties as the athletic director. Through his first five seasons as head coach, Combes led the Fighting Illini to three NCAA Final Four appearances in 1949, 1951, and 1952.[1] During his tenure as coach, Combes increased the Fighting Illini's offensive output by changing their style of play. Combes implemented Full-court press defense, causing turnovers at a high rate which translated into Fast break points.[1]

During the 1957–58 season, Mannie Jackson and Govoner Vaughn were inserted into the starting lineup as the first two African-Americans to start and letter in basketball at Illinois.[2] Combes also oversaw the Illini's move from Huff Hall to Assembly Hall in 1963 and during that same season the Illini won a fourth Big Ten Conference championship under Combes. However, the Illini lost to eventual national champion Loyola (Chicago) in the Elite Eight of the 1963 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. The following 1964-65 season, saw several upset victories over defending national champion UCLA Bruins and national powerhouse Kentucky Wildcats at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky.[1]

State Farm Center[edit]

The State Farm Center was originally opened as Assembly Hall on March 2, 1963 and is known for its unique design. This is where the men and women’s basketball teams hold their home games. The architect of the Building was Max Abramovitz and he is an alumnus from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The stadium has been described as one of the toughest places to play because of the student section dubbed the "Orange Krush" that is located around one of the baskets. It has become customary for the fans of the stadium to wear orange to the games aligning themselves with the fans that started the trend. The stadium is the third largest dome in the state of Illinois following only the United Center and All-State Arena. The Illinois High School Association has also taken advantage of its size hosting numerous events including the men and women’s state championships, along with the wrestling state championships. The stadium has also recently been named a landmark and joins Wrigley Field as the only two athletic sites on the list.

Lou Henson era (1975-1996)[edit]

In 1975, after having taken New Mexico State (and future Illinois assistant coach Jimmy Collins) to the 1970 Final Four, Lou Henson moved to the University of Illinois to replace Gene Bartow, after Bartow left Illinois to replace the legendary John Wooden at UCLA. Henson would lead the Fighting Illini back to their glory after having a number of difficult years following the Illinois slush fund scandal (where Illinois was hit with severe penalties for infractions that other Big 10 schools had in years prior been punished much more leniently (according to Sports Illustrated at the time). In 21 years at Illinois, Henson garnered 423 wins and 224 losses (.654 winning percentage), and with a record of 214 wins and 164 losses (.567) in Big Ten Conference games. The 214 wins in Big Ten games were the third highest total ever at the time of his retirement. At Illinois, Henson coached many future NBA players, including Eddie Johnson, Derek Harper, Ken Norman, Nick Anderson, Kendall Gill, Kenny Battle, Marcus Liberty, Steve Bardo, and Kiwane Garris.

Early 1980s[edit]

In 1981, Illinois made strides in its return to the national spotlight with a 21-8 record, a third-place Big Ten finish and an invitation to the NCAA Tournament. The team received a first-round bye in the NCAA Tournament and beat Wyoming, 67-65, in Los Angeles to advance to the regionals in Salt Lake City, where Illinois lost to Kansas State, 57-52. During this season, the Fighting Illini led the Big Ten in scoring for the second consecutive season and were again led by Eddie Johnson and Mark Smith. Guards Craig Tucker and Derek Harper arrived to add backcourt punch, and Harper began his Illini career being named First-Team Freshman All-America by ESPN and ABC.

Flyin' Illini[edit]

The top-seeded and top-ranked 1989 Illini were upset 83-81 in the Final Four on a last second basket by Michigan's Sean Higgins, ending the school's deepest run in the tournament at that time. Illinois had beaten the Wolverines by 12 and 16 points in two previous meetings that season. The 1988–89 Illinois Fighting Illini team gained the moniker "Flyin' Illini" by Dick Vitale during an ESPN broadcast that season. The team also gained national prominence for its athletic players, such as NCAA slam dunk champions Kenny Battle and Kendall Gill, as well as Lowell Hamilton, Nick Anderson, Marcus Liberty, and Stephen Bardo.

1990s[edit]

The early 1990s Illini were dominated by players such as guards Andy Kauffman, Richard Keene, and Kiwane Garris, as well as centers Shelly Clark and Deon Thomas. Thomas was at the center of a report of misconduct by Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball assistant coach Bruce Pearl, who alleged that Thomas had been offered cash to attend Illinois. The Illini were suspended from postseason play for one season for unrelated violations uncovered during the investigation.

Lon Kruger era (1996-2000)[edit]

After longtime coach Lou Henson's departure, Illinois hired Lon Kruger to fill the vacancy for the 1996 season. Lon Kruger the 14th head basketball hired at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. During his four-year tenure he compiled a 59-38 record. He immediately made an impact at Illinois leading them to a 22-10 record and a second round NCAA tournament appearance in his first year. This created excitement because of the ninth-place finish the Illini had taken just before his arrival. Kruger inherited players such as Victor Chukwudebe, Jerry Hester, Kevin Turner, Jerry Gee, Matt Heldman, Brian Johnson, Kiwane Garris and Cleotis Brown. During his four seasons at Illinois, three of which resulted in NCAA Tournament berths, (all three of which saw the Illini eliminated in the 2nd round) Kruger became the only Big Ten coach to successfully sign three consecutive Illinois Mr. Basketball winners, inking Sergio McClain, Frank Williams, and Brian Cook between 1997 and 1999.Several times during his coaching tenure the Illini were predicted to be at the bottom of the Big Ten, however he overcame adversity each time performing far better than expected.

Bill Self era (2000-2003)[edit]

Illinois picked Tulsa coach Bill Self from a list of numerous candidates, including popular assistant Jimmy Collins, to succeed Kruger, who moved on to the NBA to coach the Atlanta Hawks. Bill Self was hired to the Illini coaching staff as the 15th head coach in the history of the program. He spent his previous seven years as the head coach of Oral Roberts University and Tulsa University where he compiled an overall record of 129-71. In 2001, his first season at Illinois, Self coached his new Fighting Illini squad to a 27-8 record, a share of the Big Ten title, and a number 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. That 27 game winning season in Self’s first year was the second most winning season in school history at that time. McClain, Cook and preseason Big Ten player of the year Cory Bradford led the Illini to the Elite Eight, where they fell to eventual finalist Arizona in a much disputed contest. The Illini were accused of being overly physical most of the season, especially McClain and pesky guards Sean Harrington and Lucas Johnson (younger brother of former Illini forward Brian Johnson). The '01 Illini team also included Robert Archibald, Damir Krupalija and Marcus Griffin. With mostly the same core, Illinois followed up the season with impressive 2002 and 2003 campaigns, but fell in the Sweet 16 in 2002. He was the first head coach in the Big Ten, since 1912, to lead his team to conference championships in each of his first two seasons. It was also the first time Illinois won back-to-back titles in 50 years. Self, also, had an overall record of 53-17 in his two years as Illinois head coach. Self left for Kansas after the 2003 season.[3]

Bruce Weber era (2004-2012)[edit]

Weber served as the head coach of Illinois basketball for nine seasons from 2003-2012.

After Bill Self left, Illinois AD Ron Guenther hired Weber to coach the Fighting Illini on April 30, 2003. Weber came from Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale and was touted as a loyal coach, which was valued by the Illinois AD after both Kruger and Self left Champaign with relatively short tenures. In his five seasons as head coach at SIU, Weber took the Saluki program to the top of the Missouri Valley Conference, winning league titles in 2002 and 2003. He posted records of 28-8 and 24-7 in his last two seasons, leading the Salukis to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, including a run to the Sweet 16 in 2002 with wins over Texas Tech and Georgia at the United Center in Chicago. His .689 (62-28) winning percentage in MVC play ranked 12th in the long history of the league. Weber earned Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year honors following the 2003 season.

Illinois totaled 210 victories under Weber from 2004–12. He ranks third on the Illinois career coaching wins list. He won 67.5 percent of his games while in charge of the Fighting Illini (210-101). Under Weber, the Illini had two Big Ten Championships (2004, 2005), two runner-up finishes (2006, 2009) and seven upper-division finishes.

Illinois has had four players selected in the NBA Draft under Weber, as Deron Williams (No. 3, Utah Jazz) and Luther Head (No. 24, Houston Rockets) were taken in the first round of the 2005 Draft, and James Augustine (No. 41, Orlando Magic) and Dee Brown (No. 46, Utah Jazz) were chosen in the second round of the 2006 Draft. Utah's selection of Williams at No. 3 overall in the 2005 lottery made him the highest-drafted player in Illinois history.

2003–2004[edit]

It took just one season for Weber to etch his name in the Big Ten and Illinois record books after leading the Fighting Illini to its first outright Big Ten title in 52 years during the 2003-04 season. In leading his young team that featured just one senior on the roster, Weber became just the third coach in the history of the Big Ten to win an outright title in his first season. Illinois had to win 10 straight to end the regular season to claim the championship, including six-straight wins on the road. Illinois' 26 wins in 2003-04 tied the fourth-winningest season in school history. Weber also led the Illini to the Sweet 16 with NCAA Tournament victories over Murray State and Cincinnati.

2004–2005[edit]

Weber's second year at Illinois, the 2004-05 season, will be remembered as one of the greatest in Fighting Illini history, finishing 37–2 as the National Runner-Up in the NCAA tournament. In a remarkable year where Illinois celebrated its centennial season of basketball, the Illini reeled off 29 straight wins to start the year, tying the 12th-best start in NCAA Div. I history and the third-best start in Big Ten history. Illinois also secured its second-straight outright Big Ten championship with a 15-1 league record, as Weber became the first coach in Big Ten history to win consecutive outright titles in his first two seasons. Illinois then added a Big Ten Tournament championship in addition to its regular season title. The Illini were ranked No. 1 in the nation for 15 straight weeks, including a first-ever No. 1 ranking in the final Associated Press poll.

They gained a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and prevailed in one of the most memorable games in NCAA history against Arizona. Down 15 points with around 4 minutes left, the Illini rallied with a run led by Luther Head and Deron Williams. The game was sent into overtime and the Illini pulled off a one-point win to advance to the 2005 Final Four in St. Louis. It was the Fighting Illini's first Final Four Appearance since the 1988-1989 season. Against the Louisville Cardinals in the national semifinal game, the Illini posted their final victory of the season. All of the five Illini starters -- Deron Williams, Luther Head, Dee Brown, James Augustine, and Roger Powell, Jr. -- would eventually play in the NBA. Williams and Brown both joined the Utah Jazz roster, while Luther Head went on to play for the Sacramento Kings.

With all that Illinois accomplished during the season, Weber swept the 2005 National Coach of the Year awards, claiming the following: the Naismith Award, the most prestigious coaching award in college basketball; the Henry Iba Award, presented by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association; and, the Adolph F. Rupp Cup. Weber was also named National Coach of the Year by the NABC, Associated Press, The Sporting News, Basketball Times, CBS/Chevrolet, Victor Awards and Nike Championship Basketball Clinic.

2005–2006[edit]

Despite losing three starters and 63 percent of its scoring from the 2004-05 NCAA runner-up squad, Weber directed the 2005-06 Illini to a third-consecutive 25-win season, a runner-up finish in the Big Ten, the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and a ranking among the nation's top 17 teams throughout the entire season. The Illini spent the majority of 2005-06 ranked in the Top 10 and recorded 26 wins on the year to tie the fourth-winningest season in school history. The Illini were given a number 3 seed in the NCAA tournament, where they beat Air Force in the opening round, before falling to the University of Washington in the second round.

2006–2012[edit]

The 2006-2007 team finished with a record of 23-12 (9-7) and finished tied for fourth in the Big Ten. With a depleted roster that had six different players combine to miss a total of 58 games due to injury, the Illini still advanced to the NCAA Tournament. They were awarded a 12 seed and lost in the opening round to Virginia Tech.

The 2007-08 season was one of the worst seasons in Illinois history, highlighted be a string of close losses. The lone bright spot came as Illinois came on strong to win four of its last five and five of its final seven games, which culminated with a runner-up finish at the Big Ten Tournament. Weber's Illini became the first No. 10 seed in the tournament's history to advance to the title game, winning three games in three days with victories over Penn State, No. 17 Purdue and Minnesota to reach the championship game vs. No. 8 Wisconsin. However, with an overall record of 16-19 (5-13), the Illini were not selected to participate in postseason play.

Weber's 2008-09 UI squad was one of the most improved teams in the country finishing with a record of 24-10 (11-7). With 10 more regular season victories than it achieved the year before, Illinois posted the third-biggest turnaround in NCAA Division I and the second-biggest turnaround among BCS programs on the year. The Illini recorded 24 wins, ranking as the 10th-winningest season in school history. Illinois was the Big Ten runner-up, earned a No. 5 seed in the 2009 NCAA Tournament, and finished the year ranked 24th in the Pomeroy rankings. The Illini lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament to the 12th seeded Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

The 2009-1010 season, the Illini finished 21-15 (10-8), and finished 5th in the Big Ten. The team was widely considered to be "on the bubble" for the NCAA tournament, and missed the tournament field by a narrow margin. The Illini competed in the NIT, falling at home to the Dayton Flyers in the NIT Quarterfinals.

Illinois rebounded in 2010-2011 to finish 20-14 (9-9), and tied for fourth in the Big Ten. The Illini were selected to join the NCAA tournament as a #9 seed, where they defeated the #8 seeded UNLV Rebels setting up a matchup with the #1 seeded Kansas Jayhawks and former coach Bill Self. Kansas proved to bee to much for the Illini, and the season came to an end in the round of 32.

In 2011-2012, Weber's last as coach of the Illini, the team finished 17-15 (6-12), good for 9th in the conference. The team lost 12 of their final 14 games and did not compete in any post season play. Weber was fired by Illinois' new AD Mike Thomas after the 2011-2012 season after reviewing Weber's body of work. It was determined that the program needed a new leader with more consistent success than Weber showed over his previous 5 seasons.

John Groce era (2012-Present)[edit]

Coach Groce

John Groce was hired by new athletic director Mike Thomas on March 28, 2012.[4]

In the 2012-2013 season the Illini were the 2012 Maui Invitational Tournament Champions and later made the 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, losing their second game. The Illini lost 63-59 to the 2013 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament Champions Miami Hurricanes.

The Illini spent 8 weeks nationally ranked in the 2012–13 NCAA Division I men's basketball rankings, and for two weeks were ranked as high as 10th in the country.

In 2014, Groce continued Illinois' success in the month of November, improving to 21-0 under Groce and 32-0 overall during the past four seasons. Illinois is the only program in the nation with an undefeated November record dating back to 2011.[5]

Championships[edit]

National Championships[edit]

Year Coach Awarding body Record
1915 Ralph Jones Helms Athletic Foundation, Premo-Porretta Power Poll 16–0
National Championships 1

Big Ten Regular Season Championships[edit]

Year Coach Overall Record Big Ten Record
1915 Ralph Jones 16–0 12-0
1917§ Ralph Jones 13–3 10–2
1924§ J. Craig Ruby 11–6 8–4
1935§ J. Craig Ruby 15–5 9–3
1937§ Douglas R. Mills 14–4 10–2
1942 Douglas R. Mills 18–5 13–2
1943§ Douglas R. Mills 17–1 12–0
1949 Harry Combes 21–4 10–2
1951 Harry Combes 22–5 13–1
1952 Harry Combes 22–4 12–2
1963 Harry Combes 20–6 11–3
1984§ Lou Henson 26–5 15–3
1998§ Lon Kruger 23–10 13–3
2001§ Bill Self 27–8 13–3
2002§ Bill Self 26–9 11–5
2004 Bruce Weber 26–7 13–3
2005 Bruce Weber 37-2 15-1
Big Ten Regular Season Championships 17

§ – Conference Co-champions

Big Ten Tournament Championships[edit]

Year Coach Opponent Score Site Record
2003 Bill Self Ohio State 72–59 Chicago, IL 27–5
2005 Bruce Weber Wisconsin 54-43 Chicago, IL 37-2
Big Ten Tournament Championships 2

Coaching history[edit]

Coach Years Record Conference
Record
Conference
Titles
NCAA
Appearances
Elwood Brown 1906–1907 6-8 3-6
Frank L. Pinckney 1907–1908 1-10 0-8
Fletcher Lane 1908–1909 20-6 6-5
Herb V. Juul 1909–1910 12-10 10-10
T. E. Thompson 1910–1912 14-14 10-13
Ralph R. Jones 1912–1920 85-34 64-31 2
Frank J. Winters 1920–1922 25-12 14-10
J. Craig Ruby 1922–1936 148-95 94-74 2
Douglas R. Mills 1936–1947 151-66 88-47 3 1
Harry Combes 1947–1967 316-150 174-104 4 4
Harv Schmidt 1967–1974 89-77 43-55
Gene Bartow 1974–1975 8-18 4-14
Lou Henson 1975–1996 423-224 214-164 1 12
Lon Kruger 1996–2000 81-48 38-28 1 3
Bill Self 2000–2003 78-24 35-13 2 3
Bruce Weber 2003–2012 210-101 89-65 2 6
John Groce 2012– 62–40 24–30 1
Totals 1710-925 901-668 17 30

Statistical leaders[edit]

Former Fighting Illini Demetri McCamey

All-time leaders[edit]

Season leaders[edit]

Game leaders[edit]

Career milstones[edit]

1,500 points
Years Player Points
1991-94 Deon Thomas 2,129
1994-97 Kiwane Garris 1,948
2003-06 Dee Brown 1,812
2000-03 Brian Cook 1,748
1999-02 Cory Bradford 1,735
2008-11 Demetri McCamey 1,718
1978-81 Eddie Johnson 1,692
2010-13 Brandon Paul 1,654
1978-81 Mark Smith 1,653
1989-93 Andy Kaufmann 1,533
200 three-point field goals
Years Player Three-pointers
1999-02 Cory Bradford 327
2003-06 Dee Brown 299
2010-13 D.J. Richardson 278
1993-96 Richard Keene 237
2008-11 Demetri McCamey 236
2004-07 Rich McBride 216
2010-13 Brandon Paul 211
2002-05 Luther Head 209
500 assists
Years Player Assists
1983-86 Bruce Douglas 765
2008-11 Demetri McCamey 733
2003-06 Dee Brown 674
2003-05 Deron Williams 594
1994-97 Kiwane Garris 502
750 rebounds
Years Player Rebounds
2003-06 James Augustine 1,023
2008-11 Mike Davis 909
1983-86 Efrem Winters 853
1991-94 Deon Thomas 846
1978-81 Eddie Johnson 831
1963-65 Skip Thoren 830
2000-03 Brian Cook 815
1971-73 Nick Weatherspoon 803
1961-63 Dave Downey 790
150 blocks
Years Player Blocks
2012-15 Nnanna Egwu 201
1991-94 Deon Thomas 177
2008-11 Mike Tisdale 176
1979-81 Derek Holcomb 174
1979-82 James Griffin 156

Source for all statistical leaders[6]

Individual honors[edit]

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame[edit]

The following 4 Fighting Illini have been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame:

Year Player Inducted as a
1960 Henry Porter Contributor
1961 Andy Phillip Player
1971 Abe Saperstein Contributor
2004 Jerry Colangelo Contributor

Consensus All-American[edit]

Player Year(s)
Ray Woods 1915, 1916 & 1917
Clyde Alwood 1917
Earl Anderson 1918
Chuck Carney 1920 & 1922
Bill Hapac 1940
Andy Phillip 1942 & 1943
Walt Kirk 1945
Rod Fletcher 1952
Dee Brown 2005 & 2006

NCAA Men's Basketball All-American[edit]

Key to abbreviations:
AP Associated Press, Arg Argosy, Ath Athletic Publications, BN Basketball News, BT Basketball Times, BKW Basketball Weekly, BW Basketball Writers of America, Col Colliers, Con Converse, CSAF Citizens Savings Athletic Foundation, Helms Helms Foundation, INS International News Service, K Kodak, Look Look magazine, MSG Madison Square Garden, NABC National Association of Basketball Coaches, NEA Newspaper Enterprise Association, Omaha Omaha World Newspaper, PM Pic Magazine, SN Sporting News, True True Magazine, UP United Press, W Wooden
1st First Team, 2nd Second Team, 3rd Third Team, HM Honorable Mention
1915 Ray Woods - 1st (Helms)
1916 Ray Woods - 1st (Helms)
1917 Ray Woods - 1st (Helms), Clyde Alwood - 1st (Helms)
1918 Earl Anderson - 1st (Helms)
1920 Chuck Carney - 1st (Helms)
1922 Chuck Carney - 1st (Helms)
1937 Harry Combes - 2nd (Omaha)
1938 Lou Boudreau - 1st (MSG), Louis Dehner - 3rd (Con)
1939 Louis Dehner - 1st (MSG), 3rd (Con)
1940 Bill Hapac - 1st (Helms, Con)
1942 Andy Phillip - 1st (Helms), 2nd (PM), 3rd (Con), Jack Smiley - HM (SN), Art Mathisen - HM (SN), Ken Menke - HM (SN, Con), Gene Vance - HM (SN)
1943 Andy Phillip - 1st (Con, PM, Helms, SN, AP, UP, NEA, Look,), Jack Smiley - 3rd (Con), Art Mathisen - HM (Con), Gene Vance - HM (Con)
1944 Walt Kirk - HM (Con)
1945 Walt Kirk - 1st (Helms, Con), 2nd (AM), HM (Con)
1946 Jack Burmaster - HM (SN), Bob Doster - HM (SN)
1947 Andy Phillip - 1st (True, NABC), HM (Con), Jack Smiley - 3rd (Helms), HM (Con), Gene Vance - HM (Con)
1948 Dwight Eddleman - 2nd (AP), 3rd (Con, True), Jack Burmaster - HM (Con)
1949 Bill Erickson - 1st (Helms, Col, NABC), 3rd (SN, UP), 4th (Con), Dwight Eddleman - 1st (Con), 2nd (AP, UP)
1950 Bill Erickson - HM (Con)
1951 Don Sunderlage - 2nd (Helms, SN), 3rd (UP, Con), HM (AP), Ted Beach - HM (Con), Rod Fletcher - HM (Con)
1952 Rod Fletcher - 1st (Look, Con, Helms), 2nd (AP, UP, INS, NABC, Col, Ath), John Kerr - HM (AP, UP, Con), Irv Bemoras - HM (UP, Con), Jim Bredar - HM (UP, Con), Bob Peterson - HM (UP)
1953 Irv Bemoras - 2nd (Con, Helms, Look), HM (AP), Jim Bredar - 2nd (Con, Helms, Look, INS), 3rd (AP), John Kerr - HM (AP, INS, Con)
1954 John Kerr - 2nd (Helms), 3rd (Look, AP, UP), 4th (Con)
1955 Bill Ridley - HM (AP, Con), Paul Judson - HM (INS, Con), George Bon Salle - HM (Con)
1956 Paul Judson - 2nd (Con), 3rd (NABC, UP, NEA), HM (INS), Bill Ridley - 2nd (Con), 3rd (NABC, UP, AP), Bruce Brothers - HM (Con), Harv Schmidt - HM (Con)
1957 Harv Schmidt - 2nd (Con), George Bon Salle - 2nd (NABC) HM (Con), Don Ohl - HM (AP, Con)
1958 Don Ohl - 2nd (Con), 3rd (Helms), Govoner Vaughn - HM (Con)
1959 Roger Taylor - HM (Con)
1960 Mannie Jackson - HM (Con), Govoner Vaughn - HM (Con)
1961 Dave Downey - HM (Con), John Wessels - HM (Con)
1962 Dave Downey - HM (Con), Bill Burwell - HM (Con)
1963 Dave Downey - 1st (Helms), 2nd (Con), HM (AP), Bill Small - HM (Con)
1964 Tal Brody - HM (SN, Con), Duane Thoren - HM (Con)
1965 Duane Thoren - 1st (Helms), 2nd (AP, Con), 3rd (UPI, BN, NABC), Bogie Redmon - HM (Con), Tal Brody - 1st (Helms), 2nd (SN, Con)
1966 Don Freeman - 1st (Helms), 2nd (Con, BN), HM (UPI), Rich Jones - HM (Con)
1967 Jim Dawson - HM (Con), Dave Scholz - HM (Con)
1968 Dave Scholz - 1st (Helms), HM (Con)
1969 Dave Scholz - 1st (Helms), 3rd (AP), HM (Con)
1970 Mike Price - HM (Con)
1972 Nick Weatherspoon - HM (Con)
1973 Nick Weatherspoon - 1st (CASF, Helms), HM (Con)
1974 Jeff Dawson - HM (Con)
1975 Rick Schmidt - HM (Con)
1977 Audie Matthews - HM (Con), Levi Cobb - HM (Con)
1983 Derek Harper - 2nd (AP, Con), 3rd (BN)
1984 Bruce Douglas - 3rd (UPI)
1987 Ken Norman - 2nd (AP, BW, SN, K), 3rd (BT, NABC), HM (UPI)
1988 Nick Anderson - HM (SN), Kenny Battle - HM (SN)
1989 Nick Anderson - HM (AP, UPI, SN), Kenny Battle - HM (AP, UPI, SN), Kendall Gill - HM (SN)
1990 Kendall Gill - 1st (UPI), 2nd (BKW), 3rd (AP, SN, NABC)
1994 Deon Thomas - HM (AP)
2001 Frank Williams - 1st (W), 3rd (AP, NABC), Cory Bradford - HM (AP)
2002 Frank Williams - 2nd (NABC) HM (AP)
2003 Brian Cook - 2nd (SN), 3rd (AP, NABC, BT)
2004 Dee Brown - HM (AP)
2005 Dee Brown - 1st (W, BW, SN) 2nd (AP, NABC, BT), Luther Head - 2nd (AP, NABC, BW), Deron Williams - 1st (W), 2nd (NABC, SN), 3rd (AP)
2006 Dee Brown - 2nd (AP, BW, NABC)
Ray Woods - 1917
Chuck Carney - 1922
Andy Phillip - 1943
Dee Brown - 2005
Dwight "Dike" Eddleman - 1940s
Dee Brown - 2006
Dee Brown - 2006
Jim Bredar - 1952
Johnny "Red" Kerr - 1952
Luther Head - 2005
Deron Williams - 2005
Nick Anderson - 1989
Deron Williams - 2005
Andy Phillip - 1943
Dwight "Dike" Eddleman - 1949
Don Sunderlage - 1951
Johnny "Red" Kerr - 1954
Jim Dawson - 1967
Bruce Douglas - 1984
Frank Williams - 2001
Brian Cook - 2003
Dee Brown - 2005
Bruce Douglas - 1985 & 1986
Stephen Bardo - 1989
Dee Brown - 2005
Cory Bradford - 1999
Brian Cook - 2000
D.J. Richardson - 2010
Brian Cook - 2003
James Augustine - 2005
Deron Williams - 2008 & 2012
Bruce Weber - 2005
Lou Henson - 1993
Bruce Weber - 2005

McDonald's All-Americans[edit]

The following 13 McDonald's All-Americans have played for Illinois:[7]

Year Player High School Hometown
1980 Derek Harper North Shore (FL) Royston, GA
1982 Bruce Douglas Quincy Senior High School Quincy, IL
1982 Efrem Winters King College Prep Chicago, IL
1985 Lowell Hamilton Providence St. Mel School Chicago, IL
1986 Nick Anderson Simeon Career Academy Chicago, IL
1987 Marcus Liberty King College Prep Chicago, IL
1989 Deon Thomas Simeon Career Academy Chicago, IL
1992 Richard Keene Collinsville High School Collinsville, IL
1997 Marcus Griffin Manual High School Peoria, IL
1998 Frank Williams Manual High School Peoria, IL
1999 Brian Cook Lincoln Community High School Lincoln, IL
2002 Dee Brown Proviso East Maywood, IL
2010 Jereme Richmond Waukegan High School Waukegan, IL

Mr. Basketball[edit]

The following 13 Mr. Basketball award winners have played for Illinois:

Year Player High School Hometown
1982 Bruce Douglas Quincy Senior High School Quincy, IL
1986 Nick Anderson Simeon Career Academy Chicago, IL
1987 Marcus Liberty King College Prep Chicago, IL
1989 Deon Thomas Simeon Career Academy Chicago, IL
1994 Jarrod Gee St. Martin de Porres Chicago, IL
1997 Sergio McClain Manual High School Peoria, IL
1998 Frank Williams Manual High School Peoria, IL
1999 Brian Cook Lincoln Community High School Lincoln, IL
2002 Dee Brown Proviso East Maywood, IL
2009 Brandon Paul Warren Township High School Gurnee, IL
2010 Jereme Richmond Waukegan High School Waukegan, IL
2014 Leron Black White Station High School Memphis, TN

Fighting Illini in the Pros[edit]

Fighting Illini Playing Overseas[edit]

Position Name Height Weight (lbs.) Hometown Years with
Illinois
Professional Team Country
F Marcus Arnold 6'8" 250 Chicago, IL 2006-2007 Baloncesto Fuenlabrada  Spain[8]
PF James Augustine 6'10" 235 Midlothian, IL 2003-2006 BC Khimki  Russia[9]
SG Cory Bradford 6'3" 200 Memphis, TN 1999-2001 Guerreros de Bogotá  Colombia[10]
PG Dee Brown 6'0" 185 Maywood, IL 2002-2006 CSU Asesoft Ploiești  Romania[11]
C Brian Carlwell 6'11" 265 Maywood, IL 2006-2007 Iwate Big Bulls  Japan[12]
C Warren Carter 6'9" 220 Dallas, TX 2003-2007 Maurienne  France[13]
PF Mike Davis 6'9" 225 Alexandria, VA 2008-2011 Adanaspor  Turkey[14]
F Tyler Griffey 6'9" 220 Wildwood, MO 2010-2013 Allianz Swans Gmunden  Austria[15]
F C.J. Jackson 6'8" 265 Buena Vista, GA 2006-2009 Roanne  France[16]
F Damir Krupalija 6'9" 232 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina 1998-2002 SLUC Nancy Basket  France[17]
PG Demetri McCamey 6'3" 200 Bellwood, IL 2007-2011 Oita Heat Devils  Japan[18]
F Sam McLaurin 6'8" 220 Havana, FL 2013 Korihait  Finland[19]
PG Trent Meacham 6'2" 195 Champaign, IL 2007-2009 Olimpia Milano  Italy[20]
PF Brian Randle 6'8" 220 Peoria, IL 2003-2008 Maccabi Tel Aviv B.C.  Israel[21]
SG D. J. Richardson 6'3" 195 Peoria, IL 2008-2013 Korikobrat  Finland[22]
SG Jamar Smith 6'3" 185 Peoria, IL 2006-2007 Limoges CSP  France[23]

Fighting Illini in the NBA D-League[edit]

Position Name Height Weight (lbs.) Hometown Years with Illini NBA D-League Team
PG Brandon Paul 6'4" 200 Gurnee, IL 2009-2013 Canton Charge

Fighting Illini in the NBA[edit]

Position Name Height Weight (lbs.) Hometown Draft Year Pick NBA Team
C Meyers Leonard 7'1" 245 Robinson, IL 2012 11th Portland Trail Blazers
PG Deron Williams 6'3" 209 The Colony, TX 2005 3rd Brooklyn Nets
Fighting Illini in the NBA[24]
NBA Draft Selections
Total selected: 68
Lottery Picks in Draft: 3
1st round: 15
Notable Achievements
Olympic Gold Medal Winners: 1 player twice
NBA Champions: 4
Naismith Basketball-Hall-of-Famers: 4

Illinois honored players[edit]

All-Century Team[edit]

During the celebration of the program's 100th year of basketball as a varsity sport, the University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics announced its All-Century Team. The 20-man team was selected after voting by fans on www.fightingillini.com and the Illinois Basketball Centennial Committee. The honorees were feted during the Illinois Basketball Centennial Reunion Weekend, Jan. 28-30, 2005.[25]

Former Fighting Illini Deron Williams with the Brooklyn Nets.

Honored jerseys[edit]

The University of Illinois has honored its most decorated basketball players in school history by hanging a banner with their name and number from the rafters of State Farm Center. A total of 33 men’s players have their jersey honored. To have his jersey honored, a player must have met one of the following criteria:

No. Player Pos. Career National POY National HOF US Olympian Big Ten POY Consensus All-American Illinois All-Century Basketball Pioneer
1 Ray Woods G 1915–17 Green tickY         Green tickY  
2 Chuck Carney F 1920-22 Green tickY         Green tickY  
19 Bill Hapac F 1938-40         Green tickY    
47 Andy Phillip F 1942–43, 1947 Green tickY Green tickY   Green tickY   Green tickY  
25 Gene Vance G 1942–43, 1947           Green tickY  
14 Walt Kirk G 1942–43, 1947         Green tickY    
40 Dwight "Dike" Eddleman F 1947-49     Green tickY Green tickY   Green tickY  
33 Bill Erickson G 1947-50         Green tickY    
11 Don Sunderlage G 1949-51       Green tickY      
37 Rod Fletcher G 1950-52       Green tickY      
22 Johnny "Red" Kerr C 1952-54       Green tickY   Green tickY  
35 Govoner Vaughn F 1958-60             Green tickY
30 Mannie Jackson G 1958-60             Green tickY
23 Jerry Colangelo G 1960-62   Green tickY          
40 Dave Downey F 1961-63           Green tickY  
35 Duane "Skip" Thoren C 1963-65           Green tickY  
12 Tal Brody G 1963-65             Green tickY
15 Don Freeman F           Green tickY  
24 Jim Dawson G 1965-67       Green tickY      
12 Nick Weatherspoon F 1971-73           Green tickY  
33 Eddie Johnson F 1978-81           Green tickY  
12 Derek Harper G 1981-83           Green tickY  
25 Bruce Douglas G 1983-86           Green tickY  
33 Ken Norman F 1985-87         Green tickY Green tickY  
33 Kenny Battle F 1988-89           Green tickY  
25 Nick Anderson F 1988-89           Green tickY  
13 Kendall Gill G 1987-90         Green tickY Green tickY  
25 Deon Thomas F/C 1991-94           Green tickY  
20 Frank Williams G 2000-02       Green tickY   Green tickY  
34 Brian Cook F 2000-03       Green tickY   Green tickY  
4 Luther Head G 2002-05         Green tickY    
5 Deron Williams G 2003-05     Green tickY   Green tickY    
11 Dee Brown G 2003-06 Green tickY     Green tickY Green tickY    

Season-by-season records[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Elwood Brown (1905–1906)
1905 - 06 Elwood Brown 6 - 8 3 - 6 4th
Frank L. Pinckney (1906–1907)
1906 - 07 Frank L. Pinckney 1 - 10 0 - 8 5th
Fletcher Lane (1907–1908)
1907 - 08 Fletcher Lane 20 - 6 6 - 5 3rd
Herb Juul (1908–1910)
1908 - 09 Herb Juul 7 - 6 5 - 6 4th
1909 - 10 Herb Juul 5 - 4 5 - 4 4th
Herb Juul: 12 - 10 10 - 10
T.E. Thompson (1910–1912)
1910 - 11 T.E. Thompson 6 - 6 6 - 5 4th
1911 - 12 T.E. Thompson 8 - 8 4 - 8 5th
T.E. Thompson: 14 - 14 10 - 13
Ralph Jones (1912–1920)
1912 - 13 Ralph Jones 10 - 6 7 - 6 5th
1913 - 14 Ralph Jones 9 - 4 7 - 3 3rd
1914 - 15 Ralph Jones 16 - 0 12 - 0 1st(T) Helms and Premo-Porretta National Champions[26]
1915 - 16 Ralph Jones 13 - 3 9 - 3 2nd(T)
1916 - 17 Ralph Jones 13 - 3 10 - 2 1st(T)
1917 - 18 Ralph Jones 9 - 6 6 - 6 4th(T)
1918 - 19 Ralph Jones 6 - 8 5 - 7 5th
1919 - 20 Ralph Jones 9 - 4 8 - 4 3rd
Ralph Jones: 85 - 34 64 - 31
Frank Winters (1920–1922)
1920 - 21 Frank Winters 11 - 7 7 - 5 4th(T)
1921 - 22 Frank Winters 14 - 5 7 - 5 4th(T)
Frank Winters: 25 - 12 14 - 10
J. Craig Ruby (1922–1936)
1922 - 23 J. Craig Ruby 9 - 6 7 - 5 4th(T)
1923 - 24 J. Craig Ruby 11 - 6 8 - 4 1st(T)
1924 - 25 J. Craig Ruby 11 - 6 8 - 4 3rd(T)
1925 - 26 J. Craig Ruby 9 - 8 6 - 6 5th(T)
1926 - 27 J. Craig Ruby 10 - 7 7 - 5 4th(T)
1927 - 28 J. Craig Ruby 5 - 12 2 - 10 9th(T)
1928 - 29 J. Craig Ruby 10 - 7 6 - 6 5th(T)
1929 - 30 J. Craig Ruby 8 - 8 7 - 5 4th(T)
1930 - 31 J. Craig Ruby 12 - 5 7 - 5 5th
1931 - 32 J. Craig Ruby 11 - 6 7 - 5 5th
1932 - 33 J. Craig Ruby 11 - 7 6 - 6 5th(T)
1933 - 34 J. Craig Ruby 13 - 6 7 - 5 4th
1934 - 35 J. Craig Ruby 15 - 5 9 - 3 1st(T)
1935 - 36 J. Craig Ruby 13 - 6 7 - 5 3rd(T)
J. Craig Ruby: 148 - 95 94 - 74
Douglas Mills (1936–1947)
1936 - 37 Douglas Mills 14 - 4 10 - 2 1st(T)
1937 - 38 Douglas Mills 9 - 9 4 - 8 8th(T)
1938 - 39 Douglas Mills 14 - 5 8 - 4 3rd
1939 - 40 Douglas Mills 14 - 6 7 - 5 4th(T)
1940 - 41 Douglas Mills 13 - 7 7 - 5 3rd(T)
1941 - 42 Douglas Mills 18 - 5 13 - 2 1st NCAA Elite Eight
1942 - 43 Douglas Mills 17 - 1 12 - 0 1st
1943 - 44 Douglas Mills 11 - 9 5 - 7 6th
1944 - 45 Douglas Mills 13 - 7 7 - 5 3rd
1945 - 46 Douglas Mills 14 - 7 7 - 5 5th(T)
1946 - 47 Douglas Mills 14 - 6 8 - 4 2nd(T)
Douglas Mills: 151 - 66 88 - 47
Harry Combes (1947–1967)
1947 - 48 Harry Combes 15 - 5 7 - 5 3rd(T)
1948 - 49 Harry Combes 21 - 4 10 - 2 1st NCAA 3rd Place
1949 - 50 Harry Combes 14 - 8 7 - 5 3rd(T)
1950 - 51 Harry Combes 22 - 5 13 - 1 1st NCAA 3rd Place
1951 - 52 Harry Combes 22 - 4 12 - 2 1st NCAA 3rd Place
1952 - 53 Harry Combes 18 - 4 14 - 4 2nd
1953 - 54 Harry Combes 17 - 5 10 - 4 3rd(T)
1954 - 55 Harry Combes 17 - 5 10 - 4 2nd(T)
1955 - 56 Harry Combes 18 - 4 11 - 3 2nd
1956 - 57 Harry Combes 14 - 8 7 - 7 7th
1957 - 58 Harry Combes 11 - 11 5 - 9 8th(T)
1958 - 59 Harry Combes 12 - 10 7 - 7 5th(T)
1959 - 60 Harry Combes 16 - 7 8 - 6 3rd(T)
1960 - 61 Harry Combes 9 - 15 5 - 9 7th
1961 - 62 Harry Combes 15 - 8 7 - 7 4th(T)
1962 - 63 Harry Combes 20 - 6 11 - 3 1st(T) NCAA Elite Eight
1963 - 64 Harry Combes 13 - 11 6 - 8 6th(T)
1964 - 65 Harry Combes 18 - 6 10 - 4 3rd
1965 - 66 Harry Combes 12 - 12 8 - 6 3rd(T)
1966 - 67 Harry Combes 12 - 12 6 - 8 7th(T)
Harry Combes: 316 - 150 174 - 104
Harv Schmidt (1967–1974)
1967 - 68 Harv Schmidt 11 - 13 6 - 8 7th(T)
1968 - 69 Harv Schmidt 19 - 5 9 - 5 2nd(T)
1969 - 70 Harv Schmidt 15 - 9 8 - 6 3rd(T)
1970 - 71 Harv Schmidt 11 - 12 5 - 9 5th(T)
1971 - 72 Harv Schmidt 14 - 10 5 - 9 8th(T)
1972 - 73 Harv Schmidt 14 - 10 8 - 6 3rd(T)
1973 - 74 Harv Schmidt 5 - 18 2 - 12 10th
Harv Schmidt: 89 - 77 43 - 55
Gene Bartow (1974–1975)
1974 - 75 Gene Bartow 8 - 18 4 - 14 9th(T)
Lou Henson (1975–1996)
1975 - 76 Lou Henson 14 - 13 7 - 11 7th(T)
1976 - 77 Lou Henson 16 - 14 8 - 10 6th
1977 - 78 Lou Henson 13 - 14 7 - 11 7th
1978 - 79 Lou Henson 19 - 11 7 - 11 7th
1979 - 80 Lou Henson 22 - 13 8 - 10 6th(T) NIT 3rd Place
1980 - 81 Lou Henson 21 - 8 12 - 6 3rd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1981 - 82 Lou Henson 18 - 11 10 - 8 6th NIT 2nd Round
1982 - 83 Lou Henson 21 - 11 11 - 7 2nd(T) NCAA 1st Round
1983 - 84 Lou Henson 26 - 5 15 - 3 1st(T) NCAA Elite Eight
1984 - 85 Lou Henson 26 - 9 12 - 6 2nd NCAA Sweet 16
1985 - 86 Lou Henson 22 - 10 11 - 7 4th(T) NCAA 2nd Round
1986 - 87 Lou Henson 23 - 8 13 - 5 4th NCAA 1st Round
1987 - 88 Lou Henson 23 - 10 12 - 6 3rd(T) NCAA 2nd Round
1988 - 89 Lou Henson 31 - 5 14 - 4 2nd NCAA Final Four
1989 - 90 Lou Henson 21 - 8 11 - 7 4th(T) NCAA 1st Round
1990 - 91 Lou Henson 21 - 10 11 - 7 3rd(T)
1991 - 92 Lou Henson 13 - 15 7 - 11 8th
1992 - 93 Lou Henson 19 - 13 11 - 7 3rd(T) NCAA 2nd Round
1993 - 94 Lou Henson 17 - 11 10 - 8 4th(T) NCAA 1st Round
1994 - 95 Lou Henson 19 - 12 10 - 8 5th(T) NCAA 1st Round
1995 - 96 Lou Henson 18 - 13 7 - 11 9th NIT 1st Round
Lou Henson: 423 - 224 214 - 164
Lon Kruger (1996–2000)
1996 - 97 Lon Kruger 22 - 10 11 - 7 4th(T) NCAA 2nd Round
1997 - 98 Lon Kruger 23 - 10 13 - 3 1st(T) NCAA 2nd Round
1998 - 99 Lon Kruger 14 - 18 3 - 13 11th
1999 - 00 Lon Kruger 22 - 10 11 - 5 4th NCAA 2nd Round
Lon Kruger: 81 - 48 38 - 28
Bill Self (2000–2003)
2000 - 01 Bill Self 27 - 8 13 - 3 1st(T) NCAA Elite Eight
2001 - 02 Bill Self 26 - 9 11 - 5 1st(T) NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2002 - 03 Bill Self 25 - 7 11 - 5 2nd NCAA 2nd Round
Bill Self: 78 - 24 35 - 13
Bruce Weber (2003–2012)
2003 - 04 Bruce Weber 26 - 7 13 - 3 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2004 - 05 Bruce Weber 37 - 2 15 - 1 1st NCAA Runner-Up
2005 - 06 Bruce Weber 26 - 7 11 - 5 2nd(T) NCAA Round of 32
2006 - 07 Bruce Weber 23 - 12 9 - 7 4th(T) NCAA Round of 64
2007 - 08 Bruce Weber 16 - 19 5 - 13 9th(T)
2008 - 09 Bruce Weber 24 - 10 11 - 7 2nd(T) NCAA Round of 64
2009 - 10 Bruce Weber 21 - 15 10 - 8 5th NIT Quarterfinals
2010 - 11 Bruce Weber 20 - 14 9 - 9 4th NCAA Round of 32
2011 - 12 Bruce Weber 17 - 15 6 - 12 9th
Bruce Weber: 210 - 101 89 - 65
John Groce (2012–present)
2012 - 13 John Groce 23 - 12 8 - 10 7th (T) NCAA Round of 32
2013 - 14 John Groce 20 - 15 7 - 11 8th (T) NIT 2nd round
2014 - 15 John Groce 19 - 14 9 - 9 7th (T) NIT 1st round
John Groce: 62 - 40 24 - 30
Total: 1729-939

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Postseason[edit]

NCAA tournament results[edit]

The Fighting Illini have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 30 times. Their combined record is 40–31.

Year Seed Round Opponent Results
1942 Elite Eight
Regional 3rd Place Game
Kentucky
Penn State
L 44–46
L 34–41
1949 Elite Eight
Final Four
National 3rd Place Game
Yale
Kentucky
Oregon State
W 71–67
L 47–76
W 57–53
1951 Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
National 3rd Place Game
Columbia
NC State
Kentucky
Oklahoma A&M
W 79–71
W 84–70
L 74–76
W 61–46
1952 Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
National 3rd Place Game
Dayton
Duquesne
St. John's
Santa Clara
W 80–61
W 74–68
L 59–61
W 67–64
1963 Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Bowling Green
Loyola–Chicago
W 70–67
L 64–79
1981 #4 Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#5 Wyoming
#8 Kansas State
W 67–65
L 52–57
1983 #7 First Round #10 Utah L 49–52
1984 #2 Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#7 Villanova
#3 Maryland
#1 Kentucky
W 64–56
W 72–70
L 51–54
1985 #3 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#14 Northeastern
#6 Georgia
#2 Georgia Tech
W 76–57
W 74–58
L 53–61
1986 #4 First Round
Second Round
#13 Fairfield
#5 Alabama
W 75–51
L 56–58
1987 #3 First Round #14 Austin Peay L 67–68
1988 #3 First Round
Second Round
#14 UTSA
#6 Villanova
W 81–72
L 63–66
1989 #1 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
#16 McNeese State
#9 Ball State
#4 Louisville
#2 Syracuse
#3 Michigan
W 77–71
W 72–60
W 83–69
W 89–86
L 81–83
1990 #5 First Round #12 Dayton L 86–88
1993 #6 First Round
Second Round
#11 Long Beach State
#3 Vanderbilt
W 75–72
L 68–85
1994 #8 First Round #9 Georgetown L 77–84
1995 #11 First Round #6 Tulsa L 62–68
1997 #6 First Round
Second Round
#11 USC
#14 Chattanooga
W 90–77
L 63–75
1998 #5 First Round
Second Round
#12 South Alabama
#4 Maryland
W 64–51
L 61–67
2000 #4 First Round
Second Round
#13 Penn
#5 Florida
W 68–58
L 76–93
2001 #1 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#16 Northwestern State
#9 Charlotte
#4 Kansas
#2 Arizona
W 96–54
W 79–61
W 80–64
L 81–87
2002 #4 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#13 San Diego State
#12 Creighton
#1 Kansas
W 93–64
W 72–60
L 69–73
2003 #4 First Round
Second Round
#13 WKU
#5 Notre Dame
W 65–60
L 60–68
2004 #5 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#12 Murray State
#4 Cincinniati
#1 Duke
W 72–53
W 92–68
L 62–72
2005 #1 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
National Championship
#16 Fairleigh Dickinson
#9 Nevada
#12 Milwaukee
#3 Arizona
#4 Louisville
#1 North Carolina
W 67–55
W 71–59
W 77–63
W 90–89 OT
W 72–57
L 70–75
2006 #4 First Round
Second Round
#13 Air Force
#5 Washington
W 78–69
L 64–67
2007 #12 First Round #5 Virginia Tech L 52–54
2009 #5 First Round #12 WKU L 72–76
2011 #9 Second Round
Third Round
#8 UNLV
#1 Kansas
W 73–62
L 59–73
2013 #7 Second Round
Third Round
#10 Colorado
#2 Miami (FL)
W 57–49
L 59–63

NCAA Tournament seeding history[edit]

The NCAA began seeding the tournament with the 1979 edition.

Years → '81 '83 '84 '85 '86 '87 '88 '89 '90 '93 '94 '95 '97 '98 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '09 '11 '13
Seeds → 4 7 2 3 4 3 3 1 5 6 8 11 6 5 4 1 4 4 5 1 4 12 5 9 7

NIT results[edit]

The Fighting Illini have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) six times. Their combined record is 8–6. They most recently participated in the 2015 NIT.

Year Round Opponent Result
1980 First Round
Second Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
3rd Place Game
Loyola–Chicago
Illinois State
Murray State
Minnesota
UNLV
W 105–87
W 75–65
W 65–63
L 63–65
W 84–74
1982 First Round
Second Round
LIU Brooklyn
Dayton
W 126–78
L 58–61
1996 First Round Alabama L 69–72
2010 First Round
Second Round
Quarterfinals
Stony Brook
Kent State
Dayton
W 76–66
W 75–58
L 71–77
2014 First Round
Second Round
Boston University
Clemson
W 66–62
L 49–50
2015 First Round Alabama L 58–79

Head-to-head Big Ten records[edit]

Team Total Meetings Overall Record Home Record Road Record Neutral Record
Indiana 173 86-87 51-32 29-53 6-2
Iowa 152 82-70 61-15 21-54 0-1
Maryland 10 5-5 1-1 1-2 3-2
Michigan 166 86-80 55-26 29-50 2-4
Michigan State 116 58-58 37-19 20-36 1-3
Minnesota 184 119-65 70-18 44-45 5-1
Nebraska 17 12-5 9-1 3-3 0-1
Northwestern 171 132-39 67-14 61-25 4-0
Ohio State 178 104-74 61-26 41-46 2-2
Penn State 41 28-13 14-5 11-7 3-1
Purdue 184 86-98 56-35 28-61 2-2
Rutgers 2 2-0 1-0 0-0 1-0
Wisconsin 192 110-82 68-24 39-55 3-3

Fighting Illini home courts[edit]

Kenney Gym
Assembly Hall
  • Kenney Gym (1905–1925) located on the campus of the University of Illinois and is named after Harold E. (Hek) Kenney. The arena opened in 1890 and was originally known as the Men's Gym Annex
  • Huff Hall (1925–1963) opened in 1925 and was known as Huff Gymnasium until the 1990s. It is named after George Huff, who was the school's athletic director from 1895 to 1935.
  • State Farm Center (1963–present) (formerly Assembly Hall) opened on March 2, 1963 and continues to attract attention for its design and construction. Four hundred feet across, it at one time was one of only two edge-supported domes in the world.

Men's basketball records at Kenney Gym and Huff Hall[edit]

Season Wins Losses Win pct. Total attendance Season Wins Losses Win pct. Total attendance
1905-06 6 0 1.000 N/R 1925-26 6 3 0.667 N/R
1906-07 0 4 0.000 N/R 1926-27 8 3 0.727 61,590
1907-08 3 2 0.600 N/R 1927-28 3 5 0.375 48,202
1908-09 5 1 0.833 N/R 1928-29 8 3 0.727 30,139*
1909-10 3 2 0.600 N/R 1929-30 5 4 0.556 49,418*
1910-11 3 2 0.600 N/R 1930-31 7 3 0.700 52,440
1911-12 4 3 0.571 N/R 1931-32 8 2 0.800 57,000
1912-13 6 2 0.750 N/R 1932-33 8 3 0.727 34,500*
1913-14 5 2 0.714 N/R 1933-34 9 1 0.900 55,500
1914-15 9 0 1.000 N/R 1934-35 8 2 0.800 62,000
1915-16 6 1 0.857 16,644* 1935-36 7 3 0.700 78,028
1916-17 9 1 0.900 6,417* 1936-37 7 2 0.778 63,238
1917-18 7 1 0.875 5,066* 1937-38 7 2 0.778 63,600
1918-19 3 5 0.375 10,739 1938-39 9 1 0.900 57,933
1919-20 6 1 0.857 24,250* 1939-40 10 1 0.909 55,513
1920-21 6 4 0.600 34,875 1940-41 8 2 0.800 52,751
1921-22 10 2 0.833 40,112 1941-42 12 1 0.923 65,357
1922-23 6 3 0.667 8,424* 1942-43 10 0 1.000 62,648
1923-24 8 3 0.727 41,848 1943-44 6 4 0.600 29,812
1924-25 9 0 1.000 36,222 1944-45 7 3 0.700 44,951
Kenney Gym Totals 94 39 .707 224,597* 1945-46 11 2 0.846 66,553
Kenney Gym Facts 1946-47 10 1 0.909 77,808*
Fighting Illini played 20 years in Kenney Gym 1947-48 11 1 0.917 78,388
Attendance averaged 2,739 fans per game 1948-49 14 0 1.000 49,036*
Single game attendance record: January 24, 1925 vs. Iowa - 4,725 1949-50 11 2 0.846 83,736
Hosted 3 Big Ten Champions (1915, 1917, 1924) 1950-51 12 1 0.923 75,116
Hosted 1 National Champion (1915) 1951-52 12 0 1.000 57,788*
Produced 6 All-Americans 1952-53 12 1 0.923 79,957*
Developed 2 National Players of the Year 1953-54 10 3 0.769 77,378
1954-55 9 2 0.818 64,721
Huff Hall Facts 1955-56 12 0 1.000 63,912
Fighting Illini played 38 years in Huff Hall 1956-57 9 2 0.818 68,448
Attendance averaged 7,025 fans per game 1957-58 10 3 0.769 76,032
Single game attendance record: February 22, 1937 vs. Wisconsin - 9,000 1958-59 9 3 0.750 68,292
Hosted 8 Big Ten Champions (1935, 1937, 1942, 1943, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1963) 1959-60 10 2 0.833 74,719
Hosted 3 Final Four teams (1949, 1951, 1952) 1960-61 7 3 0.700 60,457
Produced 33 All-Americans 1961-62 8 4 0.667 75,376
Developed 1 National Player of the Year 1962-63** 9 0 1.000 61,025
Combined Totals 433 116 .789 2,507,959* Huff Hall Totals 339 77 .815 2,283,362*

Notes:

  • *Denotes incomplete or partial records.
  • **Played 9 games at Huff Hall but played final 2 games at Assembly Hall.
  • (N/R) denotes no records [27]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Tate, Loren (2012-01-22). "Harry Combes knew about offense". News-Gazette. Retrieved 2014-12-18. 
  2. ^ "Three Illini Basketball Legends Join Honored Jerseys". University of Illinois Alumni Association. Retrieved 2014-12-18. 
  3. ^ http://illinihq.com/news/mens_basketball/2010/03/17/if_not_illinois_then_who
  4. ^ http://www.fightingillini.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/john_groce_798164.html
  5. ^ http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/ill/sports/m-baskbl/auto_pdf/2014-15/release/release_20141128aaa.pdf.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  6. ^ "Illini Basketball History" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  7. ^ "Boy's Alumni" (PDF). McDonalds. 2013-12-01. Retrieved 2015-01-09. 
  8. ^ "Marcus Arnold Player Profile". Baloncesto Fuenlabrada. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  9. ^ "James Augustine Player Profile". EuroLeague Basketball. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Cory Bradford Player Profile". LatinBasket. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Dee Brown Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved November 3, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Brain Carlwell Player Profile". AsiaBasket. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Warren Carter Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Mike Davis Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Tyler Griffey Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Charles Jackson Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Damir Krupalija Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Demetri McCamey Player Profile". AsiaBasket. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Sam McLaurin Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Trent Meacham Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Brian Randle Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  22. ^ "D.J. Richardson Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Jamar Smith Player Profile". EuroBasket. Retrieved January 21, 2015. 
  24. ^ http://www.fightingillini.com/sports/m-baskbl/inthepros.html
  25. ^ http://www.fightingillini.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/101604aaa.html
  26. ^ ESPN, ed. (2009). ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia: The Complete History of the Men's Game. New York, NY: ESPN Books. p. 533. ISBN 978-0-345-51392-2. 
  27. ^ Men's basketball all-time records

External links[edit]