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Illinois Fighting Illini
Established in 1906
Play at State Farm Center
Headquartered University of Illinois campus
in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
Illinois Fighting Illini logo.png
current primary logo
League/Conference/Division
Divsion Division I
Conference Big Ten Conference
League NCAA
Current uniform
60px
Team information
Team colors           Orange and Blue
Mascot Chief Illiniwek
Personel
Athletic director Josh Witman
Head coach Brad Underwood
Team history
  • Illinois Fighting Illini (1906-present)
Arenas
Championships
Championships 0
Conference titles 2003, 2005
Home court
Illinois Fighting Illini court logo.jpeg

The Illinois Fighting Illini (from the University of Illinois) are a collegiate basketball team competing in the Big Ten Conference. Home games are played at State Farm Center, located on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's campus in Champaign.


All-time statistical leaders

Career leaders

  • Points: Deon Thomas (2,129)
  • Assists: Bruce Douglas (765)
  • Rebounds: James Augustine (1,023)
  • Steals: Bruce Douglas (324)

Season leaders

  • Points: Don Freeman (668, 1966)
  • Assists: Deron Williams (264, 2005)
  • Rebounds: Skip Thoren (349, 1965)
  • Steals: Kenny Battle (89, 1989)

Game leaders

  • Points: Dave Downey (53, 1963)
  • Assists: Demetri McCamey (16, 2010), Tony Wysinger (16, 1986)
  • Rebounds: Skip Thoren (24, 1963)
  • Steals: Bruce Douglas (8, 1984)

Source for all statistical leaders[1]

Individual honors

  • Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Henry Porter - 1960
Andy Phillip - 1961
Abe Saperstein - 1971
Jerry Colangelo - 2004
  • National Player of the Year
Ray Woods - 1917
Chuck Carney - 1922
Andy Phillip - 1943
  • Sporting News National Player of the Year
Dee Brown - 2005
  • NCAA All-Decade Team
Dwight "Dike" Eddleman - 1940s
  • Bob Cousy Award
Dee Brown - 2006
  • Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award
Dee Brown - 2006
  • Consensus All-American
Bill Hapac - 1940
Andy Phillip - 1942 & 1943
Walt Kirk - 1945
Rod Fletcher - 1952
Dee Brown - 2005
  • NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team
Jim Bredar - 1952
Johnny "Red" Kerr - 1952
Luther Head - 2005
Deron Williams - 2005
  • NCAA Tournament Regional Most Outstanding Player
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
  • Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year
Bruce Douglas - 1985 & 1986
Stephen Bardo - 1989
Dee Brown - 2005
  • Big Ten Freshman of the Year
Cory Bradford - 1999
Brian Cook - 2000
D.J. Richardson - 2010
  • Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player
Brian Cook - 2003
James Augustine - 2005
  • Olympian
Dike Eddleman - 1948
Ron Bontemps - 1952
Deron Williams - 2008
  • National Coach of the Year
Bruce Weber - 2005
  • Big Ten Coach of the Year
Lou Henson - 1993
Bruce Weber - 2005

Notable alumni

See Category:Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball players.

All-Century Team

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.[2]

  • Ray Woods (1915–17)
  • Chuck Carney (1920–22)
  • Andy Phillip (1942–43, 1947)
  • Gene Vance (1942–43, 1947)
  • Dwight "Dike" Eddleman (1947–49)
  • Johnny "Red" Kerr (1952–54)
  • Dave Downey (1961–63)
  • Duane "Skip" Thoren (1963–65)
  • Don Freeman (1964–66)
  • Nick Weatherspoon (1971–73)
  • Eddie Johnson (1978–81)
  • Derek Harper (1981–83)
  • Bruce Douglas (1983–86)
  • Ken Norman (1985–87)
  • Kenny Battle (1988–89)
  • Nick Anderson (1988–89)
  • Kendall Gill (1987–90)
  • Deon Thomas (1991–94)
  • Frank Williams (2000–02)
  • Brian Cook (2000–03)

Season-by-season records

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Elwood Brown (1905–1906)
1905 - 06 Elwood Brown 6 - 8 3 - 6 4th
F.L. Pinckney (1906–1907)
1906 - 07 F.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) National Champions
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
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–present)
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 2nd round
2006 - 07 Bruce Weber 23 - 12 9 - 7 4th(T) NCAA 1st Round
2007 - 08 Bruce Weber 16 - 19 5 - 13 9th(T)
2008 - 09 Bruce Weber 24 - 10 11 - 7 2nd(T) NCAA 1st Round
2009 - 10 Bruce Weber 21 - 15 10 - 8 5th NIT Quarterfinals
2010 - 11 Bruce Weber 20 - 14 9 - 9 4th NCAA 3rd Round
Bruce Weber: 193 - 86 83 - 53
Total: 1632-870

      National Champion         Conference Regular Season Champion         Conference Tournament Champion
      Conference Regular Season & Conference Tournament Champion       Conference Division Champion

NCAA Tournament seeding history

The NCAA began seeding the tournament with the 1979 edition.

Years → '79 '80 '81 '82 '83 '84 '85 '86 '87 '88 '89 '90 '91 '92 '93 '94 '95 '96 '97 '98 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 '10 '11
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

Coaching history

Coach Years Record Conference
Record
Conference
Titles
NCAA
Appearances
Elwood Brown 1906–1907 6-8 3-6
F. 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–Present 186-75 77-44 2 6
Totals 1632-868 871-626 17 27

Head-to-head Big Ten records

Team Overall Record Home Record Road Record Neutral Record
Indiana 82-83 48-31 29-50 5-1
Iowa 78-66 59-14 19-52 0-0
Michigan 84-71 53-23 29-47 2-1
Michigan State 55-54 35-17 18-34 1-3
Minnesota 114-62 69-17 41-44 4-1
Northwestern 127-35 63-13 61-22 3-0
Ohio State 102-67 60-24 40-41 2-2
Penn State 23-11 10-5 10-5 3-1
Purdue 84-91 54-32 28-57 2-2
Wisconsin 109-75 67-20 39-52 3-3

Seasons

2010–2011

2009–2010

2008–2009

2007–2008

In the 2007-08 season, the Illini tied for 9th in the Big Ten. They reached the finals of the Big Ten tournament despite their 10-seed, where they lost to Wisconsin. The Illini failed to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 1998–99 season.

2006–2007

In the 2006-07 season, the Illini finished tied for 4th place in the Big Ten, earning the 6th seed in the Big Ten tournament, and losing in the seminfinals to Wisconsin. The Illini were selected as a 12-seed in the NCAA tournament; losing their opening-round game to Virginia Tech by a score of 54–52. This was the first time the Illini failed to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament since 2003.

2004–2005

In 2004-2005 the Illini went 37–2, tying the NCAA record for most wins in a season. They lost in the National Championship to the North Carolina Tar Heels. The Illini won the Big Ten regular season and tournament which was held in Chicago. They gained a #1 seed in the "big dance" and posted one of the most memorable games in NCAA history against Arizona. Down 15 points with around 4 minutes left, the Illini sparked a run led by Luther Head and Deron Williams. The game was sent into overtime and the orange and blue pulled off the one point win to advance to the Final Four in St. Louis. Against the Louisville Cardinals in the Final Four they won their final game of the season. The Illini had all 5 starters; Deron Williams, Luther Head, Dee Brown, James Augustine, and Roger Powell, Jr.; eventually play in the NBA. Deron Williams and Dee Brown both joined the Utah Jazz roster where Williams played until February 2011 and Luther Head plays for the Sacramento Kings. Coach Bruce Weber also won many Coach of the Year awards.

When duty calls

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

Lon Kruger/Bill Self era

After longtime coach Lou Henson's Departure, Illinois hired Lon Kruger to fill the vacancy for the 1996 season. 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, Frankie Williams, and Brian Cook between 1997 and 1999.

The University of 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. In 2001, his first season at Illinois, Self took over an immensely talented team, and 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. McClain, Cook and preseason Big Ten player of the year Cory Bradford led the Illini to the Elite Eight where they met and fell to eventual finalists 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) and the Illini were the clear target of questionable officiating. The '01 Illini team also included Robert Archibald, Damir Krupalija and Marcus Griffin. With mostly the same core, Illinois followed up the seaon with impressive 2002 and 2003 campaigns, but fell in the sweet 16 in 2002 and the second round in 2003. In addition, Self was largely responsible for the recruitment of the 2005 Fighting Illini team which won the Big Ten title;[3] the team finished with a 37–2 record after falling to the Roy Williams-coached Tar Heels 75–70 in the NCAA championship game under Bruce Weber, who replaced Self prior to the 2004 season. Self's recruits on that team included four eventual NBA draft picks, Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams, Dee Brown, Luther Head and James Augustine [3]

Lou Henson era

1990s

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 false 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 violations uncovered during the investigation.

Flyin' Illini

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 it's 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.

Early 1980s


See also

References

External Links

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