Illini Basketball: Five Players Deserving of UI Athletics Hall of Fame

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The Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame Class for 2020 was announced earlier today and it includes athletes and coaches from nine different sports. It’s only the fourth such class in U of I sports history and when you look at the full class, aggregated with the previous three, you still have some names missing.

(And we covered who should be next to get in, from football, in this post). What’s the most glaring omission from Illini basketball (on the men’s side)? Well, we’d argue any of the five below on this list…

Bruce Douglas

Second all-time in the B1G in career assists, he missed out twice, and you just can’t take a pass on him the next time around.

Kenny Battle 

Only one member of the Flyin’ Illini got in each year so far, and they need to keep that nascent tradition going in year three. Battle is the only member of the ’89 Final Four team who is in the Illini basketball honored jerseys ring hanging from the rafters but not in the hall.

luther head

Luther Head 

Second team All-American and one of the best three-point shooters in program history, this would give the Hall of Fame a troika from the ’05 team to match the triad from the ’89 team once two HOF classes are inducted.

James Augustine

Leading rebounder in school history and co-winningest individual player all time (Dee Brown is the other) is an obvious choice.

kiwane-garris

Kiwane Garris

Second leading scorer in program history is a rather underrated player. He doesn’t even have his jersey number in the arena’s ring of honor! What’s up with that?

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link

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