#36 Illinois Fighting Illini: College Basketball 111 in 111

illini cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

“Addition by subtraction” might be the ideal phrase to apply to the Illinois Fighting Illini this season.  With four inconsistent seniors graduating and Jereme Richmond’s idiotic decision to enter the NBA Draft, Bruce Weber loses five of his top seven players from last season.  However, the Illini may actually be better off without them.

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Illini Hoops Adds 2 New Players: Maniscalco and Langford

sam-maniscalco

University of Illinois Fighting Illini officially announced Wednesday the addition of two new players to their college basketball program. Devin Langford of Huntsville, Ala. signed a national letter of intent on the first day of the spring period while Bradley University transfer Sam Maniscalco, a badly needed true point guard, signed a tender of financial aid.

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Illinois Fighting Illini 2010-2011 Recap, Early look Ahead to 2012

Bruce Weber Illinois

Inconsistency, lack of effort, and disappointing: those three words are as good as any when it comes to summing up the University of Illinois Men’s Basketball 2010-2011 season. For a team that was supposed to do great things this year, they had a very up and down campaign. After starting the season 10-1 (only loss coming in OT to Texas at Madison Square Garden), the Illini stumbled in the back half, and finished with a 20-14 record.

The biggest problems the Illini had were mental.

But it didn’t help that their point guard wasn’t able to be a true distributor in their motion offense. He had to do most of the scoring himself. Not having a dominant insidepresence hurt too.

The player who decided the Illini fate most of the time was makeshift senior point guard Demetri McCamey. When he played well, Illinois was a team that could beat anyone on any night. But when he was off, and he was off quite a bit in midseason, the Illini could lose to any one (see: 7-24 Illinois-Chicago).

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Is Bradley’s Sam Maniscalco Transferring to Illinois?


The University of Illinois has spent most of the week preparing for the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.

Off the court on Thursday, however, they may have gotten the best news that they’ll get before Selection Sunday. [Read more…]