#63 Illinois Fighting Illini: College Basketball 111 in 111

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

After several years of underachieving, Bruce Weber was shown the door as Illinois Fighting Illini head coach and replaced by Ohio’s John Groce.  There is still decent enough talent left on the Illini roster but can Groce right the ship in his first year in Champaign?

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Illini add big man in transfer Sam McLaurin

sam-mclaurin

New University of Illinois head coach John Groce got his second recruit today. The Illini announced today Coastal Carolina’s Sam McLaurin has signed a tender of financial aid and will transfer to Illinois for his final season of eligibility upon earning his bachelor’s degree in May.

Because he will be enrolled as a graduate student at Illinois majoring in a major that Coastal Carolina does not have, he will be eligible to compete immediately during the 2012-13 season under the NCAA one-time transfer exception. He fills a huge need in frontcourt that lacked depth lat season. And now with the departure of Meyers Leonard to the NBA, it truly is in need of another big.

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