All-Century Team, Era Three (1976-Present)

It is a difficult if not impossible challenge to vote for the Illini's All-Century basketball team. There are 83 players on the list, and all deserve to be included. At least, there are far more than 15 who deserve special mention as the most elite of the elite. So how do we make these decisions?

Most voters for the Illini All-Century basketball team have heard about and, except for the youngest voters, watched the players nominated for inclusion in what is called Era Three. This is the current era and covers the years 1976 to present. Everyone has their favorite players, so my comments may seem unnecessary. But there are good reasons to include a broad range of views when choosing a few from the many deserving athletes who adorn this list.

What is likely is that many voters will let their personal attractions, their "hero worship", be the deciding factor in who they select. And it is predicted that a majority of the 15 ultimate selectees will come from Era Three simply because they are better known.

I prefer that the best players be chosen. This is possible only when we use a broad, informed understanding of how each player performed, free of personal bias, when placing our votes. Thus, I hope this evaluation, based in part on my memory of these players, will add to one's overall body of knowledge. I will not tell anyone how to vote, and I am not an ultimate authority on basketball talent, but I will tell you as much as I can about each player so one can vote intelligently and wisely.

Era Three began with a transition of coaches from Harv Schmidt, through the one-year reign of Gene Bartow, to Lou Henson. Players recruited by Bartow and then Henson in his early years can only be understood in that context because Illinois was in one of its worst won-lost cycles of the century.

The late 1960's and early 1970's were a highly polarized, difficult time throughout the United States. Besides the divisive Vietnam War, there was the quest for racial equality let by Martin Luther King and others. The University of Illinois was probably typical of most midwest universities at that time. It had both progressive and bigoted elements and was having to adapt to the changing times just like everyone else.

Unfortunately for Illinois, powerful forces led by some black opinion leaders in the Chicago area had spread the word that Harv Schmidt and the U of I were biased against blacks. I never saw a single indication that this was true of Harv Schmidt, but by the time he was fired, he had absolutely no ability to recruit black athletes (or top-rated white ones either). Thus, our teams were weak by our usual standards.

Gene Bartow, with great help from assistant Tony Yates, reintegrated the Illini team by bringing in junior college standouts Nate Williams and Mike Washington, both from Chicago high schools. They also won a recruiting war for 6'-4" high school All-American Audie Matthews from Bloom Township, a Chicago suburb. Needing even more athleticism, they brought in a 6'-8" athlete from Cincinnati named Rich Adams who was not highly regarded. Everyone expected Matthews to become a college A-A, while no one had any expectations of Adams. So it was a true surprise that Adams would end up scoring more career points than Matthews.

Rich Adams seemed to be an all-or-none athlete. When he got on a roll with his high-extension jumper, he could really fill it up. He scored 39 points in a game against Arizona in 1977, and he had several other high-scoring efforts. Unfortunately, it was difficult to predict when he would have a good game. I remember Lou Henson saying he and Rich could never really find common ground in their coach-player relationship, and probably neither of them were overly sad when Rich graduated. Rich had some excellent moments, and he did make honorable mention All-Big 10 three straight years. But his biggest contribution, in my opinion, was his help in ending the drought of black players at Illinois and his ability to give fans an occasional reason for optimism during difficult times.

Audie Matthews was a fine player and person, and I understand he had a long pro career overseas. But he was hurt by excessive hype generated mostly by Chicago area reporters who propped him up to levels too lofty for Audie to match. Audie was quick and was a good jumper and shooter. But he was frail by Big 10 standards and needed work on some fundamentals and defense.

To his credit, Audie persevered through difficult times when he was not putting up star-caliber numbers. By the time he was an upperclassman, he was a consumate team player, and he demonstrated excellent ability by being named honorable mention A-A in 1977 and honorable mention All-Big 10 in 1977 and 1978. Audie was an outstanding representative of the U of I, and his decision to attend Illinois will always be appreciated when he literally could have had his pick of schools.

Levi Cobb was a high school All-American who led his Morgan Park team to the state finals. And he became the first Chicago Public League high school player to sign with Illinois since the Schmidt years. Thus, Levi's role at Illinois was special, and we all owe him a great deal of thanks for taking the chance on the Illini. Levi played well enough for the Illini to be named an honorable mention All-American in his first year.

However, Levi had the misfortune of being "recruited over" when stars Eddie Johnson and Mark Smith signed on with Illinois. Levi showed great maturity and understanding for continuing to play a role off the bench while his younger teammates got most of the playing time.

I was in attendance at the News-Gazette All-State basketball banquet when Eddie Johnson was a senior and named to that team. For some reason, Eddie couldn't be there that night, but his mother did attend. And she left an indelible memory with me when she stood up during the banquet and announced proudly that her All-American son would be attending Illinois. The crowd erupted in applause. After several down years, it now appeared that the Illini were back in the game bigtime.

Eddie Johnson was a 6'-7" shooter. In fact, I was watching a pro game the other day when an announcer included him among a group of "the greatest shooters in NBA history." Eddie credits Lou Henson with forcing him to become an all-around player who could play defense and operate within a team concept, and this plus his great shooting allowed him to have a long career in the NBA. He was named "Fireman of the Year" one year for being the best 6th man in the NBA.

But before he played pro ball, Eddie Johnson was a star at Illinois and was instrumental in getting us back into the national spotlight. He was 1st team All-Big 10 as a senior and ended his career as the leader in total points and rebounds. The rebounding total has subsequently been topped only by Efrem Winters and Deon Thomas. But the one play that stands out in most people's minds was the game-winning corner shot that Eddie swished to beat Michigan State and Earvin "Magic" Johnson in 1979, an MSU team that finished that season as National Champion.

Eddie Johnson was a great player, but he might not have been the best player in his recruiting class. That distinction may go to Peoria's Mark Smith. Mark was a gifted athlete who could play all positions. At 6'-7", Mark played guard frequently and could dribble, pass, shoot, and rebound with the best. Eddie Johnson ended up scoring more career points than Mark Smith, but only because some physical and emotional problems limited Mark during his senior season.

Mark was named 2nd team All-Big 10 his junior year, and most thought he was slated for A-A honors and a long pro career. Sadly, he was never able to overcome his problems, and he passed on without ever reaching the pinnicle others envisioned for him. If Mark receives a posthumous recognition as one of the 15 members of the All-Century team, it will be richly deserved. Mark was special.

Another fine player on the teams with Mark and Eddie was Derek Holcome. The tallest of the 83 nominees at 6'-11", Derek was a high school All-American from Peoria Richwoods who originally was attracted to the image of Bobby Knight at Indiana before finding peace and happiness as an Illini. Derek had to pay his own way, and he had to sit out a year as a transfer, but he helped plug the middle of some excellent and near-great teams.

The 1980-81 team had a final Associated Press ranking of 19, and the 1978-79 team was 15-0 and ranked as high as number 4 in the country at one point before point guard and glue Steve Lanter was lost to a severe knee injury. In three years, Derek came within three of being the all-time Illini leader in blocked shots, second only to Deon Thomas' four year total. He was a two-time honorable mention Big 10 selection.

James Griffin, who played high school ball with Lou Henson friend Robert Hughes in Fort Worth, Texas, was a long, lean and athletic big man who needed time to add muscle to play the post at Illinois. Most thought he would play forward, but center was probably his best position in terms of defense and ball handling. James was good enough to take playing time away from Derek Holcomb at times, and he continued to improve so that he had an outstanding senior season.

Scoring with high-extension turnaround jumpers in the post, James was named 3rd team All-Big Ten in 1982. James always had the look of a great player, and the expectations placed upon him probably hindered his progress. This historically was a common thread for the tall postmen recruited by the Illini since there were so few as good as James Griffin and Derek Holcomb.

The next great player to matriculate to Illinois was Derek Harper, who played three years from 1980-1983. Derek was a high school A-A out of Florida who seriously considered attending Michigan until Johnny Orr left to coach Iowa State. He was the consummate point guard who had many successful years in the pros. Derek was 6'-3" of muscle, speed, savvy, explosiveness and leadership ability. Only an inconsistent shot could possibly keep him from being the top Illini point guard of all time. His shot seemed to rotate sideways out of his hand, so he had the reputation as a mediocre shooter. This may not be a fair judgment since he improved his shooting percentage from 41% as a freshman to 45% as a sophomore and 54% as a junior.

Derek was a great assist man and a superb defender. And by his junior year, he led the team in scoring as well. That season, Derek was named 1st Team All-Big 10 and 2nd Team A-A. Derek declared hardship to enter the NBA draft after his junior year.

Anthony Welch was one of the few Michigan high school basketball players to attend Illinois. He was a slender 6'-9" forward who could shoot well. In fact, he was voted 3rd team All-Big 10 in 1985, primarily for his offense. If Anthony does not become one of the 15 finalists, it will probably be because of his frail build. Welch had difficulty banging inside against powerful opponents, and he feared taking charges. But his fundamental skills and scoring potential helped the Illini to three 20 win seasons.

Welch was part of a special team of players that won many games and finished 6th in 1983-84 and 12th 1984-85 in the final Associated Press national standings. Better known teammates from one of Lou Henson's greatest recruiting classes were Efrem Winters, Doug Altenberger and Bruce Douglas.

Efrem Winters was a 6'-8" post player who was an explosive leaper and top all-around player who enjoyed high school A-A status out of Chicago King. Efrem was named 1st team All Big-10 at Illinois for the 1983-84 season, and he still holds the Illini record for most rebounds in a career while being among the top scorers as well. Winters seemed to level off as he matured, so some people's expectations of him were even greater than he demonstrated. But he was a winner who combined with his teammates to give Lou Henson some of his best teams. And his career records are still worthy of inclusion in our top 15 for the All-Century team.

Doug Altenberger was a shooting guard who could light it up from outside. The son of another excellent Illini player, Doug missed out on playing with his normal graduating class when he tore his knee at the beginning of his senior year. So he got a redshirt year and found the new 3-point rule to his liking. Making all six of his 3-pointers in one game (still a record), Doug is among the Illini leaders for made 3-pointers in one season even though Coach Henson was slow to utilize that weapon when it first became legal.

Doug's hustle, leadership and shot-making allowed him to become a 3rd team All-Big 10 designee during his fifth year. It also allowed teams for which he played to record 99 wins during his 4-year career, which ties him for most wins by an Illini. Doug now does color commentary for a Big 10 television network.

Saving the best for last in that recruiting class was Quincy's Bruce Douglas. There is insufficient space to present all of Bruce's accomplishments in this evaluation. But he broke records for both assists and steals from his point guard spot. A great 4-year leader for the Illini, he led the team to national prominence. He was named Big 10 Player of the year and 3rd team All-American in 1984. He was Defensive Player of the year in the Big 10 in 1985 and 1986.

Bruce Douglas was a winner, and he did all the intangible things a leader does to help his team win. Amazingly, Bruce is also in the top 20 in career scoring even though that was the only part of his game that was not absolutely brilliant. Bruce lacked the natural shooting touch of some of his teammates, but he seemed capable of making key shots when most needed. Truly one of the Illini's all-time best point guards, Bruce would make an excellent addition to the All-Century team.

Ken Norman continued the line of excellent basketball players when he arrived at Illinois out of junior college in 1985. Another Chicago Public Leaguer recruited by Lou Henson, Ken was a tremendously hard worker who continued to improve throughout his 3-year career. His hard work paid off with 1st team All-Big 10 honors in both 1986 and 1987, and he was a 2nd team A-A and Wooden Award nominee in 1987. His 641 points that season ranks fourth on Illinois' all-time single season scoring list. And even better, Ken is tops on the list for both single season (.641) and career (.609) shooting percentage. Best of all, Ken led the Illini to a end-of-season national ranking of 11 in 1986-87.

The next group of five players were the 1980's equivalent of the Illini Whiz Kids, and they are better known as the Flying Illini for their leaping ability and sensational dunking prowess. Possessing interchangable size and skills, these outstanding players combined to form a special chemistry that amazed the country. In fact, except for some untimely injuries and bad breaks, these Illini were the consensus favorite to win the National Championship that year. Even then, they made the Final Four. These five special players are Stephen Bardo, Lowell Hamilton, Kendall Gill, Nick Anderson, and Kenny Battle.

Stephen Bardo, now becoming famous for his insightful color commentary on Illini radio broadcasts and Big 10 TV broadcasts, was a 6'-6" version of Bruce Douglas. He even had some of the same characteristics, such as great assist man, defender and team player. And also like Douglas, he sometimes sacrificed his scoring totals to help the team win despite a 45.5% career 3-point shooting percentage. Stephen was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 1989.

Lowell Hamilton was a high school A-A out of Providence St. Mel, but he struggled in his early college career because he had little competition in high school. Generously listed at 6'-7", Lowell may have been the victim of a disservice with that high early ranking, which may have been based mostly on his eye-catching leaping ability. This caused him to be judged poorly for not living up to others' expectations.

But Lowell played a truly special role with the Flying Illini because of his ability to rebound, defend, and shoot devastating high-extension jumpers over the many tall centers he faced. Lowell was named twice as an honorable mention All-Big 10, but his value as an overachieving underdog was much more important to our success than that.

Kendall Gill is a 6'-4" guard who is still playing in the NBA. I saw Kendall in high school, and you could see immense untapped potential even though he was not yet well known. He could shoot, dribble, defend and jump. And he loved left-handed dunks despite being right handed. But I never thought Kendall would grow into the great player he finally became. Ultimately, Kendall was named a First Team All-Big Ten and First Team A-A in 1990 after leading the Big 10 in scoring.

Nick Anderson must be considered for the top 15 Illini despite playing only two years. He was an absolute load as a scoring machine, rebounding demon and floor leader who was Mr. Clutch when most needed. Nick was listed as 6'-6", but he may have been closer to 6'-4". Despite modest size, Nick was a ferocious leaper who literally could clean the glass over much larger opponents. And he had a devastating turn-around jumper in traffic. Anderson's statistics don't adequately reflect his quality.

A product of Chicago Simeon high school, Nick had to sit out his freshman year as a non qualifier. And he became the 11th pick and first ever selection of the Orlando Magic in the NBA draft after his junior season, giving him only 2 years to play with the Illini. Nick was 1st team All-Big 10 and honorable mention A-A. And despite playing inside most of the time, Nick also had guard skills as attested by his 30-foot last-second swisher to beat Bobby Knight's Indiana Hoosiers during the magical 1988-89 season. That shot will go down in history as one of the most memorable in Illini history. Few if any Illini have ever been as good as Nick Anderson.

But if I was allowed to pick only one member of the Flying Illini as a member of our All-Century team, I would have to pick Kenny Battle. Kenny also doesn't have the career statistics to match four-year players since he transferred from Northern Illinois after his sophomore season. But he has one special designation that may give one some understanding of how great Kenny Battle was. There is a Kenny Battle award, given annually to the player who provides the most hustle and fight during the season, which was created WHILE BATTLE WAS STILL PLAYING. Everyone understood that Kenny Battle was the epitome of the Kenny Battle award, and it was hoped others would try to emulate Battle's special play.

Stated simply, the 6'-5" Kenny Battle out of Aurora West was the heart and soul of the Flying Illini. He was a natural leader, an all-out hustler and defender who played the point of a fantastic full-court press. Oh, and he was the most feared dunker of the Flying Illini. When watching Battle play, it was helpful to remain standing the whole game since you would be brought out of your seat frequently anyway by his creative, athletic moves.

Kenny lacked a consistent outside shot, which prevented him from making a transition to guard at the professional level, but he was a natural inside scorer with a flair for the spectacular. You always got your money's worth watching Kenny play, and it can only be hoped that someday we will have a player who can come close to replicating Battle's special abilities. Others may not agree with my naming him as best of the Flying Illini since others are also deserving, but no one can argue that Kenny Battle was as unique as they come. He continues to be missed.

Andy Kaufmann was a freshman during the fabled 1988-89 season, but he couldn't participate the whole season due to surgery. He also missed the 1992 season. But he was a scoring machine his other three seasons. I first saw Andy in the Prairie State Games the summer after his sophomore season in high school, and even then Andy was a scoring machine. His strong-willed, single-minded motivation to fill the basket made him almost impossible to stop. He could shoot from outside, but he frequently penetrated between defenders to score and/or get fouled where his outstanding free throw shooting gave him many easy points.

Andy's immense drive often caused problems for Coach Henson as passing the ball to a teammate was sometimes an afterthought, considered only if the path to the basket was blocked. But usually, Andy found a way to get the ball to the hoop. His game-winning bomb against Iowa is a favorite fan memory.

Illinois' all-time scoring leader is Chicago Simeon's Deon Thomas, a center listed at 6'-9' but in reality closer to 6'-7". Deon was the consummate post player because of his ability to score with his back to the basket. He could get his soft floater off against any and all defenders. And he was good on defense as well, his career block total being highest of all former Illini. Deon was a three-time team MVP and an honorable mention A-A in 1994. Only a controversial NCAA investigation that limited Coach Henson's recruiting prevented us from having the kind of team success we needed to showcase Deon's talents nationally.

It was this investigation of illegal recruiting, initiated by the University of Iowa and later proven false, that harmed and delayed Deon's career. But it was also a blessing in a way since Deon had the chance to reconfirm his innocence by staying at Illinois and competing to the best of his ability despite the rumor and innuendo surrounding his good name.

It is for this reason even more than his great ability that I will always appreciate Deon Thomas. Deon demonstrated immense inner fortitude and perseverence, making him clearly a winner in the eyes of the Illini fandom. Deon's play and his great personal character make him truly deserving of the All-Century team.

Collinsville's Richard Keene came to Illinois with extremely high expectations. A high school All-American and McDonald's A-A, Richard turned down a scholarship offer from Duke for the Illini. He had a fine career at Illinois, ending 2nd all-time in career 3-pointers and fourth in career assists. His long, high-arching shots and passes that sometimes defied belief were his best trademarks. Like usually happens, it was impossible for Richard to live up to others' lofty expectations for him. So Richard's career is looked upon as less than ideal by those people. But Richard Keene was still a fine player and a quality Illini.

Kiwane Garris ranks favorably with the best point guards in Illini history. If he doesn't make the top 15, it is only because there are so many others who are also deserving. But if I were to rank him, I would put him in the top 3 or 4 point guards ever. A product of Chicago Westinghouse, Kiwane could be a scoring machine (second in career points), and he could be an assist machine. A three-time team MVP, Kiwane was 1st team All-Big 10 in both 1995 and 1996.

His name is all over the Illini record books for scoring, but that was far from his only gift. For four years, no one could press the Illini as Kiwane's "handle" or ball-handling skill was simply too good to press. And he loved to penetrate into the lane for acrobatic shots and precision passes. Few athletes could dribble fearlessly into the land of giants and have the high degree of success that Kiwane enjoyed.

Early in his career, Kiwane tended to emphasize either scoring or passing at the exclusion of the other, depending on what was most needed each game. But by his senior season, Kiwane had finally learned how to think of his teammates and his own scoring needs as an integrated whole and became the consummate point guard.

In my opinion, it is a shame that Kiwane, at 6'-1", does not have the height or explosive jumping ability to impress the pro scouts despite numerous brief opportunities. This prevents him from getting the publicity that he deserves even though he is still playing for pay. I truly hope the fans won't forget Kiwane in the balloting as he is and has always been a great player and deserving Illini.

Jerry Hester and Kevin Turner became two fifths of an all-senior Big 10 Championship team in 1998 under Lon Kruger. Jerry and Kevin were team co-MVP's in 1998. That team, which also included Matt Heldman, Jarrod Gee and Brian Johnson, was possibly the best example of team chemistry that these eyes have ever seen. Truly, the whole was greater than the sum of its parts with that team.

Jerry Hester might have missed that season except for having to take a redshirt season earlier in his career. A top small forward out of Peoria Manual, Jerry was extremely well coached by the time he arrived at Illinois. He was a rarity in that he was a true small forward at a position that is increasingly hard to fill around the country. Such a player must play both outside and inside. Thus, he must have shooting and ball-handling skills in addition to being a rebounding demon capable of defending against both big and small opponents. Jerry evolved into an excellent small forward, and his contributions to the team were immense. He presently ranks 13th in the all-time Illini career scoring list.

Kevin Turner was recruited almost as an afterthought out of Chicago Simeon to join more heralded teammate Bryant Notree. Kevin was a slender 6'-2" guard, and no one knew much about him, but he just happened to be an outstanding one-on-one player. Other players were always given first chance to play over him during the early part of his career, so his career totals are not unique. But Kevin transformed himself into a true star by his senior season, and he led us to many outstanding wins. From obscure reserve to 1st team All-Big 10, Kevin Turner's rise was meteoric and his accolades richly deserved.

The final four players are best known by the fans because they are the most recent. But they also are distinctive in that they won two Big 10 championships as a group. The emotional drive for those teams was a "point forward" named Sergio McClain, and Sergio actually won three Big 10 championships since he was a freshman reserve on the 1998 team. The name "Sergio" and the word "winner" are synonymous. Sergio McClain was a four year starter at Peoria Manual High School, and he led them to four straight Illinois state championships. This is a feat that will probably never be duplicated. Sergio's strong will to win was the dominant energy on all the teams for which he played.

Sergio would play anywhere he was assigned, but at 6'-3" and 220 pounds, he played best at a forward spot where he could use his strength to play defense, get rebounds, and penetrate and dish to open teammates. He led the 1999 Illini in both assists and steals. Sergio was not the great shooter that he wished to be, but he always seemed to find a way to get the ball in the hole when we most needed it. It remains to be seen whether he was one of our best 15 players of all time, but Sergio without a doubt was the best person to have on your team if you wanted to win. Bar none.

Cory Bradford ranks fourth on the all-time Illini career scoring list. Arriving as a 6'1" guard out of Memphis, Tennessee, Cory completed a partial qualifier year and then made a quick impact for Lon Kruger with his 3-point shooting. As most people remember, Cory holds the all-time NCAA consecutive game 3-point shooting record of 88 straight games, a phenomenal feat. And his career scoring average might have been even higher if Coach Bill Self had set special screens for him as Self's predecessor Lon Kruger had done.

Cory had to play some point guard early in his career, and this was not his true position. It was just not his mentality to set teammates up to score. But he was a tremendous compliment to whomever played the point. Cory never missed a game even though he had to play through some injuries, so he was a true warrior. And his defense improved to the point that he was a trusted defender by the time he was a senior. Cory was much loved by the fans, and he made excellent contributions to Illini basketball.

It is impossible to evaluate the next player in a manner which everyone can agree. Frank Williams is a truly unique talent who was 1st team All-Big 10 in 2001 and 2002, and he was Big 10 Player of the Year, Chicago Tribune Silver Basketball Winner, and 1st team A-A in 2001. Frank passed up his senior season to become a first-round draft pick of the New York Knicks. So in some respects, Frank proved to be one of the best Illini point guards of all time. But since Frank had so much exceptional ability and potential, some people feel he never quite lived up to that talent at all times. Personally, I think Frank deserved the honors he received, and I would not be surprised if he becomes a finalist for our All-Century team.

Frank Williams played only 3 years and still became the Illini's 12th best career scorer. His teammates knew how important Frank was to their success by voting him as their MVP two straight years. In his three years, the Illini final Associated Press national rankings were 21, 4 and 13, and the team made the Elite Eight in 2001 and Sweet 16 in 2002. But Frank was so good that fans and press alike were upset when he didn't become All-World. This was unfair in my opinion because no one can live up to those lofty expectations. Truly, Frank Williams was one of the greatest basketball players to ever wear an Illini uniform.

Last but certainly not least, Brian Cook followed Frank Williams by receiving many of the same honors. A 6'-10" forward with a great outside shot, Brian was team MVP, Big 10 Player of the Year, Chicago Tribune Silver Basketball Winner and 3rd team All-America in 2003. And he ended as the Illini's 3rd leading career scoring leader while developing into a true warrior and leader who worked hard to improve his rebounding and defense despite a slender frame.

It is highly likely that Brian Cook will be named one of the 15 finalists for the All-Century team simply because he is the most recent of highly beloved Illini heros. But he would deserve it even if he had played 95 years ago. One of my best memories was watching Brian Cook leave the floor at the end of his final home game his senior season. Possessing a smile as wide as an ocean while skipping and bouncing with childlike effervescence toward the bench, Brian's reaction was the pinnacle of a cycle of maturation and growth that continued throughout his four year career. Snubbing an early departure for the NBA so that he could earn his degree, Brian Cook's great senior season earned him a 1st round draft pick by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Brian Cook was like a large sky rocket firework that continued to shoot upward and upward, increasing an observer's suspense until it exploded in a massive display that covered the entire sky. Truly, Brian Cook is the epitome of what it means to be an All-Century player.

It will be extremely hard to vote for only 15 players out of all the true stars who have dotted Illini lineups during the first hundred years of basketball. But think how hard it might be for those voting for the next 100 years, given the great talented players we have on our present team who cannot be included in the voting this time. Deron Williams, Dee Brown, James Augustine, and all other current Illini will likely be forgotten by the year 2104. So I hope we can publicize their efforts well enough to make it possible for future Illini to appreciate their special qualities, making it easier for them to vote than it is for us now for the "old-timers".

Regardless, the first hundred years of Illini basketball have been truly special, and the players ultimately selected to the All-Century team will represent a quality of student athlete which all of us can be proud. Go Illini!

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