Despite a disappointing defeat to Miami in the NCAA tournament's third round on March 24 to second-seeded Miami, word on the street is that Illinois basketball is back—or at least as long as John Groce is at the helm.
Groce inherited a team that had returning talent, but was without lottery-pick center Meyers Leonard from last year's squad, who endured a late-season meltdown that went from NCAA tournament-lock to not making any postseason tournament at all.
Groce has the opportunity to bring in his own recurits a year from now, while also allowing three members of this past season's Illini squad to walk away from the program and transfer out, as Mike Shaw, Devin Langford and Ibby Djimde have just done.
Overall, this season was a success and has brought an enthusiasm for the program that I have not felt since the 2005 national championship game.
Here are the final rankings of this season's rotation players for the Illini.