In 2012-13, expectations were surpassed by first-year head coach John Groce and his Fighting Illini program. After an overachieving season that ended in a controversial NCAA Tournament third-round matchup with second seeded Miami, expectations are no longer tempered in Champaign.
While Coach Groce lost four seniors, three of who were starters, and a handful of outbound transfers, Illinois is still expected to compete in 2013-14. The team only returns three members of last year's roster, but adds a few transfers of their own, while also bringing in a top-notch recruiting class.
The three returning players, Tracy Abrams, Joseph Bertrand and Nnanna Egwu, are expected to start alongside transfers Rayvonte Rice (Drake) and Jon Ekey (Illinois State), who previously battled in the Missouri Valley Conference.