Illinois Fighting Illini basketball expectations have been lifted under second year head coach John Groce after an NCAA Tournament win in 2013 and top-notch recruiting class for 2014. However, there's still a season to play before those recruits arrive on campus, and it won't be an easy one.
With only 10 scholarship players eligible to play, five of whom are freshmen, the 2013-14 season could see a little bit of everything. There is certainly talent on the roster, but with only three returning players there are question marks all over the place.
We'll first get a chance to see the new look Illini in a regular season game on November 8th, just over a month from now. Here is a look at the Illini's nonconference schedule, an important time for team togetherness before the nightly grind of Big Ten play begins.