In the 100th year of Fighting Iillni basketball, the program had seen perhaps the their best year, highlighted by going 37-2 tying for the most wins in NCAA Division 1 Mens's history, champions of the Big Ten conference, and a Final Four and a National Championship berth.
They were lead by a exceptional group of talent; Deron Williams, Dee Brown, and Luther Head. I'm here to recap about their time in Champaign, and what they are doing now.
Deron Williams was Mr.Conservative and was an outstanding ball handler in Champaign, as well as 12.5 PPG, 6.8 APG, 3.6 RPG, and 1 SPG. Deron was all over the Big Ten in statistical categories #1 in assists per game, #3 assists per turnover ratio, and 9th in minutes per game. As a sophomore, Deron decided to forego his junior and senior years to go to the NBA.
As well as hitting the game tying three pointer in the National Championship game against North Carolina. 17 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds versus North Carolina.
Dee Brown was the electrifer and the team's best 3pt shooter. Dee placed 3rd in the Big Ten in 3pt shooting, 3rd in FG shooting percentage, and #1 in true shooting percentage. Brown showed his versatility placing 3rd in the conference in steals per game, and 3rd in assist to turnover ratio. Dee Brown averaged 13.3 PPG, 4.5 APG, 2.7 RPG, and 1.8 SPG and was always a threat from behind the arc. Dee Brown decided to stay one more year and enter 2005-06 NBA Draft.
D.Brown also shot 49% on the year and had 12 points, 7 assists, and 3 steals in the National Championship game.
Luther Head played the role of the assassin. The team's leading scorer at 15.9 PPG, he posted averages of 4.0 RPG, 3 APG, and 1.7 SPG in his senior year at the University of I. Luther was also the Illini's best free throw shooter, shooting 78% from the charity stripe and was 2nd best on the team behind Brown sinking 41% of his shots from downtown.
Head had 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists in the championship loss against UNC.
What happened to them after College?
Deron Williams was chosen with the 3rd pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz
This season, Deron Williams has averaged 19 PPG, 10.6 APG, and 3 RPG. Williams has achieved 52 double-doubles in the year and has also held Chris Paul to under 10 points twice on the year (Paul's high versus was only 12 points). Not to mention, he also lead the Jazz to the Western Conference Finals a year ago.
Luther Head was chosen with the 24th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Rockets.
Averaging 7.7 PPG, 1.9 APG, and 1.9 RPG, Luther has been a key player coming off Houston's bench all season long, Head averaged over 10 points a game during the Rockets' 22 game winning streak and shot over 40% from behind the 3 point line. Head has career averages of 9.2 PPG, 2.8 RPG, and 0.9 SPG.
Dee Brown was chosen with the 46th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz.
Brown averages 1.9 PPG, 1.7 APG, and .45 SPG. Dee has received no playing time due to the emergence of reunited teammate Deron Williams. Dee Brown is most famously know for almost getting his spine crushed in last year's playoffs. Brown was driving to the rim and crumpled in a heap when C Mehmet Okur accidentally fell on top of his neck.
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