John Groce's Fighting Illini had a major makeover following last season's round of 32 loss to Miami in the NCAA Tournament. Brandon Paul, DJ Richardson, Tyler Griffey and Sam McLaurin graduated, while an additional four players transferred out of the program.
This year's Illini squad contains five freshmen and five transfer players, though only two are currently eligible to play. This leaves only Joseph Bertrand, Nnanna Egwu, Tracy Abrams and walk-on Mike LaTulip from the 2012-13 team that finished eighth in the Big Ten, sporting an 8-10 league record.
This year's Illini team will need at least eight league wins to get back to the Big Dance after a disappointing loss in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge at Georgia Tech. The team quickly rebounded with a 19-point win over Auburn on Sunday and have tests against Oregon and Missouri upcoming.