The 2013-14 Fighting Illini featured only three returning players from John Groce's first Illini squad, those being Joseph Bertrand, Tracy Abrams and Nnanna Egwu. Last year's team included two eligible transfers, five true freshmen and three transfers who had to sit due to NCAA regulations.
After falling only a win or two short of the NCAA Tournament this past season, expectations for the Illini program are on the rise. Not only will the 2014-15 bunch return five starters, they also add two freshmen as discussed in this article.
On top of that, Ahmad Starks, Aaron Cosby and Darius Paul are eligible to suit up and take the court, after having to watch from the sidelines a year ago. Each of these players were double-digit scorers at their previous school and will be instant impacts to the program.