Illinois Basketball: Best Fighting Illini at Every Position from Last 9 Years

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Illinois Basketball: Best Fighting Illini at Every Position from Last 9 Years
JOHN DIXON/Associated Press

Illinois has not made a Sweet 16 appearance since March 2005. That 2004-05 season ended in the national championship game, a heartbreaking loss to a loaded North Carolina Tar Heel squad. That Fighting Illini squad ended the season with a 37-2 record and is the best Big Ten team in recent memory.

It would have been too easy to come up with the "Best Fighting Illini at Every Position in Last Decade" by taking that 2004-05 team into account. The list would have featured its complete starting lineup: Deron Williams, Dee Brown, Luther Head, Roger Powell Jr. and James Augustine.

Head and Powell graduated following that season, Bruce Weber's second as the head coach, while Deron Williams left a year early to be selected as the third pick in the 2005 NBA draft (selected after Andrew Bogut and Marvin Williams, and chosen just before Chris Paul).

To avoid that, this list compiles the best Fighting Illini over the course of the last nine seasons, an up-and-down period since that magical run in '05. Continue on to find out who those five players are and share insight on who you think may have been snubbed.

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