Big Ten Basketball Preseason Power Rankings: 14-8

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10. Illinois

Mar 12, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach John Groce during the first half in the second round of the Big Ten Conference Tournament against the Michigan Wolverines at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

2014-15 Record: 19-14 (9-9)

Key Players: 

G Malcolm Hill, Jr

F Leron Black, So

G Kendrick Nunn, Jr

G D.J. Williams, Fr

G Jalen Coleman-Lands, Fr


The Illini have a talented bunch every year, but every year they fall victim to the injury bug. It hit them hard once again this offseason, as they lost Tracy Abrams for the season. His leadership presence will be sorely missed.

Although Abrams was a major component of this team, there are other options for head coach John Groce. Illinois returns two other talented guards in Hill and Nunn. Both are highly capable of creating offense for themselves and their teammates. Black is a player who could have a breakout season.

The Illini brought in a pair of highly-touted guards. Their development could determine how far this team actually goes this season. The talent is certainly there, but they have to put all the pieces together.

Projected Record: 17-13, (7-11)