In Andy Katz's power 36 NCAA preseason, the Illini have secured a spot in the top 25! The biggest driver of this is the Illini snagging four-star center recruit, Kofi Cockburn, from basketball powerhouse, Oak Hill Academy. Along with this, the Illini bring back their top three scorers in Ayo Dosunmu, Trent Frazier, and Giorgi Bezhanishvili. With the depth on the bench, the Illini could actually be a force to be reckoned with. I cannot believe I am saying this. The Illini haven't made the NCAA tournament since 2013. Another contributing factor is how 20 of the Big Ten's top 30 scorers from 2018-2019 are no longer in the conference, either leaving via NBA or graduating. This is HUGE for the Illini. Not to mention, their 2019-2020 schedule cannot get any tougher than last year's.
The program is headed in the right direction, Illini fans! There's obviously some more work to do, but it's time to be positive. An NCAA Tournament appearance could be in the near future! I-L-L!