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Illinois Basketball Fantasy Starting Five (and 3 subs)



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Feb 12, 2006; Columbus, OH, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard (11) Dee Brown shoots a three with his coach Bruce Weber in the background against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second half at Value City Arena. The Buckeyes beat the Fighting Illini 69-53. Mandatory Credit: Photo By Matthew Emmons- USA TODAY Sports Copyright © 2006 Matthew Emmons

Illinois Basketball Fantasy Starting Five (with three subs)

So, who’s ready for some debate? The Illinois Fighting Illini has had its fair share of outstanding players. Consequently, putting together an all-time fantasy team is hard, but we tried. Who would you put in your starting five? Who would you bring off the bench? Here is my Illinois Basketball Fantasy Starting Five (with three subs).

PG- Dee Brown: Let’s start the list with a hot take. Keep in mind; this is about college. Deron Williams was the better pro prospect and had a better professional career. However, Brown was the better college player. Brown was a Consensus All-American in 2005 and 2006 (1st team in ’05 and 2nd team in ’06). He was also Big Ten Player of the Year in 2005, leading the Illini to the National Championship game.

SG- Nick Anderson: One of the two “Flyin’ Illini” on this list, Anderson could play either shooting guard or small forward. One of the strengths of this fantasy team is versatility. Anderson averaged 17 points and seven rebounds per game during his career. He was also part of a team that reached the final four. During Illinois’ run to the final four in 1989, Anderson averaged 18 points and eight rebounds on his way to being named All-Big Ten First Team.

The Frontcourt

G/F- Kendall Gill: Anderson’s teammate on that 1989 Final Four Team, Gill put the Flyin’ in Flyin’ Illini. Gill was a combo guard who could do it all on the court and was a nightmare to defend with his ability to shoot and drive to the basket. Gill was 2nd team All-American as a junior and All-Big Ten as a senior. The Chicago native led the Big Ten in scoring as a senior.

PF- Brian Cook: One of the more impressive aspects of Brian Cook’s career at Illinois was his consistent improvement during his time in Champaign. Cook led the Illini to an Elite Eight appearance in 2001 and was Big Ten Player of the Year in 2003. The Lincoln High School product was one of the earliest evolutions of the “stretch big” with his ability to consistently play in the post, step outside, and shoot the three-pointer.

PF/C- James Augustine: Augustine was a double-double machine in Illinois. He was the 12th player in Big Ten history with 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. The Lincoln-Way Central product began his Illini career flourishing, being named an All-Big Ten freshman. In 2005, Augustine was named Big Ten Tournament MVP. He ended his career as an All-Big Ten selection.

Off the Bench:

G- Deron Williams: Williams gives the Illini a combo guard off the bench on this fantasy team. Williams is an excellent passer and three-point shooter. Williams was an All-American (2nd team) in 2004-2005 and was named to the 2005 All-Tournament team, and led the conference in assists for two consecutive seasons.

F-Ken Norman: The Crane High School product earned the nickname “snake” from playing basketball on the West Side of Chicago. After transferring from Wabash Valley College, Norman averaged 15.7 points and 6.9 rebounds during his Illini career, including 20.7 points and 9.8 rebounds his last year in Champaign.

C-Kofi Cockburn: If you are going to run an eight-man rotation, you must have a rim protector and rebounder. Jamaican-born Kofi Cockburn is both. The New York High School product is eighth in school history in blocks and third all-time in rebounds. Cockburn was a two-time consensus All-American, averaging over 20 points and ten rebounds per game in his final season at Illinois.

Armchair Illini is a comprehensive site dedicated to covering University of Illinois Athletics owned and operated by Alex Kyi. Dante Pryor has been writing about College Football for years on Saturday Blitz and is now the Lead Football Author for Armchair Illini.