2010-2011 ITH Season Preview: Illinois Fighting Illini

  • 11/09/2010 4:13 pm in

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 13: Head coach Bruce Weber of the Illinois Fighting Illini calls a play during their game against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the semifinals of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 13, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)It’s time for Inside the Hall’s team-by-team breakdown of the Big Ten Conference. Today: The Illinois Fighting Illini.

First thing that sticks out about Brucey’s boys?

They’re a team with strong seniors and talented underclassmen — a recipe for success.

Point guard Demetri McCamey returns for his senior season, and though his leadership has been questioned at times, his size and physicality make him an elite player in the Big Ten. The frontcourt also returns seniors Mike Davis (6-9) and Mike Tisdale (7-1) — both threats for a double-double on any given night.

Guards D.J. Richardson and Brandon Paul enter their sophomore seasons and should only get better. And then there’s freshman sensation Jereme Richmond — who did things like this in high school. Richmond is a big, athletic wing at 6-8, meaning he should give them tons of flexibility on both sides of the ball.

ESPN’s Chad Ford wrote yesterday that NBA scouts will be keeping an eye on both McCamey and Richmond this season.

These kids can play.

As I noted in our Ohio State preview, the Illini and Buckeyes pose the biggest threat to the Spartans atop the league’s scrap heap, but McCamey’s experience at the point might give Illinois a slight advantage over an Ohio State squad that’s looking for a new ballhandler this season.

Bottom line: While this team — which is ranked No. 13 in the AP poll to start the season — promises to be quite strong, there is one lingering black mark: No one on the roster has experienced an NCAA Tournament victory yet.

So while this team could certainly find its way into the Sweet Sixteen (or beyond) come March, there’s no precedent for tournament success so far.

It may not matter when push comes to shove. But it’s something to keep note of as this team piles up victories during their 2010-11 campaign.

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  • Anonymous

    This just in… Bruce Weber is an a-hole.

  • HoosierOz

    Exactly my thoughts.

  • HoosierOz

    Exactly my thoughts.

  • Diesel

    Peegs on JMV saying Roth injury is not serious.

    Excellent work on the Fist video Ryan, one of my favorites…

    Azur does it again, I love how personalized it is and pumps me up!

    Let’s not overreact to last night, a lot of positives to take from it…any word on Verdell for Friday?

  • Irishbball3

    Real question isn’t if they have talent…..its if they have a coach who can take them to the next level.

  • Anonymous

    Classic video…. Gotta love a lesson about the fist.

  • Casey B.

    FACT: Every picture of Bruce Weber ever taken is absolutely god-awful. He either looks like a giant, red-faced baby, or like some sort of sad, hobo clown.

  • But the individual fingers on the hand … and the fist … and teamwork. Don’t you get it? Original stuff, brilliantly delivered.

  • Anonymous

    Everybody has a little bit of Bruce ” The Excuse ” Weber in them and everybody normally takes time at least once a day to close the door, sit down and attempt to get rid of at least part of him.

  • RainCityHoosier

    Maybe it’s anathema to say this, but living out here in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve kind of lost my extreme dislike for Purdue, which has been replaced by my very extreme distaste for anything associated with Illini b-ball. I mean, Painter is a good coach who – and let’s be honest here – does it the right way; the way Indiana fans like to see done with our program. I still want to beat the crap out of them, but I don’t hate them. Illinois though . . . well, ever since Lou Henson days they’ve been dirty, with that pipeline out of Chicago and all sorts of rumors. But while Henson may have been a buffoon (and a Godawful bench coach), Weber is just an absolute tool in every way. I disliked them a ton before the Gordon visit, but the crap Weber, his team and the Illini nation pulled that game was just the lowest most despicable thing I can recall seeing in collegiate team sports. So, my nomination for most hated rival of Indiana is definitely the Illini.

  • RainCityHoosier

    Maybe it’s anathema to say this, but living out here in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve kind of lost my extreme dislike for Purdue, which has been replaced by my very extreme distaste for anything associated with Illini b-ball. I mean, Painter is a good coach who – and let’s be honest here – does it the right way; the way Indiana fans like to see done with our program. I still want to beat the crap out of them, but I don’t hate them. Illinois though . . . well, ever since Lou Henson days they’ve been dirty, with that pipeline out of Chicago and all sorts of rumors. But while Henson may have been a buffoon (and a Godawful bench coach), Weber is just an absolute tool in every way. I disliked them a ton before the Gordon visit, but the crap Weber, his team and the Illini nation pulled that game was just the lowest most despicable thing I can recall seeing in collegiate team sports. So, my nomination for most hated rival of Indiana is definitely the Illini.

  • Anonymous

    Given the nature of the comments related to the Bruce Weber article, let’s try to refrain from name-calling and personal attacks per ITH’s comments policy. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    yeah, that speech really pumped me up:| Why is he such a turd?

  • Anonymous

    Sorry eph, I hadn’t read your post before the words appeared here. Would you believe it was a typo?? I actually thought his genetic lineage is Turqish…why is he such a “turq” is what i MEANT to ask.

  • Jack in Seattle

    My thoughts exactly. I was going to go to the Battle in Seattle for 2 reasons: (1) My wife is a Gonzaga alum and we follow them closely, and (2) I really dislike Bruce Webber and would be thrilled for a chance to root against them in person.

  • Anonymous

    Does it appear in that picture that Bruce has wet his pants?

  • PM

    Boy, he really sold that fist idea. That’s the best he could come up with for TV?

    Classic Bruce photo.

  • PM

    Boy, he really sold that fist idea. That’s the best he could come up with for TV?

    Classic Bruce photo.

  • Thanks for this, eph. Totally agree. Let’s steer clear on the name calling, even if it’s Bruce.

  • kentuckyhoosier

    Okay I wont call him names , but I do think its time we show him the INDIANA FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH

  • JerryCT

    IL is my pick to win the B10.

    If they do not it is because Weber failed to develop them into a team