Team preview: Illinois

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 20, 2004, 5:02 PM ET
Blue Ribbon Yearbook
Editor's Note: Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, long known as the Bible of college basketball, to provide a comprehensive look at all 326 Division I teams.


Bruce Weber had all the requisite training -- 19 seasons as Gene Keady's assistant, followed by a five-year head coaching stint at Southern Illinois, where he racked up 103 wins and two Missouri Valley Conference titles.

Despite that resume, however, Illini fans were under-whelmed after the 2002-03 season when their school hired Weber to succeed Kansas-bound Bill Self. The doubters grew more vocal after Illinois dropped non-conference games to North Carolina and Providence and clumsily opened Big Ten play at 3-3.

Second-guessing bordered on absurdity at times, as the Self-delusional populace questioned everything from Weber's wardrobe to his installation of the motion offense.