Best Illini All-Time Starting Lineup

This. Players just keep getting stronger, faster, and more practiced.

After watching that Flying Illini v. Mizzou game that someone posted, I was shocked at how soft the defense was. There were a lot of steals, but not much of the physical, stifling defense that you see all the time in the Big Ten today.

If this 'All-Time Illini' team thing is about selecting the best players relative to their era, then some of the old-timey guys like Red Kerr should be in the discussion. But if it is about who you would take for a fantasy team to compete against each other (i.e. Red Kerr going head to head with Meyers Leonard), then the more recent players get the edge, because they're generally faster, quicker, and stronger, generally better ball-handlers, and better defenders.

If you are going to make that argument, then you have to give the "old timers" the benefit of the doubt that if they had the same training such as weights, trainers, exposure to the best in high school (AAU) then they would adapt. IOW their relative talent v their peers would still hold v later generations.

Also, although many guys today are flashier, older players were generally more fundamentally sound. For example, they used to actually box out for rebounds :D
 
Like I said, my selection is not based on their Illini career. That was a different era, different game. In todays game, Meyers would destroy him.

It is a different game. Called differently as well. Much more physical today, much more free flowing 50 yrs ago.

Transport Dave Downey or Skip Thoren into todays game and they would get the hell beat out of them and likely never get a shot off.

Transport Kendrick Nunn or Malcolm Hill into 1965 and they'd foul out in 5 minutes.