Tupper's Greatest Illini

#4
Dave Downey Honorable mention
Johnny Kerr Honorable mention

I saw both of them play. You are so.. so wrong

These two guys should be at the top of the list without a close second. So wrong!

Remember Downey..but don't remember Kerr playing...They were good...the game is so different today than it was in the 50's and 60's....to me Kenny Battle was the best I've seen...just because I think he got the most out of his talent....really tough to select just one
 
#5
Ordained Dudeist Priest
Johns Creek, GA
Tupper's aligned to the most recent era of success, and I tend to be as well, but a couple of these are head-scratchers to me. I loved Brian Cook but I think he's too high at 7, probably an HM. Dee also seems too high at #1 (I'd put Nick up there and then move Spoon and Dee each down a slot). I see the arguments for Battle, and there was a day where I would have made one for Gill being in the top 3. Lots of really well rounded players over the years that could take over a game.

Mannie Jackson's omission is glaring too.
 
#6
Dave Downey Honorable mention
Johnny Kerr Honorable mention

I saw both of them play. You are so.. so wrong

These two guys should be at the top of the list without a close second. So wrong!

I put a # "40" with Magic Marker on a t-shirt when I was a kid to be Dave Downey.

I agree.
 
#7
Tupper's aligned to the most recent era of success, and I tend to be as well, but a couple of these are head-scratchers to me. I loved Brian Cook but I think he's too high at 7, probably an HM. Dee also seems too high at #1 (I'd put Nick up there and then move Spoon and Dee each down a slot). I see the arguments for Battle, and there was a day where I would have made one for Gill being in the top 3. Lots of really well rounded players over the years that could take over a game.

Mannie Jackson's omission is glaring too.

The list would be different depending on what the creator of the list values more. Personally, I think Dee does deserve to be number one given his Illini career. Dee led the Illini to two straight outright B1G championships, to their best season in history, to the championship game, won B1G POY, TSN POY, and was not only the face of Illini basketball, but the face of college basketball. No Illini ever accomplished so much.

People can argue that Nick Anderson was a much better NBA player but this is a list of best Illini players, and Dee gave the Illini, not only 2 but 4 of their best years. No player IMO exemplified Illini basketball as much as Dee, despite not being the best basketball player the Illini ever produced.

Mannie Jackson is one of the greatest Illini ever, for his contributions to basketball, landed him in the HOF, for things that he did long past his Illini career. But he definitely does not belong on the list for his contributions as an Illini player.

Just to put things in perspective, since the B1G POY award was instituted in 1985, only 3 Illini players have ever won it: Frank Williams, Brian Cook, and Dee Brown. Given that Brian Cook gave the Illini 4 years, and won the B1G championship also twice (tied), I think he also deserves the honor (7th on the list).

I personally believe Frank Williams may be low given that he was the first B1G POY in Illini history, but I am probably biased as he was my favorite player to watch, but Dee and others deserve to be higher on the list based on team accomplishments as Illini players.
 
#8
Derek Harper is getting his jersey retired by the Dallas Mavericks in 2 weeks and he is only honorable mention? Andy Phillips is a HOFer and he is honorable mention? Kiwane Garris & Brian Cook were good players but not better than the first two.
 
#9
Dave Downey Honorable mention
Johnny Kerr Honorable mention

I saw both of them play. You are so.. so wrong

These two guys should be at the top of the list without a close second. So wrong!

For so many youngsters, Illini basketball didn't exist before the Flyin' Illini.
 
#13
Just based off numbers Malcom Hill HAS to at least be an honorable mention. It's unfortunate he didn't have more help around him.
 
#14
CU Expat
Chicago
Just based off numbers Malcom Hill HAS to at least be an honorable mention. It's unfortunate he didn't have more help around him.

Playing on a good team was clearly a prerequisite for this list. Malcolm never made an NCAA tournament or finished higher than 7th in the B1G. Certainly not his fault, but those are the facts.
 
#15
Stylin' and Profilin'
That has to be the only picture anywhere of Kenny Battle scoring on Bardo.
 
#16
Peoria, IL
I voted for Nick Anderson. He could do anything. And that game winner at the other Assembly Hall against Indiana, was the cherry on the top!
 
#18
Omaha, Nebraska
Born in 82, started following the Illini on 90, I have Deon Thomas and Frank Williams really high on my list.
 
#21
Eddie Johnson and Derek Harper should both be top 10.

If Harper is and I think he is. Bruce and big E both should be as well. I guess we all have our picks, but Garris and Deon are both way low if you ask me
 
#22
Planet Earth, when not battling Ming the Merciless
Current standings:

Dee Brown - 235
Nick Anderson - 146
Deron Williams - 83
Deon Thomas - 53
Kendall Gill - 49
Nick Weatherspoon - 41
Kenny Battle - 33
Eddie Johnson - 22
Derek Harper - 21
Frank Williams - 20
Andy Phillip - 20
Red Kerr - 17
Dave Downey - 17
Bruce Douglas - 13
Kiwane Garris - 9
Brian Cook - 8
Don Freeman - 7
Ken Norman - 1
Dave Scholz - 1
 
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#23
I voted for Brian Cook. I know I am in the minority, based on the standing.

But he is my all time favorite player. I think he underrated. Especially with all of his accomplishments as an Illini, and was a 1st round NBA pick.