The 2000s Illini Basketball Draft

#3      
Thought it was pretty funny that when Groce got picked they said the one thing with him unlike the other 3 coaches is he's actually a nice guy lmao
 
#6      

InDaAZ

Eugene, Oregon
The fact Egwu wasn’t drafted makes me sad. I think Hawkins clearly has more upside but he’s such an underrated player.
Hard to not love the guy and he was really good defensively, but his offense just never got there. He has had several stints in the G-League and is playing in Japan now I believe.
Let’s all keep our eyes out for where Mr. Egwu next pokes up… 👀
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/pro-...-out-of-its-socket_n_588b5b96e4b0303c07531802
“…something, something, hand-eye coordination…”
 
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#7      
Although I would never bet against Deron, I think I'd take Piper's team (if anyone is curious, you can see the full draft sheet around the 23 minute mark). HRF with Kofi seems insane.
 
#8      
No Brian Randle? He probably would have been the best defensive wing and the third best coach drafted.
 
#9      
Biggest omission for me was Arch. Especially since lack of big man depth was brought up multiple times. The only NBA player not to have been drafted I believe.
 
#10      
With the first pick Chief Gritty selects Chris Hicks
I remember playing at IMPE with him like my first couple weeks on campus thinking “hey, he’s pretty good.” And like the next week he was on the team.

Nothing beats the summer middle court runs at CRCE tho. Chester, Calvin Brock, Rodney Alexander, Jeff Jordan, Bill Cole, Tisdale. Regular dudes who could just hoop. Best games I’ve played in my life.
 
#11      
I remember playing at IMPE with him like my first couple weeks on campus thinking “hey, he’s pretty good.” And like the next week he was on the team.

Nothing beats the summer middle court runs at CRCE tho. Chester, Calvin Brock, Rodney Alexander, Jeff Jordan, Bill Cole, Tisdale. Regular dudes who could just hoop. Best games I’ve played in my life.
I remember playing at IMPE with him and summarily being sent back to the lesser courts where I belonged. CRCE better still.
 
#12      
Although I would never bet against Deron, I think I'd take Piper's team (if anyone is curious, you can see the full draft sheet around the 23 minute mark). HRF with Kofi seems insane.
Deron was all pro. Another level the rest of our guys never got to. His team is gonna win.
 
#13      
I remember playing at IMPE with him and summarily being sent back to the lesser courts where I belonged. CRCE better still.
Way back machine for me talking about IMPE. Played Shelly Clarke he was a beast. We almost beat his team but he couldn't keep track of the score and would get mad. So to avoid a fight everyone just changed the score to whatever he wanted.

Also played with Tyrone Washington, he literally tackled a guy going up for a dunk hit him in the midsection and floored him.

Saw (didn't play in this one) Brooks Taylor came behind a guy rebounding a ball over his head. Taylor jumped up from behind the guy took the ball out of his hands and dunked it on him.

I probably spent too much time at IMPE. And probably name drop too much.
 
#14      
negative post about an Illini mentioned here. Not needed. I got rid of it.
 
#15      
Entertaining exercise. Picking Jereme Richmond was terrible; the guy was a meager producer in his one year, and obviously turned into one of the biggest cancers of all-time. I also can’t believe Malcolm Hill didn’t go until the sixth round - he was our leading scorer three consecutive years, and is third on the Illini all-time scoring list.
 
#16      
Entertaining exercise. Picking Jereme Richmond was terrible; the guy was a meager producer in his one year, and obviously turned into one of the biggest cancers of all-time. I also can’t believe Malcolm Hill didn’t go until the sixth round - he was our leading scorer three consecutive years, and is third on the Illini all-time scoring list.
Obviously with Jereme and Kendrick it didn’t end how we wanted, but for a basketball prospective I get them both getting picked.

Handling Kendrick like he did probably cost Groce his job. Lot of coaches would not have had been as strict.

Bruce gave Luther a second chance thankfully.
 
#17      
I think some of this depends on how much you weight their time in college vs. their time going pro. That said, I would've made the following different selections if I were drafting:

Should have been picked:
1. Robert Archibald- In my opinion, he should've been a 2nd or 3rd round pick as he's pretty much the only big who would have a chance holding his own against Kofi. Also he's a highly underrated big.
2. Brian Randle- There's more competition for his position so I would've taken him in the later rounds but he's definitely worth picking in my opinion
3. Jamar Smith- If we're talking purely based on talent and ignoring off-court activities, he's probably the best jumpshooter we've had, even better than Cory Bradford (I know, sacrilege) and likely should be taken in the middle rounds. If we include off-court activities, I'd consider taking a flyer on him with a 7th round pick
4. Chester Frazier- Heart and soul of the team. While he wouldn't add much offensively, he's a lockdown defender who would neutralize whoever he's playing against. Solid 7th round pick
5. DJ Richardson- Solid all-around player, good jumpshooter. Decent late round pick

Should additionally have been picked if the refs from 2000 called the game:
1. Lucas Johnson- Yeah, he'll pick up 4 fouls in 5-7 minutes of play, but he'll pick up at least 4 50/50 balls, make your guys will pick up 7 fouls with multiple technicals, and get so far in other team's skulls their team just implodes.
2. Nnanna Egwu- Let them elbows fly, son.

I would not have picked:
1. Jereme Richmond- No, just no. Only added negative value to the program. In fact, I think it could be argued he was the worst ever Illini basketball player.
2. Matthew Mayer- Hasn't played for the program yet, but could play himself onto the list
3. Terrence Shannon Jr- Hasn't played for the program yet, but could play himself onto the list
4. Coleman Hawkins- Has potential, but needs to show it consistently
5. Leron Black- He's borderline for me. I have him falling just short, but I know that others were higher on him
 
#18      
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And of note...they did snake style so Kofi was first Pick of round 2 (5th pick); Bradford first pick of round 3, Rayvonte first pick of round 4 & so on
 
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#19      
Deron was all pro. Another level the rest of our guys never got to. His team is gonna win.

I agree Deron was is in that handful of all time greats, but he was an all time great on a VERY talented team. I'm picking based on college career, primarily their pinnacle season (Luther for example took all 4 years to reach that next level player). Deron, HRF and Kofi were 'All Insane Level' team (I just made that up). The only other guy in that top tier that stands out to me as a guy who would take over games at that level is Ayo, but he's not on Deron's team.

Wouldn't bet against him, but gun to my head, I'm sticking with Derek's team.

Side note: not a fan of including guys who haven't played a game in the uniform. Obviously those are proven players, but I'd prefer if this was limited to guys who'd played for Illinois.