All-Century Team

All-Century Team

The 20 players selected as the best in 100 years of Illini basketball:

Ray Woods


He was named the national player of the year by the Helms Foundation, which also bestowed three-time All-America status on him. He helped the 1915 team finish 16-0 and earn the Helms Foundation''s national championship.

Chuck Carney


The Helms Foundation''s national player of the year in 1922, Carney set the Western Conference scoring record that stood for 22 years. He was a first-team All-American in 1920 and ''22. A consensus All-American end for Bob Zuppke''s football team, he was inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1966.

Andy Phillip

(1942-43, 1947)

A member of the notorious Whiz Kids, Phillip is the only Illini to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was a first-team All-American in 1942, ''43 and ''47. He was the Big Ten''s most valuable player in 1943.

Gene Vance

(1942-43, 1947)

Another Whiz Kid, Vance was a three-time honorable mention All-American. He twice was named to the Big Ten''s first team, and helped the Illini to a 12-0 record and Big Ten title in 1943.

Dike Eddleman (1947-49)

A three-sport standout at Illinois, Eddleman helped the 1949 team to the Final Four. He was a second-team All-American in 1948 and a first-teamer in ''49. He played in the Rose Bowl for the Illini football team and tied for second in the high jump at the 1948 Olympics.

John "Red" Kerr (1952-54)

Averaged 25.4 points in 1954, when he was a second-team All-American. Best known these days as a television announcer for the Chicago Bulls, Kerr finished his career as the school''s leading scorer with 1,299 points.

Dave Downey


Downey was a second-team All-Big Ten pick in 1961 and ''62 and a first-teamer in 1963, when he also garnered first team All-America honors. A three-time team MVP, Downey set the school single-game scoring mark with 53 points Feb. 16, 1963, at Indiana.

Duane "Skip" Thoren (1963-65)

A fierce rebounder, Thoren owns the top two spots on the school rebounding lists for season average at 14.5 and 13.8. He was a first-team All-American in 1965 and honorable mention in 1964. Averaged 20.3 points as a junior and 22.2 as a senior.

Don Freeman (1964-66)

Though he''s now 11th, Freeman finished his career as the school''s scoring leader with 1,449 points. He was a first-team All-American in 1966 after establishing a school record for points in a season with 668.

Nick Weatherspoon (1971-73)

Another who finished his career as the school''s scoring leader (1,481 points), Weatherspoon''s 20.9 career scoring and 11.4 rebounding averages are the best in Illinois history. He was a first-team All-American in 1973, when he averaged 25 points. He was a first-round NBA draft pick by the Washington Bullets.

Eddie Johnson (1978-81)

Known for his winning shot against Magic Johnson and No. 1 Michigan State in 1979, Johnson was the school''s leading scorer (1,692) upon his departure. The first-team All-Big Ten player in 1981 went on to a long NBA career.

Derek Harper (1981-83)

The first draft pick in Dallas Mavericks history in 1983, Harper was a second-team All-American in his final college season. He ranks sixth on the Illini career assists list (419) and fifth in steals (178).

Bruce Douglas (1983-86)

The UPI Big Ten co-player of the year in 1984, Douglas helped the Illini to a share of the conference title. He was the league''s defensive player of the year in 1985 and ''86, and he finished as the conference leader in career assists (765) and steals (324).

Ken Norman


A two-time All-Big Ten first-teamer, Norman was a consensus second-team All-American in 1987 and a first-round draft pick by the Los Angeles Clippers. He owns the single-season (64 percent) and career (61 percent) field goal percentage marks at Illinois.

Kenny Battle


In two seasons at Illinois after a transfer from Northern Illinois, he is third on the career shooting list at 59.1 percent, which included many spectacular dunks as part of the Flyin'' Illini. Lou Henson created the "Kenny Battle Award" to annually honor a player who provides hustle and hard work. First-round draft pick by the Detroit Pistons in ''89.

Nick Anderson (1988-89)

The first draftee by the Orlando Magic (1989), he averaged 18 points and 7.9 rebounds to help the Flyin'' Illini to the 1989 Final Four. Made perhaps the most famous shot in UI history, a 35-footer at the horn to beat No. 3 Indiana in ''89.

Kendall Gill


Another member of the 1989 Final Four team, Gill led the Big Ten in scoring at 20.0 points a game and picked up first-team All-America honors. He was a first-round draft pick of the Charlotte Hornets and retired earlier this month.

Deon Thomas (1991-94)

Now playing professionally in Israel, Thomas is Illinois'' all-time leading scorer (2,129 points) and is second in rebounds (846). A three-time second-team All-Big Ten pick, Thomas holds school records for career field goals (803), career blocked shots (177) and free throws in a game (19).

Frank Williams (2000-02)

The Peorian made his mark as a smooth point guard, earning first-team All-America status in 2001. He was the Big Ten player of the year that season, helping Illinois to a share of the Big Ten title. Now playing for the Chicago Bulls.

Brian Cook


The 2003 Big Ten player of the year, the Lincoln native and current Los Angeles Laker was a third-team All-American in his final UI season. Finished third on the career scoring list (1,748) and fifth in rebounding (815). He also established the UI single-season free throw mark in 2002 by making 96 of 110 for 87.3 percent.