Best of class?

With Quentin Snider in the fold, Illinois' Class of 2014 — which also includes Leron Black and Michael Finke — ranks as one of the school's best ever.

Rivals.com has unveiled team rankings since 2003, one year after Bill Self signed Dee Brown, Deron Williams, James Augustine and Aaron Spears, which was easily a Top 25 recruiting class. Since 2003, Illinois has cracked Rivals’ team rankings five times. Here’s how those classes stack up:

1. Class of 2011 (11th) — Call it the transfer class. Four of the six signees have left the program since April, with Nnanna Egwu and Tracy Abrams the lone holdovers.

2. Class of 2010 (13th) — Meyers Leonard, Jereme Richmond and Crandall Head would all be seniors this upcoming season. Let that sink in for a moment.

3. Class of 2009 (14th) — Brandon Paul, D.J. Richardson and Tyler Griffey all had signature moments during their careers, while Joseph Bertrand is the veteran now for John Groce.

4. Class of 2013 (18th) — Groce’s first recruiting class was bolstered by late additions of Austin Colbert and Kendrick Nunn, but holding on to Malcolm Hill was key.

5. Class of 2003 (19th) — Richard McBride, Brian Randle and Warren Carter didn’t become program-changing players like Bruce Weber envisioned, but all three played in a combined 368 games and were steady role players at times.

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