The staff of Writing Illini takes a look at the USA Today Preseason Top 25. Five Big Ten teams made the Top 25, but the Illini were not one of them. Illinois is just on the outside of the rankings as they received two votes in the poll.
Because of this, the guys beg to ask the question: Should the Illini have made the Preseason Top 25?
Ricky: Yes, Illinois should have made the Preseason Top 25 even if it was #25. Just looking at what coach Groce was able to do last season with a team that looked mediocre before his arrival. He brought a team that no one would have bet on to the national tournament. Now, I know they have had a major roster turnover, but they are still a good basketball team. John Groce will have his boys playing at a high level this year. It can only go up from here.
Austin: The Illini, while I love them, are far too young to be in the top 25 right now. That said, the potential is there and the talent is there. It is a long season and they already got a couple votes in the coaches poll. Let’s see what Groce can do this season, as I fully expect the Illini to be ranked by seasons end.
Ryan: At this point, I don’t think there is any way that the Illini should be in the preseason top 25. Simply put, they have had too much roster turnover to justify any type of preseason accolade. They have a tall challenge ahead of them to earn a top 25 ranking, but Coach Groce will undoubtedly push these young Illini through their steep learning curve and get as much out of them as he can. The question is, will it be enough for an eventual appearance in the top 25 at some point this season?
What do you think, Illini Nation? Should the Illini be in the Top 25 to begin the season?
The Writing Illini staff includes lead editor Ricky Widmer, co-editor Ryan Kraemer, and staff writer, Austin Jabs.
Follow Ricky on Twitter @RickyWidmer.
Follow Austin on Twitter @AustinJabs85.
Follow Ryan on Twitter @RPKraemer.