Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Basketball: Fighting Illini Unranked In AP Top 25 Preseason Poll

Today, the Associated Press announced their Preseason Top 25 Poll and, to some surprise, the Illinois Fighting Illini did not make the cut. During John Groce’s first season as head coach, the Illini went 23-13 and made it to the Third Round of the NCAA National Tournament.

Unlike the USA Today Preseason Poll, Illinois did not receive any votes in the AP Top 25 Preseason Poll.

Four other Big Ten schools were named to the preseason poll: the #2 Michigan State Spartans (22 first-place votes), #7 Michigan Wolverines, #11 Ohio State Buckeyes, #20 Wisconsin Badgers.

The two other Big Ten team to be outside the Top 25 and receive votes are the Indiana Hoosiers (111 votes) and Iowa Hawkeyes (83 votes).

When it comes to the Illini’s nonconference schedule, they only have one team scheduled from the AP Preseason Top 25. The Oregon Ducks are ranked at No. 19 in the poll and will host the Illini on December 14th.

Head coach John Groce will be looking to build off of his success from last season in year two with the Fighting Illini. The biggest loss from last year will be guard Brandon Paul, but the Illini have made some noticeable additions.

Illinois gained five new freshman in Jaylon Tate, Malcolm Hill, Maverick Morgan, Kendrick Nunn, and Austin Colbert. They also added senior forward Jon Ekey and redshirt junior guard Rayvonte Rice.

The top five teams to make the preseason poll are the Kentucky Wildcats (27 first-place votes), Michigan State Spartans (22 first-place votes), Louisville Cardinals (14 first-place votes), Duke Blue Devils (2 first-place votes), and Kansas Jayhawks.

Click here to see the full AP Preseason Top 25.

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Tags: AP Top 25 Basketball Illinois Fighting Illini

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