The women’s Illinois basketball team is getting no love in the latest AP Top 25 poll.
This past Tuesday, the Illini started the 2023-24 campaign on the right foot. We beat Morehead State by 20 points without our top player in Makira Cook. Genesis Bryant ended up going off for 32 points, and she was a superstar.
But, on Saturday, Illinois faced a much tougher matchup. We went on the road to take on a Marquette team that made the NCAA tournament this past March. The Illini fought hard, but we ended up losing by four points to the Golden Eagles.
Once again, this was without our top player in Cook. Still, Illinois was close to knocking off Marquette all things considered. That didn’t matter to the AP Top 25 voters, though. On Monday, the newest polls were released and the No. 23 ranked Illini found ourselves on the outside looking in. We didn’t just drop out of the top 25, though. Illinois is only receiving one vote to be ranked in the AP Top 25 poll.
Illinois basketball continues to get no love from the AP Top 25 voters
I fully expected Illinois to drop out of the AP Top 25. A loss is going to do that when you are ranked No. 23 in the country. But I didn’t expect to drop that far.
Illinois only receiving one top 25 vote is pretty harsh. It is not like we lost to a below-average team that had no business competing with us. Marquette is a good program that won over 20 games last season. And to not take into account the fact we were missing Cook is a bit of an injustice.
On Wednesday, the Illini have a nice get-right game against a St. Peter’s team that went 0-30 last season. This should be another victory and one that will help us develop chemistry and cohesion with the program. This game leads into a matchup against No. 16 Notre Dame on Saturday.
As for a timeline on Cook’s injury, there haven’t been any mentions of what is going on or when she will be back. But let me tell you, Illinois needs her back on the court and quickly. Her absence is prevalent.