Top 10 Illini basketball players

One man's opinion after covering almost three decades of Illinois basketball.

Top Ten Basketball
One man's opinion after covering almost three decades of Illinois basketball.

1. Dee Brown, 2003-06

Small guard with a big heart, Proviso East High School (Maywood, Ill.) product led 2005 team to best year in school history. Named All-American and won three national awards. Stands third on Illini career scoring list.

2. Andy Phillip, ’47 AHS, 1942-47

The only two-time consensus All-American in program history, Granite City, Ill., native helped Illini win back-to-back Big Ten titles under Head Coach Doug Mills. Had a long NBA career, playing in the Finals three times.

3. Deon Thomas, 1991-94

The Illini’s career scoring leader, who prepped at Chicago Simeon, stands third all-time in blocked shots and fourth in rebounds. Three-time team MVP had a long pro career overseas before returning to the U.S. to coach.

4. Eddie Johnson, 1978-81

The school’s career scoring leader before Thomas came along, he still stands seventh. Sweet shooter, who beat Magic Johnson and Michigan State in 1979, spent 17 years in the NBA.

5. Deron Williams, 2003-05

One of the leaders of the 2005 NCAA runners-up, the point guard from Dallas went from Illinois to a starring role in the NBA.

6. Kiwane Garris, ’13 LAS, 1994-97

No. 2 all-time in scoring behind Thomas, Chicago Westinghouse High School product stands fifth in assists and seventh in steals.

7. Bruce Douglas, ’01 LAS, 1983-86

Point guard from Quincy, Ill., could score. He holds 26th spot on Illini points list. But he made his mark with defense and passing. He is the school’s career leader in steals and assists. A four-year starter, Douglas helped the Illini reach four consecutive NCAA tournaments.

8. Nick Weatherspoon, ATTENDEE, 1971-73

The Canton, Ohio, native had two of the highest-scoring seasons in program history, averaging better than 20 twice. A force on the glass, his 11.3 rebounds-per-game is a school record.

9. Nick Anderson, 1988-89

Chicago Simeon High School product starred for the Flyin’ Illini, averaging 18 points his junior season. He entered the draft early and was No. 11 pick by the Magic in 1989.

10. Brian Cook, ’06 AHS, 2000-03

Lincoln, Ill., native is fourth on the school’s career scoring chart. He also ranks in the Top 10 in rebounds and blocked shots.