1960–61 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team

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1960-61 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball
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Conference Big Ten Conference
Ranking
Coaches #Not Ranked
AP #Not Ranked
1960-61 record 9-15 (5-9 Big Ten)
Head coach Harry Combes
Assistant coach Howie Braun
Assistant coach Jim Wright
MVP Dave Downey
Captain Selected each game
Home arena Huff Hall
Seasons
« 1959–60 1961–62 »
1960–61 Big Ten Conference men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
#1 Ohio State 14 0   1.000     27 1   .964
#7 Iowa 10 4   .714     18 6   .750
Purdue 10 4   .714     16 7   .696
Indiana 8 6   .571     15 9   .625
Minnesota 8 6   .571     10 13   .435
Northwestern 6 8   .429     10 12   .455
Illinois 5 9   .357     9 15   .375
Wisconsin 4 10   .286     7 17   .292
Michigan State 3 11   .214     7 17   .292
Michigan 2 12   .143     6 18   .250
Rankings from http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/conferences/big-ten/1961.html

The 1960–61 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team represented the University of Illinois.

Regular season

Head coach Harry Combes experienced the worst record of his 20 years at the University of Illinois. His Fighting Illini basketball team, for the second year in a row, played in a mid-season tournament. The tournament they would compete in would be the Kentucky Invitational Tournament held at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky December 21–22.

The 1960-61 team utilized several returning lettermen including the leading scorer and team "MVP" Dave Downey. It also saw the return of Jerry Colangelo, John Wessels, Bill Burwell, Bill Small, as well as Doug Mills. The Illini also added sophomore Bob Starnes to their lineup. The Illini finished the season with a conference record of 5 wins and 9 losses, finishing 7th in the Big Ten. They would finish with an overall record of 9 wins and 15 losses. The starting lineup included Bill Burwell at the center position, Bill Small and Jerry Colangelo at guard and Dave Downey and John Wessels at the forward slots.[1]

Roster

No. Player Position Height Weight Class Hometown High School
10 John Wessels Center 6-7 210 Senior Rockford, Illinois Rockford West High School
20 Jerry Renner Forward 6-1 180 Sophomore Aurora, Illinois East Aurora High School
21 Sam Leeper Guard 6-0 165 Junior Tolono, Illinois Unity High School
22 Jay Lovelace Guard 6-2 165 Sophomore Carbondale, Illinois Carbondale Community High School
23 Jerry Colangelo Guard 6-2 175 Junior Chicago Heights, Illinois Bloom High School
25 Bill Burwell Center 6-8 243 Sophomore Brooklyn, New York Boys High School
30 Jeff Ferguson Guard 6-3 180 Sophomore Benton, Illinois Benton Consolidated High School
31 Doug Mills Guard 6-0 165 Junior Galesburg, Illinois Galesburg High School
33 James Knoefel Forward 6-4 180 Sophomore Valparaiso, Indiana Valparaiso High School
34 Gary McClung Forward 6-4 185 Sophomore Maroa, Illinois Maroa-Forsyth High School
40 Dave Downey Forward 6-4 200 Sophomore Canton, Illinois Canton High School
41 Jerry Curless Guard 6-0 160 Junior Table Grove, Illinois VIT High School
42 Ed Searcy Forward 6-5 185 Junior Indianapolis, Indiana Attucks High School
44 Bob Starnes Forward 6-4 180 Sophomore Chicago, Illinois Gage Park High School
51 Bill Mohlenbrock Guard 6-3 178 Senior Murphysboro, Illinois Murphysboro High School
53 Bill Small Guard 6-2 185 Sophomore Aurora, Illinois West Aurora High School

Schedule

Source[3]

Date
Time, TV
Rank# Opponent# Result Record Site (Attendance)
City, State
12/1/1960*
no, no
#NR vs. Creighton W 99-74  1-0
Huff Hall (6,708)
Champaign, IL
12/6/1960*
no, no
#NR vs. Butler W 84-52  2-0
Huff Hall (6,689)
Champaign, IL
12/12/1960*
no, no
#NR @ Colorado L 81-90  2-1
Balch Fieldhouse (4,100)
Boulder, CO
12/17/1960*
no, no
#NR @ Marquette L 88-96  2-2
Marquette Gymnasium (8,440)
Milwaukee, WI
12/19/1960*
no, no
#NR vs. Washington State W 79-58  3-2
Huff Hall (3,507)
Champaign, IL
12/21/1960*
no, no
#NR @ Kentucky
Kentucky Invitational Tournament
L 78-83  3-3
Memorial Coliseum (7,500)
Lexington, KY
12/22/1960*
no, no
#NR vs. California
Kentucky Invitational Tournament
L 54-72  3-4
Memorial Coliseum (8,000)
Lexington, KY
12/27/1960*
no, no
#NR @ Butler L 68-70  3-5
Hinkle Fieldhouse (6,100)
Indianapolis, IN
12/28/1960*
no, no
#NR vs. Notre Dame L 66-69  3-6
Hinkle Fieldhouse (6,591)
Indianapolis, IN
1/7/1961
no, no
#NR @ Ohio State (#1) L 65-91  3-7 (0-1)
St. John Arena (13,408)
Columbus, OH
1/14/1961
no, no
#NR vs. Michigan W 88-64  4-7 (1-1)
Huff Hall (6,705)
Champaign, IL
1/16/1961
no, no
#NR @ Iowa (#6) L 71-78  4-8 (1-2)
Iowa Field House (12,700)
Iowa City, IA
1/28/1961*
no, no
#NR vs. Notre Dame W 77-62  5-8
Chicago Stadium (11,800)
Chicago, IL
1/30/1961
no, no
#NR vs. Michigan State W 93-92  6-8 (2-2)
Huff Hall (3,132)
Champaign, IL
2/4/1961
no, no
#NR @ Minnesota W 65-60  7-8 (3-2)
Williams Arena (12,001)
Minneapolis, MN
2/6/1961
no, no
#NR vs. Wisconsin W 77-73  8-8 (4-2)
Huff Hall (6,775)
Champaign, IL
2/11/1961
no, no
#NR @ Purdue L 73-89  8-9 (4-3)
Lambert Fieldhouse (10,000)
West Lafayette, IN
2/18/1961
no, no
#NR vs. Northwestern L 72-78  8-10 (4-4)
Huff Hall (6,569)
Champaign, IL
2/20/1961
no, no
#NR @ Michigan State L 80-90  8-11 (4-5)
Jenison Fieldhouse (4,185)
East Lansing, MI
2/25/1961
no, no
#NR @ Indiana L 82-93  8-12 (4-6)
Gladstein Fieldhouse (600)
Bloomington, IN
2/27/1961
no, no
#NR vs. Minnesota L 76-85  8-13 (4-7)
Huff Hall (6,569)
Champaign, IL
3/4/1961
no, no
#NR vs. Purdue W 85-75  9-13 (5-7)
Huff Hall (6,891)
Champaign, IL
3/6/1961
no, no
#NR @ Michigan L 66-74  9-14 (5-8)
Yost Ice Arena (2,000)
Ann Arbor, MI
3/11/1961
no, no
#NR vs. Ohio State (#1) L 66–95  9-15 (5-9)
Huff Hall (6,912)
Champaign, IL
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. (#) Tournament seedings in parentheses.
All times are in Central Time.

Player stats

Player Games Played Field Goals Free Throws Rebounds Points
Dave Downey 24 157 88 267 402
Jerry Colangelo 24 128 71 94 327
John Wessels 24 119 83 217 321
Bill Burwell 24 117 57 207 291
Bill Small 22 73 42 56 188
Bob Starnes 24 29 25 61 83
Doug Mills 21 26 20 15 72
Ed Searcy 13 23 12 62 58
Jerry Curless 22 17 13 38 47
Jerry Renner 19 11 2 22 24
Jeff Ferguson 11 2 5 4 9
Jay Lovelace 7 2 2 2 6
Sam Leeper 7 1 2 5 2
Bill Mohlenbrock 2 0 0 1 0
Butch Jones 1 0 0 1 0

[4]

Awards and honors

Team players drafted into the NBA

Player NBA Club Round Pick
John Wessels Chicago Packers 8 8

[6]

Rankings

References