1965–66 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team

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1965–66 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball
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Conference Big Ten Conference
Ranking
Coaches #Not Ranked
AP #Not Ranked
1965–66 record 12–12 (8–6 Big Ten)
Head coach Harry Combes
Assistant coach Howie Braun
Assistant coach Jim Wright
MVP Don Freeman
Captain Don Freeman
Home arena Assembly Hall
Seasons
« 1964–65 1966–67 »
1965–66 Big Ten Conference men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
#9 Michigan 11 3   .786     18 8   .692
Michigan State 10 4   .714     15 7   .682
Iowa 8 6   .571     17 7   .708
Illinois 8 6   .571     12 12   .500
Minnesota 7 7   .500     14 10   .583
Northwestern 7 7   .500     12 12   .500
Wisconsin 6 8   .429     11 13   .458
Ohio State 5 9   .357     11 13   .458
Indiana 4 10   .286     8 16   .333
Purdue 4 10   .286     8 16   .333
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1965–66 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team represented the University of Illinois.

Regular season

Harry Combes entered his 19th season as the head coach of the Fighting Illini. The program was heading in a positive direction with six up-and-coming sophomores joining a varsity team that already included five juniors and five seniors. This balance was demonstrated within the starting lineup which included a rotation of two sophomores, two juniors and two seniors. The starters included, Don Freeman and Rich Jones as forwards, Preston Pearson and Bob Brown as guards, and Ron Dunlap at center.

It was during this season that Freeman would mark his place in Illini history by setting a record for most points in a season (668), while averaging 27.8 points per game. When he finished at Illinois, he had totaled 1449 points and averaged 20.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game over his three varsity seasons. This offensive output led to Freeman being named a 1st-team All-American by the Helms Foundation, a 2nd-team All-American by Converse and Basketball News, and honorable mention with UPI,

Team

No. Player Hometown High School Class Position
10 John Prescott Lake Forest, Illinois Lake Forest High School So. Forward
11 Benny Louis Pinckneyville, Illinois Pinckneyville Community High School So. Guard
12 Greg Wright Glenwood, Illinois Homewood-Flossmoor High School So. Guard
14 Jerry Mettille Morris, Illinois Morris Community High School Jr. Guard/Forward
15 Don Freeman Madison, Illinois Madison High School Sr. Forward
20 Rich Crusius Bloomington, Illinois Bloomington High School So. Forward
21 Bob Johansen Geneva, Illinois Geneva High School Jr. Forward
24 Jim Dawson Elmhurst, Illinois York High School Jr. Guard
25 Preston Pearson Freeport, Illinois Freeport High School Jr. Guard
30 Deon Flessner Fithian, Illinois St. Joseph-Ogden High School Jr. Forward
33 Rich Jones Memphis, Tennessee Lester High School So. Forward
35 Ron Dunlap Chicago, Illinois Farragut Academy So. Center
40 Bob Brown West Frankfort, Illinois West Frankfort High School Sr. Forward/Guard
43 Larry Hinton Shelbyville, Illinois Shelbyville High School Sr. Guard
44 Mike Graville Madison, Illinois Madison High School Sr. Guard
54 Dan Lee Attica, Indiana Attica High School Sr. Guard

Schedule

Source[2]

Date
Time, TV
Opponent Result Record Site (Attendance)
City, State
12/1/1965*
no, no
vs.Butler W 88-74  1-0
Assembly Hall (9,167)
Champaign, IL
12/3/1965*
no, no
@ BYU L 98-109  1-1
Marriott Center (11,488)
Provo, Utah
12/4/1965*
no, no
@ #1 UCLA L 79-97  1-2
Pauley Pavilion (12,365)
Los Angeles, CA
12/8/1965*
no, no
vs. Kentucky L 68-86  1-3
Assembly Hall (7,966)
Champaign, IL
12/11/1965*
no, no
vs. West Virginia W 96-86  2-3
Assembly Hall (6,251)
Champaign, IL
12/14/1965
no, no
@ Wisconsin W 90-70  3-3 (1-0)
Wisconsin Field House (8,206)
Madison, WI
12/18/1965*
no, no
vs. Princeton L 81-84  3-4
Chicago Stadium (6,038)
Chicago, IL
12/27/1965*
no, no
vs. Georgetown
ECAC Holiday Festival
W 96-94  4-4
Madison Square Garden (8,757)
New York, NY
12/28/1965*
no, no
vs. #10 Providence
ECAC Holiday Festival
L 79-81  4-5
Madison Square Garden (12,239)
New York, NY
12/30/1965*
no, no
vs. Army
ECAC Holiday Festival
L 69-78  4-6
Madison Square Garden (18,499)
New York, NY
1/8/1966
no, no
@ Indiana W 98-84  5-6 (2-0)
Assembly Hall (7,502)
Bloomington, IN
1/11/1966
no, no
vs. Wisconsin W 80-64  6-6 (3-0)
Assembly Hall (6,127)
Champaign, IL
1/15/1966
no, no
@ Purdue L 87-93  6-7 (3-1)
Mackey Arena (8,936)
West Lafayette, IN
1/28/1966*
no, no
vs. Notre Dame W 102-92  7-7
Chicago Stadium (18,183)
Chicago, IL
2/1/1966
no, no
@ #4 Michigan W 99-93  8-7 (4-1)
Crisler Arena (9,544)
Ann Arbor, MI
2/5/1966
no, no
vs. Ohio State W 78-77  9-7 (5-1)
Assembly Hall (9,838)
Champaign, IL
2/7/1966
no, no
vs. Northwestern L 77-80  9-8 (5-2)
Assembly Hall (7,695)
Champaign, IL
2/12/1966
no, no
vs. Indiana L 77-81  9-9 (5-3)
Assembly Hall (8,175)
Champaign, IL
2/19/1966
no, no
vs. Minnesota W 100-89  10-9 (6-3)
Assembly Hall (8,643)
Champaign, IL
2/22/1966
no, no
@ Michigan State L 66-68  10-10 (6-4)
Jenison Fieldhouse (10,484)
East Lansing, MI
2/26/1966
no, no
@ Minnesota L 92-94  10-11 (6-5)
Williams Arena (7,340)
Minneapolis, MN
2/28/1966
no, no
vs. Purdue W 98-81  11-11 (7-5)
Assembly Hall (6,207)
Champaign, IL
3/5/1966
no, no
vs. Iowa W 106-90  12-11 (8-5)
Assembly Hall (9,592)
Champaign, IL
3/7/1966
no, no
@ Northwestern L 76-84  12-12 (8-6)
Welsh-Ryan Arena (4,800)
Evanston, 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
Don Freeman[3] 24 258 152 285 668
Rich Jones[4] 24 206 96 265 508
Jim Dawson[5] 24 163 42 100 368
Deon Flessner[6] 24 48 38 127 134
Bob Brown[7] 15 44 24 42 112
Preston Pearson[8] 22 38 30 68 106
Ron Dunlap[9] 23 28 32 109 88
Bob Johansen[10] 20 27 11 37 65
Larry Hinton[11] 20 12 7 13 31
Benny Louis[12] 15 4 4 12 12
Jerry Mettile[13] 6 2 2 2 6

Awards and honors

Team players drafted into the NBA

Round Pick Player NBA Club
3 9 Don Freeman Philadelphia 76ers

[15]

Rankings

References