1968–69 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team

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1968–69 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball
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Conference Big Ten Conference
Ranking
Coaches #Not Ranked
AP #20
1968–69 record 19–5 (9–5 Big Ten)
Head coach Harv Schmidt
Assistant coach Dick Campbell
Assistant coach Jim Wright
MVP Dave Scholz
Captain Dave Scholz
Home arena Assembly Hall
Seasons
« 1967–68 1969–70 »
1968–69 Big Ten Conference men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
#6 Purdue 13 1   .929     23 5   .821
#20 Illinois 9 5   .643     19 5   .792
Ohio State 9 5   .643     17 7   .708
Michigan 7 7   .500     13 11   .542
Northwestern 6 8   .429     14 10   .583
Minnesota 6 8   .429     12 12   .500
Michigan State 6 8   .429     11 12   .478
Iowa 5 9   .357     12 12   .500
Wisconsin 5 9   .357     11 13   .458
Indiana 4 10   .286     9 15   .375
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1968–69 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team represented the University of Illinois.

Regular season

In only his second season as the Head coach of the Fighting Illini, Harv Schmidt guided his basketball team to a high-point of an Associated Press ranking of number 4 by the beginning of January, 1969. Schmidt and his Illini won their first ten games of the season with the single biggest win occurring December 21, 1968 as they stopped the Houston Cougars' 60 game home winning streak, 97-84. After the win, the Illini, just two days short of two years after the original "Slush Fund" announcement, appeared to be back in their prime. During the season the Illini defeated a total of 4 top 20 teams, including a tenth ranked Ohio State in February. Like so many years before, the Illini's only losses came at the hands of the competition provided by the other teams within the Big Ten Conference. The team completed the season with only 5 losses, all coming within the league. The final totals were 19 wins overall with 9 of those wins coming within the conference. The team was lead in scoring for the season by Dave Scholz, Greg Jackson, Mike Price and Jodie Harrison. Scholz would finish his senior season by being named 1st team All-American by the Helms Foundation, 3rd team All-American by the Associated Press and to the Converse honorable mention All-American team. The Fighting Illini would go on to finish the season with a 19-5 overall record and tied for 2nd place in the conference with a 9-5 record.

The 1968-69 team's starting lineup included Scholz and Fred Miller at the forward spots, Price and Harrison as guards and Jackson at center.

Team

No. Player Hometown High School Class Position
10 Rick Howat Downers Grove, Illinois Downers Grove North High School So. Guard
11 Bob Windmiller Ossian, Indiana Ossian High School So. Guard
14 Fred Miller Pekin, Illinois Pekin High School So. Forward
15 Mike Price Indianapolis, Indiana Arsenal Technical High School Jr. Forward
20 Brad Richardson Olney, Illinois East Richland High School So. Forward
30 Randy Crews Kankakee, Illinois Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School Jr. Forward
31 Greg Jackson Chicago, Illinois St. Philip High School So. Center
32 Les Busboom Royal, Illinois St. Joseph-Ogden High School Sr. Guard
33 Jodie Harrison Streator, Illinois Streator High School Sr. Guard
34 Denny Pace Collinsville, Illinois Collinsville High School Sr. Forward/Guard
40 Dave Scholz Decatur, Illinois Decatur High School Sr. Forward/Center
43 Bob Shapland Champaign, Illinois Central High School So. Guard
44 Ron Armbrust Lincoln, Illinois Lincoln High School Jr. Guard

Schedule

Source[2]

Date
Time, TV
Rank# Opponent# Result Record Site (Attendance)
City, State
12/2/1968*
no, no
#NR vs.Butler W 105-66  1-0
Assembly Hall (11,833)
Champaign, IL
12/6/1968*
no, no
#NR @ Creighton W 69-66  2-0
Omaha Civic Auditorium (9,240)
Omaha, NE
12/9/1968*
no, no
#NR vs. North Dakota W 83-51  3-0
Assembly Hall (11,795)
Champaign, IL
12/14/1968*
no, no
#NR vs. Iowa State W 75-48  4-0
Assembly Hall (10,051)
Champaign, IL
12/17/1968*
no, no
#NR vs. Ohio W 95-82  5-0
Assembly Hall (10,031)
Champaign, IL
12/19/1968*
no, no
#NR vs. Tulane W 105-71  6-0
Assembly Hall (10,252)
Champaign, IL
12/21/1968*
no, no
#NR @ #20 Houston W 97-84  7-0
Hofheinz Pavilion (5,200)
Houston, TX
12/27/1968*
no, no
#12 vs. Creighton
Hurricane Classic
W 90-77  8-0
Miami Beach Convention Center (2,093)
Miami, FL
12/28/1968*
no, no
#12 vs. Miami (FL)
Hurricane Classic
W 86-76  9-0
Miami Beach Convention Center (2,486)
Miami, FL
1/4/1969
no, no
#8 vs. Minnesota W 80-58  10-0 (1-0)
Assembly Hall (16,128)
Champaign, IL
1/7/1969
no, no
#4 @ Purdue L 84-98  10-1 (1-1)
Mackey Arena (14,123)
West Lafayette, IN
1/11/1969
no, no
#4 @ #12 Northwestern W 82-77 OT 11-1 (2-1)
Welsh-Ryan Arena (8,388)
Evanston, IL
1/25/1969*
no, no
#8 vs. #15 Notre Dame W 83-86  12-1
Chicago Stadium (18,000)
Chicago, IL
1/28/1969
no, no
#7 @ #12 Ohio State L 67-76  12-2 (2-2)
St. John Arena (13,374)
Columbus, OH
2/1/1969
no, no
#7 vs. Wisconsin W 86-73  13-2 (3-2)
Assembly Hall (15,740)
Champaign, IL
2/8/1969
no, no
#10 vs. Iowa W 98-69  14-2 (4-2)
Assembly Hall (16,128)
Champaign, IL
2/11/1969
no, no
#10 @ Michigan L 87-92  14-3 (4-3)
Crisler Arena (8,113)
Ann Arbor, MI
2/15/1969
no, no
#10 @ Michigan State L 70-75  14-4 (4-4)
Jenison Fieldhouse (7,020)
East Lansing, MI
2/18/1969
no, no
#19 vs. #10 Ohio State W 73-57  15-4 (5-4)
Assembly Hall (16,128)
Champaign, IL
2/23/1969
no, no
#19 vs. Michigan W 100-92  16-4 (6-4)
Assembly Hall (16,128)
Champaign, IL
2/25/1969
no, no
#15 @ Iowa L 53-74  16-5 (6-5)
Iowa Field House (13,700)
Iowa City, IA
3/1/1969
no, no
#15 @ Indiana W 77-64  17-5 (7-5)
Assembly Hall (5,425)
Bloomington, IN
3/4/1969
no, no
#20 vs. Michigan State W 71-57  18-5 (8-5)
Assembly Hall (14,912)
Champaign, IL
3/8/1969
no, no
#20 vs. Northwestern W 78-68  19-5 (9-5)
Assembly Hall (16,128)
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 Scholz[3] 24 181 97 209 459
Greg Jackson[4] 24 163 68 200 394
Mike Price[5] 24 120 58 163 298
Jodie Harrison[6] 24 87 80 96 254
Fred Miller[7] 22 44 55 64 254
Denny Pace[8] 24 56 27 86 139
Randy Crews[9] 24 43 46 82 132
Rick Howat[10] 22 34 10 14 78
Bob Windmiller[11] 15 23 10 14 56

Awards and honors

Team players drafted into the NBA

Round Pick Player NBA Club
4 9 Steve Kuberski* Boston Celtics
4 13 Dave Scholz Philadelphia 76ers
5 1 Rich Jones* Phoenix Suns
15 6 Jodie Harrison Baltimore Bullets

[13]

*Kuberski transferred to Bradley to finish his eligibility due to the "Slush-Fund" scandal of 1966.
*Jones transferred to Memphis State to finish his eligibility due to the "Slush-Fund" scandal of 1966.

Rankings

References