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#AskTCR: Basketball Lineups, Potential Head Coaches, and Bowl Game Travel Plans


NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

There are two ways to ask The Champaign Room your questions. You can tweet them at us on Twitter using the hashtag #AskTCR -- it just makes it easier to keep track -- or you can email them to us at And if you've got a personal question and you're worried about your privacy, just tell us. We'll change your name to Tom Crean when we publish it on the site. And remember, you can ask us ANYTHING. It doesn't have to be about Illinois or even sports.

If you missed last week’s is Zach’s prediction:

I guess that means you can change the mug in your twitter picture to “World’s Best Illini Basketball Game Result Predictor.” That will totally fit on a mug.

Thanks for the email Jordan! Appreciate the compliment!

Jerrance Howard the assistant coach (aka recruiter) would make a nice addition to the coaching staff of Illinois Basketball. Jerrance Howard the head basketball coach however is an EXTREMELY unnerving thought. Howard has no proof of being able to manage a game, run a practice, or develop players. Sure, he is recognized as one of the top recruiters in college basketball, but do you want to hire a coach to lead Illinois basketball back to the NCAA tournament that has no in-game coaching experience? I know we’re eager to change things, but lets aim a little higher...

As much as a guy like Jankovich would be an intriguing hire (and one that definitely sparks interest), he was just promoted to head coach at SMU following Larry Brown’s resignation. Jankovich was essentially hired as the “head coach-in-waiting” back in 2012 after a five year stint at Illinois State. As intriguing as that prospect might be, I don’t think Jankovich is on the radar.

I figure Indiana is the leader in the clubhouse at the moment. They currently do not have a PG signed for next season, and the Hoosiers are one of the best offers that Smith has received. Plus, they run a very fun, guard-oriented offense. Illinois is likely in the Top 3, but remember they’ve already signed Trent Frazier and DaMonte Williams for 2017.

Lucas - JCL - Nichols - Black - Tilmon

If the Big Ten is as SAWFT as it has been this season, Illinois should fall anywhere from 5th to 9th. One would think that the addition of Tilmon, Frazier, Williams, and Pickett will add to an already talented roster of Lucas, JCL, Nichols, Finke, and Black.

Realistically, I’ll go one win better in the non-conference slot, with two more wins in conference next season. That results in a 21-10, 10-8 resume with a side of an NCAA tournament birth.

This year’s team was more than capable of achieving a tournament birth...better recruits will not make a better coach. Find someone that will harness the best out of this roster, because the current holder of office is not.


Two and done is a possibility, but that depends on how Jeremiah’s first season goes. Most likely outcome for Tilmon will be the Deron Williams three and done tenure in Champaign.

Editor’s Note: Please be a one-and-done, Jeremiah. I want to watch Illinois players in the NBA, damnit.

Before we begin...remember that there are new bowl game rules in the Big Ten.

First glimpse at the 2017 schedule has Illinois at 2-1 through the non-conference slate (remember, we have 9 conference games now). Throw in wins over Rutgers, Minnesota, Purdue, and Indiana, and a six win season gives Illinois their first bowl birth since 2014. So pack your bags Mike...we’re driving to Detroit.

Illinois vs Syracuse, Quick Lane Bowl (or the REAL Orange Bowl), December 26th, 2017.