How about this stat?
After the Illinois women’s basketball team appeared at No. 23 in the preseason AP poll on Tuesday, the Illini became the only Big Ten program with a ranked men’s and women’s team ahead of the start of the new season.
Making a statement.— Illinois Athletics (@IlliniAthletics) October 17, 2023
For the first time since 1999, the Illinois Men's and Women's Basketball programs are ranked in the AP Top 25 Preseason Poll, and they are the only Big Ten school to appear in both the Men's and Women's 2023 AP Top 25 Preseason Poll.#Illini | #HTTO pic.twitter.com/H9gzowEpd0
The Illini men checked in at No. 25 on Monday.
It’s the first time the women are ranked in the preseason poll this millennium, after Shauna Green led Illinois to its first ranking since 2000 last season. The Illini then lost in the First Four round of the NCAA Tournament.
Does any of this mean anything in the grand scheme of things? Of course not, it’s just a preseason poll.
But nonetheless, it’s impressive! And says a lot about the expectations for both Green’s and Brad Underwood’s programs as they both look to take a step forward into the tournament’s second weekend.