There was a time when Division I college basketball in Illinois was thriving. The programs at Illinois, DePaul, Loyola, Bradley, Southern Illinois, Illinois State, Northern Illinois and even Western Illinois once ranked among the best in the nation.
It has been suggested here and elsewhere that one reason is a lot of high school talent has opted to leave the state, filling rosters at Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, California, Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa, Purdue, Wisconsin and a lot of places in between.
It certainly is a contributing factor and, arguably, the most significant. But why is that? In the last 20 years, why have so many homegrown stars elected to leave the state?