If you're an Illinois basketball fan, you know that the good times have been few and far between--like 1949, 1951 and 1952, 1963, 1984, 1989, 1998, 2001 and 2002, finally 2004, 2005 and 2006.
The past decade was the most successful in Illini history, 252 victories in 10 years, a record of accomplishment that even traditional national powers Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA, Duke and North Carolina had to envy.
The talent level of the program was racheted upward. In introducing a new recruiting policity, coach Bruce Weber began to secure the borders as Harry Combes had done in the 1950s. In a short period of time, Weber and his staff demonstrated that out-of-state programs can't recruit Illinois' top prospects without a fight.