WCIA — Coming off a Big Ten championship, Illinois men’s basketball will go into the 2022-23 season ranked No. 23 in the preseason AP Poll released on Monday.
The Illini ended last season ranked No. 19 following a Second Round loss to Houston in the NCAA Tournament. They had at least received votes in every poll released last season. Monday marks the first time since Jan. 4, 2002 that both Illinois men’s basketball and football had been ranked at the same time.
“We just have to, every once in a while take a moment to appreciate where we are and what we’re doing,” Athletic Director Josh Whitman said, reflecting on the program’s success since taking over in 2016. “But just a moment, because we have a lot more to do. You have to keep pushing, and I think that’s the challenge for all of us is there’s human nature that can seep in at some point and time and you have to be very disciplined in the way you think and the way you work.”
Just two other Big Ten teams were ranked in the poll. Indiana leads the way at No. 13, while Michigan is one spot above the Illini at No. 22.