Sep. 16—Welcome to "Good Morning, Illini Nation," your daily dose of college basketball news from Illini beat writer and AP Top 25 voter Scott Richey. He'll offer up insights every morning on Brad Underwood's team:
Kenny Battle became the 26th person connected to the Illinois men's basketball program in the Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame when he was officially inducted Friday night. That list includes the likes of some of his fellow Flyin' Illini like Nick Anderson and Kendall Gill, the winningest coach in program history in Lou Henson and other notable names like Deon Thomas, Dee Brown and Deron Williams.
So who's next?
"I can't say because if I leave someone out then I've got to answer that question from them of, 'Man, why didn't you put me in?'" Battle joked Friday afternoon before his induction. "We just have so many basketball players and so many athletes in general. I think it was 135 years before we had a hall of fame. You go back 135 years of Illinois sports and look at all the great athletes that were there way before Kenny Battle. It's a huge list. I'd hate to be (athletic director Josh Whitman) and the committee and try to sort through and say, 'Who's next?'"
There are several likely candidates, though, to be the next former men's basketball player inducted. The full list of eligible candidates compiled in May 2017 included 65 players or coaches connected to Illini hoops. Some have been inducted. Some are waiting.
The next in?
Nick Weatherspoon. Kiwane Garris. Frank Williams. Brian Cook. Luther Head.
It would seem safe to assume that group being among the next few rounds of inductees.