Maybe I shouldn't use the phrase "rebounding" as that is the one thing the Illini haven't done well this year. Everything else has gone better than expected as the Illini look like they will be headed back to the tournament after a one year absence.
Ironically, it is the 2007 recruiting class that is leading the resurgence. For a while it looked the 2007 class would be best known for the one that got away. But all Eric Gordon delivered to Indiana was a first round loss in the NCAA tournament, while a trio of Illini sophomores are setting the foundation for another run to the final four.
Sophomores Demetri McCamey, Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale have established themselves as three of the top performers in the Big Ten. And all three have an uncanny ability to get the ball in the hoop. When these guys are on, they hit nothing but the bottom of the net. It's a beautiful sight for Illini fans, especially after watching last year's team lead the Big Ten in bricks and airballs.
Illinois 2007 recruiting class was originally ranked 31st by Scout.com. I don't think there is anyway you could now argue for anything less than a top 5 ranking.
Illinois has had a couple of tough losses this year, but with three sophomores leading the way. they are a wrk in progress. They will keep getting better which should be a scary thought for the rest of the Big Ten. And if the 2009 and 2010 recruiting classes end up as good as expected, Illinois will enjoy a few deep tourneys runs in the next few years.