Flyin' Illini (1989) Or The Fab Five (1992)

Which college basketball team was the most entertaining and innovative between the tw

  • Flyin' Illini

    Votes: 14 63.6%
  • The Fab Five

    Votes: 8 36.4%

  • Total voters
    22

kes1111

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
Which college basketball team was the most entertaining and innovative between the two?

The 1989 Flyin' Illini

Lou Henson's 1988-89 squad was lead by Kenny Battle, Nick Anderson, Kendall Gill, Steve Bardo, and Lowell Hamilton, with Marcus Liberty first off the bench. They scored and dunked with ease; a splendid team with a premature tragic conclusion.

1989 Flyin' Illini
31-5 (14-4) Final AP Ranking: 3
2nd Place in Big Ten
Date Opponent Result
Nov 26 Illinois-Chicago W 85-59
Nov 29 Metro State W 86-55
Dec 3 Mississippi W 91-79
Dec 6 Florida (19) W 97-67
Dec 9 Duquesne W 112-81
Dec 10 Arkansas-Little Rock W 107-88
Dec 17 Tennessee Tech W 105-77
Dec 19 Missouri (10) (at St. Louis) W 87-84
Dec 22 at Louisiana State W 127-100
Dec 28 Tulsa (at Honolulu) W 85-58
Dec 29 Georgia Tech (17) (at Honolulu) W 80-75
Dec 30 at Hawaii W 96-87
Jan 7 Michigan State W 71-54
Jan 12 Wisconsin W 103-80
Jan 14 Michigan (6) W 96-84
Jan 19 at Northwestern W 75-70
Jan 22 Georgia Tech (2OT) W 103-92
Jan 26 at Minnesota L 62-69
Jan 28 Indiana (16) W 75-65
Feb 2 at Purdue L 72-76
Feb 5 at Iowa (9) L 82-86
Feb 9 Ohio State (16) W 62-60
Feb 11 Northwestern W 86-69
Feb 16 at Michigan State W 75-56
Feb 18 at Wisconsin L 52-72
Feb 20 Purdue W 102-75
Feb 26 at Ohio State W 94-71
Mar 2 Minnesota W 63-58
Mar 5 at Indiana (3) W 70-67
Mar 8 Iowa (15) W 118-94
Mar 11 at Michigan (8) W 89-73
NCAA Midwest Regional
Mar 16 McNeese St. (at Indianapolis) W 77-71
Mar 18 Ball State (18) (at Indianapolis) W 72-60
Mar 24 Louisville (12) (at Minneapolis) W 83-69
Mar 26 Syracuse (7) (at Minneapolis) W 89-86
NCAA Final Four, Seattle
Apr 1 Michigan (10) L 81-83

Fab Five (University of Michigan)

The Fab Five was the nickname for a 1991 University of Michigan men's basketball team recruitment class that is considered by some to be "the greatest class ever recruited."[1] The class consisted of Detroit natives Chris Webber and Jalen Rose, Chicago native Juwan Howard, and Texas high school basketball stars Jimmy King and Ray Jackson.[2] At first, only three of the freshmen started for the 1991–92 Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team. Although they all played when the season opened on December 2, 1991 against the University of Detroit, they did not all play at the same time until December 7 against Eastern Michigan and did not start regularly until February 9, 1992. In that first game starting together as a regular unit, the five freshmen scored all the team's points against Notre Dame.[3][4] They started as a unit in all but one of the remaining games for the season.[5] They reached the 1992 and 1993 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship games as both freshmen and sophomores, while starting a combined 304 of a possible 350 man-games.

As students,they helped to bring a popular "Hip Hop" style to the game with their trash talk and by imitating Michael Jordan of the NBA , wearing longer, baggier gym shorts and shaved heads. They also wore black athletic shoes, and black athletic socks.[6] Their controversial antics on the court garnered much attention from the media.[7] The group's popularity as college basketball players has been enduring. They are the subjects of The Fab Five, which was the highest rated ESPN films documentary ever produced,[8][9] were one of the featured teams in two of the highest rated NCAA Men's Basketball Championship games ever played,[10] and were a marketing juggernaut whose merchandise sales even dwarfed those of the 1989 NCAA tournament champion 1988–89 Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team

FAB FIVE BY THE NUMBERS
University of Michigan career statistics:

Player G Pts Reb Ast Blk Stl
King 130 1,542 538 354 45 187
Jackson 125 1,262 579 300 42 119
Rose 102 1,788 477 401 29 119
Howard 100 1,526 749 202 56 79
Webber 70 1,218 702 166 174
 
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Rezn8

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
I'm sure the Fab Five will get most of the love, but the Flying Illini was one of the best teams of the last 30 years, and were the best team in the country in '89. They were at least 8 deep, with everyone between 6'6" and 6'9", and every guy was athletic. That team was a whole lot of fun to watch, and Kenny Battle was a beast on those teams If Ben Wilson hadn't been murdered, that team might have won at least two national championships.
 
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TruDat

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
I'm sure the Fab Five will get most of the love, but the Flying Illini was one of the best teams of the last 30 years, and were the best team in the country in '89. They were at least 8 deep, with everyone between 6'6" and 6'9", and every guy was athletic. That team was a whole lot of fun to watch, and Kenny Battle was a beast on those teams If Ben Wilson hadn't been murdered, that team might have won at least two national championships.


^^^^ This:yes:
 

Raeeb7

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
90 or 91 UNLV id take them vs anybody but the Flyin Illini to answer the question.
 
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c_commander

Up and Coming Asshole
BGOL Investor
The Illini. They were able to do things without losing their fundamentals. I've been trying to find games with them. Found one of the Georgia Tech joints. Need to find more.
 

kes1111

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
big flyin illini fan

*edit* i think they were the first ones to start wearing longer shorts too
Former Illinois players Stephen Bardo and Kendall Gill think Jalen Rose is shorting the truth when it comes to the roots of the baggy shorts trend.

Rose said in ESPN's documentary "The Fab Five" that he and his Michigan teammates started the phenomenon when they asked then-Wolverines coach Steve Fisher during their freshman year if they could wear baggier shorts.

But Bardo and Gill see it a little differently. They say it was the Flyin' Illini team of the late '80s who first sported the baggy shorts that have become the norm in college hoops over the past two decades.

"I do think it's revisionist history because they did not start the baggy shorts [trend], we did," Bardo said Monday night on "Chicago's GameNight" with Jeff Dickerson and Jonathan Hood. "The Flyin' Illini did. That was Kendall Gill that started that, that wasn't Jalen Rose. So I know he took credit for that, but I have to remind people that we had baggy shorts before they came on the scene."

Gill backed his former Illini teammate's claim.

"Yeah, he's telling the absolute truth," Gill said later on the show. "And I can tell you they probably won't admit [it], but Juwan [Howard] and Chris Webber would come up to us, myself, Nick Anderson, Steve Bardo, when they would see us when they got into the league and they would say, 'You know what? We wore our shorts long because you guys did it, the Flyin' Illini.' They bit off of us. They did."

Gill said that it took some convincing to get former Illini coach Lou Henson to agree to the uniform change.

"We said, 'Coach, we're tired of ridin' high, we need some room in those shorts,'" Gill said. "We knew that they were going to re-design the uniform the next year so we just [asked] coach to add a couple of inches length on there. We were surprised that he agreed to it because Coach Henson is old-fashioned. But he agreed to it and that's how it started."

Gill did say that the Fab Five took things a step further in the uniform department by wearing black socks and black shoes.

"We didn't do the shoes and the socks," Gill said. "That was in the [era] when gangsta rap was starting to get popular and the thug life was getting popular. Actually, Michigan, they actually wore their shorts a little longer than ours, past the knee and everything, which I did not like, but that was their style. They just took it to a whole new level."

Bardo thought the look worked well for the Wolverines that season.

"I remember that [the Wolverines] were 'the 'hood favorites,' no pun intended," Bardo said "But they were loved throughout urban America. And they represented kind of a young, rebellious mode that people kind of took to at that point. And it was a perfect storm for them."
 

vandamation

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
Fab Five... NO DEBATE!!!!... :itsawrap:

The Fightin' Illini had NOBODY TO DEAL WITH Webber... or Juwan... :smh:

Not to mention... Who's gonna guard Jalen???:dunno:

Fab Five... ALL DAY... :yes:
 

c_commander

Up and Coming Asshole
BGOL Investor
Fab Five... NO DEBATE!!!!... :itsawrap:

The Fightin' Illini had NOBODY TO DEAL WITH Webber... or Juwan... :smh:

Not to mention... Who's gonna guard Jalen???:dunno:

Fab Five... ALL DAY... :yes:
I agree that they would have had issues with the size to deal with Webber or Howard but Kendall Gill could have handled Jalen.
 

KoffeeHobson

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
Illini were nasty. Kenny Battle was a 6'6 power forward. The thing with them was that any one of them could lead the break.
 

TrippCiti

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
Saw them both up close a lot...Fab Five obviously were more transcendent and influential -- black socks, baggy shorts, etc...But ole Lou Do's Flyin' Illini was a much more cohesive unit and better overall "team." ... That was a great era of college hoops though.
 
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