1914–15 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team

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1914–15 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball
1914-15 Fighting Illini men's basketball team.jpg
Helms Foundation National Champions
Premo-Porretta National Champions
Big Ten Conference Champions
Conference Big Ten Conference
1914–15 record 16–0 (12–0 Big Ten)
Head coach Ralph Jones
Captain Sven Duner
Home arena Kenney Gym
1914–15 Western Conference men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
Illinois 12 0   1.000     16 0   1.000
Chicago 9 3   .750     20 5   .800
Wisconsin 8 4   .667     13 4   .765
Minnesota 6 6   .500     11 6   .647
Northwestern 5 5   .500     11 8   .579
Purdue 4 8   .333     5 8   .385
Ohio State 3 9   .250     7 10   .412
Iowa 2 6   .250     9 8   .529
Indiana 1 9   .100     4 9   .308
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1914–15 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team represented the University of Illinois.

Regular season[edit]

Coached by Ralph Jones, the 1914–15 Fighting Illini men's basketball team became the first undefeated Big Ten champion in the history of the school as well as the fourth Big Ten National Champion.[1] That 1915 season was the third in the eight-year tenure of head coach Ralph Jones and it produced the only unbeaten season in Illini history and the first Big Ten title for the Illinois basketball program, the Illinois team was retroactively named national champions by the Helms Athletic Foundation and the Premo-Porretta Power Poll.[2] Jones’ 1915 team scored twice as many points as its opponents and won the conference title by three games over Chicago, the arrival of the Woods brothers in 1914 had a lot to do with the success of this era. Guard Ray Woods was named first-team All-America all three years he competed (1915–17), and twin brother Ralf, a forward, led the team in scoring in both 1916 and 1917, his consistency at the free throw line led to the establishment of the Ralf Woods Award, which is still given annually to the Fighting Illini player with the best free-throw percentage. The starting lineup included Frank Bane at center, Clyde Alwood and Edward Allan Williford at the forward postitons, captain Sven Duner at guard and brothers Ralf Woods and Ray Woods. Ray Woods was named an All-American during this season.[3]


"1914-15 Fighting Illini championship team photo"
1914–15 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Height Weight Year Hometown
G Duner, SvenSven Duner (C)
Sr Downers Grove, Illinois
F Kircher, HelmuthHelmuth Kircher
Sr Kalamazoo, Michigan
C Williford, EdwardEdward Williford
Sr Binghamton, New York
G Woods, RayRay Woods
So Oak Park, Illinois
G Woods, RalfRalf Woods
So Oak Park, Illinois
C M. Bane, FrankFrank M. Bane
Sr Pontiac, Illinois
G Crane, DudleyDudley Crane
Jr Columbus, Ohio
F Alwood, ClydeClyde Alwood
So Clinton, Illinois
G William Hoffman, RobertRobert William Hoffman
Sr Detroit, Michigan
C Franklin Comstock, DanielDaniel Franklin Comstock
Sr Evanston, Illinois
F Boynton Erwin, WalterWalter Boynton Erwin
Sr Chicago, Illinois
G/F E. Davis, JohnJohn E. Davis
Fr Chicago, Illinois
F Owen Jensen, MiltonMilton Owen Jensen
Sr Kansas City, Missouri
F Adam McDermott, RaymondRaymond Adam McDermott
So Batavia, Illinois
Head coach
  • Ralph Jones (Indianapolis YMCA Training School) (3rd year)
Assistant coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • (W) Walk-on

All-Time Illini Rosters Roster




time, TV
Opponent Result Record Site
city, state
Non-Conference regular season
no, no
vs Arkansas A.C. W 52–6  1-0 (0-0)
Kenney Gym 
Urbana, IL
no, no
vs Illinois Wesleyan W 50–9  2-0 (0-0)
Kenney Gym 
Urbana, IL
no, no
vs Millikin University W 19–16  3-0 (0-0)
Kenney Gym 
Urbana, IL
no, no
@ Peoria YMCA W 27–14  4-0 (0-0)
Peoria YMCA 
Peoria, IL
Big Ten regular season
no, no
vs Indiana
W 34–13  5-0 (1-0)
Kenney Gym 
Urbana, IL
no, no
vs Purdue W 27–8  6-0 (2-0)
Kenney Gym 
Urbana, IL
no, no
vs Ohio State W 24–17  7-0 (3-0)
Kenney Gym 
Urbana, IL
no, no
@ Indiana
W 20–4  8-0 (4-0)
Old Assembly Hall 
Bloomington, IN
no, no
vs Wisconsin W 39–19  9-0 (5-0)
Kenney Gym 
Urbana, IL
no, no
@ Wisconsin W 19–17  10-0 (6-0)
University of Wisconsin Armory and Gymnasium 
Madison, WI
no, no
@ Minnesota W 20–10  11-0 (7-0)
University of Minnesota Armory 
Minneapolis, MN
no, no
vs University of Chicago W 20–12  12-0 (8-0)
Kenney Gym 
Urbana, IL
no, no
@ Purdue W 22–15  13-0 (9-0)
Memorial Gymnasium 
West Lafayette, IN
no, no
@ Ohio State W 26–19  14-0 (10-0)
The Armory 
Columbus, OH
no, no
@ University of Chicago W 19–18  15-0 (11-0)
Bartlett Gymnasium 
Chicago, IL
no, no
vs Minnesota W 26-11  16-0 (12-0)
Kenney Gym 
Urbana, IL
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. (#) Tournament seedings in parentheses.
All times are in Central Time.

Bold Italic connotes conference game

Player stats[edit]

Player Games Played Field Goals Free Throws Points
Edward Williford[6] 12 31 56 118
Frank Bane[7] 16 50 1 101
Ralf Woods[8] 15 35 17 87
Ray Woods[9] 16 29 0 58
Clyde Alwood[10] 11 19 0 38
Sven Duner[11] 16 8 0 16
Dudley Crane[12] 5 6 0 12

Awards and honors[edit]

Ray Woods was elected to the "Illini Men's Basketball All-Century Team" in 2004. Woods was also selected as an All-American for the 1914–15 season.