Scott Nagy was fresh out of college at a Division II school in Mississippi when he went to work as a graduate assistant at Illinois, where his father Dick spent 18 years as one of Lou Henson’s assistants.
It was 1989 and the Fighting Illini featured a lineup that, for awhile, changed the way college coaches recruited. There was no true big man and every starter ranged in height between 6-foot-4 and 6-7.
Behind the play of Nick Anderson, Kendall Gill, Steve Bardo and Kenny Battle, the Fighting Illini won the Midwest Regional over favored Syracuse to advance to the Final Four in Seattle, where it lost to Big Ten rival Michigan in the semifinals.
“We were such an athletic...