Illinois Postgame Notes vs. Colgate
Nov. 9, 2012
Illinois 75, Colgate 55
1. Illinois opened its 108th season of basketball tonight and improved to 95-13 all-time in season openers. It marks the 14th consecutive season Illinois has opened the season 1-0.
2. Tonight also marked the 51st season at Assembly Hall for the Illini, as they improved to 43-8 in home openers at Assembly Hall and 93-15 overall in home-openers.
3. John Groce made his Illinois coaching debut tonight, getting a victory in his first game as head coach of the Illini. Groce is the 10th straight Illini coach to win his first game as Illinois head coach.
4. The Orange Krush student section and Illini fans at Assembly Hall welcomed Coach Groce to Illinois in a unique way tonight. As a tribute to Groce's alma mater, Taylor University, Krush replicated Taylor's famous tradition of "Silent Night," where entire gym remains silent from tip-off until the Trojans score their 10th point. When that 10th point is scored, the crowd then erupts into a wild celebration. The Illini faithful executed their version, called "Orange Hush", to perfection, staying quiet for the Illini's first nine points before erupting in cheers when sophomore guard Myke Henry hit a 3-pointer at the 15:58 mark for Illinois' 10th, 11th and 12th points of the night. Watch video of the Orange Hush Explosion
5. Senior Brandon Paul continued his strong play in season-openers with game-highs in points (20), rebounds (8) and assists (5) tonight against the Raiders. Over his career, Paul has averaged 18.5 ppg in season-openers (74 points in four games). Paul had 14 points last season's opener against Loyola, 18 points in 21 minutes in the 2010 opener against UC Irvine and began his UI career with 22 points against SIU Edwardsville in his first game as a true-freshman in 2009.
6. Illinois poured in 13 three-pointers on the night, going 13-of-30 from behind the arc (43.3 percent), including three each from Brandon Paul, Tracy Abrams and D.J. Richardson. The 13 threes eclipse last year's season-high of 11. Ten of the 13 threes tonight came in the first half (10-of-18).
7. The Illini dominated the glass tonight, out-rebounding Colgate 47-32, including a 19-4 edge in offensive boards. Six different Illini players had at least six rebounds on the night, led by Brandon Paul's eight boards. Sophomore guard Myke Henry pulled down a career-high seven rebounds, and senior guard D.J. Richardson and senior forward Sam McLaurin eacj had seven boards as well.