Demetri McCamey and the Illini travel to Madison to take on Wisconsin Thursday at 8 p.m. CT.
Jan. 8, 2008
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #16: Illinois (8-7, 0-2) at #21 Wisconsin (12-2, 2-0)
Jan. 10, 2008 8 p.m. CT ESPN
Madison, Wis. Kohl Center (17,190)
On the Air
ESPN: Brent Musburger, play-by-play; Steve Lavin, expert analyst; Erin Andrews, sideline reporter.
Illini Sports Network - 45 stations: Brian Barnhart, play-by-play; Jerry Hester, expert analyst; Loren Tate, pregame/halftime/postgame interviews.
Illini Probable Starters
F - 42 Brian Randle (r-Sr, 6-8, 220, 10.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.1 apg)
C - 55 Shaun Pruitt (Sr., 6-10, 245, 12.6 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.1 apg)
G - 25 Calvin Brock (r-Jr., 6-5, 195, 7.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.2 spg)
G - 32 Demetri McCamey (Fr., 6-3, 205, 6.2 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 2.3 apg)
G - 3 Chester Frazier (Jr., 6-2, 190, 5.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.1 apg)
Off the Bench
G - 1 Trent Meacham (r-Jr., 6-2, 195, 10.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.7 apg)
G - 2 Chris Hicks (Sr., 6-2, 190, 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg)
G - 13 Jeff Jordan (Fr., 6-1, 185, 0.6 ppg, 0.4 rpg)
G - 22 Steve Holdren (r-Jr., 6-5, 200, 1.3 ppg, 1.1 rpg)
F - 23 Rodney Alexander (Jr., 6-7, 225, 5.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg)
F - 24 Mike Davis (Fr., 6-9, 195, 2.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg)
F - 30 Bill Cole (Fr., 6-9, 210, 2.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg)
C - 33 Brian Carlwell (So., 6-11, 265, 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg)
F - 50 Richard Semrau (r-Fr., 6-9, 235, 0.0 ppg, 0.6 rpg)
C - 54 Mike Tisdale (Fr., 7-1, 215, 4.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg)
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 223-89/.715 (10th year)
Big Ten: 48-18/.727
At Illinois: 120-35/.774 (5th year)
Vs. Wisconsin: 5-4
Assistant Coaches: Wayne McClain (7th year), Jay Price (5th year), Jerrance Howard (1st year)
Assistant to the Head Coach: Gary Nottingham (5th year)
Trainer: Al Martindale (25th year at Illinois)
Wisconsin Head Coach: Bo Ryan
Overall Record: 537-160/.770 (24th year)
At Wisconsin: 154-57/.730 (7th year)
Vs. Illinois All-Time: 6-8
Series Notes: Wisconsin
Illinois leads the all-time series 106-70 over Wisconsin, but the Badgers lead 50-38 in games played in Madison. After four straight Illini wins in the series, the Badgers have won the last two match-ups. The Illini have been victorious in their last two trips to Madison, winning in 2005 and 2006. Illinois is the only Big Ten school to defeat Wisconsin at the Kohl Center during Bo Ryan's tenure.
The teams will meet again in Champaign on Feb. 20.
After concluding a four-game homestand, Illinois is now on the road for four of its next five games. The Illini play at Wisconsin Thursday and at Indiana Sunday. After a home game vs. Michigan on Jan. 16, the Illini hit the road again for games at Purdue (Jan. 19) and at Ohio State (Jan. 22).
Taking on the Top 25
Illinois faces its third ranked opponent this season on Thursday in No. 21 Wisconsin. Illinois is 0-2 vs. ranked opponents this season, falling to No. 13 Duke in Maui on Nov. 20 (79-66) and No. 22 Arizona in Chicago on Dec. 8 (78-72, ot).
Illinois owns a record of 17-16 vs. Top 25 teams under Weber. The Wisconsin and Indiana games mark the first time Illinois will play ranked teams in back-to-back games since Jan. 20 and 23, 2006, when the Illini faced the same two programs, hosting the 2nd-ranked Badgers (L, 71-64) and 23rd-ranked Hoosiers (W, 51-43).
The last time Illinois played consecutive games on the road against ranked opponents was nine years ago -- Jan. 3 and 7, 1999 -- at No. 8 Indiana (L, 62-53) and at No. 17 Iowa (L, 84-62).
Oh So Close
In five of its seven losses, Illinois has either led, been tied or trailed by no more than two points with less than two minutes remaining ... Illinois has led during the second half in four of its seven losses ... Five of Illinois' seven losses have been by eight points or less ... Illinois is 3-5 on the year in games decided by less than nine points.
Illini Notes ...
Eight different players have been the Illini's leading scorer in a game this season (Brian Randle-5, Shaun Pruitt-3, Trent Meacham-3, Calvin Brock-1, Rodney Alexander-1, Demetri McCamey-1, Mike Tisdale-1, Chester Frazier-1)
Losing streaks have been extremely rare during Bruce Weber's five-year tenure at Illinois. This is only the second time under Weber that the Illini have lost three straight games. The program has never lost more than three in a row under Weber and has dropped back-to-back games just four times.
Only four opponents have score more than 70 points against the Illini this season (last: Ohio State on Jan. 3, 74 pts).
Illinois has not allowed an opponent to score 80 or more points in 41 consecutive games. The last team to do so was Arizona on Dec. 2, 2006 (84 points).
Illinois has only had one opponent this season shoot better than 46 percent from the field (Duke on Nov. 20, 56.5%).
Illinois has outrebounded its opponent in 11 of 15 games and ranks fifth in the Big Ten in rebound margin at +4.5 rpg.
Demetri McCamey is averaging 11.5 points on 44.7 percent shooting from the field and 42.1 percent from 3-point range over the last four games.
Chester Frazier has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.5 over the last four games (20 a/8 to).
Shaun Pruitt is averaging 13.7 points (82) and shooting 59.6 percent over the last six games (31-52).
Illinois played seven road/neutral games during non-conference play, tied for the second-highest total of road/neutral games among BCS schools.
Shaun Pruitt has scored at least nine points in all but two games this season.
Pruitt was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 24 after averaging 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds over three games vs. Western Carolina, Miami (OH) and Missouri. He became the first Illini to earn Player of the Week honors since James Augustine on Dec. 5, 2005.
Pruitt scored in double figures for five consecutive games before the streak was snapped vs. Tennessee State (Dec. 30) when he finished with seven points. During the streak, Pruitt totaled 24 points vs. Arizona and Miami (OH), 16 vs. Loyola (MD), 14 vs. Missouri and 11 vs. Western Carolina. Over that five-game stretch, he averaged 17.8 points and 10.2 rebounds. Pruitt returned to double figures Thursday vs. Ohio State on Jan. 3, finishing with 12 points.
Brian Randle averaged 12.4 points over a five-game stretch prior to Dec. 30. He left the Tennessee State game late in the first half after suffering a mild concussion. Randle returned to action vs. Ohio State on Jan. 3 and scored a team-high 14 points in a career-high 37 minutes.
Pruitt and Randle combined for 38 points vs. Miami on Dec. 20, the duo's highest scoring total this season.
Chester Frazier is averaging 4.9 assists over the last 10 games (49) after averaging just 2.6 assists over the first five games (13). He tied his season high with six assists vs. Tennessee State on Dec. 30 and Penn State on Jan. 6.
Shaun Pruitt leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds with an average of 3.7 per game (56 total off. reb.). He ranks fourth in the league in total rebounds (8.1 avg).
Pruitt has started every game over the past two-and-a-half seasons, entering the Wisconsin game with an active streak of 83 consecutive starts.
There have been 53 consecutive sellout crowds at the Assembly Hall entering the next home game vs. Michigan on Jan. 16. The streak began on Dec. 6, 2004.
Legion Joins Illini
Alex Legion has joined the Illini basketball program after transferring from the University of Kentucky. Legion began practicing with the Illini on Saturday and will attend classes when the semester begins Jan. 14. He must sit out the next two semesters under NCAA transfer rules and will be eligible to return to competition following the conclusion of the 2008 fall semester. He will have 2.5 years of eligibility remaining with the Illini.
Legion, a 6-5, 195-pound guard, hails from Detroit. He spent three years at Country Day High School before attending Oak Hill Academy as a senior. Legion was a 2007 Parade Magazine All-American after averaging 19.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.8 steals at Oak Hill, where he shot 53 percent from the field, 42 percent from 3-point range and 85 percent from the free throw line. He also was a two-time first-team Class B All-State selection in 2005 and 2006 at Country Day by the Associated Press, Detroit News and Detroit Free Press.
Legion played in a total of six games last semester at Kentucky, starting twice. He averaged 6.7 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.5 steals in 17.5 minutes per game.
Last Time Out: Penn State
Illinois dropped to 0-2 in the Big Ten after falling to Penn State 68-64 Sunday at the Assembly Hall. Illinois made five more baskets than the Lions and shot 45.5 percent compared to PSU's 36.4 percent shooting. Illinois also had a season-low eight turnovers. But rebounding proved to be the difference in the game. Penn State had 22 offensive boards and outrebounded the Illini 49-24. The Lions owned a 20-5 advantage in second-chance points.
Lock Down "D"
Illinois has been one of the nation's top defensive teams each year under Bruce Weber. This year's squad looks to continue that style of aggressive man-to-man defensive pressure throughout each game. Illinois ranks sixth in the Big Ten in scoring defense with opponents averaging 61.4 points per game on the season. The Illini are third in the league in field goal percentage defense (.385) and second in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.296).
No team has reached 80 points on the Illini this season, with just four opponents topping the 70-point marker. Illinois' defense also has allowed only one team (Duke) to shoot over 46 percent from the field.
Dominating the Glass
Illinois has outrebounded 11 of 15 opponents this year and owns a rebounding margin of +4.5 on the season. Illinois ranks fifth in the Big Ten in rebounding margin and also is fifth in the conference in total rebounds, averaging 38.6 rpg.
Illinois' bench is contributing 22.8 points per game (342 total) and has had eight double-figure scoring games by players off the bench this season:
Player Opponent Points Calvin Brock Hawaii (N 16) 11 Demetri McCamey Hawaii (N 16) 10 Calvin Brock Duke (N 20) 14 Trent Meacham Oklahoma State (N 21) 17 Trent Meacham Weber State (D 1) 26 Mike Tisdale Western Carolina (D 17) 13 Demetri McCamey Ohio State (J 3) 10 Demetri McCamey Penn State (J 6) 18
*For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at top of this page.