Illinois will face Indiana Sunday at 3:30 p.m. CT on CBS.
Jan. 11, 2008
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #17: Illinois (8-8, 0-3) at #10ap/11 Indiana (13-1, 2-0)
Jan. 13, 2008 3:30 p.m. CT / 4:30 p.m. ET CBS
Bloomington, Ind. Assembly Hall (17,357)
On the Air
CBS: Verne Lundquist, play-by-play; Billy Packer, expert analyst.
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, 9.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.1 apg)
C - 55 Shaun Pruitt (Sr., 6-10, 245, 12.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.0 apg)
G - 25 Calvin Brock (r-Jr., 6-5, 195, 8.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.2 spg)
G - 1 Trent Meacham (r-Jr., 6-2, 195, 10.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.6 apg)
G - 32 Demetri McCamey (Fr., 6-3, 205, 6.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.4 apg)
Off the Bench
G - 2 Chris Hicks (Sr., 6-2, 190, 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg)
G - 3 Chester Frazier (Jr., 6-2, 190, 4.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.3 apg)
G - 13 Jeff Jordan (Fr., 6-1, 185, 0.6 ppg, 0.3 rpg)
G - 22 Steve Holdren (r-Jr., 6-5, 200, 1.3 ppg, 1.1 rpg)
F - 23 Rodney Alexander (Jr., 6-7, 225, 5.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg)
F - 24 Mike Davis (Fr., 6-9, 195, 2.9 ppg, 2.0 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, 3.9 ppg, 1.7 rpg)
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 223-90/.712 (10th year)
At Illinois: 120-36/.769 (5th year)
Big Ten: 48-19/.716
Vs. Indiana All-Time: 7-3
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)
Indiana Head Coach: Kelvin Sampson
Overall Record: 489-269/.739 (25th year)
At Indiana: 34-12/.645 (2nd year)
Vs. Illinois: 1-2
Series Notes: Indiana
Indiana leads the all-time series over Illinois, 80-78, and the Hoosiers own a 49-27 advantage in games played at Bloomington.
Illinois has won eight of the last 10 games in the series, with its two losses coming in its last two trips to Bloomington. The most recent match-up was a 58-54 overtime victory by the Illini last March in the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinal.
The teams meet again next month, in Champaign on Feb. 7.
Illinois is in a stretch of having four of five games, as well as five of seven, on the road. Following Thursday's game at Wisconsin, the Illini are next at Indiana Sunday. After a home game vs. Michigan on Jan. 16, the Illini hit the road again for back-to-back games at Purdue (Jan. 19) and at Ohio State (Jan. 22). And after a home date vs. Northwestern (Jan. 27), the month wraps up with a contest at Michigan State (Jan. 30).
Taking on the Top 25
Illinois faces its fourth ranked opponent this season on Sunday in No. 10 Indiana. Illinois is 0-3 vs. ranked opponents this season, falling to No. 13 Duke in Maui on Nov. 20 (79-66), No. 22 Arizona in Chicago on Dec. 8 (78-72, ot) and No. 21 Wisconsin in Madison on Thursday (70-60).
Illinois owns a record of 17-17 vs. Top 25 teams under Weber. The Wisconsin and Indiana games mark the first time Illinois is playing 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 eight 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 losses ... Five of Illinois' 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-4, Calvin Brock-2, 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 the first time under Weber that the Illini have lost four straight games. It is the program's first four-game losing streak since 1999 and the first time the UI has lost three straight Big Ten games since 2002.
Only four opponents have scored 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 42 consecutive games. The last team to do so was Arizona on Dec. 2, 2006 (84 points).
Illinois has only had two opponents this season shoot better than 46 percent from the field (Duke on Nov. 20, 56.5%, and Wisconsin on Thursday, 52.1%).
Illinois has outrebounded its opponent in 12 of 16 games and ranks fifth in the Big Ten in rebound margin at +4.8 rpg.
Calvin Brock is averaging 14.5 points over the last two games after scoring a season-high 15 points vs. Penn State last Sunday and 14 points at Wisconsin on Thursday.
Brock is shooting 60.9 percent from the field (14-23) and has made 5-of-6 from behind the arc in conference play.
Demetri McCamey is averaging 11.0 points (55) on 44.7 percent shooting from the field (20-46) and 42.1 percent from 3-point range (8-19) over the last five games. McCamey is Illinois' leading scorer in Big Ten play, averaging 12.3 ppg.
Trent Meacham knocked down 4-of-5 three-pointers vs. Wisconsin on Thursday, the top 3-point shooting performance by an Illini player this season.
Chester Frazier has a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio of over the last five games (27 a/9 to). He had a season-high seven assists at Wisconsin on Thursday and just one turnover in 30 minutes.
Shaun Pruitt has scored at least nine points in all but two games this season.
Illinois played seven road/neutral games during non-conference play, tied for the second-highest total of road/neutral games among BCS schools.
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.
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 5.1 assists over the last 11 games (56) after averaging just 2.6 assists over the first five games (13). He had a season-high seven assists at Wisconsin on Thursday.
Shaun Pruitt leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds with an average of 3.7 per game (59 total off. reb.). He ranks fourth in the league in total rebounds (7.9 avg).
Pruitt has started every game over the past two-and-a-half seasons, entering the Indiana game with an active streak of 84 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.
Last Time Out: Wisconsin
Illinois dropped a 70-60 decision at No. 21 Wisconsin on Thursday night. The Illini trailed by just three points, 44-41 with 9:30 left, when Wisconsin went on a critical 16-5 run over the next four-and-a-half minutes that determined the game.
Trent Meacham and Calvin Brock scored 14 points each to lead the Illini. Brock made 6-8 from the field one day after a taking an elbow to the face in practice that required 16 stitches. Chester Frazier also performed admirably. A game-time decision after missing two days of practice with a rib injury, Frazier came off the bench to play 30 minutes and had a season-high seven assists.
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 Monday. 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.
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 61.9 points per game on the season. The Illini are fourth in the league in field goal percentage defense (.392) and second in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.301).
No team has reached 80 points on the Illini this season, with just four opponents scoring more than 70 points. Illinois' defense also has allowed only two teams (Duke and Wisconsin) to shoot over 46 percent from the field.
Dominating the Glass
Illinois has outrebounded 12 of 16 opponents this year and owns a rebounding margin of +4.8 on the season. Illinois ranks fifth in the Big Ten in rebounding margin and also is fifth in the conference in total rebounds, averaging 38.4 rpg.
Illinois' bench is contributing 22.0 points per game (352 total) and has had eight double-figure scoring games by players off the bench this season.
Pruitt a Force Inside
Illinois has one of the top post players in the Big Ten in senior and three-year starting center Shaun Pruitt. A preseason All-Big Ten selection, Pruitt leads the Illini in scoring and rebounding, averaging 12.4 points (17th in Big Ten) and 7.9 rebounds (4th in Big Ten). He has scored at least nine points in all but two games this season, with a career-high 24 points vs. both Arizona and Miami (OH), 16 vs. Loyola (MD), 15 at Hawaii, 14 vs. Missouri, 12 vs. Northeastern and Ohio State, 11 vs. both Duke and Western Carolina, 10 at Maryland, and nine each vs. Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Penn State and Wisconsin.
Pruitt made 10-of-11 from the field against Arizona on Dec. 8, which tied the sixth-best shooting performance in school history and is the top percentage by a Big Ten player this season.
Pruitt scored in double figures for five consecutive games before the streak came to an end vs. Tennessee State on Dec. 30 (7 points). During that stretch, he had 24 points vs. Arizona, 11 vs. Western Carolina, 24 again vs. Miami, 14 vs. Missouri and 16 vs. Loyola. It marked the first time he reached double figures in five straight games since his streak of six straight games last season (1/20/07 through 2/7/07).
Pruitt has 12 career double-doubles including three this season: 12 pts-17 reb vs. Northeastern, 24 pts-15 reb vs. Miami and 16 pts-11 reb vs. Loyola. His career-high 17 rebounds vs. Northeastern marked the highest rebounding total by an Illini player in eight seasons, since Sergio McClain had 18 rebounds at Michigan on Jan. 16, 2000.
In addition to ranking fourth in the Big Ten in rebounding, Pruitt leads the league in offensive rebounds with an average of 3.7 per game (59 total).
One of the most Illini's most durable players in recent years, Pruitt has started every game over the last two-and-a-half seasons and enters the Indiana game with an active streak of 84 consecutive starts.
He is Illinois' active career scoring leader with 829 career points. If he maintains his season scoring average, Pruitt should join the 1,000-point club around the first week of March.
Randle More Aggressive on Offense
Senior and three-year starter Brian Randle currently carries a career-high scoring average of 9.8 points, ranking third on the team. He reached double figures in each of the first four games this season, a career-best streak, before it came to an end vs. Oklahoma State on Nov. 21 when he left due to injury just seven minutes into the game. Randle had 14 points in the opener vs. Northeastern, 12 points at Hawaii, a career-high 17 points vs. Arizona State and 16 points vs. Duke.
Randle returned to double figures for the first time in four games vs. Arizona on Dec. 8, scoring 11 points. He also had a season-high five assists vs. the Wildcats. He just missed double figures vs. Western Carolina, finishing with nine points.
Randle scored 14 points vs. Miami (OH) on 6-10 shooting. He had 11 points in the win over Missouri and then tied his career high with 17 points against Loyola (MD), hitting 7-of-10 shots.
He was off to another strong start vs. Tennessee State on Dec. 30, with six points and six boards before suffering a mild concussion just before halftime.
Randle returned to the court vs. Ohio State on Jan. 3 and led the Illini in scoring with 14 points while playing a career-high 37 minutes.
Randle ranks second on the team in field goal percentage on the season, shooting 48.9 percent from the field. He also is the team's third-leading rebounder with an average of 4.9 boards on the season.
Freshman point guard Demetri McCamey has been a bright spot for the Illini recently, earning increased playing time and his first career start Thursday at Wisconsin.
McCamey has averaged 11.0 points (55) on 43.5 percent shooting from the field (20-46) and 42.1 percent from 3-point range (8-19) over the last five games, playing an average of 24.2 minutes per game.
He had nine points each vs. Loyola (MD) and Tennessee State. He then reached double figures in his first career Big Ten game with 10 points vs. Ohio State.
McCamey had the best game of his young career last Sunday vs. Penn State, scoring a career-high 18 points on 7-12 shooting, including 4-6 from behind the arc. He scored Illinois' last eight points of the game, all in the final two minutes, on a layup and back-to-back 3-pointers.
McCamey most recently had nine points, a season-high seven rebounds and four assists at Wisconsin.
McCamey is fifth on the Illini in scoring on the year (6.6 ppg) and ranks third on the team in assists (2.4 apg). He leads the Illini in scoring in Big Ten play with an average of 12.3 points.
Frazier Does It All
Point guard Chester Frazier has earned a reputation for his relentless play and ability to impact the game in all areas. Leading the team in playing time at 33.8 minutes per contest (fifth in Big Ten), Frazier is averaging 4.8 points. He leads the Illini and ranks seventh in the conference in assists (4.3 apg) and is second on the team in steals (0.8 spg).
Despite standing 6-2, Frazier also is second on the team in rebounding behind Pruitt with an average of 5.3 rpg. He currently ranks 15th in the Big Ten in rebounding and is the only point guard listed among the league's top 20 rebounders.
Frazier has twice grabbed a season-high nine rebounds, at Hawaii and vs. Duke, He also tallied eight boards vs. Oklahoma State and Penn State, and seven at Maryland. He has been the UI's leading rebounder in five games this season.
Frazier has played through a number of injuries over the course of his career, including a strained quad, turf toe, sprained ankle, and sprained knee. His most recent episode came last Sunday during the Penn State game when he suffered a rib injury that caused him to miss two days of practice. He was scratched from the starting lineup vs. Wisconsin and was considered doubtful, but came off the bench to play 30 minutes despite the pain. Frazier had a career-high seven assists vs. the Badgers with just one turnover.
Over the last five games, Frazier has a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio (27 assists/9 turnovers).
Meacham Settles in at Shooting Guard
Junior Trent Meacham shared time at point guard and shooting guard last season, but with the addition of freshman Demetri McCamey to share point guard responsibilities with junior Chester Frazier, Coach Weber has Meacham focusing solely on the shooting guard position this season. The move has helped Meacham settle in and define his role on this year's squad.
Meacham is second on the Illini in scoring with an average of 10.3 points. He is also ninth in the Big Ten with an average of 2.1 treys per game (32 total).
Meacham has had some big games, topping 20 points twice and reaching double figures six times on the year. Meacham scored a career-high 26 points vs. Weber State on Dec. 1 and had 24 vs. Tennessee State on Dec. 30. He also scored 17 vs. Oklahoma State (Nov. 21), 16 vs. Arizona (Dec. 8), 14 at Wisconsin and 13 vs. Missouri (Dec. 22).
*For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at top of this page.