Illinois travels to East Lansing to face Michigan State on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. CT. The game will be televised nationally on CBS.
Jan. 12, 2007
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #19: Illinois (13-5, 1-2) at Michigan State (14-4, 1-2)
Jan. 14, 2007 12:30 p.m. CT / 1:30 p.m. ET CBS
East Lansing, Mich. Breslin Center (14,759)
On the Air
CBS (National): Verne Lundquist, play-by-play; Billy Packer, expert analyst.
Illini Sports Network - 47 stations: Brian Barnhart, play-by-play; Jerry Hester, expert analyst; Loren Tate pregame/halftime/ postgame interviews.
Illini Probable Starters
F - 42 Brian Randle (r-Jr, 6-8, 220, 8.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.1 spg)
F - 41 Warren Carter (Sr., 6-9, 220, 13.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.3 bpg)
C - 55 Shaun Pruitt (Jr., 6-10, 245, 11.2 ppg, 6.9 rpg)
G - 33 Rich McBride (Sr., 6-3, 205, 8.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.0 apg) -OR-
G - 31 Jamar Smith (So., 6-3, 185, 11.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.2 apg)
G - 1 Trent Meacham (r-So., 6-2, 195, 7.1 ppg, 0.9 rpg, 2.1 apg) -OR-
G - 3 Chester Frazier (So., 6-2, 190, 8.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 5.7 apg, 1.4 spg)
Off the Bench
G - 2 Chris Hicks (Jr., 6-2, 190, 0.5 ppg, 0.1 rpg)
C - 21 Brian Carlwell (Fr., 6-11, 265, 2.3 ppg, 1.5 rpg)
F - 25 Calvin Brock (r-So., 6-5, 195, 7.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.9 apg)
F - 34 C.J. Jackson (r-Fr., 6-8, 260, 1.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg)
F - 44 Marcus Arnold (r-Sr., 6-8, 245, 2.0 ppg, 1.6 rpg)
F - 50 Richard Semrau (Fr., 6-9, 230, 3.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg) -Out-
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 205-75/.732 (9th year)
Big Ten: 40-11/.784
At Illinois: 102-21/.829 (4th year)
Vs. Michigan State: 4-1
Assistant Coaches: Wayne McClain (6th year), Jay Price (4th year), Tracy Webster (3rd year)
Assistant to the Head Coach: Gary Nottingham (4th year)
Trainer: Al Martindale (24th year at Illinois)
Michigan State Head Coach: Tom Izzo
Overall Record: 269-113/.704 (12th year)
At Michigan State: Same
Vs. Illinois: 11-10
Assistant Coaches: Jim Boylen, Mark Montgomery, Dwayne Stephens
Series Notes: Michigan State
Illinois leads the all-time series over Michigan State 52-48. The Illini have won seven of the last 10 meetings, and had won five straight before MSU snapped Illinois' streak with a 61-56 win in the 2006 Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinal in the most recent match-up between the two programs. Michigan State leads the series in East Lansing, 30-18, but Illinois has won the last two games at the Breslin Center.
The starting frontcourt of forwards Brian Randle and Warren Carter and center Shaun Pruitt accounted for 65 percent of Illinois' scoring in the win over Iowa on Wednesday (48 of 74 pts), combing to make over 83 percent of their shots from the field (20-24).
The win over Iowa snapped the first three-game losing streak of Bruce Weber's four-year tenure at Illinois.
Illinois extended its school-record streak of consecutive sell-out crowds at the Assembly Hall (16,618) to 39 against Iowa.
After scoring a total of just 13 points over the previous three games on 3-16 shooting, Brian Randle erupted for 16 points on 7-9 shooting vs. Iowa. Randle's 16 points tied his career high.
After scoring a total of only 7 points and making just one 3-pointer over the previous three games (1-12), Rich McBride scored 15 points against Iowa on 5-10 shooting from 3-point land. McBride's five treys were a season high.
Illinois started its seventh different lineup of the season against Iowa. Last season, the Illini started the same lineup in 32 of 33 games and two seasons ago, Illinois had the same starting lineup in all 39 games.
Illinois has had six players miss a combined total of 30 games so far this season due to injury (Richard Semrau-13, Brian Randle-9, Jamar Smith-6, Warren Carter-1, Chester Frazier-1).
Over his last 11 games, Warren Carter is averaging 15.6 points (172) and 7.0 rebounds (77). Included in that stretch have been three 20+ point performances for the senior power forward. Carter had a career-high 24 points vs. Arizona (Dec. 2), tying the highest point total by UI player this season, and 21 points vs. both IUPUI (Dec. 6) and Belmont (Dec. 17). During that 11-game stretch, Carter has been Illinois' leading scorer six times and has reached double figures 10 times.
Illinois is a balanced offensive club, with three players averaging double figures and eight members of the roster averaging over seven points per game.
Seven different players have been Illinois' leading scorer in a game this season (Warren Carter-7, Jamar Smith-4, Shaun Pruitt-4, Trent Meacham-2, Rich McBride-1, Chester Frazier-1, Brian Randle-1).
Chester Frazier ranks second in the Big Ten and 25th in the NCAA (as of Jan. 7) in assists with an average of 5.7 apg. He had a career-high 11 assists vs. Bradley (Nov. 25) and again vs. IUPUI (Dec. 6), and also had 10 assists vs. Florida A&M (Nov. 19).
Warren Carter ranks in the top 10 of the Big Ten in three categories, Illinois' leading scorer, Carter ranks ninth in the league with an average of 13.8 points. Carter is also 10th in the conference in rebounding, averaging 6.5 rpg, and ninth in blocks, averaging 1.3 bpg.
Shaun Pruitt ranks third in the Big Ten in rebounding (6.9 rpg) and is sixth in field goal percentage (.556, 84-151). Pruitt tied his career high with 11 rebounds vs. Xavier (Dec. 29).
Jamar Smith is shooting 38.8 percent from 3-point range, hitting 33-85 from behind the arc on the season. He has five games with at least four 3-pointers, making five treys in the season opener vs. Austin Peay (Nov. 13), a perfect 5-5 from 3-point land vs. IUPUI (Dec. 6), four 3s vs. Missouri (Dec. 19), five treys vs. Idaho State (Dec. 21), and four vs. Xavier (Dec. 29).
Shaun Pruitt has scored in double figures in 12 games this season and is third on the team in scoring at 11.2 ppg. He had 18 points vs. Maryland (Nov. 28) and scored a career-high 19 points on 8-11 shooting vs. Missouri (Dec. 19). Pruitt also leads the Illini with four double-doubles on the season.
Over the last 14 games in which he has played, Chester Frazier has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.4 (78 assists/33 turnovers).
Trent Meacham ranks fifth in the Big Ten in 3-point shooting at 45.8 percent (27-59). He had a school-record eight 3-pointers vs. Florida A&M (Nov. 19), which is also the most treys by a Big Ten player this year.
Calvin Brock has scored at least six points in 12 games.
Illinois ranks second in the Big Ten in total rebounds (37.2 rpg) and leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds (14.0 rpg).
Illinois has scored over 70 points in 13 games and is averaging 71.5 points on the season (5th in Big Ten).
Illinois is outscoring its opponent by an average of 11.1 points (5th in Big Ten).
Illinois has shot better than 45 percent in 10 games, topping 50 percent seven times.
Illinois has shot better than 40 percent from 3-point range in six games and is shooting 36.7 percent from behind the arc on the season (5th in Big Ten).
The Illini are second in the Big Ten in 3-pointers, making an average of 7.8 per game (140 total).
Illinois has outrebounded 12 opponents and is outrebounding its opponent by an average of 6.7 boards (5th in Big Ten, 34th in NCAA as of Jan. 7).
Illinois is holding its opponents to an average of just 60.4 points (28th in NCAA as of Jan. 7) on 40.6 percent shooting.
Last Time Out: Iowa
Illinois ended its three-game skid with a 74-70 victory over Iowa on Wednesday night at the Assembly Hall. After a dismal shooting performance vs. Ohio State the previous game, Illinois bounced back to shoot 51 percent against the Hawkeyes, including over 59 percent shooting in the second half.
Illinois led much of the first half but found itself down by six, 45-39, with less than 14 minutes left in the game. That's when the Illini turned it around, going on a 24-5 run over the next 7:39 to take a 63-50 lead with six minutes remaining.
Illinois' frontcourt was the deciding factor in the win as Randle, Warren Carter and Shaun Pruitt accounted for 65 percent of the scoring (48 pts), combing to make 20-24 from the field (83.3 percent). Those three scored 16 points apiece while Rich McBride also finished in double figures with 15.
Illini By the Numbers Under Weber
Illinois has been a consistent winner under Bruce Weber, a tenure that spans the most successful period in school history. The following is a breakdown of Illinois' success under Weber:
102-21: Illinois' overall record under Weber, a winning percentage of .829.
51-4: Illinois' record at the Assembly Hall under Weber, a winning percentage of .927.
37-2: Illinois' record in 2004-05, which tied the record for the winningest season in NCAA history.
26-7: Illinois' record last season as well as Weber's first season (2003-04), which tie the fourth-winningest season in school history.
40-11: Illinois' record in Big Ten play under Weber - which incudes back-to-back outright championships in 2004 and 2005 - a winning percentage of .784.
89-16: Illinois' record in regular season games under Weber, a winning percentage of .848.
49-5: Illinois' record in regular season non-conference games under Weber, a winning percentage of .907.
20-8: Illinois' record in road games under Weber, a winning percentage of .714.
30-8: Illinois' record in neutral-site games under Weber, a winning percentage of .789.
8-3: Illinois' NCAA Tournament record under Weber - which includes a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2004 and the program's first-ever appearance in the national championship game in 2005 - a winning percentage of .727.
5-2: Illinois' Big Ten Tournament record under Weber - which includes the 2005 tournament title - a winning percentage of .714.
13-5: Illinois' combined postseason record under Weber, a winning percentage of .722.
Carter Aiming High As A Senior
One of the most improved players in the Big Ten, Warren Carter is having an outstanding senior season. The replacement for James Augustine at power forward, Carter has started all 17 games that he has played in this year and leads the team in scoring with an average of 13.8 points (ninth in Big Ten). He has reached double figures 13 times, led by a career-high 24 points on 11-17 shooting vs. Arizona (Dec. 2). He made it his third double-double of the season against the Wildcats, collecting 10 rebounds.
Carter has topped the 20-point marker three times on the season, with a game-high 21 points vs. IUPUI (Dec. 6) and another 21-point effort vs. Belmont (Dec. 17).
Carter had 17 points vs. Bradley (Nov. 25). He also had eight rebounds vs. the Braves and had eight points, three blocks and three steals vs. Miami (OH) the night before to earn a spot on the Chicago Invitational All-Tournament Team.
Carter started strong against Maryland (Nov. 28), scoring all 13 of his points in the first half, while tallying a double-double with 11 boards.
Carter is second on the team in rebounding behind Pruitt, averaging 6.5 rpg to rank 10th in the Big Ten. He had the first double-double of his career vs. Jackson State (Nov. 15) with 16 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.
Carter suffered a hip injury at the end of the Missouri game and did not play against Idaho State on Dec. 21. He returned to the lineup vs. Xavier (Dec. 29) and scored 14 points with five boards. He again had 14 points with eight boards vs. Michigan (Jan. 3) and had 11 pts-8 reb vs. Ohio State (Jan. 6). He reached double figures for the sixth straight game against Iowa on Wednesday with 16 points on 6-7 shooting.
Over his last 11 games, Carter is averaging 15.6 points and 7.0 rebounds. During that 11-game stretch, Carter has been Illinois' leading scorer six times and has reached double figures 10 times.
Frazier On Point
Chester Frazier has taken over the reins at point guard following the graduation of Dee Brown. The sophomore from Baltimore has been very productive in all facets of the game. He is averaging 8.5 points (fifth on team) and ranks second in the Big Ten and 25th in the NCAA (as of Jan. 7) with an average of 5.7 assists. Frazier is also fourth on the Illini with an average of 4.6 rebounds and leads the team in steals, averaging 1.4 spg (eighth in Big Ten).
Frazier has scored in double figures in 10 games, led by a career-high 17 points vs. Savannah State (Nov. 21). He recorded his first career double-double vs. Florida A&M (Nov. 19) with 13 points and 10 assists.
Frazier had 10 points vs. Miami (OH) (Nov. 24), hitting a game-winning layup with 18 seconds left. He then recorded his second double-double vs. Bradley (Nov. 25) with 10 points and a career-high 11 assists. Frazier was named MVP of the Chicago Invitational Challenge.
He had 11 points and four assists in 39 minutes of action vs. Arizona (Dec. 2) and then tied his career high with another 11-assist effort vs. IUPUI (Dec. 6). Frazier's 11 assists vs. Bradley and vs. IUPUI tie the most by a Big Ten player this season.
Frazier scored 13 points on 4-6 shooting from 3-point range against Idaho State (Dec. 21) and was in double figures again at Michigan on Jan. 3 with 11 points.
While continuing to rack up the assists, Frazier has also done a good job cutting down on his turnovers. After totaling 13 turnovers in the first two games (6.5 avg.), he has combined for just 36 turnovers over his past 15 games (2.4 avg.). He had only one turnover in 35 minutes vs. Bradley compared to 11 assists, and had just one turnover again vs. Maryland (Nov. 28).
Frazier's assist-to-turnover ratio over his past 14 games is 2.4 (78 assists/33 turnovers).
One of the toughest players to wear the Illini uniform in recent years, Frazier has battled through a number of injuries during his career. After starting the first 17 games this season, he was finally sidelined against Iowa on Wednesday due to a strained groin.
Pruitt A Consistent Contributor
Shaun Pruitt started every game last season and is once again the Illini's starting center this year. He has scored in double figures in 12 games and is third on the team in scoring with an average of 11.2 points.
Pruitt leads the Illini and is third in the Big Ten in rebounding with an average of 6.9 boards and has been an efficient scorer, shooting 55.6 percent from the field (84-151) to rank sixth in the Big Ten. He has four double-doubles on the season to lead all UI players.
Pruitt had 15 points on 7-9 shooting vs. Jackson State (Nov. 15) and recorded the first double-double of his career with 10 points and 10 rebounds vs. Savannah State (Nov. 21).
He earned Chicago Invitational Challenge All-Tournament Team honors after posting a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards vs. Miami (OH) (Nov. 24) followed by 16 points and nine rebounds in a career-best 31 minutes vs. Bradley (Nov. 25).
Pruitt was at his best vs. Maryland (Nov. 28), scoring 18 points on 7-12 shooting. He tallied his third double-double of the season against the Terrapins, collecting a career-high 11 rebounds in addition to his 18 points.
Pruitt scored in double figures for the sixth straight game vs. Arizona (Dec. 2), registering 11 points. That streak came to an end with seven points vs. IUPUI (Dec. 6), but Pruitt was back in double figures with 13 points vs. Belmont (Dec. 17).
He then scored a career-high 19 points on 8-11 shooting and had a game-high nine boards vs. Missouri (Dec. 19).
Pruitt notched his fourth double-double with 11 points and a career-high tying 11 boards vs. Xavier (Dec. 29).
He most recently had 16 points on 7-8 shooting vs. Iowa on Wednesday.
Smith Is Instant Offense
Sophomore sharpshooter Jamar Smith has continued his reputation for providing instant offense in the Illini lineup. Smith, who missed six games due to a high ankle sprain, has reached double figures in seven of 12 games and is second on the team in scoring with an average of 11.8 points. He was the second highest scoring non-starter in the Big Ten (behind Daequan Cook of Ohio State) before entering the starting lineup vs. Michigan on Jan. 3. After starting the first two Big Ten games, Smith returned to his reserve role vs. Iowa on Wednesday.
Smith scored 19 points in just 21 minutes of action in the season opener vs. Austin Peay (Nov. 13), when he suffered the ankle injury and missed the remainder of the game. He returned to the court against Bradley (Nov. 25), scoring 14 points, but his mobility was limited the following game vs. Maryland. After sitting out the Arizona game, Smith came off the bench to tally 15 points vs. IUPUI (Dec. 6), connecting on all five 3-point attempts.
Smith scored 17 points in the win over Missouri (Dec. 19) and had a season-high 21 points vs. Idaho State (Dec. 21). He scored 16 points vs. Xavier (Dec. 29) and was Illinois' leading scorer for the third straight game with 17 points vs. Michigan on Wednesday.
Smith has totaled 33 three-pointers in 12 games (2.8 avg.) and is shooting 38.8 percent (33-85) from behind the arc on the season. Smith would rank third in the Big Ten in 3-pointers per game, but a player must appear in 75 percent of his team's games to officially be listed in the conference's statistical rankings.
Randle Returns To Action
After having groin surgery on Nov. 17 and missing nine games, Brian Randle returned to action against UIC on Dec. 9. He played 16 minutes off the bench and performed well, nearly registering a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.
Randle scored 10 against both Belmont (Dec. 17) and Missouri (Dec. 19) and had 11 points vs. Idaho State on Dec. 21.
Randle had a break-out game against Iowa on Wednesday. He tied his career high with 16 points on 7-9 shooting and dished out a career-high six assists. He had two dunks that brought the Assembly Hall crowd to its feet, one of which made Sportscenter's Top 10 Plays of the Day. It marked the third time of his career that a Randle dunk appeared on ESPN's Top 10 list.
Randle is averaging 8.4 points and 4.3 rebounds on the season, is shooting nearly 51 percent from the field, and has made 7-15 from 3-point range.
McBride's Experience an Asset
Senior Rich McBride started off slow after missing the season's first four games, but he has re-established himself as one of Illinois' top performers. McBride had a season-high 18 points vs. IUPUI (Dec. 6), hitting six 3-pointers, and had a team-high 13 points vs. UIC (Dec. 9).
After coming off the bench the previous two games, McBride returned to the starting lineup against Iowa on Wednesday and made his presence felt, scoring 15 points on a season-high five 3-pointers.
McBride has started 10 of 14 games on the season and ranks fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 8.6 points. He is also averaging 2.0 assists and ranks fifth in the Big Ten with an average of 2.4 three-pointers per game (33 total).
Brock Stepping Up
Sophomore Calvin Brock has made great strides since arriving on campus and it's showing this season. In his first career start, Brock totaled 14 points on 6-9 shooting with six rebounds vs. Jackson State (Nov. 15). He had 17 points on 7-11 shooting vs. Georgia Southern (Nov. 17), and tallied the first double-double of his career vs. Florida A&M (Nov. 19) with career highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds along with a career-best seven assists.
After scoring eight vs. Bradley (Nov. 25), Brock was back in double figures with 11 points vs. Maryland (Nov. 28). He had eight points and eight rebounds vs. Arizona (Dec. 2) and played a great all-around game vs. IUPUI (Dec. 6) with 11 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals.
Brock was also credited by Weber as the catalyst in Illinois' come-from-behind victory over Idaho State on Dec. 21. The Illini trailed by six points midway through the second half before Brock started a rally that brought Illinois ahead for good. In just 15 minutes, Brock scored seven points on 3-3 shooting and had a team-high seven rebounds.
Brock has started nine games this season and is averaging 7.3 points. He is third on the Illini in rebounding, averaging 4.9 boards and is second with 42 offensive rebounds (23 avg, 8th in Big Ten). Brock is shooting over 49 percent from the floor and is averaging 1.9 assists.
Trent Meacham starred at Champaign Centennial High School and initially went to Dayton on a full scholarship. After playing as a true freshman at Dayton in 2004-05, Meacham returned to Illini country, choosing to walk-on to the Illinois squad. Meacham sat out last season as a transfer and has been awarded a scholarship for this season.
After an injury to Jamar Smith in the season opener vs. Austin Peay, Meacham found himself in the starting lineup just two days later, playing all 40 minutes vs. Jackson State (Nov. 15), scoring eight points with a career-high six assists.
Meacham was Illinois' leading scorer for two straight games with 19 points vs. Georgia Southern (Nov. 17) followed by a career-high 24 points vs. Florida A&M (Nov. 19). He tied the school record for 3-pointers in a game with eight vs. FAMU en route to his 24 points. His eight treys vs. FAMU are the most by a Big Ten player in a game this season.
Meacham was back in double figures against IUPUI (Dec. 6), scoring 12 points, and had 11 vs. Xavier (Dec. 29).
Meacham ranks fifth in the Big Ten in 3-point field goal shooting at 45.8 percent (27-59), is averaging 7.1 points on the season and is second on the team in assists (2.1 apg).
Weber Nation's Second-Winningest Coach over Past Five-Plus Seasons
Bruce Weber has coached consistent winners everywhere he's been throughout his college career. In fact, over the past five-plus seasons only one head coach in America has more wins on his resume than Weber. Beginning with the 2001-02 season, Weber has recorded 154 victories, which trails only Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (161 wins, next game Jan. 14) and is tied with Roy Williams (154 wins, next game Jan. 13) for the most wins by an NCAA Div. I coach over this time span. In his final two years at Southern Illinois, Weber went 28-8 in 2001-02 and 24-7 in 2002-03. He then took over the Illinois program, leading the Illini to a 26-7 record in 2003-04, a 37-2 mark in 2004-05, another 26-7 record in 2005-06, and a 13-5 mark so far this season.
Illini Nation's Second-Winningest Team over Past Six-Plus Seasons
Illinois ranks as the second-winningest team in the nation over the past six-plus seasons in terms of total wins, and ranks third over that same time span in terms of winning percentage. Illinois has reeled off 180 victories since the beginning of the 2000-01 season, which trails only Duke, while the Illini's .800 winning percentage over that time span trails just Duke and Gonzaga. Following is a list of the five winningest teams (ranked by total wins) over the past six-plus seasons:
School Wins Record Pct. Next Game 1. Duke 195 195-33 .855 Jan. 14 2. ILLINOIS 180 180-45 .800 Jan. 14 3. Kansas 174 174-45 .795 Jan. 13 4. Gonzaga 172 172-39 .815 Jan. 13 5. Kentucky 166 166-50 .769 Jan. 13
A New Look
Illinois unveiled a new starting lineup in the season opener vs. Austin Peay on Nov. 13 for the first time since Dec. 18, 2005. The former unit of Dee Brown, James Augustine, Rich McBride, Brian Randle and Shaun Pruitt started the final 22 games of the 2005-06 season. The Illini also had a new player - Warren Carter - jumping the opening tip for the first time since Dec. 7, 2002. James Augustine jumped center for the final 132 games of his career.
Illinois has already started seven different lineups through the first 18 games of the 2006-07 season. That is quite a contrast from last year, when the Illini used the same starting five for 32 of 33 games (Brown, McBride, Randle, Augustine and Pruitt), and in 2004-05, when Illinois featured the same starting lineup for all 39 games (Deron Williams, Brown, Luther Head, Roger Powell and Augustine).
Hottest Ticket in the State
Illinois has sold out the Assembly Hall in season tickets for the third consecutive season, and the fourth time in the last six years. The Illini carry a school record of 39 consecutive sell-out crowds at the Assembly Hall into its next home game vs. Wisconsin.
The Illini played in front of 16 sell-out crowds at home in 2006, averaging 16,618 fans per game at the Assembly Hall. Illinois ranked ninth nationally in home attendance and set school records for highest average attendance for a season and most sell-outs in a season.
*For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at top of this page.