Brian Randle and the Illini host Michigan Wednesday at 8 p.m. CT.
Jan. 15, 2008
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #18: Illinois (8-9, 0-4) vs. Michigan (5-11, 1-3)
Jan. 16, 2008 8 p.m. CT BTN
Champaign, Ill. Assembly Hall (16,618)
On the Air
BTN: Wayne Larrivee, play-by-play; Greg Kelser, 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, 9.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.0 apg)
C - 55 Shaun Pruitt (Sr., 6-10, 245, 12.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg)
G - 25 Calvin Brock (r-Jr., 6-5, 195, 8.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.2 spg)
G - 1 Trent Meacham (r-Jr., 6-2, 195, 10.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.7 apg)
G - 32 Demetri McCamey (Fr., 6-3, 205, 6.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.6 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, 1.5 ppg, 1.3 rpg)
F - 23 Rodney Alexander (Jr., 6-7, 225, 5.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg)
F - 24 Mike Davis (Fr., 6-9, 195, 3.0 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, 3.9 ppg, 1.7 rpg)
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 223-91/.710 (10th year)
At Illinois: 120-37/.764 (5th year)
Big Ten: 48-20/.706
Vs. Michigan: 5-2
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)
Michigan Head Coach: John Beilein
Overall Record: 556-329/.628 (30th year)
At Michigan: 5-11/.313 (1st year)
Vs. Illinois: 0-0
Series Notes: Michigan
Illinois leads the all-time series 80-69 over Michigan, and owns a 51-23 advantage in games played in Champaign. Illinois has won 15 of the last 18 games in the series and has won 10 straight over the Wolverines at the Assembly Hall, a streak that began in 1996.
The teams will meet again in Ann Arbor on Feb. 23 or 24.
Oh So Close
In six of its nine 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 five losses ... Six of Illinois' losses have been by eight points or less ... Illinois is 3-6 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-4, 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 more than three consecutive games. It is the program's longest losing streak since dropping seven straight in 1999.
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 43 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 Jan. 10 - 52.1%).
Illinois has outrebounded its opponent in 12 of 17 games and ranks fifth in the Big Ten in rebound margin at +4.5 rpg.
Calvin Brock is averaging 12.3 points over the last three games after scoring a season-high 15 points vs. Penn State, 14 points at Wisconsin and eight at Indiana.
Brock is shooting 58.6 percent from the field (17-29) and has made 5-of-7 from 3-point range in conference play.
Demetri McCamey is averaging 10.2 points (61) over the last six games. He is Illinois' second-leading scorer in Big Ten play, averaging 10.8 ppg.
McCamey is fourth in the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio in conference play at 2.67 (16 a/6 to).
Brian Randle had a season-high 10 rebounds at Indiana on Sunday. He fell one point shy of a double-double, scoring nine points.
Randle played all 40 minutes for the first time in his career vs. the Hoosiers.
Shaun Pruitt leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds with an average of 3.6 per game (61 total off. reb.). He ranks fourth in the league in total rebounds (7.9 avg).
Trent Meacham knocked down 4-of-5 three-pointers vs. Wisconsin on Jan. 10, 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 his last five games (27 a/9 to). He had a season-high seven assists at Wisconsin on Jan. 10 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 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 his 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 Jan. 10.
Pruitt has started every game over the past two-and-a-half seasons, entering the Michigan game with an active streak of 85 consecutive starts.
Pruitt is Illinois' active career scoring leader with 843 career points. If he maintains his season scoring average, Pruitt should join the 1,000-point club around the first week of March. He is also 65 points away from joining the Top 50 list of Illinois' all-time leading scorers (No. 50 Stephen Bardo - 908 pts).
There have been 53 consecutive sellout crowds at the Assembly Hall entering the next home game vs. Michigan on Wednesday. The streak began on Dec. 6, 2004.
Illinois held Loyola (MD) to 20 percent shooting (13-65) on Dec. 28, the lowest field goal percentage in the 44-year history of Assembly Hall.
Illinois' defense held Western Carolina to 35 points on Dec. 17, the third-lowest point total in Assembly Hall history and just one point off the record-low score of 34 set by Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1985 and tied by Savannah State last season.
Illinois defeated Missouri on Dec. 22 in the 27th annual Braggin' Rights game in St. Louis. It marked the Illini's eighth straight win in the series, tying the school record for consecutive Braggin' Rights wins. Illinois also won eight straight over Mizzou from 1983-90.
Last Time Out: Indiana
Illinois played one of its best games of the season but came up just short in its attempt to knock off the nation's No. 10 team on its home court, falling 62-58 at Indiana on Sunday afternoon.
The Illini led for the majority of the game's first 30 minutes but went seven-and-a-half minutes without a field goal midway through the second half when Indiana went on a 16-4 run, turning a seven-point Illini lead into a five-point deficit. Illinois cut it to two down the stretch and had two shots on its final possession but could not convert, and Indiana made two free throws with two seconds left to ice the 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 (.300).
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.
Illinois held Indiana, the Big Ten's top scoring team, more than 20 points below its season average on Sunday. The Hoosiers entered the game averaging 82.6 points but scored a season-low 62 vs. the Illini.
Dominating the Glass
Illinois has outrebounded 12 of 17 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 38.1 rpg.
Illinois' bench is contributing 21.5 points per game (365 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 12.5 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 and Indiana, 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 3.6 per game (61 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 Michigan game with an active streak of 85 consecutive starts.
He is Illinois' active career scoring leader with 843 career points. If he maintains his season scoring average, Pruitt should join the 1,000-point club around the first week of March. He is also 65 points away from joining the Top 50 list of Illinois' all-time leading scorers (No. 50 Stephen Bardo - 908 pts).
Randle More Aggressive on Offense
Senior and three-year starter Brian Randle currently carries a career-high scoring average of 9.7 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.
He had a strong outing vs. Indiana on Sunday with nine points and a season-high 10 rebounds while playing all 40 minutes for the first time in his career.
Randle ranks third on the team in field goal percentage on the season, shooting 48.6 percent from the field. He also is the team's third-leading rebounder with an average of 5.2 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 10.2 points (61) over the last six games, playing an average of 26.5 minutes per game (159). 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 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 had nine points, a season-high seven rebounds and four assists at Wisconsin. He most recently had six points and five assists without a turnover in a career-high 38 minutes at Indiana.
McCamey is fifth on the Illini in scoring on the year (6.4 ppg) and ranks third on the team in assists (2.6 apg). He ranks second on the Illini in scoring in Big Ten play with an average of 10.8 points.
Brock on a Roll
Calvin Brock, who was arguably the Illini's top player during the month of November, has reestablished himself over the past two weeks. Brock is averaging 12.3 points over the last three games after scoring a season-high 15 points vs. Penn State, 14 points at Wisconsin and eight at Indiana. He is third on the team in scoring in conference games (10.5 ppg) and leads the Illini in field goal and 3-point percentage in Big Ten play, shooting 58.6 percent from the field (17-29) and 71.4 percent (5-of-7) from behind the arc.
Brock is fourth on the Illini in scoring and rebounding on the season, averaging 8.1 points and 3.7 boards. He also leads the team in steals (1.2 spg).
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 strained cartilage in his rib cage 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 season-high seven assists vs. the Badgers with just one turnover.
Frazier did not play at Indiana on Sunday due to the injury.
Over the last five games in which he has played, 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 10.1 points. He is also seventh in the Big Ten with an average of 2.1 treys per game (34 total).
Meacham has had some big scoring games this season, 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 (Jan. 10) and 13 vs. Missouri (Dec. 22).
*For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on the .pdf link at the top of this page.