Brian Randle and the Illini take on Purdue Saturday at 1 p.m. CT on ESPN.
Jan. 18, 2008
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #19: Illinois (9-9, 1-4) at Purdue (12-5, 3-1)
Jan. 19, 2008 1 p.m. CT / 2 p.m. ET ESPN
West Lafayette, Ind. Mackey Arena (14,123)
On the Air
ESPN: Dave O'Brien, play-by-play; Doris Burke, 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, 10.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.1 apg)
C - 55 Shaun Pruitt (Sr., 6-10, 245, 12.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg)
G - 25 Calvin Brock (r-Jr., 6-5, 195, 8.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.3 spg)
G - 1 Trent Meacham (r-Jr., 6-2, 195, 10.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.8 apg)
G - 32 Demetri McCamey (Fr., 6-3, 205, 6.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.8 apg)
Off the Bench
G - 2 Chris Hicks (Sr., 6-2, 190, 0.2 ppg, 0.0 rpg)
G - 3 Chester Frazier (Jr., 6-2, 190, 4.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 4.2 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, 5.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg)
F - 24 Mike Davis (Fr., 6-9, 195, 2.8 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, 0.5 rpg)
C - 54 Mike Tisdale (Fr., 7-1, 215, 4.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg)
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 224-91/.711 (10th year)
At Illinois: 121-37/.766 (5th year)
Big Ten: 49-20/.710
Vs. Purdue: 4-2
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)
Purdue Head Coach: Matt Painter
Overall Record: 68-41/.624 (4th year)
At Purdue: 43-36/.544 (3rd year)
Vs. Illinois: 1-1
Series Notes: Purdue
Purdue leads the all-time series over Illinois, 86-81, and the Boilermakers own a 55-27 advantage in games played in West Lafayette.
The teams met just once last season, a 64-47 Purdue victory on Jan. 27 at Mackey Arena, breaking a four-game Illini winning streak in the series.
The Illini and the Boilermakers will meet again in two weeks, Feb. 2 in Champaign.
Back on the Road
Following Wednesday's home win over Michigan, Illinois is now on the road for three of its next four games. The Illini play at Purdue Saturday and at Ohio State Tuesday. After a home game vs. Northwestern next Sunday (Jan. 27) the Illini conclude the month of January with another road game at Michigan State (Jan. 30).
Illini Headlines ...
With 75 points in Wednesday's win over Michigan, Illinois scored more than 70 for the first time in six games and topped the 70-point marker for the sixth time this season.
Illinois shot 52.9 percent against the Wolverines (27-51), breaking 50 percent for the first time in 11 games and the fourth time on the year.
Randle is averaging 14.0 points and 10.0 rebounds over the last two games. He had nine points and a season-high 10 rebounds at Indiana, then had a career-high 19 points with a season-high tying 10 boards vs. Michigan, marking his second career double-double.
Pruitt, meanwhile, is averaging 16.5 points and 7.5 rebounds over the last two games. He had 14 points and eight boards at Indiana, then 19 points and seven boards vs. Michigan.
Pruitt and Randle combined for 38 points vs. Michigan on Wednesday, equaling the senior duo's highest scoring total of the season. They also combined for 38 points vs. Miami (OH) on Dec. 20.
Calvin Brock is averaging 12.0 points over the last four games (48) on 62.5 percent shooting (20-32). He scored a season-high 15 points vs. Penn State, 14 points at Wisconsin, eight at Indiana and 11 vs. Michigan. Brock is shooting 59.5 percent from the field (22-37) and has made 6-of-8 from 3-point range in conference play.
Demetri McCamey is averaging 9.7 points (68) over the last seven games after totaling just 10 points over the previous four games.
McCamey is fourth in the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio in conference play at 2.75 (22 a/8 to).
Playing 72 minutes over the last two games, McCamey has combined for 11 assists with just two turnovers. He had five assists at Indiana and tied his career high with six assists vs. Michigan.
Trent Meacham is averaging 11.0 points over the last three games (33) after totaling just five points over the previous two games. He had 14 points at Wisconsin, eight at Indiana and 11 vs. Michigan.
Meacham has a 3.0 assist-to-turnover ratio over the last two games (9 a/3 to).
Chester Frazier has a 7.5 assist-to-turnover ratio over his last three games (15 a/2 to). He had six assists vs. Penn State and a season-high seven assists at Wisconsin.
Shaun Pruitt leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds with an average of 3.6 per game (64 total off. reb.). He ranks fifth in the league in total rebounds (7.8 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.
Shaun Pruitt has scored at least nine points in all but two games this season.
Eight different players have been the Illini's leading scorer in a game this season (Brian Randle-6, Shaun Pruitt-5, Trent Meacham-4, Calvin Brock-2, Rodney Alexander-1, Demetri McCamey-1, Mike Tisdale-1, Chester Frazier-1)
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 44 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 13 of 18 games and ranks fifth in the Big Ten in rebound margin at +4.8 rpg.
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 has started every game over the past two-and-a-half seasons, entering the Purdue game with an active streak of 86 consecutive starts.
Pruitt is Illinois' active career scoring leader with 862 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 46 points away from joining the Top 50 list of Illinois' all-time leading scorers (No. 50 Stephen Bardo - 908 pts).
There have been 54 consecutive sellout crowds at the Assembly Hall entering the next home game vs. Northwestern on Jan. 27. The streak began on Dec. 6, 2004.
Last Time Out: Michigan
Illinois snapped its five-game losing streak and recorded its first Big Ten on Wednesday, defeating Michigan 75-57 at the Assembly Hall. The score was tied at 43 with just over 12 minutes remaining when the Illini went on a crucial 13-0 run over the next four-and-a-half minutes to break the game open.
Brian Randle scored a career-high 19 points on 7-9 shooting, including 2-2 from 3-point range, and recorded the second double-double of his career with a game-high and season-high tying 10 rebounds.
Fellow senior Shaun Pruitt joined Randle with 19 points, shooting 8-11 on the night, and grabbed seven boards.
Trent Meacham and Calvin Brocked also reached double figures, scoring 11 points apiece.
Seniors Provide 1-2 Punch
Seniors Shaun Pruitt and Brian Randle have been very effective over the last two games, with the program's two most experienced players providing a powerful 1-2 punch in the Illini lineup. Pruitt and Randle combined to average 30.5 points and 17.5 boards vs. Indiana and Michigan, accounting for 45.9 percent of the team's scoring and 48.6 percent of its rebounds.
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.
Illinois has played one of the nation's most difficult schedules this season. Illinois' strength of schedule currently ranks 25th. The Illini own the fourth-toughest SOS in the Big Ten behind Ohio State (8), Michigan (10) and Michigan State (20).
Illinois has already played four teams in the current top 25 of the RPI and has faced six top-50 RPI opponents so far this season, tied with Michigan for the most among Big Ten teams. Ohio State and Iowa, meanwhile, have each played five top-50 RPI teams.
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 fifth in the Big Ten and 50th nationally in scoring defense with opponents averaging 61.7 points per game on the season. The Illini are fourth in the league and 35th in the NCAA in field goal percentage defense (.390) and second in the conference 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' defense has stood out recently against two of the nation's top scoring teams. Missouri ranks 13th in the NCAA in scoring, averaging 83.0 ppg. But Illinois held the Tigers to a season-low 58 points, 25 points below its average, in a Braggin' Rights victory on Dec. 22.
Last Sunday Illinois held Indiana, the Big Ten's top scoring team and No. 22 in the NCAA, more than 20 points below its season average. The Hoosiers entered the game averaging 82.6 points but scored a season-low 62 vs. the Illini.
Illinois has also had two other memorable defensive efforts this season. The Illini 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 also 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.
Dominating the Glass
Illinois has outrebounded 13 of 18 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 38.1 rpg.
Illinois' bench is contributing 20.7 points per game (373 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 12.8 points (15th in Big Ten) and 7.8 rebounds (5th 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), 19 vs. Michigan, 16 vs. Loyola (MD), 15 at Hawaii, 14 vs. Missouri and Indiana, 12 vs. Northeastern and Ohio State, 11 vs. 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 (Arizona through Loyola) before the streak came to an end vs. Tennessee State on Dec. 30 (7 points). It marked the first time he reached double figures in five straight games since his career-long 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 fifth in the Big Ten in rebounding, Pruitt leads the league in offensive rebounds with an average of 3.6 per game (64 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 Purdue game with an active streak of 86 consecutive starts.
He is Illinois' active career scoring leader with 862 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 46 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 10.2 points, ranking second 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, 17 points vs. Arizona State and 16 points vs. Duke.
Randle returned to double figures 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 notched 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 last Sunday with nine points and a season-high 10 rebounds while playing all 40 minutes for the first time in his career.
Randle scored a career-high 19 points in the win over Michigan Wednesday night. He also recorded the second double-double of his career, tying his season high with 10 boards against the Wolverines.
Over the last two games, Randle is averaging 14.0 points and 10.0 rebounds.
Randle ranks second on the team in field goal percentage on the season, shooting 50.3 percent from the field (12th in Big Ten). He also is the team's second-leading rebounder with an average of 5.4 boards on the season (15th in Big Ten).
Freshman point guard Demetri McCamey has been a bright spot for the Illini in recent weeks, earning increased playing time and starting the last three games after entering the starting lineup for the first time in his career at Wisconsin on Jan. 10.
McCamey has averaged 9.7 points (68) over the last seven games, playing an average of 27.6 minutes per game (193). 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 then had six points and five assists without a turnover in a career-high 38 minutes at Indiana.
He most recently has seven points and tied his career high with six assists in the win over Michigan Wednesday.
McCamey is fifth on the Illini in scoring on the year (6.4 ppg) and ranks third on the team in assists (2.8 apg). He ranks third on the Illini in scoring in Big Ten play with an average of 10.0 points.
McCamey is fourth in the Big Ten with a 2.8 assist-to-turnover ratio in conference play (22 a/8 to). He has combined for 11 assists with just two turnovers in 72 minutes over his last two games.
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 12.0 points on 62.5 percent shooting over the last four games after scoring a season-high 15 points vs. Penn State, 14 points at Wisconsin, eight at Indiana and 11 vs. Michigan.
He ranks second on the team in scoring in conference games (10.6 ppg) and is shooting 59.5 percent from the field (22-37) and 75 percent (6-8) from behind the arc in conference play.
Brock is fourth on the Illini in scoring and rebounding on the season, averaging 8.3 points and 3.7 boards. He also leads the team in steals (1.3 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 33.2 minutes per contest (fifth in Big Ten), Frazier is averaging 4.6 points. He leads the Illini and ranks sixth in the conference in assists (4.2 apg) and is second on the team in steals (0.7 spg).
Despite standing 6-2, Frazier also is third on the team in rebounding with an average of 5.4 rpg. He currently ranks 16th 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, Penn State and Michigan, 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 mishap came during the Penn State game when he suffered strained cartilage in his rib cage that has caused him to miss practice since Jan. 7. 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 last Sunday due to the injury but returned to action vs. Michigan on Wednesday, grabbing eight boards in 25 minutes off the bench.
Over the last three games in which he has played, Frazier has a 7.5 assist-to-turnover ratio (15 assists/2 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 third on the Illini in scoring with an average of 10.2 points. He is also eighth in the Big Ten with an average of 2.1 treys per game (35 total).
Meacham has had some big scoring games this season, topping 20 points twice and reaching double figures seven 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), 13 vs. Missouri (Dec. 22) and 11 vs. Michigan on Wednesday.
*For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at the top of this page.