Illinois hosts Wisconsin on Saturday at 1 p.m. CT at Assembly Hall. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.
Jan. 19, 2007
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #21: Illinois (14-6, 2-3) vs. #2ap/3 Wisconsin (18-1, 4-0)
Jan. 20, 2007 1 p.m. CT ESPN
Champaign, Ill. Assembly Hall (16,618)
On the Air
ESPN (National): Dave O'Brien, play-by-play; Rick Majerus, 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, 8.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.4 apg)
F - 41 Warren Carter (Sr., 6-9, 220, 13.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.2 bpg)
C - 55 Shaun Pruitt (Jr., 6-10, 245, 11.0 ppg, 6.9 rpg)
G - 33 Rich McBride (Sr., 6-3, 205, 8.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.8 apg)
G - 1 Trent Meacham (r-So., 6-2, 195, 7.1 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 2.3 apg)
Off the Bench
G - 2 Chris Hicks (Jr., 6-2, 190, 0.5 ppg, 0.1 rpg)
G - 3 Chester Frazier (So., 6-2, 190, 8.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 5.4 apg, 1.5 spg)
C - 21 Brian Carlwell (Fr., 6-11, 265, 2.2 ppg, 1.5 rpg)
F - 25 Calvin Brock (r-So., 6-5, 195, 6.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.8 apg)
G - 31 Jamar Smith (So., 6-3, 185, 10.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.1 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, 1.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg)
F - 50 Richard Semrau (Fr., 6-9, 230, 3.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg) -Out-
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 206-76/.730 (9th year)
At Illinois: 103-22/.824 (4th year)
Big Ten: 41-12/.774
Vs. Wisconsin: 5-2
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)
Wisconsin Head Coach: Bo Ryan
Overall Record: 513-153/.770 (23rd year)
At Wisconsin: 130-50/.722 (6th year)
Vs. Illinois All-Time: 4-8
Assistant Coaches: Greg Gard, Gary Close, Howard Moore
Series Notes: Wisconsin
Illinois leads the all-time series over Wisconsin 106-68, including a 66-17 advantage in games played at Champaign. Illinois carries a four-game winning streak in the series into Saturay's contest. The Illini have also won the last seven games over the Badgers played at Assembly Hall.
Illinois begins a stretch of having four of its next five games at home. The first two games are against the top two teams in the current Big Ten standings, Wisconsin in first place (4-0) and Indiana in second (4-1).
At No. 2 in this week's Associated Press poll, Wisconsin is the highest-ranked opponent to play in Assembly Hall since Illinois defeated No. 1 Wake Forest 91-73 on Dec. 1, 2004. The Badgers are the highest-ranked Big Ten opponent to play in The Hall in 16 years, since No. 2 Ohio State defeated Illinois 73-64 on Feb. 20, 1991.
The starting frontcourt of forwards Brian Randle and Warren Carter and center Shaun Pruitt have accounted for 58 percent of Illinois' scoring over the last three games (48 of 74 pts vs. Iowa, 29 of 57 pts vs. Michigan State and 36 of 64 pts vs. Minnesota: total 113 of 195 pts.).
After combining for just 7 points and making one 3-pointer over the previous three games (1-12), Rich McBride has averaged 12.0 points over the last three games. He scored 15 points against Iowa (Jan. 10), had a team-high 12 points at Michigan State (Jan. 14) and had nine points at Minnesota on Wednesday.
McBride is shooting over 46 percent from 3-point range the last three games (12-26), hitting a season-high five treys vs. Iowa, four treys vs. Michigan State, and three treys vs. Minnesota.
Over his last 13 games, Warren Carter is averaging 15.4 points (200) and 7.1 rebounds (92). 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 13-game stretch, Carter has been Illinois' leading scorer seven times and has reached double figures 12 times.
Brian Randle is averaging 12.0 points (36) and 6.3 rebounds (19) and is shooting 68 percent from the field (15-22) over the last three games. Randle tied his career high with 16 points vs. Iowa (Jan. 10), had eight points at Michigan State (Jan. 14) and had 12 points at Minnesota on Wednesday.
Illinois won its 16th straight game over Minnesota on Wednesday, a streak that spans the last eight years, beginning with the 1999 Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinal. It is the longest active winning streak by any Big Ten school over a conference opponent.
Illinois started its seventh different lineup of the season against Iowa (Jan. 10). 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 32 games so far this season due to injury (Richard Semrau-15, Brian Randle-9, Jamar Smith-6, Warren Carter-1, Chester Frazier-1).
In five of its six losses, Illinois has led during the second half.
Illinois extended its school-record streak of consecutive sell-out crowds at the Assembly Hall (16,618) to 39 against Iowa.
Illinois is a balanced offensive club, with three players averaging double figures and eight members of the roster averaging at least 6.9 points per game.
Seven different players have been Illinois' leading scorer in a game this season (Warren Carter-8, Jamar Smith-4, Shaun Pruitt-4, Trent Meacham-2, Rich McBride-2, Chester Frazier-1, Brian Randle-1).
Trent Meacham leads the Big Ten in 3-point shooting at 46.8 percent (29-62). 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.
Chester Frazier ranks third in the Big Ten and 25th in the NCAA (as of Jan. 15) in assists with an average of 5.4 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).
Illinois' leading scorer, Warren Carter ranks 12th in the league with an average of 13.8 points. Carter is also seventh in the conference in rebounding, averaging 6.6 rpg, and 10th in blocks, averaging 1.2 bpg.
Shaun Pruitt ranks fourth in the Big Ten in rebounding (6.9 rpg) and is sixth in field goal percentage (.542, 90-166).
Jamar Smith 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 13 games this season and is second on the team in scoring at 11.0 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 is tied with Warren Carter for the team lead in double-doubles with four on the season.
Over the last 16 games in which he has played, Chester Frazier has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.2 (83 assists/38 turnovers).
Calvin Brock has scored at least six points in 13 games.
Illinois leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds (13.8 rpg).
Illinois has scored over 70 points in 13 games and is averaging 70.4 points on the season.
Illinois is outscoring its opponent by an average of 10.3 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 seven games.
The Illini are third in the Big Ten in 3-pointers, making an average of 7.6 per game (152 total).
Illinois has outrebounded 13 opponents and is outrebounding its opponent by an average of 6.4 boards (5th in Big Ten, 34th in NCAA as of Jan. 15).
Illinois is holding its opponents to an average of just 60.1 points (5th in Big Ten, 32nd in NCAA as of Jan. 15).
Paint the Hall Orange
Saturday's game vs. Wisconsin is "Paint the Hall Orange VII". The annual promotion by a local radio station encourages everyone in attendance to wear orange to the game. And while one game each season is still singled out for the promotion, fan enthusiasm for the orange craze has helped turn the Assembly Hall in recent years into a sea of orange for every home game. Following is a list of past Paint the Hall Orange games at Assembly Hall:
2/6/01 No. 7 Illinois def. No. 4 Michigan State, 77-66
2/3/02 Michigan State def. No. 12 Illinois, 67-61
1/22/03 No. 18 Illinois def. Purdue, 75-62
2/1/04 Illinois def. Michigan State, 75-51
12/1/04 No. 5 Illinois def. No. 1 Wake Forest, 91-73
2/19/06 No. 14 Illinois def. Indiana, 70-58
Last Time Out: at Minnesota
Illinois scored the first 13 points of the game and later went on a 21-2 first half run to cruise to a 64-52 victory at Minnesota on Wednesday. The victory was Illinois' first road win of the season.
After Minnesota had cut the deficit to 17-13 with just over eight minutes left until halftime, Illinois went on the decisive 21-2 run to take its biggest lead of the game at 38-15. The Illini led by double figures the rest of the way, as Minnesota could get no closer than 10 points at 59-49 with five minutes remaining.
Illinois shot 43.6 percent and made 7-14 from 3-point range while holding Minnesota to 38.6 percent shooting. The Illini outrebounded the Gophers 37-27 and dominated on the offensive glass, collecting 15 offensive boards which were converted into 15 points.
Warren Carter led the way with his fourth double-double of the season, collecting 17 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high five assists. Brian Randle had 12 points and seven rebounds while Trent Meacham added 12 points and five assists.
Assembly Hall: The House of 'Paign
Illinois owns a homecourt record of 65-4 (.942) over the last four-and-a-half seasons. The Illini are also 102-6 (.944) at the Assembly Hall over the past seven-and-a-half years, which ranks second in the nation for homecourt winning percentage this decade behind only Gonzaga.
Illinois had its nation's best 51-game winning streak at the Assembly Hall against non-conference opponents come to an end against Maryland on Nov. 28. The Illini's school-record 33-game homecourt winning streak ended last year against Penn State (Feb. 4, 2006).
Below is a look at Illinois' record at the Assembly Hall this decade:
Year Overall Big Ten 2006-07 9-2 1-1 2005-06 15-1 7-1 2004-05 15-0 8-0 2003-04 12-1 7-1 2002-03 14-0 7-0 2001-02 13-1 7-1 2000-01 12-0 8-0 1999-2000 12-1 7-1 Total 102-6 (.944) 52-5 (.912)
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:
103-22: Illinois' overall record under Weber, a winning percentage of .824.
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.
41-12: Illinois' record in Big Ten play under Weber - which incudes back-to-back outright championships in 2004 and 2005 - a winning percentage of .774.
90-17: Illinois' record in regular season games under Weber, a winning percentage of .841.
49-5: Illinois' record in regular season non-conference games under Weber, a winning percentage of .907.
21-9: Illinois' record in road games under Weber, a winning percentage of .700.
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 19 games that he has played in this year and leads the team in scoring with an average of 13.8 points (12th in Big Ten). He has reached double figures 15 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 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).
Carter had 16 points vs. Iowa (Jan. 10) on 6-7 shooting, had 11 vs. Michigan State (Jan. 14) and reached double figures for the eighth straight game on Wednesday with a team-best 17 points at Minnesota..
Carter is second on the team in rebounding behind Pruitt, averaging 6.6 rpg to rank seventh 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.
Over his last 13 games, Carter is averaging 15.4 points and 7.1 rebounds. During that 13-game stretch, Carter has been Illinois' leading scorer seven times and has reached double figures 12 times.
Pruitt A Consistent Contributor
Shaun Pruitt started every game last season and is once again the Illini's starting center this year. The only player to star all 20 games this season, Pruitt has scored in double figures in 13 games and is second on the team in scoring with an average of 11.0 points.
Pruitt leads the Illini and is fourth in the Big Ten in rebounding with an average of 6.9 boards and has been an efficient scorer, shooting 54.2 percent from the field (90-166) to rank sixth in the Big Ten. He has four double-doubles on the season.
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).
Last week, Pruitt had 16 points on 7-8 shooting vs. Iowa (Jan. 10) and had 10 points and a game-high seven rebounds at Michigan State (Jan. 14).
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 8.0 points and ranks third in the Big Ten and 25th in the NCAA (as of Jan. 15) with an average of 5.6 assists. Frazier is also fifth on the Illini with an average of 4.3 rebounds and leads the team in steals, averaging 1.5 spg (fifth 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 most recently reached double figures at Michigan (Jan. 3) with 11 points.
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 (Jan. 10) due to a strained groin. He returned to the court against Michigan State on Jan. 10, scoring eight points and collecting four assists and a career-high four steals in 25 minutes of action.
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 41 turnovers over his past 17 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 16 games is 2.2 (83 assists/38 turnovers).
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 Jan. 10 and made his presence felt, scoring 15 points on a season-high five 3-pointers. He then had a team-high 12 points on four treys at Michigan State on Jan. 14. McBride most recently had nine points at Minnesota on Wednesday.
Over his last three games, McBride is averaging 12.0 points while shooting 46.2 percent from 3-point range (12-26).
McBride has started 12 of 16 games on the season and ranks fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 8.8 points. He ranks fifth in the Big Ten with an average of 2.5 three-pointers per game (40 total) and is also averaging 1.8 assists.
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 Jan. 10. 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 has appeared on ESPN's Top 10 list.
After scoring eight at Michigan State (Jan. 14), Randle was back in double figures with 12 points on 5-7 shooting at Minnesota on Wednesday.
Over the last three games, Randle is averaging 12.0 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 68.2 percent from the field.
Randle is averaging 8.7 points (fifth on team) and 4.7 rebounds (third on team) on the season, is shooting 52.9 percent from the field, and has made 7-17 from 3-point range (41.2 percent).
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 games and is third on the team in scoring with an average of 10.4 points. He is the second highest scoring non-starter in the Big Ten behind Daequan Cook of Ohio State.
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 (Jan. 3).
Smith has totaled 33 three-pointers in 14 games (2.4 avg.) and is shooting 36.7 percent (33-92) from behind the arc on the season. Smith would rank sixth 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.
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 returned to the starting lineup against Iowa (Jan. 10) and has started the last three games. He had his best Big Ten game at Minnesota on Wednesday, scoring 12 points and dishing out five assists in 32 minutes.
Meacham leads the Big Ten in 3-point field goal shooting at 46.8 percent (29-62), is averaging 7.1 points on the season and is second on the team in assists (2.3 apg).
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 6.9 points. He is fourth on the Illini in rebounding, averaging 4.7 boards and is second with 45 offensive rebounds (2.3 avg, 11th in Big Ten). Brock is shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor (58-117) and is averaging 1.8 assists.
*For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at top of this page.