Alex Legion and the Illini host Ohio State on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Jan. 19, 2009
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #19: #25ap/24 Illinois (15-3, 3-2) vs. Ohio State (13-3, 3-2)
Jan. 20, 2009 // 6 p.m. CT // ESPN
Champaign, Ill. // Assembly Hall (16,618)
On the Air
ESPN: Brent Musberger, play-by-play; Steve Lavin, expert analyst; Erin Andrews, sideline reporter.
Illini Sports Network-44 stations: Brian Barnhart, play-by-play; Jerry Hester, expert analyst; Loren Tate pregame/halftime/ postgame interviews.
Illini Probable Starters G - 32 Demetri McCamey So., 6-3, 205 11.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 4.9 apg G - 1 Trent Meacham r-Sr., 6-2, 195 11.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.7 apg G - 3 Chester Frazier Sr., 6-2, 195 5.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 5.9 apg, 1.4 spg F - 24 Mike Davis So., 6-9, 210 11.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.7 apg C - 54 Mike Tisdale So., 7-1, 235 11.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.3 bpg
Off the Bench G - 13 Jeff Jordan So., 6-1, 185 1.4 ppg, 0.4 rpg, 1.3 apg G - 15 Bubba Chisholm Jr., 5-11, 180 0.5 ppg, 0.1 rpg C - 21 Stan Simpson Fr., 6-9, 220 considering redshirt F - 23 Dominique Keller Jr., 6-7, 230 5.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg G - 25 Calvin Brock r-Sr., 6-5, 200 5.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.1 apg F - 30 Bill Cole So., 6-9, 215 1.4 ppg, 1.2 rpg G - 33 Alex Legion So., 6-5, 200 6.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg F - 34 C.J. Jackson r-Jr., 6-8, 265 1.1 ppg, 0.6 rpg C - 50 Richard Semrau r-So., 6-10, 240 1.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 246-104/.703 (11th year)
At Illinois: 143-50/.741 (6th year)
Big Ten: 56-31/.644
Vs. Ohio State: 3-5
Assistant Coaches: Wayne McClain (8th year), Jay Price (6th year), Jerrance Howard (2nd year)
Assistant to the Head Coach: Gary Nottingham (6th year)
Director of Basketball Operations: Sean Harrington (1st year)
Trainer: Al Martindale (26th year at Illinois)
Ohio State Head Coach: Thad Matta
Overall Record: 220-69/.761 (9th year)
At Ohio State: 118-38/.756 (5th year)
Vs. Illinois: 5-1
Series Notes: Ohio State
Illinois leads the all-time series 100-64 over Ohio State, and the UI owns a 59-23 advantage in games played at Champaign. The Buckeyes, however, carry a five-game winning streak over the Illini into Tuesday night's contest.
Ohio State won both match-ups last season, 74-58 at the Assembly Hall on Jan. 3 and 64-58 in Columbus on Jan. 22.
The teams will meet again at Ohio State on Feb. 21 or 22.
Blend of Orange and American Flags to Decorate Assembly Hall for "Illinois Day"
Each person entering the Assembly Hall on Tuesday night will be given a miniature American flag to signify "Illinois Day," as the state's flagship University sees its men's basketball team appear on ESPN on the same day that the state's former junior senator is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States. In the biggest inauguration party outside of Washington D.C., fans will be asked to wave the flags in the moments leading up to and including tipoff, creating a once-in-a-lifetime image at Assembly Hall.
Illini Enter Top 25
Illinois appears in the Top 25 in both polls this week, ranked No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 25 in the Associated Press Poll. This is the first time Illinois has been ranked since the final polls of the 2005-06 season.
With assists on 72 percent of its baskets this season, Illinois leads the nation in assist percentage. The Illini rank third in the NCAA in assists, averaging 19.4 assists per game. Illinois, meanwhile, ranks fifth nationally with a team assist-to-turnover ratio of +1.5.
After opening league play with two road games, Illinois is now in the midst of having four out of five games at home. The stretch began with Illinois' win over Indiana (Jan. 10) and continued with the victory over Michigan (Jan. 14). Following Saturday's loss at Michigan State, the Illini return to the Assembly Hall for two games this week, hosting Ohio State on Tuesday and Wisconsin on Saturday.
With its victory over Michigan last Wednesday, Illinois became the 13th team in NCAA Div. I history to reach 1,600 wins all-time.
Illinois recorded its 15th win of the 2008-09 season vs. Michigan on Jan. 14. The Illini have already exceeded its regular-season win total from all of 2007-08 (13), and are now just win away from equaling last season's 16 victories.
Illinois has won 19 of its last 23 games dating back to the end of last season.
Illinois just concluded a stretch of playing four out of five games vs. ranked opponents. It began with a win at No. 9 Purdue (Dec. 30) and continued with a loss at No. 23 Michigan (Jan. 4). After the Indiana win (Jan. 10), Illinois defeated No. 25 Michigan (Jan. 14) and the run concluded with a loss at No. 7 Michigan State (Jan. 17).
Illinois is 3-2 vs. ranked teams this season.
Illinois leads the Big Ten and ranks fifth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 57.0 ppg.
Clemson (Dec. 2) and Michigan (Jan. 4) are the only two teams to top 70 points and shoot better than 46 percent against the Illini this season.
Illinois leads the Big Ten and is 22nd in the NCAA in field goal percentage, shooting 47.9 percent on the year.
Illinois ranks second in the conference and 24th in the NCAA in scoring margin at +13.1 ppg.
Four Illini are scoring in double figures, while eight players are averaging more than five points per game.
Illinois' top four scorers are separated by a total of only nine points after 18 games.
Illinois is the only Big Ten team with four players among the league's Top 25 scorers.
Eight different players have been the Illini's leading scorer in a game this season.
Four of Illinois' top five scorers are sophomores. In all, the UI sophomore class has scored 58.6 percent of its points on the season (740 of 1,262 pts).
Illinois has trailed at halftime in only one game this season -- vs. Michigan on Jan. 14 -- and that deficit was only one point.
Illinois has scored more bench points than the opposition in 14 of 18 games.
In the latest NCAA statistical rankings released on Jan. 16, Chester Frazier ranks 24th in the nation in assists and 30th in assist-to-turnover ratio. He leads the Big Ten in assists, averaging 5.9 apg, and is fourth in the league with an a/to ratio of +2.5.
In Big Ten games only, Demetri McCamey leads the conference in assists while ranking second in assist/turnover ratio (4.1).
Mike Davis ranks second in the Big Ten in double-doubles this season with four, and is the leagues No. 5-ranked rebounder, averaging 7.3 boards. Davis has been the Illini's top rebounder in 12 games.
Trent Meacham has committed just two turnovers through 148 minutes of Big Ten play.
For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at top of this page.