Men's Basketball
#25/24 Illinois Game Notes vs. Wisconsin

Chester Frazier and the Illini take on Wisconsin Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Assembly Hall.
Chester Frazier and the Illini take on Wisconsin Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Assembly Hall.

Jan. 22, 2009

Champaign, Ill. -

Illinois Men's Basketball Game Notes vs. Wisconsin in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Game #20: #25ap/24 Illinois (16-3, 4-2) vs. Wisconsin (12-6, 3-3)
Jan. 24, 2009 // 3 p.m. CT // ESPN
Champaign, Ill. // Assembly Hall (16,618)

On the Air

ESPN: Dave O'Brien, play-by-play; Doris Burke, expert analyst.

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, 5.0 apg G - 1 Trent Meacham r-Sr., 6-2, 195 11.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.7 apg G - 3 Chester Frazier Sr., 6-2, 195 5.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5.7 apg, 1.4 spg F - 24 Mike Davis So., 6-9, 210 11.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.7 apg C - 54 Mike Tisdale So., 7-1, 235 11.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.2 bpg

Off the Bench G - 13 Jeff Jordan So., 6-1, 185 1.3 ppg, 0.4 rpg, 1.2 apg G - 15 Bubba Chisholm Jr., 5-11, 180 0.4 ppg, 0.1 rpg C - 21 Stan Simpson Fr., 6-9, 220 considering redshirt F - 23 Dominique Keller Jr., 6-7, 230 5.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg G - 25 Calvin Brock r-Sr., 6-5, 200 5.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg F - 30 Bill Cole So., 6-9, 215 1.3 ppg, 1.1 rpg G - 33 Alex Legion So., 6-5, 200 6.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg F - 34 C.J. Jackson r-Jr., 6-8, 265 1.0 ppg, 0.6 rpg C - 50 Richard Semrau r-So., 6-10, 240 1.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg

Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 247-104/.704 (11th year)
Big Ten: 57-31/.644
At Illinois: 144-50/.742 (6th year)
Vs. Wisconsin: 5-7
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)

Wisconsin Head Coach: Bo Ryan
Overall Record: 568-169/.771 (25th year)
At Wisconsin: 185-66/.737 (8th year)
Vs. Illinois at Wisconsin: 9-7
Vs. Illinois All-Time: 9-8

Series Notes: Wisconsin
Illinois leads the all-time series 106-73 over Wisconsin, and the UI owns a 66-19 advantage in games played at Champaign. The Badgers, however, carry a five-game winning streak over the Illini into Saturday's contest.

Wisconsin won all three match-ups last season, 70-60 in Madison on Jan. 10, 71-57 at the Assembly Hall on Feb. 20, and 61-48 in the Big Ten Tournament Championship on March 16.

The teams will meet again at Wisconsin on Feb. 5.

Illini Enter Top 25
Illinois appears in both Top 25 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.

Opening Tips
• With assists on 71.1 percent of its baskets this season, Illinois leads the nation in assist percentage. The Illini rank third in the NCAA in assists, averaging 19.2 assists per game. Illinois, meanwhile, ranks fifth nationally with a team assist-to-turnover ratio of +1.5.

• Illinois recorded its 16th victory of the 2008-09 season vs. Ohio State on Tuesday, equaling its win total from last season.

• After opening league play with two road games, Illinois is now concluding a stretch of having four out of five games at home. The run began with Illinois' win over Indiana (Jan. 10) and continued with the victory over Michigan (Jan. 14). Following last Saturday's loss at Michigan State, the Illini returned to the Assembly Hall to defeat Ohio State on Tuesday and hosts Wisconsin on Saturday.

• Illinois has won 20 of its last 24 games dating back to the end of last season.

• Illinois is 3-2 vs. ranked teams this season.

• Illinois leads the Big Ten and ranks fifth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 56.6 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 25th in the NCAA in field goal percentage, shooting 47.9 percent on the year.

• Illinois ranks second in the conference and 29th in the NCAA in scoring margin at +13.4 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 15 points after 19 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.

• Illinois' top three scorers, and four of its top five, are sophomores. In all, the UI sophomore class has scored 58.6 percent of the team's points on the season (779 of 1,329 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 15 of 19 games.

• In the latest NCAA statistical rankings released on Jan. 19, Chester Frazier ranks 27th in the nation in assists and 22nd in assist-to-turnover ratio. He leads the Big Ten in assists, averaging 5.7 apg, and is fourth in the league with an a/to ratio of 2.4.

• In Big Ten games only, Demetri McCamey leads the conference in both assists (6.0 apg) and assist/ turnover ratio (4.0).

Mike Davis ranks third 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 13 games.

Mike Tisdale ranks fifth in the Big Ten in field goal percentage, shooting 54.4 percent. Mike Davis, meanwhile, is sixth in the league at 53.6 percent.

Trent Meacham has committed just two turnovers through 168 minutes of Big Ten play.

• In five of the last seven games, including each of the last four games at Assembly Hall, Illinois' first basket has been a 3-pointer by Demetri McCamey.

Last Time Out: Ohio State
Pressure defense spearheaded the Illini to a convincing 67-49 victory over Ohio State on Tuesday night at the Assembly Hall. Illinois held Ohio State to its second-lowest point total of the season and forced the Buckeyes into a season-high 20 turnovers. Chester Frazier's defense on OSU leading scorer Evan Turner was impressive. Turner, who entered the game averaging 15.9 points, was held to a season-low four points on 2-of-7 shooting.

Offensively, Illinois was balanced once again with four players scoring in double figures. Mike Tisdale scored a game-high 15 points while Demetri McCamey had 13 with a game-high seven assists. Dominique Keller came off the bench to add 12 while Chester Frazier scored 10, his first game Big Ten game in double figures this season.

Offensive Turnaround
To better illustrate why Illinois is one of the nation's most improved teams compared to one year ago, the UI's improvement in a number of offensive statistics is staggering. Below is a list of Illinois' all-games stats this season compared to last season, with the Illini's Big Ten rank in each stat listed in parenthesis:

Category        2008-09      2007-08
FG Pct.         47.9 (1)     43.5 (7)
3FG Pct.        37.1 (6)     31.9 (10)
FT Pct.         72.2 (3)     60.8 (11)
Assists/Game    19.2 (1)     13.8 (5)
A/TO Ratio      1.48 (1)     1.01 (8)
Points/Game     69.9 (6)     63.6 (8)
Scoring Margin  +13.4 (2)    +2.5 (7)
Wins            16 (1)       16 (7)
Big Ten Wins    4 (2)        5 (9)

Jordan Earns Scholarship
Sophomore Jeff Jordan came to Illinois last year as a recruited walk-on. To reward his hard work and expanded role with the Illini, Weber placed Jordan on athletic scholarship for spring semester classes, which began on Tuesday. Jordan has appeared in 18 games this season, averaging 1.3 points and 1.2 assists.

Assisting The Offense
Illinois' ball movement has been very effective this season. Illinois also leads the nation in assist rate, recording assists on 71.1 percent of its baskets (364 assists on 512 field goals). The Illini rank third in the NCAA in assists, averaging 19.2 assists per game.

Illinois has totaled 20+ assists in nine games and recorded a season-high 25 assists vs. Jackson State on Nov. 23, the most by a Big Ten team this year. Here is a game-by-game look at Illinois' assists-to-field goals percentage this season:

Game                A     FG    Pct.
E. Washington       14    24    58.3
Texas A&M-CC        22    27    81.5
at Vanderbilt       18    24    75
Jackson State       25    31    80.6
vs. Kent State      23    25    92
vs. Tulsa           13    23    56.5
Clemson             19    31    61.3
vs. Georgia         23    33    69.7
Hawaii              16    27    59.3
Chicago State       24    32    75.0
Detroit             20    29    69.0
vs. Missouri        22    29    75.9
Eastern Michigan    18    22    81.8
at Purdue           21    30    70.0
at Michigan         23    28    82.1
Indiana             17    26    65.4
Michigan            12    22    54.5
at Michigan State   19    22    86.4
Ohio State          15    27    55.6
Total               364   512   71.1

Hot Shooting Illini
Illinois is the Big Ten's top-ranked team and No. 25 in the NCAA in field goal percentage at 47.9 percent on the season. The Illini have shot better than 45 percent in 12 games, including better than 50 percent in six of those contests. Against Detroit on Dec. 20, Illinois lit up the nets for 64.4 percent accuracy (29-45), the UI's highest field goal percentage of the Weber era. The Illini most recently topped 50 percent vs. Indiana on Jan. 10, shooting 51.0 percent.

For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at top of this page.