Illinois takes on Michigan State Tuesday at 8 p.m. at the Assembly Hall. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.
Jan. 29, 2007
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #24: Illinois (15-8, 3-5) vs. Michigan State (17-5, 4-3)
Jan. 30, 2007 8 p.m. CT ESPN
Champaign, Ill. Assembly Hall (16,618)
On the Air
ESPN (National): Brent Musberger, play-by-play; Steve Lavin, expert analyst; Erin Andrews, sideline reporter.
Illini Sports Network - 47 stations: Brian Barnhart, play-by-play; Jerry Hester, expert analyst; Loren Tate pregame/halftime/ postgame interviews.
Illini Probable Starters
F - 41 Warren Carter (Sr., 6-9, 220, 13.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.2 bpg)
C - 55 Shaun Pruitt (Jr., 6-10, 245, 11.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg)
G - 33 Rich McBride (Sr., 6-3, 205, 9.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.7 apg)
G - 31 Jamar Smith (So., 6-3, 185, 8.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.9 apg)
G - 3 Chester Frazier (So., 6-2, 190, 7.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 5.0 apg, 1.5 spg)
Off the Bench
G - 1 Trent Meacham (r-So., 6-2, 195, 6.4 ppg, 0.9 rpg, 2.0 apg)
G - 2 Chris Hicks (Jr., 6-2, 190, 0.5 ppg, 0.1 rpg)
C - 21 Brian Carlwell (Fr., 6-11, 265, 1.9 ppg, 1.3 rpg)
F - 25 Calvin Brock (r-So., 6-5, 195, 6.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.7 apg)
F - 34 C.J. Jackson (r-Fr., 6-8, 260, 1.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg)
F - 42 Brian Randle (r-Jr, 6-8, 220, 8.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.3 apg)
F - 44 Marcus Arnold (r-Sr., 6-8, 245, 1.7 ppg, 1.4 rpg)
F - 50 Richard Semrau (Fr., 6-9, 230, 3.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg) -Out-
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 207-78/.726 (9th year)
Big Ten: 42-14/.750
At Illinois: 104-24/.813 (4th year)
Vs. Michigan State: 4-2
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)
Michigan State Head Coach: Tom Izzo
Overall Record: 272-114/.705 (12th year)
At Michigan State: Same
Vs. Illinois: 12-10
Assistant Coaches: Jim Boylen, Mark Montgomery, Dwayne Stephens
Series Notes: Michigan State
Illinois leads the all-time series over Michigan State 52-49, and owns a 33-15 advantage in games played in Champaign. The Illini have won seven of the last 11 games, but the Spartans have won the two most recent match-ups after breaking a five-game Illini winning streak in the series.
Earlier this season, Michigan State defeated Illinois 63-57 in East Lansing. The Illini led that game 34-23 at halftime but were outscored 40-23 in the second half.
Shaun Pruitt has posted double-doubles in each of his last three games. He tied his career high with 19 points and had a career-high 14 rebounds vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 20), had 10 points and 13 rebounds vs. Indiana (Jan. 23) and had 13 points and 11 rebounds at Purdue on Saturday. Over those three games, Pruitt has averaged 14.0 points (42) and 12.7 rebounds (38).
After combining for just 7 points and making one 3-pointer over the previous three games (1-12), Rich McBride has averaged 12.5 points (75) over the last six games. He scored 15 points against Iowa (Jan. 10), a team-high 12 points at Michigan State (Jan. 14), nine points at Minnesota (Jan. 17), 15 points vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 20), a team-high 15 points vs. Indiana (Jan. 23) and nine points at Purdue on Saturday.
McBride is shooting 42.9 percent from 3-point range and is averaging 3.5 treys over the last six games (21-49).
Over his last 16 games, Warren Carter is averaging 14.7 points (235) and 6.7 rebounds (107). 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 16-game stretch, Carter has been Illinois' leading scorer seven times and has reached double figures 14 times.
Brian Randle averaged 11.0 points (44) and 5.3 rebounds (21) while shooting over 65 percent from the field (17-26) in the last four games in which he has played (he has missed the last two games due to a foot injury). Randle tied his career high with 16 points vs. Iowa (Jan. 10), had eight points at Michigan State (Jan. 14), 12 points at Minnesota (Jan. 17) and eight vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 20).
Shaun Pruitt is averaging 12.8 points and 8.8 rebounds through four Big Ten home games.
Illinois has held its opponents to just 26 percent shooting from 3-point range (19-73) over the last five games.
Illinois ranks 24th in the NCAA in scoring defense, holding its opponents to an average of just 60.0 points on the season.
Illinois has started seven different lineups this season. 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 five players miss a combined total of 37 games so far this season due to injury (Richard Semrau-18, Brian Randle-11, Jamar Smith-6, Warren Carter-1, Chester Frazier-1).
In six of its eight losses, Illinois has led during the second half.
In its victory over No. 23 Indiana on Jan. 23, the Illini held the Hoosiers to just 43 points. It marked the fewest points Illinois has allowed to a ranked opponent in conference play in 22 years, since defeating No. 13 Indiana 52-41 on Jan. 27, 1985.
Illinois won its 16th straight game over Minnesota on Jan. 14, 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 extended its school-record streak of consecutive sell-out crowds at the Assembly Hall (16,618) to 41 against Indiana.
Illinois is a balanced offensive club, with eight members of the roster averaging over six points per game.
Seven different players have been Illinois' leading scorer in a game this season (Warren Carter-8, Shaun Pruitt-6, Jamar Smith-4, Rich McBride-3, Trent Meacham-2, Chester Frazier-1, Brian Randle-1).
Trent Meacham ranks second in the Big Ten in 3-point shooting at 46.9 percent (30-64). 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 fourth in the Big Ten in assists with an average of 5.0 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 11th in the league with an average of 13.5 points. Carter is also ninth in the conference in rebounding, averaging 6.4 rpg, and eighth in blocks, averaging 1.2 bpg.
Shaun Pruitt ranks second in the Big Ten in rebounding (7.6 rpg) and is fourth in field goal percentage (.552, 107-194).
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 16 games this season and is second on the team in scoring at 11.3 ppg. He scored a career-high 19 points vs. Missouri (Dec. 19) and vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 20).
Pruitt leads the Illini with seven double-doubles on the season.
Calvin Brock has scored at least six points in 13 games.
Illinois leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds (13.5 rpg).
Illinois has scored over 70 points in 13 games.
Illinois has shot better than 45 percent in 10 games, topping 50 percent seven times.
The Illini are third in the Big Ten in 3-pointers, making an average of 7.2 per game.
Illinois has outrebounded 13 opponents and is outrebounding its opponent by an average of 5.0 boards (5th in Big Ten).
Last Time Out: at Purdue
Illinois could not overcome a slow start in a 64-47 loss at Purdue on Saturday. The Illini went scoreless for nine minutes in the first half as Purdue scored 21 unanswered points to take control of the game.
Illinois shot just 29 percent (14-48) and was outrebounded 36-27. Shaun Pruitt led the Illini with his third straight double-double, collecting 13 points and 11 rebounds. Warren Carter also scored in double figures, finishing with 12.
Assembly Hall: The House of 'Paign
The Illini have put together one of the most dominating homecourt records in the nation in recent years, owning a record of 103-7 (.936) at the Assembly Hall this decade.
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 10-3 2-2 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 103-7 (.936) 53-6 (.898)
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:
104-24: Illinois' overall record under Weber, a winning percentage of .813.
52-5: Illinois' record at the Assembly Hall under Weber, a winning percentage of .912.
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.
42-14: Illinois' record in Big Ten play under Weber - which incudes back-to-back outright championships in 2004 and 2005 - a winning percentage of .750.
91-19: Illinois' record in regular season games under Weber, a winning percentage of .827.
49-5: Illinois' record in regular season non-conference games under Weber, a winning percentage of .907.
21-10: Illinois' record in road games under Weber, a winning percentage of .677.
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 22 games that he has played in this year and leads the team in scoring with an average of 13.5 points (11th in Big Ten). He has reached double figures 17 times, led by a career-high 24 points on 11-17 shooting vs. Arizona (Dec. 2).
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 with a team-best 17 points at Minnesota (Jan. 17), also collecting 11 rebounds against the Gophers for his fourth double-double of the season.
Carter's double figures streak came to an end vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 20) when he had nine points, but he began a new streak with 14 points vs. Indiana (Jan. 23). He most recently had 12 points at Purdue on Saturday.
Carter is second on the team in rebounding behind Pruitt, averaging 6.4 rpg to rank ninth 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 16 games, Carter is averaging 14.7 points and 6.7 rebounds. During that 16-game stretch, Carter has been Illinois' leading scorer seven times and has reached double figures 14 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 start all 23 games this season, Pruitt has scored in double figures in 16 games and is second on the team in scoring with an average of 11.3 points.
Pruitt leads the Illini and is second in the Big Ten in rebounding with an average of 7.6 boards and has been an efficient scorer, shooting 55.2 percent from the field (107-194) to rank fourth in the Big Ten. He has seven double-doubles on the season to lead all Illini players.
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 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 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). He finished non-conference play with 11 points and 11 boards vs. Xavier (Dec. 29).
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).
Pruitt has recorded double-doubles in each of the last three games. He had his best game of the season vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 20), tying his career high with 19 points and pulling down a career-high 14 rebounds. He then had 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds vs. Indiana (Jan. 23) and had 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds at Purdue on Saturday. Over the last three games, Pruitt is averaging 14.0 points and 12.7 rebounds.
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 7.9 points and ranks fourth in the Big Ten with an average of 5.0 assists. Frazier is also fourth on the Illini with an average of 4.4 rebounds and leads the team in steals, averaging 1.5 spg (sixth 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 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.
Frazier had nine points and five boards vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 20).
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 48 turnovers over his past 20 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).
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 (Jan. 14).
McBride had nine points at Minnesota (Jan. 17), 15 points vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 20), a game-high 15 points vs. Indiana (Jan. 23) and nine points at Purdue on Saturday.
McBride has been Illinois' most consistent player over the past six games, averaging 12.5 points (75) while shooting 42.9 percent from 3-point range (21-49).
McBride has started 15 of 19 games on the season and ranks third on the team in scoring, averaging 9.5 points. He ranks fourth in the Big Ten with an average of 2.6 three-pointers per game (49 total) and is also averaging 1.7 assists.
McBride ranks seventh in school history with 183 career 3-pointers. At his current pace, he should end his career ranked fourth on the Illini all-time 3-pointers list.
Randle Battling Through Season of Adversity
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 (Jan. 17). He then had eight points vs. Wisconsin on Jan. 20.
Randle fought through pain in his foot (due to plantar fasciitis) during his last few appearances before returning to the sidelines and sitting out the last two games (Indiana and Purdue).
Over the last four games in which he played, Randle averaged 11.0 points (44) and 5.3 rebounds (21) while shooting 65.4 percent from the field (17-26).
Randle is averaging 8.7 points (fifth on team) and 4.5 rebounds (third on team) on the season, is shooting 52.8 percent from the field, and has made 7-18 from 3-point range (38.9 percent).
Smith Is Instant Offense
Sophomore sharpshooter Jamar Smith earned a reputation last season for providing instant offense in the Illini lineup. Smith, who earlier this season missed six games due to a high ankle sprain, has reached double figures in seven games and is fourth on the team in scoring with an average of 8.9 points.
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 34 three-pointers this season (2.0 avg).
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 scored 12 points vs. IUPUI (Dec. 6), and had 11 vs. Xavier (Dec. 29).
Meacham returned to the starting lineup against Iowa (Jan. 10) and started four straight games before resuming his role as a reserve vs. Indiana (Jan. 23). He had his best Big Ten game at Minnesota (Jan. 17), scoring 12 points and dishing out five assists in 32 minutes.
Meacham ranks second in the Big Ten in 3-point field goal shooting at 46.9 percent (30-64), is averaging 6.4 points on the season and is second on the team in assists (2.0 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 6.1 points. He is fifth on the Illini in rebounding, averaging 4.2 boards and is second with 46 offensive rebounds (2.0 avg, 15th in Big Ten). Brock is shooting nearly 47 percent from the floor (59-126) and is averaging 1.7 assists.
*For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at top of this page.