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    Illinois Game Notes vs. Michigan State
    Calvin Brock and the Illini play at No. 8 Michigan State Wednesday at 8 p.m. CT.

    Calvin Brock and the Illini play at No. 8 Michigan State Wednesday at 8 p.m. CT.

    Jan. 29, 2008

    Champaign, Ill. -

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

    FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
    Game #22: Illinois (10-11, 2-6) at #8ap/7 Michigan State (18-2, 6-1)
    Jan. 30, 2008 • 8 p.m. CT / 9 p.m. ET • BTN
    East Lansing, Mich. • Breslin Center (14,759)

    On the Air
    TV

    BTN: Matt Devlin, play-by-play; Greg Kelser, expert analyst.

    Radio
    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, 6.0 rpg, 1.4 apg)
    F - 23 Rodney Alexander (Jr., 6-7, 225, 5.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg)
    C - 54 Mike Tisdale (Fr., 7-1, 215, 4.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg)
    G - 1 Trent Meacham (r-Jr., 6-2, 195, 10.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.9 apg)
    G - 32 Demetri McCamey (Fr., 6-3, 205, 6.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.9 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, 5.2 rpg, 4.2 apg)
    G - 13 Jeff Jordan (Fr., 6-1, 185, 1.2 ppg, 0.4 rpg)
    G - 22 Steve Holdren (r-Jr., 6-5, 200, 1.4 ppg, 0.9 rpg)
    F - 24 Mike Davis (Fr., 6-9, 195, 2.5 ppg, 1.9 rpg)
    G - 25 Calvin Brock (r-Jr., 6-5, 195, 7.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.2 spg)
    F - 30 Bill Cole (Fr., 6-9, 210, 2.3 ppg, 1.4 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, 0.7 rpg)
    C - 55 Shaun Pruitt (Sr., 6-10, 245, 12.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg)

    Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
    Overall Record: 225-93/.708 (10th year)
    At Illinois: 122-39/.758 (5th year)
    Big Ten: 50-22/.694
    Vs. Michigan State: 5-2
    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)

    Michigan State Head Coach: Tom Izzo
    Overall Record: 296-123/.706 (13th year)
    At Michigan State: Same
    Vs. Illinois: 12-11

    Series Notes: Michigan State
    Illinois leads the all-time series over Michigan State 53-49, but the Spartans own a 31-18 advantage in games played in East Lansing. Illinois has won eight of the last 12 games in the series, which includes victories in three of its last five trips to the Breslin Center (2002, 2005, 2006).

    The teams will meet again in Champaign on March 4, 5 or 6.

    Illini Headlines ...
    • Five of Illinois' next six games will be televised by the Big Ten Network.

    • When including Wednesday's game at Michigan State, six of Illinois' nine conference games have been against teams in the top five of the current standings, with five of those six games coming on the road.

    • Illinois held Northwestern to a season-low 37 points on a season-low 31 percent shooting in Sunday's win. It was the second straight meeting where the UI held NU to 37 points, as the Illini defeated the Wildcats 48-37 last year at the Assembly Hall. This marks the only two times in the last seven seasons that NU has been held under 40 points.

    Shaun Pruitt grabbed his 600th career rebound Sunday vs. Northwestern. Pruitt is the Big Ten's active leading rebounder with 602 career boards, leading Indiana's D.J. White (601) by one rebound.

    • Eight different players have been the Illini's leading scorer in a game this season (Brian Randle-7, Shaun Pruitt-6, Trent Meacham-5, Calvin Brock-2, Rodney Alexander-2, Demetri McCamey-1, Mike Tisdale-1, Chester Frazier-1).

    • Illinois has started six different lineups this season.

    Trent Meacham has scored in double figures in each of the last four games, the longest streak of his career. He had 11 vs. Michigan and at Purdue, 12 at Ohio State and 18 vs. Northwestern. His 18 points vs. the Wildcats marked his career-high in Big Ten play. Over this four-game stretch, Meacham is averaging 13.0 points (52) and shooting 50 percent from 3-point range (13-26).

    Rodney Alexander erupted for a career-high 20 points last Tuesday at Ohio State, reaching double figures for the first time in 14 games. He also had a career-best 11 rebounds to record his first career double-double.

    Shaun Pruitt has averaged 14.3 points (57) over the last four games in which he has played (did not play last Tuesday at Ohio State). He had 14 points at Indiana, 19 vs. Michigan, 15 at Purdue and nine vs. Northwestern.

    Brian Randle averaged 14.0 points and 10.3 rebounds over a four-game stretch prior to Northwestern. He was limited against the Wildcats after suffering from the flu over the weekend. During his four-game tear, Randle had nine points and 10 rebounds at Indiana, a career-high 19 points with 10 boards vs. Michigan, 15 points and a season-high 11 rebounds at Purdue, and a third consecutive double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds at Ohio State.

    Chester Frazier has a 3.5 assist-to-turnover ratio over his last six games (28 a/8 to). He ranks third in the Big Ten with a 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio in conference play.

    • Meacham has a 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio over the last five games (18 a/8 to).

    Shaun Pruitt leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds with an average of 3.5 per game (69 total off. reb.). He ranks fifth in the league in total rebounds (7.7 avg).

    • Pruitt and Randle combined for 38 points vs. Michigan on Jan. 16, equaling the senior duo's highest scoring total of the season. They also combined for 38 points vs. Miami (OH) on Dec. 20.

    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 18 of the 20 games he has appeared in this season.

    • Illinois ranks fifth in the Big Ten and 36th in the NCAA in scoring defense, allowing an average of 61.2 points per game.

    • The Illini are fourth in the conference and 27th nationally in field goal percentage defense at 39.4 percent, and second in the league in 3-point field goal percentage defense at 31.4 percent.

    • Only five teams have scored more than 70 points against the Illini this year (last: Purdue on Jan. 19, 74 pts).

    • Illinois has not allowed an opponent to score 80 or more points in 47 consecutive games. The last team to do so was Arizona on Dec. 2, 2006 (84 points).

    • Illinois has only had three opponents this season shoot better than 46 percent from the field (last: Ohio State on Jan. 22, 54.8%).

    • Illinois has outrebounded its opponent in 16 of 21 games and ranks fourth in the Big Ten and 33rd in the NCAA in rebounding margin at +5.8 rpg.

    • Illinois' bench is contributing 21.1 points per game and has outscored the opposing bench in 14 of 21 games.

    Shaun 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 is Illinois' active career scoring leader with 886 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 22 points away from joining the Top 50 list of Illinois' all-time leading scorers (No. 50 Stephen Bardo - 908 pts).

    • There have been 55 consecutive sellout crowds at the Assembly Hall entering the next home game vs. Purdue on Saturday. The streak began on Dec. 6, 2004.

    Last Time Out: Northwestern
    Illinois rolled from start to finish in a 70-37 victory over Northwestern Sunday night at the Assembly Hall. The Illini shot 54.2 percent while holding NU to just 31 percent, and doubled up the Wildcats on the boards with a 38-19 rebounding advantage.

    Trent Meacham led Illinois with 18 points on 7-10 shooting and 4-7 from behind the arc, marking his career-high point total in Big Ten play. Shaun Pruitt had nine points while Rodney Alexander and Demetri McCamey added eight apiece in a balanced Illini attack that saw a season-high 12 players enter the scoring column.

    In holding Northwestern to a season-low 37 points on season-low 31 percent shooting, Illinois' defense did its best work on NU's top two scorers, Kevin Coble and Craig Moore. Coble, who entered the game averaging 16.7 points, had just three points on one basket, a 3-pointer midway through the second half. Moore, meanwhile, entered the game with a 13.6-point average but had just five points, all coming in the game's final five minutes.

    Taking on the Top 25
    Illinois faces its fifth ranked opponent this season on Wednesday in No. 8 Michigan State. Illinois is 0-4 vs. ranked opponents this season, falling to No. 13 Duke in Maui on Nov. 20 (79-66), No. 22 Arizona in Chicago on Dec. 8 (78-72, ot), No. 21 Wisconsin in Madison on Jan. 10 (70-60) and No. 10 Indiana in Bloomington on Jan. 13 (62-58).

    Illinois owns a record of 17-18 vs. Top 25 teams under Weber.

    Oh So Close
    In seven of its 11 losses, Illinois has either led, been tied or trailed by no more than three points with less than two minutes remaining ... Illinois has led during the second half in six losses ... Eight of Illinois' losses have been by eight points or less ... Illinois is 3-8 on the year in games decided by less than nine points.

    Tough Schedule
    Illinois has played one of the nation's most difficult schedules this season. Illinois' strength of schedule currently ranks 35th. The Illini own the fourth-toughest SOS in the Big Ten behind Michigan (7), Ohio State (9) and Michigan State (29).

    Illinois has faced six opponents in the current top 50 of the RPI, trailing only Michigan (8) and Ohio State (7) for the most games by a Big Ten team vs. the RPI top 50.

    Illinois has also played the most difficult league schedule to date. Illinois plays its ninth Big Ten game Wednesday. Six of its first nine games are against teams in the top five of the current standings, with five of those six games coming on the road:

    1. home vs. Ohio State (5th) Jan. 3 2. at Wisconsin (T-2nd) Jan. 10 3. at Indiana (1st) Jan. 13 4. at Purdue (T-2nd) Jan. 19 5. at Ohio State (5th) Jan. 22 6. at Michigan State (T-2nd) Jan. 30

    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 36th nationally in scoring defense with opponents averaging 61.2 points per game on the season. The Illini are fourth in the conference and 27th in the NCAA in field goal percentage defense (.394) and second in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.314).

    No team has reached 80 points on the Illini this season, with just five opponents scoring more than 70 points. Illinois' defense also has allowed only three teams to shoot over 46 percent from the field.

    Illinois' defense has stood out this year against two of the nation's top scoring teams. Missouri ranks 21st in the NCAA in scoring, averaging 80.8 ppg. But Illinois held the Tigers to a season-low 58 points, nearly 23 points below its average, in a Braggin' Rights victory on Dec. 22.

    Illinois held Indiana, the Big Ten's top scoring team and No. 37 in the NCAA, over 16 points below its season average on Jan. 13. The Hoosiers are averaging 78.6 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 16 of 21 opponents this year and owns a rebounding margin of +5.8 on the season, ranking 33rd in the NCAA. Illinois ranks fourth in the Big Ten in rebounding margin and is third in the conference in total rebounds, averaging 37.9 rpg.

    Bench Production
    Illinois' bench is contributing 21.1 points per game (443 total) and has had nine 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 7.7 rebounds (fifth in Big Ten). He is also fifth in the league in field goal shooting at 54.4 percent (99-182).

    Pruitt has scored at least nine points in 18 of the 20 games he has played in this season, with a career-high 24 points vs. both Arizona and Miami (OH), 19 vs. Michigan, 16 vs. Loyola (MD), 15 at Hawaii and Purdue, 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, Wisconsin and Northwestern.

    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 3.5 per game (69 total).

    One of the most Illini's most durable players in recent years, Pruitt had started every game over the last two-and-a-half seasons before sitting out at Ohio State last Tuesday. His run of consecutive starts ended at 87, the fourth-longest streak in school history. He returned to action Sunday night vs. Northwestern, coming in off the bench.

    Pruitt is Illinois' active career scoring leader with 886 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 22 points away from joining the Top 50 list of Illinois' all-time leading scorers (No. 50 Stephen Bardo - 908 pts).

    Pruitt is also the active leading rebounder among Big Ten players with 602 career boards. He leads Indiana's D.J. White (601) by one rebound in that category.

    Randle More Aggressive on Offense
    Senior and three-year starter Brian Randle currently carries a career-high scoring average of 10.2 points, ranking third 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 with five assists. 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 with nine points and 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. He also recorded the second double-double of his career with 10 boards against the Wolverines.

    He had another double-double at Purdue with 15 points and a season-high 11 rebounds, along with a career-high tying six assists.

    Randle made good on his third consecutive double-double at Ohio State, finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

    His scoring streak came to an end vs. Northwestern on Sunday when he had just one basket while limited with the flu. Randle still grabbed seven boards and held the Wildcats' leading scorer, Kevin Coble, to a season-low three points on one second-half basket. Coble entered the game averaging 16.7 ppg.

    Over the four-game stretch prior to Northwestern, Randle averaged 14.0 points and 10.3 rebounds.

    Randle is shooting over 48 percent from the field on the season and is the team's second-leading rebounder with an average of 6.0 boards (15th in Big Ten).

    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 second on the Illini in scoring behind Pruitt with an average of 10.7 points. He is shooting 40.5 percent from 3-point range on the year, ranking ninth in the Big Ten, and is eighth in the conference with an average of 2.4 treys per game (47 total).

    Meacham has had some big scoring games this season, topping 20 points twice and reaching double figures 10 times on the year, including each of the last four games. 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 18 vs. Northwestern Sunday, 17 vs. Oklahoma State (Nov. 21), 16 vs. Arizona (Dec. 8), 14 at Wisconsin (Jan. 10), 13 vs. Missouri (Dec. 22), 12 at Ohio State (Jan. 22) and 11 vs. both Michigan (Jan. 16) and Purdue (Jan. 19).

    Over the last four games, Meacham is averaging 13.0 points (52) and is shooting 50 percent from 3-point range (13-26).

    D-Mac Emerges
    Freshman point guard Demetri McCamey has been a bright spot for the Illini in recent weeks, earning increased playing time and starting the last six games after entering the starting lineup for the first time in his career at Wisconsin on Jan. 10.

    McCamey 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 had seven points and tied his career high with six assists in the win over Michigan on Jan. 16.

    He most recently had eight points and five assists without a turnover vs. Northwestern on Sunday.

    McCamey is fifth on the Illini in scoring on the year (6.2 ppg) and ranks second on the team in assists (2.9 apg). He is averaging 4.0 assists in Big Ten play, meanwhile, ranking eighth in the league.

    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 32.5 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 (0.8 spg).

    Despite standing 6-2, Frazier also is third on the team in rebounding with an average of 5.2 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, Michigan and Northwestern, and seven at Maryland.

    He has been the UI's leading rebounder in six games this season, trailing only center Shaun Pruitt (8) for most times leading the Illini on the boards in 2007-08.

    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 caused him to miss a week of practice. 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 due to the injury but returned to action vs. Michigan, grabbing eight boards in 25 minutes off the bench.

    Over the last six games in which he has played, Frazier has a 3.5 assist-to-turnover ratio (28 assists/8 turnovers). He ranks third in the Big Ten with a 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio in conference play.

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

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