Brian Randle and the Illini host Indiana Thursday at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN.
Feb. 5, 2008
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #24: Illinois (10-13, 2-8) vs. #14ap/13 Indiana (18-3, 7-1)
Feb. 7, 2008 8 p.m. CT ESPN
Champaign, Ill. Assembly Hall (16,618)
On the Air
ESPN: Rece Davis, play-by-play; Jay Bilas, expert analyst, Pat Forde, sideline reporter.
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, 10.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.3 apg)
F - 23 Rodney Alexander (Jr., 6-7, 225, 5.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg)
C - 55 Shaun Pruitt (Sr., 6-10, 245, 12.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg)
G - 1 Trent Meacham (r-Jr., 6-2, 195, 10.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.6 apg)
G - 3 Chester Frazier (Jr., 6-2, 190, 4.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.1 apg)
Off the Bench
G - 2 Chris Hicks (Sr., 6-2, 190, 0.2 ppg, 0.0 rpg)
G - 13 Jeff Jordan (Fr., 6-1, 185, 1.0 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, 2.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg)
G - 25 Calvin Brock (r-Jr., 6-5, 195, 7.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.1 spg)
F - 30 Bill Cole (Fr., 6-9, 210, 2.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg)
G - 32 Demetri McCamey (Fr., 6-3, 205, 6.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.8 apg)
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 - 54 Mike Tisdale (Fr., 7-1, 215, 4.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg)
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 225-95/.703 (10th year)
At Illinois: 122-41/.748 (5th year)
Big Ten: 50-24/.676
Vs. Indiana All-Time: 7-4
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)
Indiana Head Coach: Kelvin Sampson
Overall Record: 494-271/.646 (25th year)
At Indiana: 39-14/.736 (2nd year)
Vs. Illinois: 2-2
Series Notes: Indiana
Indiana leads the all-time series 81-78, but the Illini own a 46-30 advantage in games played in Champaign. Illinois has won eight of the last 11 games overall and owns a six-game winning streak over the Hoosiers at Assembly Hall.
Illini Headlines ...
Illinois has scored at least 70 points and has shot at least 50 percent in each of its last three home games. Illinois is averaging 73.3 points (220) on 52.5 percent shooting from the field (74-141) over its last three games at Assembly Hall.
When including Thursday's game vs. Indiana, eight of Illinois' 11 conference games have been against teams in the top five of the current standings, with five of those coming on the road.
Illinois' strength of schedule ranks 22nd nationally. The Illini have played nine games vs. the RPI Top 50, tied with Iowa and Michigan for the most of any Big Ten team.
Eight different players have been the Illini's leading scorer in a game this season (Brian Randle-8, Shaun Pruitt-6, Trent Meacham-5, Calvin Brock-3, Rodney Alexander-2, Mike Tisdale-2, Demetri McCamey-1, Chester Frazier-1).
Illinois has started six different lineups this season.
Shaun Pruitt entered the Illinois top 50 scoring list with his 18-point effort Saturday vs. Purdue. Pruitt has now totaled 909 career points, ranking 50th on the all-time list.
Brian Randle scored a career-high 21 points Saturday vs. Purdue. He has reached double figures in scoring four times in the last six games.
Demetri McCamey is averaging 11.6 points in Big Ten play at home (58), compared to an average of 5.6 points in conference play on the road (28). McCamey is shooting 46.2 percent from the floor (18-39) and 42.9 percent from 3-point range (9-21) at the Assembly Hall through five Big Ten games.
McCamey also owns an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.9 in Big Ten home games (20 a/7 to).
Trent Meacham is averaging 11.4 points over the last eight games (91), scoring in double figures six times.
Brian Randle collected his 500th career rebound vs. Purdue.
Shaun Pruitt grabbed his 600th career rebound vs. Northwestern on Jan. 27. Pruitt is the Big Ten's second-leading active rebounder with 617 career boards, trailing only Indiana's D.J. White (631).
Chester Frazier has a 2.9 assist-to-turnover ratio over his last eight games (35 a/12 to).
Frazier ranks fourth in the Big Ten with a 2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio in conference play.
Shaun Pruitt leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds with an average of 3.5 per game (76 total off. reb.). He ranks fourth in the league in total rebounds (7.6 avg).
Pruitt and Randle combined for 39 points Saturday vs. Purdue, the senior duo's highest scoring total of the season. Their previous high was 38 points vs. both Michigan on Jan. 16 and Miami (OH) on Dec. 20.
Shaun Pruitt has scored at least nine points in 19 of the 22 games he has appeared in this season.
Illinois ranks fifth in the Big Ten and 39th in the NCAA in scoring defense, allowing an average of 61.7 points per game.
The Illini are fourth in the conference and 28th nationally in field goal percentage defense at 39.7 percent, and second in the league in 3-point field goal percentage defense at 31 percent.
Only six teams have scored more than 70 points against the Illini this year.
Illinois hashad only four opponents shoot better than 46 percent from the field on the season.
Illinois has outrebounded its opponent in 16 games and ranks fourth in the Big Ten and 45th in the NCAA in rebounding margin at +4.7 rpg.
Illinois' bench is contributing 20.8 points per game and has outscored the opposing bench in 15 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.
There have been 56 consecutive sellout crowds at the Assembly Hall entering the next home game Thursday vs. Indiana. The streak began on Dec. 6, 2004.
Taking on the Top 25
The Indiana contest is Illinois' sixth game vs. a ranked opponent this season. Indiana is the first Top 25 opponent to play at the Assembly Hall since the Hoosiers visited Champaign last year. Illinois defeated No. 23 Indiana 51-43 at the The Hall on Jan. 23, 2007.
Illinois is 0-5 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), No. 10 Indiana in Bloomington on Jan. 13 (62-58) and No. 8 Michigan State in East Lansing on Jan. 30.
Illinois owns a record of 17-19 vs. Top 25 teams under Weber.
Recapping the Last Indiana Game
Illinois played one of its best games of the season but came up just short in its attempt to knock off the nation's then-No. 10 team on its home court, falling 62-58 at Indiana on Jan. 13.
The Illini led for the majority of the game's first 30 minutes but went seven-and-a-half minutes without a field goal midway through the second half when Indiana went on a 16-4 run, turning a seven-point Illini lead into a five-point deficit. Illinois cut it to two down the stretch and had two shots on its final possession but could not convert, and Indiana made two free throws with two seconds left to ice the game.
Last Time Out: Purdue
Illinois fell to Purdue at the Assembly Hall on Saturday, 83-75. The Illini shot 50 percent from the field and a season-best 73.2 percent at the free throw line, connecting on 30-of-41. But 3-point shooting was the difference as Purdue nailed seven treys on 19 attempts compared to Illinois' 3-for-16 effort from behind the arc.
Illinois trailed by 13 points early in the second half but went on a 12-2 run to pull within three, 49-46, with 12:30 left. Still down three with just over mine minutes remaining, Purdue scored five straight points and Illinois could get no closer than six the rest of the way.
Oh So Close
Illinois has either led, been tied or trailed by no more than three points with less than two minutes remaining in seven losses ... Illinois has led during the second half in seven losses ... Nine of Illinois' losses have been by eight points or less ... Illinois is 3-9 on the year in games decided by less than nine points.
Illinois has played one of the nation's most difficult schedules this season. Illinois' strength of schedule currently ranks 22nd. The Illini own the third-toughest SOS in the Big Ten behind Michigan (4) and Ohio State (15).
Illinois has played nine games against teams in the current top 50 of the RPI, tied with Michigan and Iowa 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 (tied with Iowa), with eight of its first 11 games coming against teams in the top five of the current standings, five of which have been on the road:
1. home vs. Ohio State (5th) Jan. 3
2. at Wisconsin (T-1st) Jan. 10
3. at Indiana (3rd) Jan. 13
4. at Purdue (T-1st) Jan. 19
5. at Ohio State (5th) Jan. 22
6. at Michigan State (4th) Jan. 30
7. home vs. Purdue (T-1st) Feb. 2
8. home vs. Indiana (3rd) Feb. 7
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 39th nationally in scoring defense with opponents averaging 61.7 points per game on the season. The Illini are fourth in the conference and 28th in the NCAA in field goal percentage defense (.397) and second in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.310).
Only six opponents have scored more than 70 points on the Illini this season. Illinois' defense also has allowed just four 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 26th in the NCAA in scoring, averaging 79.7 ppg. But Illinois held the Tigers to a season-low 58 points, over 21 points below its average, in a Braggin' Rights victory on Dec. 22.
Illinois held Indiana, the Big Ten's top scoring team and No. 48 in the NCAA, 15 points below its season average on Jan. 13. The Hoosiers are averaging 77.0 points but scored just 62 vs. the Illini.
Illinois has also had three 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 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.
The Illini held Northwestern to a season-low 37 points on season-low 31 percent. 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.
Dominating the Glass
Illinois has outrebounded 16 of 23 opponents this year and owns a rebounding margin of +4.7 on the season, ranking 45th in the NCAA. Illinois ranks fourth in the Big Ten in rebounding margin and is third in the conference in total rebounds, averaging 37.0 rpg.
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 12.6 points (15th in Big Ten) and 7.6 rebounds (fourth in Big Ten). He is also fourth in the league in field goal shooting at 54.6 percent (101-190) and leads the Big Ten in shooting in conference play at 62.1 percent (41-66).
Pruitt has scored at least nine points in 19 of the 22 games he has played in this season, with a career-high 24 points vs. both Arizona and Miami (OH), 19 vs. Michigan, 18 vs. Purdue (2/2), 16 vs. Loyola (MD), 15 at Hawaii and Purdue (1/19), 14 vs. Missouri and Indiana, 12 vs. Northeastern and Ohio State (1/3), 11 vs. Duke and Western Carolina, 10 at Maryland, and nine each vs. Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Wisconsin and Northwestern.
He has scored in double figures in 14 games on the season and has been the Illini's leading scorer six times.
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 fourth in the Big Ten in rebounding, Pruitt leads the league in offensive rebounds with an average of 3.5 per game (76 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 on Jan. 22. His run of consecutive starts ended at 87, the fourth-longest streak in school history. He came off the bench vs. Northwestern on Jan. 27 and returned to the starting lineup last Wednesday at Michigan State.
Pruitt entered the Illinois top 50 scoring list with his 18-point effort Saturday vs. Purdue. Pruitt has now totaled 909 career points, ranking 50th on the all-time list.
Pruitt is also the second-leading active rebounder among Big Ten players with 617 career boards, trailing only Indiana's D.J. White (631).
Randle More Aggressive on Offense
Senior and three-year starter Brian Randle currently carries a career-high scoring average of 10.4 points, ranking third on the team. He has scored in double figures 13 times this season and has been the Illini's leading scorer in eight games.
Randle 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 19 points with 10 rebounds in the win over Michigan. 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 Jan. 27 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.
Randle is coming off a career-high 21-point performance vs. Purdue. He made six baskets and went 9-11 at the free throw line. He has now scored in double figures four times in the last six games.
Randle is shooting 47.5 percent from the field on the season and is the team's second-leading rebounder with an average of 5.9 boards (13th 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 10.5 points. He is shooting over 39 percent from 3-point range on the year, ranking 11th in the Big Ten, and is sixth in the conference with an average of 2.3 treys per game (50 total).
Meacham has had some big scoring games this season, topping 20 points twice and reaching double figures 11 times. He is averaging 11.4 points over the last eight games (91), scoring in double figures six times.
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 (Jan. 27), 17 vs. Oklahoma State (Nov. 21), 16 vs. Arizona (Dec. 8), 14 at Wisconsin (Jan. 10) and vs. Purdue (2/2), 13 vs. Missouri (Dec. 22), 12 at Ohio State (Jan. 22) and 11 vs. both Michigan (Jan. 16) and at Purdue (Jan. 19).
Freshman point guard Demetri McCamey has been a bright spot for the Illini during the second half of the season, earning increased playing time and moving into the starting lineup for a six-game stretch.
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 totaled eight points and five assists without a turnover vs. Northwestern on Jan. 27.
McCamey returned to double figures for the first time in eight games with 15 points vs. Purdue on Saturday.
McCamey is fifth on the Illini in scoring on the year (6.6 ppg) and ranks second on the team in assists (2.8 apg). He is averaging 3.6 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 (seventh in Big Ten), Frazier is averaging 4.6 points. He leads the Illini and ranks sixth in the conference in assists (4.1 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 5.0 rpg. He currently ranks 17th 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 (10) 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 cage that 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 eight games in which he has played, Frazier has a 2.9 assist-to-turnover ratio (35 a/12 to). He ranks fourth in the Big Ten with a 2.2 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.