Illinois Game Notes vs. Indiana
Feb. 9, 2007
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
On the Air
Illini Probable Starters
Off the Bench
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Indiana Head Coach: Kelvin Sampson
Series Notes: Indiana
Illinois has won seven of the last eight games, and 12 of the last 16, in the series.
Illinois' 3-game winning streak is its longest since winning five straight earlier this season (Dec. 9-Dec. 21). It is tied with Iowa for the second longest current winning streak in the conference, behind Ohio State's 8-game streak.
Illinois is 5-2 over its last seven Big Ten games after beginning conference play 1-3. Defense has been the biggest reason for the turnaround. Over the last seven games, Illinois is allowing an average of 53.1 points (372) on 39.3 percent shooting (133-338) and 23.2 percent 3-point shooting (26-112). Those numbers are a major improvement from the first four league games when the Illini allowed an average of 66.5 points (266) on 43.6 percent shooting (89-204) and 35.5 percent 3-point shooting (22-62).
Illinois is two wins shy of reaching at least 20 victories for the eighth straight season, which would also be the program's 26th all-time 20-win season.
Shaun Pruitt has averaged 13.7 points (82) and 10.7 rebounds (64) over the last six games, posting double-doubles in four of those six contests. Pruitt tied his career high with 19 points and had 14 rebounds vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 20), had 10 points and 13 rebounds vs. Indiana (Jan. 23), 13 points and 11 boards at Purdue (Jan. 27), 15 points and five boards vs. Michigan State (Jan. 30), 12 points and six boards vs. Minnesota (Feb. 3) and 13 points and a career-high 15 rebounds vs. Northwestern on Wednesday.
Rich McBride has averaged 12.8 points (115) over the last nine games after combining for just 7 points and making one 3-pointer over the previous three games. McBride scored 15 points against Iowa (Jan. 10), had 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), nine points at Purdue (Jan. 27), 12 points vs. Michigan State (Jan. 30), a team-high 13 points vs. Minnesota (Feb. 3) and 15 points vs. Northwestern on Wednesday.
McBride is shooting 42.1 percent from 3-point range and is averaging 3.6 treys over the last nine games (32-76).
Brian Randle has shot 63.9 percent from the field (23-36) over the last seven games in which he has played, after making just 3-16 in the previous three games.
Jamar Smith reached double figures for the first time in nine games with a team-high 13 points vs. Minnesota on Feb. 3.
Over his last 19 games, Warren Carter is averaging 14.1 points (267) and 6.7 rebounds (127). 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 19-game stretch, Carter has been Illinois' leading scorer eight times and has reached double figures 16 times.
In the second half of games this season, Chester Frazier is averaging 5.8 points, 3.0 assists and 2.8 rebounds while shooting 41.8 percent from the field and 40 percent from the 3-point range, compared to his averages of 2.4 points, 1.6 assists, 1.5 rebounds, 35.8 percent field goal shooting and 25 percent 3-point shooting in the first half of games.
Illinois ranks 19th in the NCAA in scoring defense (as of Feb. 4), holding its opponents to an average of just 58.5 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 41 games so far this season due to injury (Richard Semrau-21, Brian Randle-11, Jamar Smith-6, Chester Frazier-2, Warren Carter-1).
In six of its eight losses, Illinois has led during the second half.
Illinois won its 17th straight game over Minnesota on Feb. 3, a streak that spans the last eight-plus seasons, beginning with the 1999 Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinal. It is the longest active winning streak by any Big Ten school over a conference opponent. It also marks the longest winning streak in Illini history over a Big Ten opponent. Illinois' previous best conference winning streaks were a pair of 16-game streaks over Northwestern (1/11/47-3/5/55 & 2/4/84-3/2/91 and one 16-game streak over Wisconsin (2/12/81-1/12/89).
Illinois extended its school-record streak of consecutive sell-out crowds at the Assembly Hall (16,618) to 43 against Minnesota.
In its victory over No. 23 Indiana on Jan. 23, the Illini held the Hoosiers to a season-low 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 is a balanced offensive club, with six players averaging at least 7.8 points and eight members of the roster averaging at least 5.7 points per game.
Seven different players have been Illinois' leading scorer in a game this season (Warren Carter-9, Shaun Pruitt-6, Jamar Smith-5, Rich McBride-4, Chester Frazier-2, Trent Meacham-2, Brian Randle-1).
Shaun Pruitt ranks second in the Big Ten in rebounding (7.7 rpg) and offensive rebounds (3.2 rpg) and is fourth in field goal percentage (.542, 122-225).
Trent Meacham ranks fifth in the Big Ten in 3-point shooting at 42.9 percent (30-70). 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 4.6 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 12th in the league with an average of 13.2 points. Carter is also seventh in the conference in rebounding, averaging 6.4 rpg, and 10th in blocks, averaging 1.2 bpg.
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 19 games this season and is second on the team in scoring at 11.6 ppg. He scored a career-high 19 points vs. Missouri (Dec. 19) and vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 20).
Pruitt leads the Illini with eight double-doubles on the season.
Calvin Brock has scored at least six points in 13 games.
Illinois leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds (13.4 rpg).
The Illini are third in the Big Ten in 3-pointers, making an average of 7.1 per game.
Illinois has scored over 70 points in 13 games.
Illinois has shot better than 45 percent in 10 games, topping 50 percent seven times.
Illinois has outrebounded 14 opponents and is outrebounding its opponent by an average of 5.1 boards (fourth in Big Ten).
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Last Time Out: Northwestern
Illinois scored the game's first nine points and never looked back. After a 14-point lead was trimmed to five early in the second half, the Illini went on a crucial 12-0 run to move ahead 45-28 with 10 minutes remaining and led by double digits the rest of the way.
The Illini dominated the Wildcats on the glass by a 40-16 advantage, outscoring the Cats 16-0 on second chance points.
Three Illini scored in double figures, led by a game-high 17 points from Warren Carter on 7-10 shooting. Rich McBride scored 15 points on five 3-pointers while Shaun Pruitt recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 13 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.
Illinois' 15-point victory marked Northwestern's largest home loss in four years.
Defense Is The Difference
Illini Opponents In First Four Big Ten Games (UI, 1-3) FG 3 FG Pts Reb Totals 89-204 22-62 266 142 Pct./Avg. .436 .355 66.5 35.5
Illini By the Numbers Under Weber
107-24: Illinois' overall record under Weber, a winning percentage of .817.
54-5: Illinois' record at the Assembly Hall under Weber, a winning percentage of .915.
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.
45-14: Illinois' record in Big Ten play under Weber - which incudes back-to-back outright championships in 2004 and 2005 - a winning percentage of .763.
94-19: Illinois' record in regular season games under Weber, a winning percentage of .832.
49-5: Illinois' record in regular season non-conference games under Weber, a winning percentage of .907.
22-10: Illinois' record in road games under Weber, a winning percentage of .688.
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
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 bounced back with 14 points vs. Indiana (Jan. 23). After scoring 12 points at Purdue (Jan. 27), he had 10 vs. Minnesota (Feb. 3) and a game-high 17 vs. Northwestern on Wednesday.
Carter is second on the team in rebounding behind Pruitt, averaging 6.4 rpg to rank seventh 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 19 games, Carter is averaging 14.1 points and 6.7 rebounds. During that stretch, Carter has been Illinois' leading scorer eight times and has reached double figures 16 times.
Pruitt A Consistent Contributor
Pruitt leads the Illini and is second in the Big Ten in rebounding with an average of 7.7 boards and has been an efficient scorer, shooting 54.2 percent from the field (122-225) to rank fourth in the Big Ten. He has eight 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 reached double figures in his last six games, recording double-doubles in four of those six contests. He had the best game of his career vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 20), tying his career high with 19 points and pulling down 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 (Jan. 27).
Pruitt had 15 points and five boards vs. Michigan State (Jan. 30), 12 points and six boards vs. Minnesota (Feb. 3) and most recently had 13 points and a career-high 15 rebounds at Northwestern on Wednesday.
Over the last six games, Pruitt is averaging 13.7 points and 10.7 rebounds.
Frazier On Point
Frazier has scored in double figures in 11 games, led by a career-high 17 points vs. Savannah State (Nov. 21) and Michigan State (Jan. 30). 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 had 11 in the Big Ten opener at Michigan (Jan. 3).
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).
Frazier was questionable just minutes before the game vs. Michigan State on Jan. 30 due to a turf toe injury, but came off the bench to tie his career-high with 17 points on 6-8 shooting. He also pulled down a game-high six rebounds in 26 minutes. Following that performance, he sat out the game vs. Minnesota on Feb. 3 due to the toe injury.
Frazier returned to the court on Wednesday at Northwestern, scoring six points in 19 minutes.
While continuing to rack up the assists this year, Frazier has also done a good job limiting turnovers. After totaling 13 turnovers in the first two games (6.5 avg.), he has combined for just 51 turnovers over his past 22 games (2.3 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).
More than any other player on the Illini roster, Frazier has stepped up his play after halftime. In the first half of games this season, he is averaging 2.4 points, 1.6 assists and 1.5 rebounds while shooting 35.8 percent from the field and 25 percent from 3-point range. But in the second half of games, Frazier is averaging 5.8 points, 3.0 assists and 2.8 rebounds while shooting 41.8 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range.
McBride's Experience an Asset
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 (Jan. 30)
He has reached double figures the last three games, with 12 points vs. Michigan State (Jan. 30) a team-high 13 points vs. Minnesota (Feb. 3) and 15 points at Northwestern on Wednesday.
McBride has been Illinois' most consistent player over the past nine games, averaging 12.8 points while shooting 42.1 percent from 3-point range (32-76).
McBride has started 18 of 22 games on the season and ranks third on the team in scoring, averaging 10.0 points. He ranks third in the Big Ten with an average of 2.7 three-pointers per game (60 total) and is also averaging 1.9 assists.
McBride ranks fifth in school history with 194 career 3-pointers. At his current pace, McBride should end his career ranked fourth on the Illini all-time 3-pointers list.
McBride has also been credited by the UI coaching staff for improving his defense greatly over the course of his career to the point where he is now considered the Illini's top perimeter defender. He has consistently drawn the assignment of guarding the opposition's top scorer throughout conference play and is a candidate for the Big Ten All-Defensive Team.
Randle Battling Through Season of Adversity
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 in January (due to plantar fasciitis) before returning to the sidelines and sitting out two games (Indiana, Jan. 23 and Purdue, Jan. 27).
He returned to action vs. Michigan State (Jan. 30), but was limited to just 20 minutes. He had six points and a game-high eight rebounds vs. Minnesota (Feb. 3).
Over the last seven games in which he has played, Randle is shooting 63.9 percent from the field (23-36).
Randle is averaging 7.8 points (sixth on team) and 4.6 rebounds (third on team) on the season and is shooting 53.7 percent from the field.
Smith Leads Illini Reserves
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 reached double figures for the first time in nine games vs. Minnesota on Feb. 3, erupting for a team-high 13 points on 5-10 shooting, including 3-7 from 3-point range.
Smith has totaled 37 three-pointers this season (1.9 avg).
*For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on the .pdf link at the top of this page.