Chester Frazier and the Illini take on Northwestern Thursday at 8 p.m.
Feb. 11, 2009
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #25: #22ap/20 Illinois (19-5, 7-4) at Northwestern (13-8, 4-6)
Feb. 12, 2009 // 8 p.m. CT // ESPN2
Evanston, Ill. // Welsh-Ryan Arena (8,117)
On the Air
ESPN2: Terry Gannon, play-by-play; Stephen Bardo, 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 12.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 5.0 apg G - 1 Trent Meacham r-Sr., 6-2, 195 10.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.7 apg G - 3 Chester Frazier Sr., 6-2, 195 5.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 5.2 apg, 1.3 spg F - 24 Mike Davis So., 6-9, 210 10.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.7 apg C - 54 Mike Tisdale So., 7-1, 235 11.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg
Off the Bench
G - 13 Jeff Jordan So., 6-1, 185 1.0 ppg, 0.3 rpg, 1.0 apg G - 15 Bubba Chisholm Jr., 5-11, 180 0.3 ppg, 0.1 rpg C - 21 Stan Simpson Fr., 6-9, 220 considering redshirt F - 23 Dominique Keller Jr., 6-7, 230 6.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg G - 25 Calvin Brock r-Sr., 6-5, 200 5.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg F - 30 Bill Cole So., 6-9, 215 1.0 ppg, 0.8 rpg G - 33 Alex Legion So., 6-5, 200 4.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg F - 34 C.J. Jackson r-Jr., 6-8, 265 0.8 ppg, 0.5 rpg C - 50 Richard Semrau r-So., 6-10, 240 1.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 250-106/.702 (11th year)
At Illinois: 147-52/.739 (6th year)
Big Ten: 60-33/.645
Vs. Northwestern: 9-1
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)
Northwestern Head Coach: Bill Carmody
Overall Record: 208-168/.553 (13th year)
At Northwestern: 116-143/.448 (9th year)
Vs. Illinois: 1-14
Series Notes: Northwestern
Illinois leads the all-time series over Northwestern 125-34, and owns a 60-21 advantage in games played in Evanston. The Illini carry a nine-game winning streak over the Wildcats into Thursday's game, and have won three straight at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
This is the only regular season meeting between the teams this year as Iowa and Northwestern are Illinois' "singles" in the Big Ten schedule.
Illini Eye 20th Win
Illinois is one win away from recording its 20th victory of the season. Illinois is aiming for its ninth 20-win season in the last 10 years and 27th all-time, as well as the fifth 20-win season in six years under Bruce Weber.
Illini in Top 25 for Fourth Straight Week
Illinois appears in the national rankings for the fourth consecutive week, at No. 20 in the current ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 22 in the Associated Press Poll.
Illini in The Latest Computer Ratings
Here's a quick look at Illinois' rankings in various computer ratings through Feb. 10:
15 - Jerry Palm RPI, Real Time RPI, ESPN Inside RPI
16 - Jeff Sagarin Ratings
22 - Ken Pomeroy Ratings
Illinois owns the longest homecourt winning streak among Big Ten teams, currently at 10 games.
Illinois 10-game homecourt winning streak ranks 18th nationally and is the eighth-longest streak among "BCS" conference schools.
With assists on 70.2 percent of its baskets this season, Illinois leads the nation in assist percentage. The Illini rank fifth in the NCAA in assists, averaging 18.0 assists per game. Illinois, meanwhile, ranks seventh nationally with a team assist-to-turnover ratio of +1.44.
Illinois recorded its 19th victory of the 2008-09 season vs. Purdue last Sunday, now three ahead of its win total from all of last season (16).
The win over the Boilermakers was also Illinois' seventh Big Ten victory, now two ahead of its conference win total from all of last season (5).
Illinois has started the same lineup for 22 consecutive games.
Illinois has won 23 of its last 29 games dating back to the end of last season.
Illinois is 4-2 vs. ranked teams (AP) this season.
Illinois leads the Big Ten and ranks fourth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 56.5 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 is second in the Big Ten and 25th nationally in field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 39.4 percent shooting. The Illini also lead the Big Ten and rank fourth in the NCAA in 3-point field goal percentage defense, limiting opponents to 28.2 percent shooting behind the arc.
Illinois ranks third in the Big Ten in field goal percentage, shooting 46.4 percent on the year.
Illinois ranks third in the conference and 34th in the NCAA in scoring margin at +10.5 ppg.
In Big Ten home games, Illinois is shooting 48 percent from the field (144-300) and 39.2 percent from 3-point range (38-97) and averaging 66.8 points (401), while in conference road games, Illinois is shooting just 38.5 percent from the field (116-301) and 20.5 percent from 3-point land (18-88) and averaging only 55.6 points (278).
Four Illini are scoring in double figures, while seven players are averaging more than five points per game.
Illinois is the only Big Ten team with four players among the league's Top 27 scorers.
Eight different players have been the Illini's leading scorer in a game this season.
Illinois' top three scorers are sophomores. In all, the UI sophomore class has scored 58.5 percent of the team's points on the season (940 of 1,607 pts).
Illinois has trailed at halftime in only four games this season.
After ranking last in the Big Ten and in the bottom 10 nationally in free throw shooting last season, Illinois is third in the conference and 43rd in the NCAA this year at 73.3 percent.
Illinois has scored more bench points than the opposition in 19 of 24 games.
In the latest NCAA statistical rankings released on Feb. 9, Chester Frazier ranks 39th in the nation in assists and 31st in assist-to-turnover ratio. He leads the Big Ten in assists, averaging 5.2 apg, and is fourth in the league with an a/to ratio of 2.31.
Demetri McCamey, meanwhile, ranks 50th in the NCAA in assist/turnover ratio (2.11) and 52nd in assists (5.0 apg)
In Big Ten games only, McCamey leads the conference in assists (5.5 apg) while ranking second in assist/turnover ratio (2.90).
Mike Davis ranks second in the Big Ten in rebounding, averaging 7.8 boards. Davis has been the Illini's top rebounder in 16 games.
Over the last three games, Davis has averaged 12.3 rebounds (37).
Mike Tisdale is fifth in the Big Ten in field goal percentage, shooting 53.9 percent. Davis, meanwhile, is seventh in the league at 51.9 percent.
In Big Ten games only, Tisdale is second in the conference in field goal shooting at 58 percent.
Trent Meacham has committed just five turnovers through 323 minutes and 11 games of Big Ten play.
Mike Tisdale is Illinois' leading scorer in wins, averaging 12.8 points (244). He is the Illini's No. 7 scorer in losses, averaging 4.2 points (21).
Dominique Keller is shooting 60 percent from the field in home games (45-75).
Chester Frazier is shooting 56.5 percent from the floor in Big Ten home games (13-23).
After a six-game stretch where he connected on just 4-of-25 three-pointers, Trent Meacham is shooting 45.5 percent from 3-point land over the last two games (5-11).
Illinois is 10-0 this season when shooting more free throws than its opponent.
Last Time Out: Purdue
Illinois led from start to finish and played excellent defense for 40 minutes in cruising to a 66-48 victory over No. 12 Purdue on Sunday afternoon at Assembly Hall. Illinois held the Boilermakers to season lows in scoring, field goal percentage and 3-point field goal percentage as the visitors made just 19-of-56 shots (32.2 percent), including 2-of-15 shooting from behind the arc (13.3 percent).
Mike Davis recorded his second straight double-double to lead the Illini. He had 14 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds, the most by a Big Ten player in a conference play this season. Demetri McCamey scored 13 points while Chester Frazier added 10.
Weber Registers 250th Win
Bruce Weber recorded his 250th career victory with Illinois' win over Purdue on Sunday. Now in his 11th year as a head coach, Weber owns a career record of 250-106, a 70.2 winning percentage. He entered 2008-09 with 231 victories, the eighth-highest win total in NCAA history by a coach after his first 10 seasons.
The next milestone for Weber will be his 150th win at Illinois. He is three wins away from reaching that total, with a current record of 147-52 in his six seasons with the Illini.
For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at top of this page.