Men's Basketball
#18/16 Illinois Game Notes vs. Penn State

Mike Davis and the Illini host Penn State Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Mike Davis and the Illini host Penn State Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Feb. 17, 2009

Champaign, Ill. -

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

Game #27: #18ap/16 Illinois (21-5, 9-4) vs. Penn State (18-8, 7-6)
Feb. 18, 2009 // 6 p.m. CT // BTN
Champaign, Ill. // Assembly Hall (16,618)

On the Air

BTN: Wayne Larrivee, play-by-play; Greg Kelser, expert analyst; Mike Hall, sideline reporter.

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      12.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.9 apg
G - 1	Trent Meacham     r-Sr., 6-2, 195    10.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.6 apg
G - 3	Chester Frazier   Sr., 6-2, 195      5.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 5.4 apg, 1.3 spg
F - 24	Mike Davis        So., 6-9, 210      10.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.8 apg
C - 54	Mike Tisdale      So., 7-1, 235      11.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg

Off the Bench G - 13 Jeff Jordan So., 6-1, 185 1.1 ppg, 0.4 rpg 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 6.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg G - 25 Calvin Brock r-Sr., 6-5, 200 5.0 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 4.5 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 1.5 ppg, 1.6 rpg

Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 252-106/.704 (11th year)
At Illinois: 149-52/.741 (6th year)
Big Ten: 62-33/.653
Vs. Penn State: 6-3
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)

Penn State Head Coach: Ed DeChellis
Overall Record: 180-193/.483 (13th year)
At Penn State: 75-100/.429 (6th year)
Vs. Illinois: 3-6

Series Notes: Penn State
Illinois leads the all-time series 21-9 over Penn State, including a 9-4 advantage in games played at Champaign. Penn State, however, has won the last two meetings at the Assembly Hall. Illinois' last home victory over the Nittany Lions came in 2005.

The teams will meet again at University Park on March 5.

Weber Looking for 150th Win at Illinois
Illinois' next win will register as the 150th victory of Bruce Weber's Illini tenure. Now in his sixth season in Champaign, Weber owns a record of 149-52, a 74.1 winning percentage.

Weber is trying to reach his second milestone win this season. He recorded his 250th career victory with Illinois' win over Purdue on Feb. 8. He owns a career record of 252-106 in his 11 years as a head coach, a 70.4 winning percentage. Weber entered 2008-09 with 231 victories, the eighth-highest win total in NCAA history by a coach after his first 10 seasons.

Illini Turnaround Best Among "BCS" Schools
When looking at schools from the BCS conferences, to borrow a football term, Illinois has made the most improvement in college basketball this season. With 21 victories, the Illini have eight more wins at this point in the season compared to its regular season win total of 13 last year. Here is a look at the top turnarounds this season among teams from the ACC, Big East, Big XII, Big Ten, Pac-10 and SEC (wins listed in 2007-08 are regular season only):

                               07-08   08-09
    Team            Conf.      Wins    Wins   Increase
1.  Illinois        Big Ten     13      21       8
    LSU             SEC         13      21       8
3.  Michigan        Big Ten     9       16       7
4.  Boston College  ACC         13      19       6
    Missouri        Big XII     16      22       6
6.  Northwestern    Big Ten     8       13       5
    Oregon State    Pac-10      6       11       5
    South Carolina  SEC         13      18       5
9.  Oklahoma        Big XII     21      25       4
    Cincinnati      Big East    13      17       4
    California      Pac-10      15      19       4

Illini in Top 25 for Fifth Straight Week
Illinois appears in the national rankings for the fifth consecutive week, at No. 16 in the current ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 18 in the Associated Press Poll. This is the highest the Illini have been ranked since the final polls of the 2005-06 season, when Illinois was 14th in the coaches and 13th in the AP. Here is where Illinois has been ranked in the polls this season:

Week      AP   Coaches
Jan. 19   25     24
Jan. 26   19     20
Feb. 2    23     21
Feb. 9    22     20
Feb. 16   18     16

Illini in The Latest Computer Ratings
Here's a quick look at Illinois' rankings in various computer ratings through Feb. 16:
15 - Real Time RPI, ESPN Inside RPI, Jerry Palm RPI & Jeff Sagarin Ratings
21 - Ken Pomeroy Ratings

Opening Tips
• Illinois carries a three-game Big Ten winning streak for the first time in two years, since winning three straight vs. Northwestern (Feb. 18), Michigan (Feb. 21) and at Penn State (Feb. 24) in 2007.

• Illinois' five remaining Big Ten games are all against teams that are in the top five of the current conference standings.

• Illinois owns the longest homecourt winning streak among Big Ten teams, currently at 10 games.

• Illinois' 10-game homecourt winning streak ranks 16th nationally and is the seventh-longest streak among "BCS" conference schools.

• With victories at Northwestern and at Indiana last week, Illinois won back-to-back Big Ten road games in the same season for the first time in three years, since winning at Minnesota (Feb. 28) and at Michigan State (March 4) in 2006.

• The Ohio State game is the third of four consecutive Sunday games on CBS for the Illini to close the regular season.

• 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 18.1 assists per game. Illinois, meanwhile, ranks fourth nationally with a team assist-to-turnover ratio of +1.48.

• Illinois recorded its 21st victory of the 2008-09 season at Indiana on Sunday, now five ahead of its win total from all of last season (16).

• The win over the Hoosiers was also Illinois' ninth Big Ten victory, now four ahead of its conference win total from all of last season (5).

• Illinois recorded a home-and-home sweep of Indiana for the first time since 1998.

• Illinois posted home-and-home victories over Purdue and Indiana in the same season for the first time since 1956.

• Illinois has started the same lineup for 24 consecutive games.

• Illinois has won 25 of its last 31 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 third in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 56.4 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 28th nationally in field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 39.5 percent shooting. The Illini also lead the Big Ten and rank eighth in the NCAA in 3-point field goal percentage defense, limiting opponents to 29.1 percent shooting behind the arc.

• Illinois ranks second in the Big Ten in field goal percentage, shooting 46.6 percent on the year.

• Illinois ranks third in the conference and 36th in the NCAA in scoring margin at +10.2 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 41.4 percent from the field (170-411) and 23.7 percent from 3-point land (27-114) and averaging 57.6 points (403).

• Four Illini are scoring in double figures, while seven players are averaging at least 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 59.2 percent of the team's points on the season (1,026 of 1,732 pts).

• Illinois has trailed at halftime in only five 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 87th in the NCAA this year at 71.4 percent.

• Illinois has scored more bench points than the opposition in 20 of 26 games.

• In the latest NCAA statistical rankings released on Feb. 16, Chester Frazier ranks 34th in the nation in assists and 26th in assist-to-turnover ratio. He leads the Big Ten in assists, averaging 5.4 apg, and is third in the league with an a/to ratio of 2.41.

Demetri McCamey, meanwhile, ranks 50th in the NCAA in assist/turnover ratio (2.10) and 53rd in assists (4.9 apg)

• In Big Ten games only, McCamey leads the conference in assists (5.3 apg) while ranking second in assist/turnover ratio (2.76).

Mike Davis ranks second in the Big Ten in rebounding, averaging 7.8 boards. Davis has been the Illini's top rebounder in 17 games.

• Over the last five games, Davis has averaged 10.6 rebounds (53).

• Davis leads the Big Ten with seven double-doubles and has posted three double-doubles in the last four games.

• Over the last four games, Davis has averaged 13.5 points (54).

• Over the last three games, Frazier has averaged 6.7 assists (20).

Mike Tisdale is fifth in the Big Ten in field goal percentage, shooting 54.9 percent. Davis, meanwhile, is seventh in the league at 52.3 percent.

• In Big Ten games only, Tisdale is second in the conference in field goal shooting at 59.4 percent.

Trent Meacham has committed just seven turnovers through 368 minutes and 13 games of Big Ten play.

Mike Tisdale is Illinois' leading scorer in wins, averaging 12.9 points (270). 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 50 percent from 3-point range over the last four games (8-16).

• Illinois is 14-0 this season when Mike Tisdale scores in double figures, and 11-0 when the UI shoots more free throws than its opponent.

Last Time Out: At Indiana
Illinois led from start to finish in posting its largest win at Indiana in 24 years with a 65-52 victory on Sunday afternoon. The Illini led by as many as 21 points in the first half on blistering 63 percent shooting (17-27). After the Hoosiers made a second-half run to cut the deficit to six, the Illini outscored the hosts 11-to-4 over the final six minutes to record the 13-point win.

Sophomore big men Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale were at their best against the Hoosiers, combining for 32 points, 16 rebounds and six blocked shots. Davis recorded his seventh double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Tisdale also scored 16 to go along with six boards. They tallied three blocks apiece.

Chester Frazier, meanwhile, filled the stat sheet with nine points, seven assists, seven rebounds and three steals in 37 minutes of action.

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