Trent Meacham and the Illini host Wisconsin on Wednesday at 8 p.m. CT.
Feb. 18, 2008
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #27: Illinois (11-15, 3-10) vs. #11ap/10 Wisconsin (21-4, 11-2)
Feb. 20, 2008 8 p.m. CT BTN
Champaign, Ill. Assembly Hall (16,618)
On the Air
BTN: Wayne Larrivee, play-by-play; Jim Jackson, expert analyst.
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, 9.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.4 apg)
C - 55 Shaun Pruitt (Sr., 6-10, 245, 12.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg)
G - 3 Chester Frazier (Jr., 6-2, 190, 4.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.9 apg)
G - 1 Trent Meacham (r-Jr., 6-2, 195, 10.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.6 apg)
G - 32 Demetri McCamey (Fr., 6-3, 205, 7.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.2 apg)
Off the Bench
G - 2 Chris Hicks (Sr., 6-2, 190, 0.1 ppg, 0.0 rpg)
G - 13 Jeff Jordan (Fr., 6-1, 185, 1.1 ppg, 0.6 rpg)
G - 22 Steve Holdren (r-Jr., 6-5, 200, 1.3 ppg, 0.8 rpg)
F - 23 Rodney Alexander (Jr., 6-7, 225, 5.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg)
F - 24 Mike Davis (Fr., 6-9, 195, 2.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg)
G - 25 Calvin Brock (r-Jr., 6-5, 195, 7.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.0 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 - 54 Mike Tisdale (Fr., 7-1, 215, 4.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg)
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 226-97/.700 (10th year)
At Illinois: 123-43/.741 (5th year)
Big Ten: 51-26/.662
Vs. Wisconsin: 5-5
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)
Wisconsin Head Coach: Bo Ryan
Overall Record: 546-162/.771 (24th year)
At Wisconsin: 163-59/.734 (7th year)
Vs. Illinois All-Time: 7-8
Series Notes: Wisconsin
Illinois leads the all-time series 106-71, and the Illini also own a 66-18 advantage in games played in Champaign. After four straight Illini wins in the series, Wisconsin has won the last three match-ups. Last season the Badgers broke a seven-game losing streak at the Assembly Hall with a 71-64 victory.
The teams last met on Jan. 10 in Madison, a 70-60 Wisconsin win.
Illini Headlines ...
The Illini have scored at least 70 points in each of their last four home games. Illinois is averaging 74.8 ppg on 49.3 percent shooting (104-211) over its last four appearances at the Assembly Hall.
Illinois' three Big Ten wins have each been by 18 or more points. Illinois' average margin of victory in conference wins is 25.0 ppg.
Nine of Illinois' 10 Big Ten losses have been by 10 points or less. Illinois' average margin of defeat in conferences losses is 6.8 ppg.
Demetri McCamey is averaging 15.5 points (62), 4.3 rebounds (17) and 5.0 assists (20) over the last four games.
McCamey nearly made history at Minnesota last Tuesday, falling two rebounds shy of recording a triple-double, which would have been the third triple-double in school records. McCamey scored 10 points, grabbed a career-high eight boards, and dished out a career-best 11 assists against the Gophers. It is the most assists by an Illini since Chester Frazier had 11 last season vs. IUPUI (Dec. 6, 2006).
Trent Meacham is averaging 15.0 points (30) on 58.8 percent shooting from the field (10-17) and 61.5 percent from 3-point range (8-13) over the last two games.
Meacham shot a perfect 5-for-5 from behind the arc at Minnesota last Tuesday, tying the best 3-point field goal percentage by a Big Ten player this year (Wisconsin's Jon Leuer also made 5-of-5 treys vs. Michigan).
Wednesday's game vs. Wisconsin is the Illini's lone home contest during a stretch of playing four out of five games on the road. The swing began last week at Minnesota and at Penn State. After hosting Wisconsin, Illinois returns to the road for games at Michigan (Saturday) and at Iowa (March 1).
Illinois is the only Big Ten school that twice plays four of five games on the road during the conference schedule. In fact, Penn State is the only other Big Ten Team that has a stretch of four out of five league games away from home.
When including Wednesday's match-up with Wisconsin, nine of Illinois' conference games will have come against teams in the top five of the current standings.
Illinois' strength of schedule ranks 17th in the nation and second among Big Ten teams. The Illini have played 10 games vs. the RPI Top 50, tied for the third-most games nationally against the current RPI Top 50.
Demetri McCamey is averaging 14.8 points in Big Ten play at home (89), compared to an average of 6.3 points in conference play on the road (44). McCamey is shooting 49.2 percent from the floor (29-59) and 47.1 percent from 3-point range (16-34) at the Assembly Hall through six Big Ten games.
Eight different players have been the Illini's leading scorer in a game this season (Brian Randle-8, Trent Meacham-7, Shaun Pruitt-6, Calvin Brock-3, Rodney Alexander-2, Mike Tisdale-2, Demetri McCamey-2, Chester Frazier-1).
While Illinois has only two players averaging in double figures, a total of eight players average over four points per game.
Illinois has started seven different lineups this season.
Illinois has either led or been tied at halftime in all but three games this season.
Demetri McCamey scored a career-high 31 points vs. Indiana on Feb. 7. It was the highest point total by an Illini player in two years, since Dee Brown scored 34 vs. Michigan State (Jan. 5, 2006). It also was the top-scoring performance by an Illini freshman in 14 years, since Kiwane Garris had 33 points vs. Iowa (Jan. 19, 1994).
Shaun Pruitt leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds with an average of 3.4 per game (84 total off. reb.). He ranks fourth in the league in total rebounds (7.3 avg).
In conference play, Pruitt leads the Big Ten in field goal shooting at 63.6 percent (56-88).
Pruitt has scored at least nine points in 22 of the 25 games he has appeared in this season.
The Illini are fourth in the Big Ten and 25th nationally in field goal percentage defense at 39.6 percent, and second in the league in 3-point field goal percentage defense at 32.0 percent.
Illinois ranks fifth in the conference and 48th in the NCAA in scoring defense, allowing an average of 62.1 points per game.
Only seven teams have scored more than 70 points against the Illini this year.
Illinois has had only four opponents shoot better than 46 percent from the field on the season.
Illinois has outrebounded its opponent in 18 games and ranks fourth in the Big Ten and 51st in the NCAA in rebounding margin at +4.4 rpg.
Illinois' bench is contributing 20.8 points per game and has outscored the opposing bench in 18 games.
Illinois won its 18th consecutive game over Minnesota last Tuesday. That is the longest active winning streak by any Big Ten school over a conference opponent. It also is the longest winning streak in Illini history over a Big Ten opponent.
Shaun Pruitt entered the Illinois top 50 scoring list vs. Purdue on Feb. 2. Pruitt has now totaled 945 career points, ranking 45th on the all-time list.
Brian Randle collected his 500th career rebound vs. Purdue (Feb. 2). He now has 513 career boards.
Shaun Pruitt grabbed his 600th career rebound vs. Northwestern on Jan. 27. Pruitt is the Big Ten's second-leading active rebounder with 632 career boards, trailing only Indiana's D.J. White.
Pruitt and Randle combined for 39 points vs. Purdue on Feb. 2, 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 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 57 consecutive sellout crowds at the Assembly Hall entering the next home game Wednesday vs. Wisconsin. The streak began on Dec. 6, 2004.
Taking on the Top 25
The Wisconsin contest is Illinois' seventh game vs. a ranked opponent this season. Illinois is 0-6 vs. ranked opponents this year, 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), No. 8 Michigan State in East Lansing on Jan. 30 (51-41) and No. 14 Indiana in Champaign on Feb. 7 (83-79, 2ot).
Illinois' last win over a ranked opponent came on Jan. 23, 2007 when the Illini defeated No. 23 Indiana 51-43 in Champaign.
Illinois owns a record of 17-20 vs. Top 25 teams under Weber.
Last Time Out: Penn State
Illinois came out on the wrong end of another game decided in the final minute, falling 52-51 at Penn State on Saturday night. The Illini took a 51-50 lead with 19 seconds remaining on a 3-pointer by Demetri McCamey. But the Illini could not follow up with a defensive stop, fouling PSU's Talor Battle on a drive with :07 left. Battle made both free throws to put the Lions up by one and Illinois was unable to convert on its final possession.
A Look Back at the Last Wisconsin Game
Illinois dropped a 70-60 decision at No. 21 Wisconsin. The Illini trailed by just three points, 44-41 with 9:30 left, when Wisconsin went on a critical 16-5 run over the next four-and-a-half minutes that determined the game.
Trent Meacham and Calvin Brock scored 14 points each to lead the Illini. Brock made 6-8 from the field one day after a taking an elbow to the face in practice that required 16 stitches. Chester Frazier also performed admirably. A game-time decision after missing two days of practice because of an injury, Frazier came off the bench to play 30 minutes and had a season-high seven assists.
Oh So Close
Illinois has either led, been tied or trailed by no more than three points with less than two minutes remaining in nine losses ... Illinois has led during the second half in nine losses ... 11 of Illinois' losses have been by eight points or less ... Illinois is 3-11 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 17th nationally. The Illini own the second-toughest SOS in the Big Ten behind Michigan (7).
The Illini have played 10 games vs. the RPI Top 50, tied for the third-most games nationally against the current RPI Top 50.
Illinois has also faced the most difficult league schedule. When including Wednesday's game vs. Wisconsin, nine of the Illini's 14 games have come against teams in the top five of the current standings.
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 48th nationally in scoring defense with opponents averaging 62.1 points per game on the season. The Illini are fourth in the conference and 25th in the NCAA in field goal percentage defense (.396) and second in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.320).
Only seven 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 25th in the NCAA in scoring, averaging 79.3 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, over 14 points below its season average on Jan. 13. The Hoosiers are averaging 76.2 points but scored just 62 vs. the Illini.
Illinois also has 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 shooting on Jan. 27. 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 18 of 26 opponents this year and owns a rebounding margin of +4.4 on the season, ranking 51st in the NCAA. Illinois ranks fourth in the Big Ten in rebounding margin and is third in the conference in total rebounds, averaging 36.8 rpg.
Illinois' bench has outscored the opposition's bench in 18 of 26 games. The Illini bench is contributing 20.8 points per game (542 total) and has had 12 double-figure scoring games by players off the bench this season.
*For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at top of this page.