Men's Basketball
#20 Illinois Game Notes vs. #9 Michigan State

Illinois seniors Chester Frazier, Calvin Brock, Trent Meacham and C.J. Jackson.
Illinois seniors Chester Frazier, Calvin Brock, Trent Meacham and C.J. Jackson.

Feb. 28, 2009

Champaign, Ill. -

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

Game #30: #20 Illinois (23-6, 11-5) vs. #9 Michigan State (22-5, 12-3)
March 1, 2009 // 3 p.m. CT // CBS
Champaign, Ill. // Assembly Hall (16,618)

On the Air

CBS (National): Dick Enberg, play-by-play; Bob Wenzel, 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     11.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 4.8 apg
G - 1	Trent Meacham     r-Sr., 6-2, 195   10.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.6 apg
G - 3	Chester Frazier   Sr., 6-2, 195     5.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 5.4 apg, 1.4 spg
F - 24	Mike Davis        So., 6-9, 210     11.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.9 apg
C - 54	Mike Tisdale      So., 7-1, 235     10.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.3 bpg

Off the Bench G - 13 Jeff Jordan So., 6-1, 185 1.0 ppg, 0.3 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 5.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg G - 25 Calvin Brock r-Sr., 6-5, 200 4.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg F - 30 Bill Cole So., 6-9, 215 1.0 ppg, 0.8 rpg G - 33 Alex Legion So., 6-5, 200 4.0 ppg, 1.5 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: 254-107/.704 (11th year)
At Illinois: 151-53/.740 (6th year)
Big Ten: 64-34/.653
Vs. Michigan State: 5-5
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)

Michigan State Head Coach: Tom Izzo
Overall Record: 327-135/.708 (14th year)
At Michigan State: Same
Vs. Illinois: 15-11

Series Notes: Michigan State
Illinois leads the all-time series over Michigan State, 53-52, and the Illini own a 34-16 advantage in games played in Champaign. After Illinois won five straight in the series, the Spartans have won five of the last six games.

The teams last met on Jan. 17 in East Lansing, a 63-57 MSU win. Reserves Alex Legion (15) and Calvin Brock (13) combined for 28 points to lead the Illini, while Mike Davis scored 10.

Illini Seniors Honored on Sunday
Sunday marks the final home game of the season for the Illini, which means it will be Senior Day at the Assembly Hall. Here is a look at the four departing seniors in the Fighting Illini Class of 2009: C.J. Jackson, Calvin Brock, Trent Meacham and Chester Frazier.

Jackson is in his third year with the Illini basketball team and spent the 2007 season with the UI football program as the team earned a trip to the Rose Bowl. Jackson has appeared in 23 career games, totaling 22 points and 23 rebounds. He will graduate in May with a degree in communications.

Brock is a fifth-year member of the roster and has become one of the most valuable reserves in the Big Ten. He has played in 116 games and owns career totals of 588 points and 447 rebounds. Brock graduated last year with a degree in sport management and is now working toward a second degree in community health.

Meacham ranks among the best 3-point shooters in Illini history. He stands fifth in the school record books for career 3-point field goal percentage (.409) and ninth with 168 career treys. He has played in 98 games in his three years, starting 72 times, and has totaled 820 points, 186 rebounds and 215 assists. Meacham graduated last year with a degree in sport management and is now working toward a master's degree in human resource education.

Frazier will be remembered as one of the toughest players ever to wear the Illini uniform. A tenacious defender and leader on the floor, he ranks 10th on the UI career list for minutes played. Frazier has appeared in 123 games during his four years, starting 86 times. He has totaled 595 points and 498 rebounds and ranks sixth in school history with 476 career assists. Frazier will graduate in August with a degree in recreation management.

Illini Turnaround Near the Top Nationally
Illinois is one of the nation's most improved college basketball teams this season. With 23 victories, the Illini currently have 10 more wins than its regular season win total of 13 last year. Here is a look at the Top 10 NCAA Div. I turnarounds this season (wins listed in 2007-08 are regular season only):

                                 07-08   08-09
   Team            Conf.         Wins    Wins   Increase
1. Citadel         Southern       6       19      13
2. LSU             SEC            13      24      11
3. Illinois        Big Ten        13      23      10
   Stony Brook     America East   6       16      10
5. Michigan        Big Ten        9       18      9
   Portland        West Coast     9       18      9
7. UC Riverside    Big West       8       16      8
   Charleston      Southern       14      22      8
   Evansville      MVC            9       17      8
   Long Beach St.  Big West       6       14      8
   Missouri        Big XII        16      24      8
   Radford         Big South      10      18      8

Illini Improvement in Big Ten Play Ranks Among Best in School History
Illinois has more than doubled its win total in conference play this year, currently with 11 victories after totaling five last season. The Illini also currently stand in second place after finishing ninth last season. These improvements rank among the best turnarounds in school history from one Big Ten season to the next: 

Illini Improvement in Big Ten Wins
1. 	2000,  11 wins	1999,  3 wins	+8 wins
2.	2009,  11 wins	2008,  5 wins	+6 wins
 	1951,  13 wins	1950,  7 wins	+6 wins
	1942,  13 wins	1941,  7 wins	+6 wins
	1908,  6 wins	1907,  0 wins	+6 wins
6.	1915,  12 wins	1914,  7 wins	+5 wins

Illini Improvement in Big Ten Standings 1. 2009, 2nd place 2008, 9th place +7 places 2000, 4th place 1999, 11th place +7 places 3. 1997, 4th place 1996, 9th place +5 places 1993, 3rd place 1992, 8th place +5 places 1973, 3rd place 1972, 8th place +5 places 1969, 2nd place 1968, 7th place +5 places 1939, 3rd place 1938, 8th place +5 places 8. 1982, 2nd place 1981, 6th place +4 places 1929, 5th place 1928, 9th place +4 places

Illini Postseason Resume
Illinois' rankings in various computer ratings through Feb. 26:
• 14 - Real Time RPI
• 17 - Jeff Sagarin Ratings
• 21 - Ken Pomeroy Ratings
• Illinois is 3-2 vs. the RPI Top 25, 7-4 vs. the RPI Top 50, and 11-6 vs. the RPI Top 100
• Illinois has two road wins vs. the RPI Top 50, and four road wins vs. the RPI Top 100
• Illinois' Strength of Schedule is rated 32nd by Sagarin and Real Time RPI.

Thomas To Raise Jersey
The Illinois basketball program unveiled its honored jerseys last September, as 30 of the greatest players in Fighting Illini history had banners hung from the Assembly Hall rafters during A Night Of Legends. A member of that select group, Deon Thomas, is scheduled to attend Sunday's game and raise his banner during a halftime ceremony.

A four-year starter and All-Big Ten selection from 1991-94, Thomas is Illinois' all-time leading scorer with 2,129 points, a career average of 18.0 ppg. He also is the school record holder for career field goals (803) and blocked shots (177), while ranking third in career rebounds (846) and field goal percentage (.601, 803-1336).

Tough "D"
Commitment to defense has been a trademark of Bruce Weber's Illini teams. Illinois leads the Big Ten and ranks third in the nation in scoring defense this season, allowing 55.7 points per game.

In Big Ten play, the Illini lead the league by giving up an average of 55.5 points. This is the fourth time in the last five years that Illinois has led the Big Ten in scoring defense in conference play. Here is a look at Illinois' Big Ten ranking in scoring defense under Weber (conference games):
2009 - 1st - 55.5 ppg
2008 - 6th - 62.2 ppg
2007 - 1st - 55.8 ppg
2006 - 1st - 60.1 ppg
2005 - 1st - 60.6 ppg
2004 - 2nd - 61.2 ppg
In addition to scoring defense, the Illini also lead the league in field goal percentage defense (.388) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.297) this season.

Weber Moves Into Third on UI's All-Time Wins List
The victory over Minnesota on Thursday marked the 151st win of Bruce Weber's Illini tenure. That moves him into a tie for third with Doug Mills on the Illinois career coaching wins list. Weber has the highest winning percentage (.740, 151-53) of any coach in Big Ten history who has coached at least six seasons in the conference. Wisconsin's Bo Ryan, in his eighth year, is second at .731 (190-70). Here is a look at the top five winningest coaches in Illinois history:

    Coach          Wins   Seasons
1.  Lou Henson     423    21 (1976-96)
2.  Harry Combes   316    20 (1948-67)
T3. Bruce Weber    151    6 (2004-09)
T3. Doug Mills     151    11 (1937-47)
5.  J. Craig Ruby  148    14 (1923-36)

Opening Tips
• The Michigan State game is the last of four consecutive Sunday games on CBS for the Illini to close the regular season.

• Illinois has won nine straight Senior Day games at Assembly Hall, with its last loss in a regular season home finale coming in 1999.

• Illinois has clinched a top-five seed and opening round bye in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament.

• The victory over Minnesota was the Illini's 23rd of the season, giving Illinois its fifth season of at least 23 victories in six years under Bruce Weber.

• For school records purposes, only the statistics Trent Meacham has accomplished in an Illini uniform will be listed. However, when factoring in his freshman year at Dayton, Meacham topped 1,000 career points vs. Minnesota on Thursday. He has totaled 820 points with the Illini and 1,005 overall.

• With assists on 70.6 percent of its baskets this season, Illinois leads the nation in assist percentage. The Illini rank sixth in the NCAA in assists, averaging 17.9 assists per game. Illinois, meanwhile, ranks fifth nationally with a team assist-to-turnover ratio of +1.44.

• Illinois recorded its 23rd victory of the 2008-09 season vs. Minnesota on Thursday, now seven ahead of its win total from all of last season (16).

• The win over the Gophers was also the Illini's 11th Big Ten victory. Illinois has more than doubled its conference win total from all of last season (5).

• Illinois' conference opponents are averaging 47.9 points at the Assembly Hall this season (383). The highest scoring total by a Big Ten opponent at The Hall has been 57 points by Wisconsin on Jan. 24.

• Illinois has started the same lineup for 27 consecutive games.

• The Illini have not lost back-to-back games this season.

• Illinois has won three straight Big Ten road games at Northwestern (Feb. 12), Indiana (Feb. 15) and Ohio State (Feb. 22). It is Illinois' longest conference road winning streak since claiming a school-record 13 straight conference road victories spanning two seasons from 2004 to 2005 (six in 2004 and seven in 2005).

• 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 55.7 ppg.

• Clemson (Dec. 2) and Michigan (Jan. 4) are the only two teams this season to top 70 points and shoot better than 48 percent against the Illini defense.

• Illinois is second in the Big Ten and 25th nationally in field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 39.2 percent shooting. The Illini also lead the Big Ten and rank fifth in the NCAA in 3-point field goal percentage defense, limiting opponents to 28.3 percent shooting behind the arc.

• Illinois ranks second in the Big Ten in field goal percentage, shooting 46.3 percent on the year.

• Illinois ranks third in the conference and 37th in the NCAA in scoring margin at +9.4 ppg.

• Four Illini are scoring in double figures, while eight players are averaging at least four 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 59.1 percent of the team's points on the season (1,116 of 1,887 pts).

• Illinois has led at halftime in 23 of 29 games this season.

• After ranking last in the Big Ten and in the bottom 10 nationally in free throw shooting last season, Illinois is fifth in the conference this year at 71 percent.

• Illinois has scored more bench points than the opposition in 20 of 29 games.

• In the latest NCAA statistical rankings released on Feb. 23, Chester Frazier ranks 30th in the nation in assists and 24th in assist-to-turnover ratio. He leads the Big Ten in both assists and assist/turnover ratio, averaging 5.4 apg with an a/to ratio of 2.42.

Demetri McCamey, meanwhile, ranks 55th in the NCAA in assist/turnover ratio (2.07) and 56th in assists (4.8 apg)

• In Big Ten games only, McCamey leads the conference in assists (5.0 apg) while ranking second in assist/turnover ratio (2.58).

Mike Davis ranks leads the Big Ten in rebounding, averaging 7.9 boards. Davis has been the Illini's top rebounder in 19 games.

• Davis leads the Big Ten with eight double-doubles on the season.

• Over the last seven games, Davis has averaged 13.4 points (94) and 10.1 rebounds (71).

• Over the last six games, Frazier has averaged 6.0 assists (36).

Mike Tisdale is fifth in the Big Ten in field goal percentage, shooting 53.7 percent. Davis, meanwhile, is sixth in the league at 53.4 percent.

• In Big Ten games only, Tisdale is second in the conference in field goal shooting at 56.1 percent.

Trent Meacham has committed just 12 turnovers through 477 minutes and 16 games of Big Ten play. He is averaging one turnover every 39.8 minutes in conference action.

• Illinois' top defender, Chester Frazier had totaled just 19 fouls through 549 minutes and 16 games of Big Ten play. He is averaging 1.2 fouls per game in conference action, despite facing the league's top scorers each game.

Mike Tisdale is Illinois' second-leading scorer in wins, averaging 12.3 points (282). He is the Illini's No. 7 scorer in losses, averaging 4.5 points (27).

Dominique Keller is shooting 58.5 percent from the field in home games (48-82).

• Chester Frazier is shooting 50 percent from the floor in Big Ten home games (17-34).

• After a six-game stretch where he connected on just 4-of-25 three-pointers, Trent Meacham is shooting 45.7 percent from 3-point range over the last seven games (16-35).

• Illinois is 14-0 this season when Mike Tisdale scores in double figures, and 12-0 when the UI shoots more free throws than its opponent.

• 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.

Last Time Out: Minnesota
Illinois defeated Minnesota on Thursday night at the Assembly Hall by the score of 52-41. Trailing 39-38, the Illini outscored the Gophers 14-2 over the game's final 10 minutes, including holding the Gophers scoreless over the last six minutes.

The Illini defense forced 20 turnovers and held Minnesota to less than 32 percent shooting (19-60) on the night, including 1-of-14 from 3-point range.

Mike Davis recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds to lead the Illini. Trent Meacham scored 13 while Demetri McCamey added 10 in the win.

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