Demetri McCamey and the Illini face Iowa on Saturday at 5 p.m. CT.
Feb. 29, 2008
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #29: Illinois (11-17, 3-12) at Iowa (12-17, 5-11)
March 1, 2008 5 p.m. CT BTN
Iowa City, Iowa Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500)
On the Air
BTN: Roger Twibell, play-by-play; Tim McCormick, 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 - 23 Rodney Alexander (Jr., 6-7, 225, 4.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg)
C - 55 Shaun Pruitt (Sr., 6-10, 245, 12.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg)
G - 3 Chester Frazier (Jr., 6-2, 190, 4.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.7 apg)
G - 1 Trent Meacham (r-Jr., 6-2, 195, 10.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.6 apg)
G - 32 Demetri McCamey (Fr., 6-3, 205, 7.8 ppg, 2.8 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, 0.9 ppg, 0.5 rpg)
G - 22 Steve Holdren (r-Jr., 6-5, 200, 1.3 ppg, 0.8 rpg)
F - 24 Mike Davis (Fr., 6-9, 195, 2.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg)
G - 25 Calvin Brock (r-Jr., 6-5, 195, 7.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.4 apg)
F - 50 Richard Semrau (r-Fr., 6-9, 235, 0.0 ppg, 0.7 rpg)
C - 54 Mike Tisdale (Fr., 7-1, 215, 4.1 ppg, 1.6 rpg)
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 226-99/.695 (10th year)
At Illinois: 123-45/.732 (5th year)
Big Ten: 51-28/.646
Vs. Iowa: 6-2
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)
Iowa Head Coach: Todd Lickliter
Overall Record: 143-78/.647 (7th year)
At Iowa: 12-17/.414 (1st year)
Vs. Illinois: 0-0
Series Notes: Iowa
Illinois leads the all-time series over Iowa 74-66, but the Hawkeyes lead 52-17 in games played in Iowa City.
The Illini have won eight of the last 11 games in the series. The most recent match-up between the two teams occured last March in Iowa City, a 60-53 Iowa victory. Illinois' last win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena came in 2005.
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 Headlines ...
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 (75).
Ten of Illinois' 12 Big Ten losses have been by 10 points or less. Illinois' average margin of defeat in conferences losses is 7.5 ppg (90).
Trent Meacham has scored in double figures in each of the last four games, tying a career-best streak. Meacham is averaging 12.8 points (51) on 51.6 percent shooting (16-31) over the last four games.
Illinois' strength of schedule ranks 24th in the nation and first among Big Ten teams. The Illini have played 11 games vs. the RPI Top 50, tied for the seventh-most games nationally against the current RPI Top 50.
Illinois concludes its second stretch of playing four of five Big Ten games away from Assembly Hall with Saturday's contest at Iowa. 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 had a stretch of four out of five league games away from home.
Illinois has either led or been tied at halftime in all but seven games this season.
Illinois has started eight different lineups this season.
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-4, Demetri McCamey-3, Rodney Alexander-2, Mike Tisdale-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.
Demetri McCamey nearly made history at Minnesota (Feb. 12), 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 shot a perfect 5-for-5 from behind the arc at Minnesota (Feb. 12), 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).
Demetri McCamey is averaging 15.3 points in Big Ten play at home (107), compared to an average of 5.9 points in conference play on the road (47). McCamey is shooting 50.7 percent from the floor (36-71) and 47.4 percent from 3-point range (18-38) at the Assembly Hall through seven Big Ten games.
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 3.2 per game (86 total off. reb.). He ranks fourth in the league in total rebounds (7.1 avg).
In conference play, Pruitt ranks second in the Big Ten in field goal shooting at 63 percent (63-100).
Pruitt has scored at least nine points in 23 of the 27 games he has appeared in this season.
The Illini are third in the Big Ten and 23rd nationally in field goal percentage defense at 39.5 percent, and fourth in the league in 3-point field goal percentage defense at 32.2 percent.
Illinois ranks fifth in the conference and 37th in the NCAA in scoring defense, allowing an average of 61.9 points per game.
Only eight 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 19 games and ranks fourth in the Big Ten and 49th in the NCAA in rebounding margin at +4.2 rpg.
Illinois' bench is contributing 21.0 points per game and has outscored the opposing bench in 20 games.
Illinois won its 18th consecutive game over Minnesota on Feb. 12. 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 967 career points, ranking 44th on the all-time list. He is 33 points away from becoming the 41st Illini player ever to score 1,000 points.
Shaun Pruitt grabbed his 600th career rebound vs. Northwestern on Jan. 27. Pruitt is the Big Ten's second-leading active rebounder with 640 career boards, trailing only Indiana's D.J. White.
Brian Randle collected his 500th career rebound vs. Purdue (Feb. 2). He now has 514 career boards.
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 58 consecutive sellout crowds at the Assembly Hall entering the next home game March 6 vs. Michigan State. The streak began on Dec. 6, 2004.
Last Time Out: Michigan
For the 10th time this season, Illinois was unable to hold onto a second-half lead in falling to Michigan, 49-43 last Saturday in Ann Arbor. Illinois led by two at halftime and held a 35-31 lead with 13 minutes remaining. But the Illini then went on a field goal drought of over 11 minutes while the Wolverines put together a 14-3 run to lead by seven with under two to play. Illinois cut it to a one possession game with 36 seconds left, but Michigan made three of four free throws down the stretch to close it out.
Calvin Brock came off the bench to lead the Illini in scoring with 12 points to go along with seven rebounds and three assists. Trent Meacham reached double figures for the fourth consecutive game, totaling 11, while Chester Frazier added nine points.
Oh So Close
Illinois has either led, been tied or trailed by no more than three points with less than two minutes remaining in 10 losses ... Illinois has led during the second half in 10 losses ... 12 of Illinois' losses have been by eight points or less ... Illinois is 3-12 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 24th nationally. The Illini also own the toughest SOS in the Big Ten.
The Illini have played 11 games vs. the RPI Top 50, tied for the seventh-most games nationally against the current RPI Top 50.
Illinois has also faced a very difficult league schedule, as eight of Illinois' first 11 Big Ten games came against teams from the top five of the 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 37th nationally in scoring defense with opponents averaging 61.9 points per game on the season. The Illini are third in the conference and 23rd in the NCAA in field goal percentage defense (.395) and fourth in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.322).
Only eight 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 29th in the NCAA in scoring, averaging 78 ppg. But Illinois held the Tigers to a season-low 58 points, 20 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 76.4 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 19 of 28 opponents this year and owns a rebounding margin of +4.2 on the season, ranking 49th in the NCAA. Illinois ranks fourth in the Big Ten in rebounding margin and is third in the conference in total rebounds, averaging 36.7 rpg.
Illinois' bench has outscored the opposition's bench in 20 of 28 games. A reserve has been the Illini's leading scorer in eight games this year. The Illini bench is contributing 21.0 points per game (589 total) and has had 14 double-figure scoring games by players off the bench this season.
*For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on the .pdf link at the top of this page.