Shaun Pruitt and the Illini take on Iowa Saturday at 11 a.m. CT.
March 1, 2007
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #31: Illinois (21-9, 9-6) at Iowa (16-13, 8-7)
March 3, 2007 11 a.m. CT ESPN+ Regional
Iowa City, Iowa Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500)
On the Air
ESPN+ Regional: Wayne Larrivee, play-by-play; Mike Kelley, expert analyst.
Illini Sports Network - 47 stations: Brian Barnhart, play-by-play; Jerry Hester, expert analyst; Loren Tate pregame/halftime/ postgame interviews.
Illini Probable Starters
F - 42 Brian Randle (r-Jr, 6-8, 220, 7.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.2 apg)
F - 41 Warren Carter (Sr., 6-9, 220, 13.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.0 bpg)
C - 55 Shaun Pruitt (Jr., 6-10, 245, 11.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg)
G - 33 Rich McBride (Sr., 6-3, 205, 10.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.1 apg)
G - 3 Chester Frazier (So., 6-2, 190, 7.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 4.6 apg, 1.5 spg)
Off the Bench
G - 1 Trent Meacham (r-So., 6-2, 195, 5.2 ppg, 0.9 rpg, 1.8 apg)
G - 2 Chris Hicks (Jr., 6-2, 190, 0.4 ppg, 0.1 rpg)
C - 21 Brian Carlwell (Fr., 6-11, 265, 1.7 ppg, 1.4 rpg) -Out-
F - 25 Calvin Brock (r-So., 6-5, 195, 5.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.7 apg)
G - 31 Jamar Smith (So., 6-3, 185, 8.1 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.9 apg) -Out-
F - 34 C.J. Jackson (r-Fr., 6-8, 260, 1.2 ppg, 1.6 rpg)
F - 44 Marcus Arnold (r-Sr., 6-8, 245, 2.1 ppg, 1.4 rpg)
F - 50 Richard Semrau (Fr., 6-9, 230, 3.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg) -Out-
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 213-79/.729 (9th year)
At Illinois: 110-25/.815 (4th year)
Big Ten: 48-15/.762
Vs. Iowa: 6-1
Assistant Coaches: Wayne McClain (6th year), Jay Price (4th year), Tracy Webster (3rd year)
Assistant to the Head Coach: Gary Nottingham (4th year)
Trainer: Al Martindale (24th year at Illinois)
Iowa Head Coach: Steve Alford
Overall Record: 307-182/.628 (16th year)
At Iowa: 151-105/.590 (8th year)
Vs. Illinois: 3-10
Assistant Coaches: Craig Neal, Tim Buckley, Billy Garrett
Series Notes: Iowa
Illinois leads the all-time series over Iowa 74-65, but the Hawkeyes lead 51-17 in games played at Iowa City.
The Illini have won eight of the last 10 games in the series, including a 74-70 victory earlier this season (Jan. 10) at the Assembly Hall. Four Illini players scored in double figures in that game, led by 16 points apiece by Warren Carter, Shaun Pruitt and Brian Randle and 15 by Rich McBride.
Illinois' Big Ten Tournament Seeding Scenarios
If Illinois defeats Iowa:
Illinois would be the #3 seed if Indiana loses to Penn State.
Illinois would be the #4 seed if Indiana beats Penn State.
If Illinois loses to Iowa:
There are many different scenarios and tie-breakers which will be determined by Saturday's other Big Ten games, but with a loss Illinois could be anywhere from the #4 to #7 seed.
A Quick Look at Illinois' NCAA Tournament Resume
Illinois is 21-9 on the season and at 9-7 in the Big Ten with one game left to play, is assured a winning conference record and no worse than a tie for fourth place in the league ... Illinois' RPI is 31 in the latest NCAA rankings (as of Feb. 26) ... All of Illinois' losses are to teams with an RPI of 54 or higher according to the NCAA ... Illinois has three wins over Top 50 RPI teams, and six wins over Top 100 RPI teams ... Illinois is 7-3 over its last 10 games ... Illinois has played the second toughest schedule among Big Ten teams (ranked 22nd by Ken Pomeroy), behind only Michigan State.
Illinois enters Saturday's game at Iowa as one of the Big Ten's hottest teams, having won six of its last seven games. In those six wins, UI opponents are averaging 45.2 ppg (271 total), with no opponent scoring over 50 points.
Illinois' current three-game winning streak is the second longest in the conference behind Ohio State.
Illinois concludes Big Ten play on the road for the fourth straight year and the sixth time in the last seven seasons.
With the win over Michigan on Feb. 21, Illinois reached the 20-win marker for the eighth straight year, which is also the program's 26th all-time 20-win season.
Illinois played its final home game on Feb. 21, marking the earliest time by calendar date that the Illini finished its home schedule in 56 years, since 1951 when Illinois played its last home game on Feb. 19.
Illinois ranks seventh in the NCAA in scoring defense (as of Feb. 25), holding its opponents to an average of just 57.2 points on the season.
Illinois is 8-3 over its last 11 Big Ten games after beginning conference play 1-3. Defense has been the biggest reason for the turnaround. Over the last 11 games, Illinois is allowing an average of 51.5 points (566) on 39.5 percent shooting (208-526) and 24.7 percent 3-point shooting (43-174). Those numbers are a major improvement from the first four league games when the Illini allowed an average of 66.5 points (266) on 43.6 percent shooting (89-204) and 35.5 percent 3-point shooting (22-62).
In conference games, Illinois leads the Big Ten in scoring defense (55.5) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.275), and ranks third in field goal percentage defense (.403).
Rich McBride has averaged 12.1 points (157) over the last 13 games after combining for just 7 points and making one 3-pointer over the previous three games. McBride scored 15 points against Iowa (Jan. 10), had a team-high 12 points at Michigan State (Jan. 14), nine points at Minnesota (Jan. 17), 15 points vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 20), a team-high 15 points vs. Indiana (Jan. 23), nine points at Purdue (Jan. 27), 12 points vs. Michigan State (Jan. 30), a team-high 13 points vs. Minnesota (Feb. 3), 15 points vs. Northwestern (Feb. 7), 13 points at Indiana (Feb. 10), a game-high 15 points vs. Northwestern (Feb. 18) and 11 points vs. Michigan (Feb. 21).
McBride is shooting 39 percent from 3-point range and is averaging 3.3 treys over the last 13 games (43-110).
McBride ranks second in the Big Ten in 3-point field goals during conference play with an average of 2.9 treys per game.
Shaun Pruitt has averaged 12.1 points (121) and 8.4 rebounds (84) over the last 10 games, posting double-doubles in four of those contests. Pruitt had 19 points and 14 rebounds vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 20), 10 points and 13 rebounds vs. Indiana (Jan. 23), 13 points and 11 boards at Purdue (Jan. 27), 15 points and five boards vs. Michigan State (Jan. 30), 12 points and six boards vs. Minnesota (Feb. 3), 13 points and a career-high 15 rebounds vs. Northwestern (Feb. 7) and most recently a career-high 20 points at Penn State on Saturday.
Brian Randle has shot 63.6 percent from the field (35-55) over the last 11 games in which he has played, after making just 3-16 in the previous three games.
Over his last 23 games, Warren Carter is averaging 14.2 points (326) and 6.5 rebounds (150). Included in that stretch have been three 20+ point performances for the senior power forward. Carter had a career-high 24 points vs. Arizona (Dec. 2), tying the highest point total by UI player this season, and 21 points vs. both IUPUI (Dec. 6) and Belmont (Dec. 17). He had the highest scoring Big Ten game of his career vs. Michigan on Feb. 21 with 18 points. During this stretch, Carter has been Illinois' leading scorer 10 times and has reached double figures 20 times.
Chester Frazier has averaged 7.0 rebounds (28) over the past four games.
Illinois has started seven different lineups this season. Last season, the Illini started the same lineup in 32 of 33 games and two seasons ago, Illinois had the same starting lineup in all 39 games.
Illinois has had six players miss a combined total of 48 games so far this season due to injury (Richard Semrau-25, Brian Randle-11, Jamar Smith-6, Brian Carlwell-3, Chester Frazier-2, Warren Carter-1), along with over 200 missed practices.
In seven of its nine losses, Illinois has led during the second half.
Illinois extended its school-record streak of consecutive sell-out crowds at the Assembly Hall (16,618) to 45 against Michigan in the final home game of the season.
Illinois held Northwestern to 37 points on Feb. 18, tying the record for the fewest points scored by a Big Ten team in the 44-year history of the Assembly Hall.
Illinois won its 17th straight game over Minnesota on Feb. 3, a streak that spans the last eight-plus seasons, beginning with the 1999 Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinal. It is the longest active winning streak by any Big Ten school over a conference opponent. It also marks the longest winning streak in Illini history over a Big Ten opponent. Illinois' previous best conference winning streaks were a pair of 16-game streaks over Northwestern (1/11/47-3/5/55 & 2/4/84-3/2/91 and one 16-game streak over Wisconsin (2/12/81-1/12/89).
In its victory over No. 23 Indiana on Jan. 23, the Illini held the Hoosiers to a season-low 43 points. It marked the fewest points Illinois has allowed to a ranked opponent in conference play in 22 years, since defeating No. 13 Indiana 52-41 on Jan. 27, 1985.
Illinois is a balanced offensive club, with six players averaging at least 7.4 points and eight members of the roster averaging over 5 points per game.
Seven different players have been Illinois' leading scorer in a game this season (Warren Carter-11, Shaun Pruitt-7, Rich McBride-5, Jamar Smith-5, Chester Frazier-2, Trent Meacham-2, Brian Randle-1).
Shaun Pruitt ranks third in the Big Ten in rebounding (7.4 rpg) and offensive rebounds (3.1 rpg) and is fourth in field goal percentage (.545).
Chester Frazier ranks fourth in the Big Ten in assists with an average of 4.6 apg. He had a career-high 11 assists vs. Bradley (Nov. 25) and again vs. IUPUI (Dec. 6), and also had 10 assists vs. Florida A&M (Nov. 19).
Trent Meacham ranks sixth in the Big Ten in 3-point shooting at 42.1 percent. He had a school-record eight 3-pointers vs. Florida A&M (Nov. 19), which is also the most treys by a Big Ten player this year.
Illinois' leading scorer, Warren Carter ranks 13th in the league with an average of 13.4 points. Carter is also eighth in the conference in rebounding, averaging 6.3 rpg, and 12th in blocks, averaging 1.0 bpg.
Shaun Pruitt has scored in double figures in 20 games this season and is second on the team in scoring at 11.3 ppg. He scored a career-high 20 points vs. Penn State last Saturday and had 19 points vs. Missouri (Dec. 19) and Wisconsin (Jan. 20).
Pruitt leads the Illini with eight double-doubles on the season.
Calvin Brock has scored at least six points in 14 games.
Illinois leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds (12.9 rpg).
The Illini are third in the Big Ten in 3-pointers, making an average of 7.0 per game.
Illinois has scored over 70 points in 13 games.
Illinois has outrebounded 18 opponents and is outrebounding its opponent by an average of 5.2 boards (second in Big Ten).
Carter Named NABC Second Team All-District
Warren Carter has been named an NABC Second-Team All-District selection for District 11, as announced Feb. 28. The All-District Teams were selected and voted on by member coaches of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. There are 15 districts, with 5-player first and second teams announced or each district. These 150 players are now eligible for the NABC All-America Team to be announced at the end of the regular season.
Universities from the states of Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan make up District 11. Earning first-team honors were Alando Tucker of Wisconsin, Dominique James of Marquette, Drew Neitzel of Michigan State, Jamaal Tatum of Southern Illinois and Blake Schilb of Loyola-Chicago. Joining Carter on the second team were Randal Falker of Southern Illinois, Wilson Chandler of DePaul, Kammron Taylor of Wisconsin and Jerel McNeill of Marquette.
Last Time Out: at Penn State
Illinois won its third straight game, defeating Penn State 68-50 on Saturday. The Illini shot a season-high 56 percent from the field, hitting 28-50 shots. Illinois outrebounded the Lions 33-22 and outscored the hosts in the paint by a 36-16 advantage.
Illinois' frontcourt dominated the game, combining for 56 of Illinois' 68 points (82.4 percent) while shooting a combined 24-36 (66.7 percent). Center Shaun Pruitt scored a career-high 20 points, while Forwards Warren Carter had 17 and Brian Randle added 10. Forwards Calvin Brock (5 pts) and Marcus Arnold (4 pts) added nine points off the bench to complete the UI's frontcourt scoring attack.
Arnold is a two-year letterwinner after transferring from Illinois State following his first two seasons. Arnold has career totals of 784 points and 349 rebounds. He scored a career-high 13 points last year vs. Missouri and had a season-high 12 points at Indiana on Feb. 10. Arnold will graduate in May with a degree in speech communications.
Carter is a four-year letterwinner. One of the most improved players in the Big Ten, Carter is Illinois' leading scorer (13.4 ppg) and second leading rebounder (6.3 rpg) this season. He has reached double figures 23 times this season, scoring a career-high 24 points at Arizona on Dec. 2 which is the highest point total by a UI player this year. His career totals are 637 points and 339 rebounds. Carter will graduate in May with a degree in community health.
McBride is a four-year letterwinner and two-year starter at shooting guard. He has been Illinois' third leading scorer the past two seasons, averaging 10 points last year and 10.1 points this year. He scored a season-high 18 points vs. IUPUI on Dec. 6 and has reached double figures 13 times on the season. McBride ranks fifth in school history with 205 career 3-pointers, and is the sixth winningest player in Illini history, having played in 102 victories during his career. He owns career totals of 781 points, 201 rebounds and 184 assists. McBride will finish coursework in May and will need only a summer internship to earn a degree in sport management.
Over the last four years, Illinois has compiled a record of 110-25 (.815), winning two outright Big Ten championships and one Big Ten Tournament championship, and making three straight NCAA Tournament appearances. This senior class advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2004, the NCAA Championship Game in 2005, and the Second Round last season.
Illini Rewrite Attendance Records
A number of Illinois attendance records were broken or tied this season. There were 17 sell-out crowds at the Assembly hall, setting a school record for most sell-outs in a season.
This year also set a school record for highest total attendance in a season, with a total of 282,506 fans passing through the turnstiles.
Illinois tied its record for highest average attendance for a season, with the sell-out average of 16,618 equaling last year's record.
Illinois will carry a school-record streak of 45 consecutive sell-outs at the Assembly Hall into next season.
Defense Is The Difference
Illinois has won eight of its last 11 games after beginning Big Ten play with one win through its first four games. The reason for Illinois' turnaround has been a commitment to defense, and the numbers back it up. Illinois is giving up an average of just 51.5 points over the last 11 games, holding opponents to just 39.0 percent shooting and 24.7 percent shooting from 3-point range.
Illinois leads the Big Ten in scoring defense (55.5 ppg) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.275) in conference games and ranks third in field goal percentage defense (.403).
Below is a statistical comparison of Illinois' defensive effort in Big Ten play over the last 11 games compared to the first four games:
Illini Opponents In First Four Big Ten Games (UI, 1-3) FG 3 FG Pts Reb Totals 89-204 22-62 266 142 Pct./Avg. .436 .355 66.5 35.5
Illini Opponents In Last 11 Big Ten Games (UI, 8-3) FG 3 FG Pts Reb Totals 205-526 43-174 566 323 Pct./Avg. .390 .247 51.5 29.4
Illini By the Numbers Under Weber
Illinois has been a consistent winner under Bruce Weber, a tenure that spans the most successful period in school history. The following is a breakdown of Illinois' success under Weber:
110-25: Illinois' overall record under Weber, a winning percentage of .815.
56-5: Illinois' record at the Assembly Hall under Weber, a winning percentage of .918.
37-2: Illinois' record in 2004-05, which tied the record for the winningest season in NCAA history.
26-7: Illinois' record last season as well as Weber's first season (2003-04), which tie the fourth-winningest season in school history.
21-9: Illinois' record this season.
48-15: Illinois' record in Big Ten play under Weber - which incudes back-to-back outright championships in 2004 and 2005 - a winning percentage of .762
97-20: Illinois' record in regular season games under Weber, a winning percentage of .829.
49-5: Illinois' record in regular season non-conference games under Weber, a winning percentage of .907.
23-11: Illinois' record in road games under Weber, a winning percentage of .676.
30-8: Illinois' record in neutral-site games under Weber, a winning percentage of .789.
8-3: Illinois' NCAA Tournament record under Weber - which includes a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2004 and the program's first-ever appearance in the national championship game in 2005 - a winning percentage of .727.
5-2: Illinois' Big Ten Tournament record under Weber - which includes the 2005 tournament title - a winning percentage of .714.
13-5: Illinois' combined postseason record under Weber, a winning percentage of .722.
Carter Aiming High As A Senior
One of the most improved players in the Big Ten, Warren Carter is having an outstanding senior season. The replacement for James Augustine at power forward, Carter has started all 29 games that he has played in this year and leads the team in scoring with an average of 13.4 points (13th in Big Ten). He has reached double figures 23 times, led by a career-high 24 points on 11-17 shooting vs. Arizona (Dec. 2).
Carter has topped the 20-point marker three times on the season, with a game-high 21 points vs. IUPUI (Dec. 6) and another 21-point effort vs. Belmont (Dec. 17).
Carter had 17 points vs. Bradley (Nov. 25). He also had eight rebounds vs. the Braves and had eight points, three blocks and three steals vs. Miami (OH) the night before to earn a spot on the Chicago Invitational All-Tournament Team.
Carter started strong against Maryland (Nov. 28), scoring all 13 of his points in the first half, while tallying a double-double with 11 boards.
Carter suffered a hip injury at the end of the Missouri game and did not play against Idaho State on Dec. 21. He returned to the lineup vs. Xavier (Dec. 29) and scored 14 points with five boards. He again had 14 points with eight boards vs. Michigan (Jan. 3) and had 11 pts-8 reb vs. Ohio State (Jan. 6).
Carter had 16 points vs. Iowa (Jan. 10) on 6-7 shooting, had 11 vs. Michigan State (Jan. 14) and reached double figures for the eighth straight game with a team-best 17 points at Minnesota (Jan. 17), also collecting 11 rebounds against the Gophers for his fourth double-double of the season.
Carter's double figures streak came to an end vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 20) when he had nine points, but he bounced back with 14 points vs. Indiana (Jan. 23).
After scoring 12 points at Purdue (Jan. 27), he had 10 vs. Minnesota (Feb. 3), a game-high 17 vs. Northwestern (Feb. 7), a team-high 14 vs. Indiana (Feb. 10) and 10 vs. Northwestern (Feb. 18).
He went out in style on Senior Day at the Assembly Hall Wednesday vs. Michigan (Feb. 21), scoring 18 points to mark his highest scoring game of his career in Big Ten play. Carter shot 7-14, made a career-high four 3-pointers, and just missed a double-double in collecting nine boards.
He most recently had 17 points on 7-10 shooting at Penn State last Saturday.
Carter is second on the team in rebounding on the season behind Pruitt, averaging 6.3 rpg to rank eighth in the Big Ten.
Over his last 23 games, Carter is averaging 14.2 points and 6.5 rebounds. During that stretch, Carter has been Illinois' leading scorer 10 times and has reached double figures 20 times.
Pruitt A Consistent Contributor
Shaun Pruitt started every game last season and is once again the Illini's starting center this year. The only player to start all 30 games this season, Pruitt has scored in double figures in 20 games and is second on the team in scoring with an average of 11.3 points.
Pruitt leads the Illini and is third in the Big Ten in rebounding with an average of 7.4 boards and has been an efficient scorer, shooting 54.5 percent from the field (138-253) to rank fourth in the Big Ten. He has eight double-doubles on the season to lead all Illini players.
Pruitt had 15 points on 7-9 shooting vs. Jackson State (Nov. 15) and recorded the first double-double of his career with 10 points and 10 rebounds vs. Savannah State (Nov. 21).
He earned Chicago Invitational Challenge All-Tournament Team honors after posting a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards vs. Miami (OH) (Nov. 24) followed by 16 points and nine rebounds vs. Bradley (Nov. 25).
Pruitt was at his best vs. Maryland (Nov. 28), scoring 18 points on 7-12 shooting. He tallied his third double-double of the season against the Terrapins, collecting 11 rebounds in addition to his 18 points.
Pruitt scored in double figures for the sixth straight game vs. Arizona (Dec. 2), registering 11 points. That streak came to an end with seven points vs. IUPUI (Dec. 6), but Pruitt was back in double figures with 13 points vs. Belmont (Dec. 17).
He then scored 19 points on 8-11 shooting and had a game-high nine boards vs. Missouri (Dec. 19). He finished non-conference play with 11 points and 11 boards vs. Xavier (Dec. 29).
Pruitt had 16 points on 7-8 shooting vs. Iowa (Jan. 10) and had 10 points and a game-high seven rebounds at Michigan State (Jan. 14).
Pruitt reached double figures in six straight games, a streak that was broken against Indiana on Feb. 10. During that stretch, he recorded double-doubles in four contests. He had one of the best games of his career vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 20) with 19 points and 14 rebounds. He then had 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds vs. Indiana (Jan. 23) and had 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds at Purdue (Jan. 27).
Pruitt had 15 points and five boards vs. Michigan State (Jan. 30), 12 points and six boards vs. Minnesota (Feb. 3) and 13 points and a career-high 15 rebounds at Northwestern (Feb. 7).
He most recently erupted for a career-high 20 points on 8-10 shooting at Penn State last Saturday.
McBride's Experience an Asset
Senior Rich McBride started off slow after missing the season's first four games, but he has re-established himself as one of Illinois' top performers. McBride had a season-high 18 points vs. IUPUI (Dec. 6), hitting six 3-pointers, and had a team-high 13 points vs. UIC (Dec. 9).
After coming off the bench the previous two games, McBride returned to the starting lineup against Iowa on Jan. 10 and made his presence felt, scoring 15 points on a season-high five 3-pointers. He then had a team-high 12 points on four treys at Michigan State (Jan. 14).
McBride had nine points at Minnesota (Jan. 17), 15 points vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 20), a game-high 15 points vs. Indiana (Jan. 23) and nine points at Purdue (Jan. 30)
He reached double figures in six straight games, with 12 points vs. Michigan State (Jan. 30) a team-high 13 points vs. Minnesota (Feb. 3), 15 at Northwestern (Feb. 7), 13 vs. Indiana (Feb. 10), a game-high 15 vs. Northwestern (Feb. 18) and 11 vs. Michigan (Feb. 21). That streak was broken at Penn State last Saturday.
McBride has been Illinois' most consistent player over the past 13 games, averaging 12.1 points (157) while shooting 39 percent from 3-point range (43-110).
McBride has started 22 of 26 games on the season and ranks third on the team in scoring, averaging 10.1 points. He ranks third in the Big Ten with an average of 2.7 three-pointers per game (71 total) and is also averaging 2.1 assists. In conference play, McBride ranks second in the Big Ten with an average of 2.9 three-pointers.
McBride ranks fifth in school history with 205 career 3-pointers. At his current pace, McBride should end his career ranked fourth on the Illini all-time 3-pointers list.
McBride has also been credited by the UI coaching staff for improving his defense greatly over the course of his career to the point where he is now considered the Illini's top perimeter defender. He has consistently drawn the assignment of guarding the opposition's top scorer throughout conference play and is a candidate for the Big Ten All-Defensive Team.
Frazier On Point
Chester Frazier has taken over the reins at point guard following the graduation of Dee Brown. The sophomore from Baltimore has been very productive in all facets of the game. He is averaging 7.4 points and ranks fourth in the Big Ten with an average of 4.6 assists. Frazier is also third on the Illini with an average of 4.7 rebounds and leads the team in steals, averaging 1.5 spg (sixth in Big Ten).
Frazier has scored in double figures in 11 games, led by a career-high 17 points vs. Savannah State (Nov. 21) and Michigan State (Jan. 30). He recorded his first career double-double vs. Florida A&M (Nov. 19) with 13 points and 10 assists.
Frazier had 10 points vs. Miami (OH) (Nov. 24), hitting a game-winning layup with 18 seconds left. He then recorded his second double-double vs. Bradley (Nov. 25) with 10 points and a career-high 11 assists. Frazier was named MVP of the Chicago Invitational Challenge.
He had 11 points and four assists in 39 minutes of action vs. Arizona (Dec. 2) and then tied his career high with another 11-assist effort vs. IUPUI (Dec. 6).
Frazier scored 13 points on 4-6 shooting from 3-point range against Idaho State (Dec. 21) and had 11 in the Big Ten opener at Michigan (Jan. 3).
One of the toughest players to wear the Illini uniform in recent years, Frazier has battled through a number of injuries during his career. After starting the first 17 games this season, he was finally sidelined against Iowa (Jan. 10) due to a strained groin. He returned to the court against Michigan State on Jan. 10, scoring eight points and collecting four assists and a career-high four steals in 25 minutes of action.
Frazier had nine points and five boards vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 20).
Frazier was questionable just minutes before the game vs. Michigan State on Jan. 30 due to a turf toe injury, but came off the bench to tie his career-high with 17 points on 6-8 shooting. He also pulled down a game-high six rebounds in 26 minutes. Following that performance, he sat out the game vs. Minnesota on Feb. 3 due to the toe injury.
Frazier returned to the court at Northwestern (Feb. 7), scoring six points in 19 minutes. While he did not score at Indiana on Feb. 10, he did pull down a career-high 10 rebounds with five assists and three steals.
He bounced back from his latest mishap, a dislocated finger on Saturday, to collect a game-high seven rebounds and six assists vs. Northwestern (Feb. 18).
Over the last four games, Frazier is averaging 7.0 rebounds (28).
While continuing to rack up the assists this year, Frazier has also done a good job limiting turnovers. After totaling 13 turnovers in the first two games (6.5 avg.), he has combined for just 62 turnovers over his past 26 games (2.4 avg.). He had only one turnover in 35 minutes vs. Bradley compared to 11 assists, and had just one turnover again vs. Maryland (Nov. 28).
Randle Battling Through Season of Adversity
After having groin surgery on Nov. 17 and missing nine games, Brian Randle returned to action against UIC on Dec. 9. He played 16 minutes off the bench and performed well, nearly registering a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.
Randle scored 10 against both Belmont (Dec. 17) and Missouri (Dec. 19) and had 11 points vs. Idaho State on Dec. 21.
Randle had a break-out game against Iowa on Jan. 10. He tied his career high with 16 points on 7-9 shooting and dished out a career-high six assists. He had two dunks that brought the Assembly Hall crowd to its feet, one of which made Sportscenter's Top 10 Plays of the Day. It marked the third time of his career that a Randle dunk has appeared on ESPN's Top 10 list.
After scoring eight at Michigan State (Jan. 14), Randle was back in double figures with 12 points on 5-7 shooting at Minnesota (Jan. 17). He then had eight points vs. Wisconsin on Jan. 20.
Randle fought through pain in his foot in January (due to plantar fasciitis) before returning to the sidelines and sitting out two games (Indiana, Jan. 23 and Purdue, Jan. 27).
He returned to action vs. Michigan State (Jan. 30), but was limited to just 20 minutes. He had six points and a game-high eight rebounds vs. Minnesota (Feb. 3), eight points at Indiana (Feb. 10), six points and six rebounds vs. Northwestern (Feb. 18) and again had six points vs. Michigan (Feb. 21).
Randle returned to double figures for the first time since Jan. 17 with 10 points at Penn State last Saturday.
Over the last 11 games in which he has played, Randle is shooting 63.6 percent from the field (35-55).
Randle is averaging 7.7 points (fifth on team) and 4.4 rebounds (fourth on team) on the season and is shooting 54.4 percent from the field.
*For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at top of page.