Illinois at Ohio State Preview
March 1, 2010
ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
TV: ESPN (also streamed at ESPN360.com) - Dave O'Brien (Play-By-Play), Steve Lavin (Analysis)
Probable Starters Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG APG Other G 32 Demetri McCamey 6-3 200 Jr. 15.0 3.2 6.9 47.5 FG% G 1 D.J. Richardson 6-3 185 Fr. 10.7 2.7 2.2 39.6 3FG% F 30 Bill Cole 6-9 215 Jr. 4.3 3.3 1.1 46 FG% F 24 Mike Davis 6-9 220 Jr. 10.5 8.8 1.0 64 off. reb. C 54 Mike Tisdale 7-1 235 Jr. 11.7 6.2 0.7 46 blocks
Series Notes vs. Ohio State
Illini Facing Nation's Toughest Schedule To Finish Regular Season
This is the first time in school history that Illinois concludes the regular season with six of eight games against AP Top-15 teams.
What's on the Line
Illinois clinched a winning Big Ten record last Tuesday at Michigan, recording its 10th conference win.
Demetri McCamey is averaging 8.0 assists in conference play. He has totaled 128 assists in Big Ten games, 38 more than the next closest assists leader. McCamey enters this week needing 14 assists to break the Big Ten single-season assists record. The current record is 141 assists (7.8 apg) set by Eric Snow of Michigan State in 1995 (details on p. 6).
McCamey leads the Big Ten and ranks second in the nation in assists (all games) with an average of 6.9 apg. He is challenging the Illinois single-season assists record of 6.8 apg set by Deron Williams in 2005.
McCamey has recorded at least seven assists in 15 games this year. He is averaging 9.0 assists over the last nine games (81).
Illinois has played 10 ranked opponents this season. The Illini are 5-5 against Top 25 teams, with victories at No. 18/19 Clemson on Dec. 2, No. 24 Vanderbilt (Coaches poll) on Dec. 8, No. 25 Northwestern (AP poll) on Dec. 30, No. 5/5 Michigan State on Feb. 6, and at No. 11/13 Wisconsin on Feb. 9.
With five Top 25 wins, the Illini trail only Syracuse (seven wins), Georgetown, Kentucky and New Mexico (six wins apiece) for most wins over ranked teams this season. Duke, Kansas, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin also have recorded five wins vs. Top 25 teams.
McCamey tied a school record with 16 assists at Purdue on Feb. 20. It equaled the most assists in the NCAA this season and tied the fourth-highest total in Big Ten history. It was the third-best performance, meanwhile, in a Big Ten game (details on p. 5).
McCamey has accounted for 51.3 percent of Illinois' offense in Big Ten play (details on p. 6).
McCamey's combined scoring (15.3 ppg) and assists (8.0 apg) total of 23.3 stands seventh among players from the six major conferences who rank among their league leaders in both categories in conference action (details on p. 6).
Mike Davis ranks second in the Big Ten in rebounding (8.8 rpg).
Davis has recorded double-doubles in each of the last three games, averaging 13.0 points (39) and 12.0 rebounds (36) over that three-game stretch.
After averaging just 3.8 rebounds over a five game stretch from Jan. 23-Feb. 6, Davis has averaged 10.2 rebounds over the last five games (51).
Davis has 12 double-doubles on the season, ranking second in the Big Ten behind Ohio State's Evan Turner (13).
Davis also ranks second in the Big Ten with 21 career double-doubles, trailing only OSU's Turner (25).
Mike Tisdale (all games) ranks third in the conference in field goal percentage (.563), fifth in free throw percentage (.830) and fifth in blocked shots (1.6 bpg).
In conference action, Tisdale is second in the league in field goal percentage (.540).
D.J. Richardson (all games) ranks seventh in the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage at 39.6 percent (53-134).
Illinois' four leading scorers on the season are in double figures, averaging between 10.5 and 15.0 points.
The Illini have started six different lineups.
Illinois has had six different players record a 20-point game.
Illinois has had eight different players score in double figures in a game.
Illinois leads the Big Ten (conference games) in field goal percentage defense (.385) while ranking second in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.320). The Illini led the league in both categories last year.
Illinois ranks 18th in the NCAA in in assists (16.1 apg) and 21st in assist/turnover ratio (1.3).
Illinois recently concluded a stretch of four straight games versus Associated Press Top 15 opponents. It was the third time in school history, and first since 1992, that Illinois played at least four consecutive games vs. AP Top-15 teams.
With its win at Wisconsin on Feb. 9, Illinois became the first unranked Big Ten team to win at the Kohl Center in UW Coach Bo Ryan's nine-year tenure. It was Wisconsin's sixth Big Ten home loss under Ryan. Three of those six defeats have been to Bruce Weber's Illini (2005, 2006, 2010).
Illinois' win over No. 5 Michigan State on Feb. 6 marked its first victory over a top-five opponent since defeating No. 4 Louisville in the Final Four on April 2, 2005. It was the UI's first win at home over a top-five team since beating No. 1 Wake Forest at the Assembly Hall on Dec. 1, 2004.
The victories over No. 5 Michigan State and at No. 11 Wisconsin marked Illinois' first back-to-back wins over Associated Press Top-15 teams since defeating No. 9 Arizona (90-89) and No. 4 Louisville (72-57) in the 2005 NCAA Tournament. It was the first time beating back-to-back Top-15 teams during the regular season since the Illini topped No. 7 Seton Hall (87-79) and No. 7 Arizona (81-73) in December 2000. Finally, it was the first back-to-back wins over Big Ten Top-15 teams since the UI won three straight over No. 3 Indiana (70-67), No. 15 Iowa (118-94) and No. 8 Michigan (89-73) in March 1989.
Demetri McCamey tallied his ninth 20-point game of the season with 27 points at Wisconsin on Feb. 9. He has 16 career 20-point games to lead the Illini.
McCamey has scored at least nine points in all but four games this season.
McCamey scored his 1,000th career point against Indiana on Jan. 30. He currently ranks 35th on the Illinois all-time scoring list with 1,112 points.
Seven of Illinois' losses have been by less than seven points, as the Utah, Bradley, Georgia, Gonzaga, Purdue (home), Northwestern and Minnesota games were decided by a total of 24 points (3.4 avg).
Illinois has held a second-half lead in seven of its losses.
In its 18 wins, Illinois' offense is averaging 76.2 points (1,371) on 48.7 percent shooting (466-957) and 17.0 assists (306), while in 11 losses, the offense is averaging 66.5 points (731) on 39.0 percent shooting (274-702) and 14.6 assists (161).
Last Time Out
Bill Cole led the Illini, scoring a career-high 15 points on five 3-pointers. Mike Davis recorded his third straight double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, and Richardson also scored in double figures with 10. McCamey, meanwhile, had nine points and a game-high 10 assists.
For complete set of Illinois Basketball Game Notes, click on PDF link at top of this page.