#23 Illinois Game Notes vs. Penn State
March 4, 2009
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
On the Air
Illini Probable Starters G - 32 Demetri McCamey So., 6-3, 205 11.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 4.7 apg G - 1 Trent Meacham r-Sr., 6-2, 195 10.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.7 apg G - 3 Chester Frazier Sr., 6-2, 195 5.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 5.3 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 10.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.3 bpg
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Penn State Head Coach: Ed DeChellis
Series Notes: Penn State
Big Ten Coach of the Year Candidate Bruce Weber Named Phelan Award Finalist
Illinois is currently 23-7 overall, 11-6 in the Big Ten, ranked No. 23 in both national polls and has an RPI of 18.
The Illini have improved 10 games on last year's regular season win total, which is the third-biggest turnaround in NCAA Div. I and the second-biggest turnaround among BCS programs this season.
Illinois has improved six games on last year's win total in Big Ten play, which is the second-biggest turnaround in school history.
Picked to finish between fifth and seventh in the Big Ten preseason polls, Illinois is within one-half game of second place. The Illini currently stand in third place after finishing ninth last season, with the six-place jump in the conference standings also ranking as the second-biggest turnaround in school history.
Weber has the highest winning percentage (.737) of any coach in Big Ten history who has coached at least six seasons in the conference.
He has won 151 games in his six seasons in Champaign-Urbana, ranking third on Illinois' all-time wins list.
With 254 victories overall, Weber has the 10th-most wins in NCAA history by a head coach through 11 seasons.
The remaining finalists for the Jim Phelan Award are Jim Calhoun (Connecticut), John Calipari (Memphis), Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), Darrin Horn (South Carolina), Trent Johnson (LSU), Lorenzo Romar (Washington), Bill Self (Kansas), Brad Stevens (Butler) and Roy Williams (North Carolina).
The Jim Phelan Award is given annually to the nation's top coach, as voted on by a 20-member panel. The winner will be presented with the award at the 2009 Final Four in Detroit. Prior to 2003 the award was known simply as the CollegeInsider.com national coach of the year. It was renamed to honor longtime Mount St. Mary's head coach Jim Phelan who retired following the 2002-03 season.
Illini Turnaround Near the Top Nationally
07-08 08-09 Team Conf. Wins Wins Increase 1. Citadel Southern 6 20 14 2. LSU SEC 13 25 12 3. Illinois Big Ten 13 23 10 Stony Brook America East 6 16 10 5. Charleston Southern 14 23 9 Michigan Big Ten 9 18 9 Portland West Coast 9 18 9 8. Buffalo MAC 10 18 8 UC Riverside Big West 8 16 8 Chicago State Independent 11 19 8 Evansville MVC 9 17 8 Hofstra Colonial 12 20 8 Long Beach St. Big West 6 14 8 Louisiana Tech WAC 6 14 8 Missouri Big XII 16 24 8 Northwestern Big Ten 8 16 8 Radford Big South 10 18 8 Troy Sun Belt 11 19 8 VMI Big South 14 22 8
Illini Improvement in Big Ten Play Ranks Among Best in School History
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
Team Top 50 RPI Wins 1. Michigan State 11 2. Connecticut 9 3. Illinois 8 Duke 8 Kansas 8 6. Louisville 7 Oklahoma 7 Pittsburgh 7 Purdue 7 Wake Forest 7
Illini Postseason Resume
Current Illini Squad Ties Sixth-Winningest Regular Season in School History
Reg. Season Total Season Coach Wins Wins 1. 2004-05 Bruce Weber 29 37 2. 1988-89 Lou Henson 27 31 3. 2005-06 Bruce Weber 25 26 4. 1984-85 Lou Henson 24 26 1983-84 Lou Henson 24 26 6. 2008-09 Bruce Weber 23 ? 2001-02 Bill Self 23 26 2000-01 Bill Self 23 27 1986-87 Lou Henson 23 23 10. 2003-04 Bruce Weber 22 26 1987-88 Lou Henson 22 23
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).
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 last Thursday. He has totaled 826 points with the Illini and 1,011 overall.
With assists on 70.2 percent of its baskets this season, Illinois leads the nation in assist percentage. The Illini rank sixth in the NCAA in assists, averaging 17.7 assists per game. Illinois, meanwhile, ranks ninth nationally with a team assist-to-turnover ratio of +1.41.
Illinois recorded its 23rd victory of the 2008-09 season vs. Minnesota last 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 has started the same lineup for 28 consecutive games.
Illinois is 4-3 vs. ranked teams (AP) this season.
Illinois leads the Big Ten and ranks third in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 56.3 ppg.
Clemson (Dec. 2), Michigan (Jan. 4) and Michigan State (March 1) are the only two teams this season to top 70 points against the Illini defense.
Clemson is the only team to shoot better than 50 percent against Illinois this season.
Illinois is second in the Big Ten and 21st nationally in field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 39.4 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 46.2 percent on the year.
Illinois ranks third in the conference and 39th in the NCAA in scoring margin at +8.8 ppg.
Four Illini are scoring in double figures, while seven players are averaging more than 4.5 points per game.
Illinois is the only Big Ten team with four players among the league's Top 28 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 59.3 percent of the team's points on the season (1,158 of 1,953 pts).
Illinois has led at halftime in 23 of 30 games this season.
After ranking last in the Big Ten and in the bottom 10 nationally in free throw shooting last season, Illinois is third in the conference this year at 71.7 percent.
Illinois has scored more bench points than the opposition in 20 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 assists (5.3 apg) while ranking third in assist/turnover ratio (2.41).
In Big Ten games only, Demetri McCamey ranks second in the conference in assists (4.8 apg) and third in assist/turnover ratio (2.28).
Mike Davis ranks leads the Big Ten in rebounding, averaging 7.9 boards. Davis has been the Illini's top rebounder in 20 games.
Davis leads the Big Ten with eight double-doubles on the season.
Over the last eight games, Davis has averaged 13.4 points (107) and 9.9 rebounds (79).
Mike Tisdale is fourth in the Big Ten in field goal percentage, shooting 53.8 percent. Davis, meanwhile, is fifth in the league at 53.6 percent.
In Big Ten games only, Tisdale is third in the conference in field goal shooting at 56.2 percent.
Trent Meacham has committed just 13 turnovers through 513 minutes and 17 games of Big Ten play. He is averaging one turnover every 39.5 minutes in conference action.
Illinois' top defender, Chester Frazier had totaled just 21 fouls through 584 minutes and 17 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. 5 scorer in losses, averaging 6.0 points (42).
After a six-game stretch where he connected on just 4-of-25 three-pointers, Trent Meacham is shooting 43.9 percent from 3-point range over the last eight games (18-41).
Illinois is 14-1 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.
For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at top of this page.