Illinois Big Ten Tournament Notes
March 6, 2007
Champaign, Ill. -
ILLINOIS (21-10, 9-7)
Off The Bench ...
On the Air
Illini Big Ten Tournament Notes
Illinois has won two BTT championships (2003 and 2005), which is tied with Iowa and Michigan State for the most titles.
Illinois also has the most BTT championship game appearances, having advanced to the title game five times.
Bruce Weber is tied for the second best winning percentage of any coach in BTT history at .714 (5-2).
Illinois has advanced to the semifinals in eight of the first nine Tournaments, with its eight-year streak snapped in last season's quarterfinal.
Illinois is playing in the opening round for the first time since 1999 and just the second time in BTT history.
This is Illinois' first No. 6 seed in the BTT.
Rich McBride has scored 28 career points in seven BTT games, the most of any player on the current Illini roster. Other current UI players with BTT experience are Brian Randle (4 G, 12 pts), Warren Carter (7 G, 4 pts), Shaun Pruitt (2 G, 3 pts), Marcus Arnold (1 G, 2 pts), Chester Frazier (1 G, 0 pts) and Jamar Smith (1 G, 3 pts).
A Quick Look at Illinois' NCAA Tournament Resume
Did You Know?
The United Center: Illinois' Home Away from Home
Past Illinois Games at the United Center
Illini Quick Hits...
Illinois ranks ninth in the NCAA in scoring defense (through March 4), holding its opponents to an average of just 57.3 points on the season. The Illini also rank 29th in the NCAA in field goal percentage defense (.403) and 30th in rebounding margin (+5.4 rpg).
In conference games, Illinois led the Big Ten in scoring defense (55.8) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.286), and ranked third in field goal percentage defense (.404).
Illinois went 8-4 over its last 12 Big Ten games after beginning conference play 1-3. Defense was the biggest reason for the turnaround. Over the last 12 games, Illinois has allowed an average of 52.2 points (626) on 39.8 percent shooting (227-571) and 26.3 percent 3-point shooting (50-190). 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).
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 50 games so far this season due to injury (Richard Semrau-26, Brian Randle-11, Jamar Smith-6, Brian Carlwell-4, Chester Frazier-2, Warren Carter-1), along with well over 200 missed practices.
In eight of its 10 losses, Illinois has led during the second half.
Illinois concluded Big Ten play on the road for the fourth straight year and the sixth time in the last seven seasons. The Illini also finished the Big Ten schedule with back-to-back games for the third time in the last four years.
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.
Shaun Pruitt has averaged 12.8 points (141) and 8.5 rebounds (93) over the last 11 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), a career-high 20 points at Penn State (Feb. 24) and again a career-high 20 points and nine rebounds at Iowa (March 3).
Over his last 24 games, Warren Carter is averaging 14.1 points (338) and 6.5 rebounds (155). 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 21 times.
Rich McBride has averaged 11.9 points (166) over the last 14 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) and nine points at Iowa (March 3).
McBride is shooting 39 percent from 3-point range and is averaging 3.3 treys over the last 14 games (46-118).
McBride stands in fifth place in Illinois history with 208 career 3-pointers. He needs just one trey to tie Luther Head for fourth on the list.
McBride tied for second in the Big Ten in 3-point field goals during conference play with an average of 2.9 treys per game.
Brian Randle has shot 58.5 percent from the field (38-65) over the last 12 games in which he has played, after making just 3-16 in the previous three games.
Chester Frazier has averaged 6.2 rebounds (31) over the past five games.
Illinois is a balanced offensive club, with six players averaging at least 7.3 points and eight members of the roster averaging at least 5.0 points per game.
Seven different players have been Illinois' leading scorer in a game this season (Warren Carter-11, Shaun Pruitt-8, 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 (.549).
Chester Frazier ranks fourth in the Big Ten in assists with an average of 4.5 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 seventh in the Big Ten in 3-point shooting at 42.1 percent. He tied a school-record with eight 3-pointers vs. Florida A&M (Nov. 19).
Illinois' leading scorer, Warren Carter ranks 14th 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 21 games this season and is second on the team in scoring at 11.6 ppg. He has posted back-to-back career scoring highs in his two most recent games with 20 points and Penn State (Feb. 24) and again at Iowa (March 3).
Pruitt leads the Illini and ranks second in the Big Ten with eight double-doubles on the season.
Illinois leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds (13.0 rpg).
The Illini are third in the Big Ten in 3-pointers, making an average of 6.9 per game.
Illinois has scored over 70 points in 13 games.
Illinois has outrebounded 19 opponents and is outrebounding its opponent by an average of 5.4 boards (second in Big Ten).
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 nine 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.
Four Illini Earn Big Ten Honors
Carter Named NABC Second Team All-District
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.
Arnold is a two-year letterwinner after transferring from Illinois State following his first two seasons. Arnold has career totals of 786 points and 351 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 24 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 649 points and 344 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 10.0 points last year and again 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 208 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 790 points, 202 rebounds and 188 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 110-26 (.809), 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.
Defense Is The Difference
Illinois led the Big Ten in scoring defense (55.8 ppg) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.286) in conference games and ranked third in field goal percentage defense (.404).
Illini By the Numbers Under Weber
110-26: Illinois' overall record under Weber, a winning percentage of .809.
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.
21-10: Illinois' record this season.
48-16: Illinois' record in Big Ten play under Weber - which incudes back-to-back outright championships in 2004 and 2005 - a winning percentage of .750.
97-21: Illinois' record in regular season games under Weber, a winning percentage of .822.
49-5: Illinois' record in regular season non-conference games under Weber, a winning percentage of .907.
23-12: Illinois' record in road games under Weber, a winning percentage of .657.
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.
Weber Third Winningest Coach in Big Ten History over Four-Straight Years
Coach, School Wins Years 1. Tom Izzo, Michigan State 115 1998-01 2. Tom Izzo, Michigan State 112 1999-02 3. Bruce Weber, Illinois 110 2004-07 T4. Bob Knight, Indiana 108 1991-94 T4. Bob Knight, Indiana 108 1973-76
*For complete Illinois Men's Basketball Big Ten Tournament Notes, click on .pdf link at top of this page.