Chester Frazier and the Illini open the 2006-07 season on Monday, hosting Austin Peay at 7 p.m. at the Assembly Hall.
Nov. 12, 2006
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #1: Illinois (26-7 in 2005-06) vs. Austin Peay (0-1)
Nov. 13, 2006 7 p.m. CT Champaign, Ill. Assembly Hall (16,618)
On the Air
Illini Sports Network - 47 stations: Brian Barnhart, play-by-play; Jerry Hester, expert analyst; Loren Tate pregame/halftime/ postgame interviews.
Illini Probable Starters (averages listed are from 2005-06 season)
F - 42 Brian Randle (r-Jr, 6-8, 220, 8.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.5 apg) - OR -
G - 25 Calvin Brock (r-So., 6-5, 195, 1.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg) - OR -
G - 1 Trent Meacham (r-So., 6-2, 195, 6.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.7 apg in 2004-05)
F - 41 Warren Carter (Sr., 6-9, 220, 4.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg)
C - 55 Shaun Pruitt (Jr., 6-10, 245, 6.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg)
G - 31 Jamar Smith (So., 6-3, 185, 8.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.3 apg)
G - 3 Chester Frazier (So., 6-2, 190, 1.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.9 apg)
Off the Bench (averages listed are from 2005-06 season)
G - 2 Chris Hicks (Jr., 6-2, 190, 0.9 ppg, 0.1 rpg)
C - 21 Brian Carlwell (Fr., 6-11, 265)
G - 33 Rich McBride (Sr., 6-3, 205, 10.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.1 apg)
F - 34 C.J. Jackson (r-Fr., 6-8, 260)
F - 44 Marcus Arnold (r-Sr., 6-8, 245, 3.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg)
F - 50 Richard Semrau (Fr., 6-9, 230)
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 192-70/.733 (9th year)
At Illinois: 89-16/.848 (4th year)
Big Ten: 39-9/.813
Vs. Austin Peay: 0-0
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)
Austin Peay Head Coach: Dave Loos
Overall Record: 332-278/.544 (21st year)
At Austin Peay: 250-225/.526 (17th year)
Vs. Illinois: 0-0
Assistant Coaches: Scott Combs, Charles Wells, Boyd Copeland
Series Notes: Austin Peay
Illinois and Austin Peay are meeting for the third time, and the first time in 19 years. The all-time series is tied 1-1. Austin Peay upset Illinois in the first round of the 1987 NCAA Tournament at Birmingham, Ala., 68-67 (3/12/87). The Illini defeated the Governors the following season, 100-62 at the Assembly Hall (12/8/87).
Illini in Season Openers
Illinois opens its 102nd season of men's basketball on Monday, including its 45th season at the Assembly Hall. The Fighting Illini have posted an all-time record of 88-13 (.871) in season openers and have won their last seven openers. Illinois is 86-15 (.851) in home openers, including a 36-7 (.837) record in home openers at the Assembly Hall.
Last Time Out: Exhibition
Illinois won a pair of exhibition games, defeating Lewis 83-58 on Nov. 1 and SIU-Edwardsville 76-57 on Nov. 8.
Warren Carter totaled a game-high 13 points against Lewis while Chester Frazier had 10 points, seven rebounds and a game-high six assists. Jamar Smith (12) and Shaun Pruitt (10) also scored in double figures in the victory.
Carter again led the way against SIU-Edwardsville, scoring a game-high 17 points on 7-11 shooting. He also had a game-high six rebounds in addition to two assists and two blocks. Frazier joined Carter in double figures, scoring 13 points on 5-10 shooting. He added four assists, four rebounds and two steals in the win.
A New Look
Illinois will unveil a new starting lineup on Monday for the first time since Dec. 18, 2005. The unit of Dee Brown, James Augustine, Rich McBride, Brian Randle and Shaun Pruitt started the final 22 games of the 2005-06 season. The Illini will also have a new player jumping the opening tip for the first time since Dec. 7, 2002. James Augustine jumped center for the final 132 games of his career.
Top 25 Streak Snapped
Illinois is receiving votes in the preseason Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls. That snaps Illinois' streak of 45 straight weeks ranked in the Coaches Poll (2/24/04-4/4/06) and 42 straight weeks ranked in the AP Poll (2/24/04-3/14/06).
Randle Preseason Wooden Award Candidate
Junior Brian Randle is one of 50 preseason candidates for the 2006-07 Wooden Award All-America Team. Randle started 32 games last season, ranking fourth on the team in scoring (8.5 ppg) and second in rebounding (5.4 rpg). He shot 52 percent from the field on the year and earned a reputation as the Illini's top defender, garnering Big Ten All-Defensive Team honors. Randle is one of five Big Ten players on the list.
This marks the seventh straight year that an Illinois player has been named to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list.
Assembly Hall: The House of 'Paign
Illinois owns the best homecourt record (ranked by winning percentage) in the nation over the last four years at 56-2 (.966). The Illini are 93-4 (.959) at the Assembly Hall over the past seven years, which ranks second in the nation for homecourt winning percentage this decade behind only Gonzaga.
The Illini also carry a winning streak of 46 in a row at the Assembly Hall against non-conference opponents into Monday's season opener vs. Austin Peay. That run is tied with Oklahoma for the longest non-conference homecourt winning streak in the country.
Below is a look at Illinois' record at the Assembly Hall this decade:
Year Overall Big Ten 2005-06 15-1 7-1 2004-05 15-0 8-0 2003-04 12-1 7-1 2002-03 14-0 7-0 2001-02 13-1 7-1 2000-01 12-0 8-0 1999-2000 12-1 7-1 Total 93-4 (.959) 51-4 (.927)
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:
89-16: Illinois' overall record under Weber, a winning percentage of .848.
42-2: Illinois' record at the Assembly Hall under Weber, a winning percentage of .955.
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.
39-9: Illinois' record in Big Ten play under Weber - which incudes back-to-back outright championships in 2004 and 2005 - a winning percentage of .813.
76-11: Illinois' record in regular season games under Weber, a winning percentage of .874.
20-7: Illinois' record in road games under Weber, a winning percentage of .741.
26-6: Illinois' record in neutral-site games under Weber, a winning percentage of .813.
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.
Recapping Last Season
Illinois went 26-7 last year, tying the fourth winningest season in school history. The Illini went 11-5 in the Big Ten, tying for second place, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Illinois finished the year ranked No. 13 in the final Associated Press poll and No. 17 in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
3-Point Threats Back in Illini Backcourt
Rich McBride led the Big Ten last year with 83 three-pointers while shooting 40.4 percent from behind the arc on the season (83-206). Jamar Smith, meanwhile, led the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage as a freshman at 48.2 percent, connecting on 66-of-137 from 3-point land.
Getting it Done on "D" & Crashing the Boards
Defense and rebounding were two areas where the Illini excelled during the 2005-06 season. Illinois ranked 11th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing an average of only 58.7 ppg. In 33 games on the season, the Illini gave up 70 or more points to only one team, Michigan (74 on Jan. 14 and 72 on Feb. 21).
Illinois ranked second in the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense at 40.5 percent, with only two opponents shooting 50 percent or better on the year (Minnesota, .543 on 2/28 and Air Force, .545 on 3/16).
Illinois was 10th nationally and first in the Big Ten in scoring margin, outscoring its opponents by an average of 11.3 ppg on the season.
Illinois also outrebounded its opponents by an average of 5.9 rpg to lead the Big Ten and rank 16th in the nation in rebounding margin.
Illini Reach 25-Win Marker for Sixth Straight Season
Illinois won 26 games in 2005-06, marking the sixth consecutive year that the Illini have recorded at least 25 wins. Illinois and Duke are the only teams in the nation to accomplish this feat in each of the last six seasons (beginning in 2000-01). Duke has won at least 25 games each of the past 10 seasons.
Illinois' six consecutive 25-win seasons are a Big Ten record, doubling the longest streak of any other school in the history of the conference. Michigan State (1999-01), Purdue (1994-96), Indiana (1991-93) and Ohio State (1960-62) all had three straight 25-win seasons.
Weber Nation's Second-Winningest Coach over Past Five Seasons
Bruce Weber has coached consistent winners everywhere he's been throughout his college career. In fact, over the past five seasons only one head coach in America has more wins on his resume than Weber. Beginning with the 2001-02 season, Weber has recorded 141 victories, which trails only Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (147) and leads Roy Williams (138 wins) for the most wins by an NCAA Div. I coach over this time span. In his final two years at Southern Illinois, Weber went 28-8 in 2001-02 and 24-7 in 2002-03. He then took over the Illinois program, leading the Illini to a 26-7 record in 2003-04, a 37-2 mark in 2004-05 and another 26-7 record in 2005-06.
*For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at top of this page.