Meyers Leonard and the Fighting Illini play their second game in four days on Monday night, taking on SIU Edwardsville.
Nov. 13, 2011
Video Stream: BTN.com (StudentU) - Mario Gonzalez, (PBP), Kyle Crowe (Analyst), Christine Gluckleder (Reports)
Radio: Illini Sports Network - Brian Barnhart (PBP), Jerry Hester (Analyst), Loren Tate (Reports)
Illinois men's basketball tickets are currently available. Single-game tickets in C-level range from $22-$40. Tickets can be purchased online at fightingillini.com, by phone at 1-866-ILLINI-1, or in person at the Assembly Hall North Ticket Office.
Tickets also are available through Ticketmaster for the United Center game vs. UNLV (Dec. 17) and the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis (March 8-11). Those tickets can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.
PROBABLE STARTERS (from the previous game)
Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG APG Other G 13 Tracy Abrams 6-1 185 Fr. 8.0 7.0 1.0 4-5 FGs G 1 D.J. Richardson 6-3 195 Jr. 5.0 3.0 1.0 3 steals G 3 Brandon Paul 6-4 200 Jr. 14.0 3.0 3.0 5 FTA F 42 Tyler Griffey 6-8 230 Jr. 10.0 4.0 0.0 2 3FG F/C 32 Nnanna Egwu 6-11 245 Fr. 4.0 6.0 0.0 3 blocks
Off the Bench
Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG APG Other G 0 Sam Maniscalco 6-0 180 Gr. 5.0 2.0 3.0 0 turnovers G 2 Joseph Bertrand 6-5 195 r-So. 2.0 2.0 1.0 17 minutes G 4 Crandall Head 6-4 190 So. C 12 Meyers Leonard 7-1 245 So. 15.0 2.0 0.0 6 blocks F 15 Mike Shaw 6-8 230 Fr. 2.0 2.0 0.0 1 steal G/F 20 Myke Henry 6-6 230 Fr. 2.0 0.0 0.0 1 block G/F 21 Devin Langford 6-7 200 Fr. F/C 23 Ibby Djimde 6-8 250 Fr. 0.0 0.0 0.0 3 minutes G 25 Jean Selus 6-2 195 Sr. 0.0 0.0 0.0 1 minute G 44 Kevin Berardini 6-0 175 r-So.
Series Notes vs. SIU Edwardsville
Series Record: Illinois leads 2-0
Last Meeting: Illinois 96, SIU Edwardsville 69 (Nov. 13, 2009 at Champaign)
Series Streak: Illinois W-2
Record at Champaign: Illinois leads 2-0
Series Streak at Champaign: Illinois W-2
Weber vs. SIU Edwardsville: 1-0
Monday's game vs. SIU Edwardsville will be streamed live at BTN.com and FightingIllini.com. The stream is part of the Illini All-Access package, available through monthly or annual subscription. The Illini All-Access subscription includes all BTN.com streaming events involving Illini athletics. The service is $9.95 per month and fans can sign-up at FightingIllini.com.
The streamed games will be televised tape-delay. The BTN is scheduled to air Friday's win over Loyola on Monday at 1:30 p.m., and BTN plans to air the SIU Edwardsville game on Tuesday at 3 p.m.
Monday's game vs. SIU Edwardsville is the first of four consecutive games Illinois will play in the Cancun Challenge. In addition to the Cougars, the Illini host Lipscomb Thursday night in Champaign as part of the tournament before heading to the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun, Mexico for the final two games versus Richmond on Nov. 22 (8:30 pm) and either Rutgers or Illinois State on Nov. 23 (8:30/6 pm). Illinois' two games in Cancun will be televised by CBS Sports Network. The following is the complete schedule for the Cancun Challenge:
At Campus Sites SIU Edwardsville at Illinois - Nov. 14 Lipscomb at Illinois - Nov. 17 Hampton at Richmond - Nov. 17 Sacred Heart at Richmond - Nov. 19 Sacred Heart at Rutgers - Nov. 17 Hampton at Rutgers - Nov. 20 SIU Edwardsville at Illinois State - Nov. 17 Lipscomb at Illinois State - Nov. 19
Nov. 22 - Cancun, Mexico (All Times CST) Game 1 - SIU Edwardsville vs. Lipscomb, 12:30 pm Game 2 - Hampton vs. Sacred Heart, 3 pm Game 3 - Rutgers vs. Illinois State, 6 pm* Game 4 - Illinois vs. Richmond, 8:30 pm*
Nov. 23 -Cancun, Mexico (All Times CST) Game 5 - Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser, 12:30 pm Game 6 - Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner, 3 pm Game 7 - Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Loser, 6 pm* Game 8 - Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner, 8:30 pm* * Games 3,4,7,8 will be televised by CBS Sports Network
Notes from Friday's Season Opening Win
Illinois won its 13th straight season opener with the 67-49 victory over Loyola Chicago.
Sophomore Meyers Leonard had an outstanding game, scoring a career-high 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting to go along with a career-high six blocked shots. The six blocks equaled the fifth-highest single-game total in school history and marked the most by an Illini since Mike Tisdale had seven against Penn State on Jan. 12, 2010.
Illinois registered 13 blocked shots as a team, just one rejection shy of the school record of 14 set on Nov. 28, 1978 vs. Denver.
True-freshman point guard Tracy Abrams got the start in his first career game, making him the first Illini true-freshman point guard to start his first game since Dee Brown started the opener of the 2002-03 season (Nov. 24, 2002 vs. Lehigh). Abrams grabbed a game-high seven rebounds to go along with eight points on 4-of-5 shooting.
In addition to Abrams, true-freshman Nnanna Egwu also got the start in his first collegiate game, marking the second time in the Bruce Weber era that two true-freshmen started in a season-opener (Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson started the 2009-10 opener on Nov. 13, 2009 vs. SIU Edwardsville).
Junior Brandon Paul continued his strong play in season openers with 14 points against Loyola. Paul had 18 points in 21 minutes in last season's opener against UC Irvine and began his UI career with 22 points against SIU Edwardsville in his first game as a true-freshman in 2009. Paul has averaged 18.0 ppg in three season openers.
Junior Tyler Griffey reached double figures for the fourth time in his career and first since his freshman season, scoring 10 points.
The Illini forced 22 turnovers, including 10 steals. Last season, the Orange and Blue had four games where opponents had 20 or more miscues.
Along with Abrams and Egwu, Sam Maniscalco, Mike Shaw, Myke Henry and Ibby Djimde each made their Illini debuts against the Ramblers. Abrams (8), Maniscalco (5), Egwu (4), Henry (2) and Shaw (2) each scored their first points in Orange and Blue.
Filling the Void
Illinois is looking to replace 69 percent of its scoring production from last season (1,665 of 2,413 points scored by non-returners). That's the highest percentage in 13 years, since the 1998-99 Illini lost 87.6 percent of points from the previous season (2,016 of 2,301 points scored by non-returners).
Illinois also is looking to replace its top three leading scorers for the first time since entering the 1998-99 season when the Illini had lost its top five leading scorers from the previous year.