Men's Basketball
Illinois Game Notes vs. Lipscomb

Tracy Abrams and the Illini are looking to improve to 3-0 on the season.
Tracy Abrams and the Illini are looking to improve to 3-0 on the season.

Nov. 16, 2011

Game 3 Notes: Illinois (2-0) vs. Lipscomb (1-1) // Cancun Challenge

Nov. 17, 2011 // 8 pm CT // Champaign, Ill. // Assembly Hall (16,618)

Complete Illinois Game Notes

GAMEDAY LINKS: Listen | Gametracker | Mobile Livestats | Twitter

PREVIEW VIDEOS: Tracy Abrams | Tyler Griffey | D.J. Richardson

TV: BTN - Eric Collins, (Play-By-Play), Shon Morris (Analyst)
Radio: Illini Sports Network - Brian Barnhart (Play-By-Play), Jerry Hester (Analyst), Loren Tate (Reports)
Satellite Radio: Sirius - 132

Ticket Information
Illinois men's basketball tickets are currently available. Single-game tickets in C-level range from $22-$40. Tickets can be purchased online at, 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 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.	6.5	4.0	1.0	60% FG
G	1	D.J. Richardson	6-3	195	Jr.	12.5	2.5	2.0	4 steals
G	3	Brandon Paul	6-4	200	Jr.	10.5	4.5	3.5	8 FTA
F	42	Tyler Griffey	6-8	230	Jr.	10.0	9.0	1.0	7 off. reb.
C	12	Meyers Leonard	7-1	245	So.	11.5	6.5	0.5	11 blocks
Off the Bench
Pos.	No.	Name	        Ht. 	Wt.	Yr.	PPG	RPG	APG	Other
G	0	Sam Maniscalco	6-0	180	Gr.	6.5	2.5	2.5	42.9% 3FG
G	2	Joseph Bertrand	6-5	195	r-So.	3.0	1.5	1.0	1 block
G	4	Crandall Head	6-4	190	So.
F	15	Mike Shaw	6-8	230	Fr.	1.0	2.5	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	0.5	0.0	5 minutes
G	25	Jean Selus	6-2	195	Sr.	0.0	0.0	0.0	2 minute
F/C	32	Nnanna Egwu	6-11	245	Fr.	4.0	4.5	0.5	5 blocks
G	44	Kevin Berardini	6-0	175	r-So.	0.0	0.0	0.0	1 minute

Homecourt Streak
• Illinois carries a 20-game regular season non-conference winning streak at the Assembly Hall.

Cancun Challenge
Thursday's game vs. Lipscomb is the second of four consecutive games Illinois is playing in the Cancun Challenge. The Illini depart for Cancun on Sunday and will play the final two games of the tournament next week at the Moon Palace Resort, facing 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
Illinois 66,  SIU Edwardsville 46 (Nov. 14)
Lipscomb at Illinois - Nov. 17
Hampton at Richmond - Nov. 17
Sacred Heart at Rutgers - Nov. 17
SIU Edwardsville at Illinois State - Nov. 17
Sacred Heart at Richmond - Nov. 19
Lipscomb at Illinois State - Nov. 19
Hampton at Rutgers - Nov. 20

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

Block Party
Illinois averaged 4.5 blocked shots per game last year, the third-highest single-season average in school history. And while we're just two games into the 2011-12 season, the numbers the Illini have already recorded in that category are staggering. Illinois has registered 24 blocked shots, ranking second in the NCAA behind Kentucky (26). Meyers Leonard, meanwhile is tied for second in the nation with 11 blocks, one behind national leader Anthony Davis of Kentucky (12).

Illinois' 24 blocked shots against Loyola Chicago (13) and SIU Edwardsville (11) is the highest consecutive games total in the history of the program. The previous high was 23 blocks set in back-to-back games in 1978 (9 vs. Texas-Arlington on Nov. 24 and 14 vs. Denver on Nov. 28).

The last time the Illini recorded double figures in blocks in consecutive games was during the 2000-01 season with 10 each vs. UIC (Dec. 29) and Minnesota (Jan. 3).

Notes From Monday's Win Over SIU Edwardsville
D.J. Richardson tied his career-high with 20 points. Richardson also led the Illini in scoring for the first time since last season vs. Northern Colorado (Dec. 12).
Tyler Griffey posted his first career double-double with 10 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. His previous career high on the boards was nine vs. Presbyterian on Nov. 21, 2009. Griffey's 14 rebounds are the most by an Illini since Mike Tisdale grabbed 14 at Penn State last season (Jan. 11).
Meyers Leonard had eight points, a career-high 11 rebounds and five blocked shots.
• Illinois outrebounded the Cougars 48-27. It was Illinois' highest rebounding total since grabbing 50 at Michigan on Feb. 23, 2010. The margin, meanwhile, was the Illini's best since outrebounding Northwestern by 23 last season on Jan. 6 (40-17).

Notes from the Season Opening Win over Loyola Chicago
• Illinois won its 13th straight season opener with the victory.
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. His 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.
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).
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.
Tyler Griffey reached double figures for the 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.