The Illini host Florida A&M on Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Assembly Hall.
Nov. 18, 2006
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #4: Illinois (3-0) vs. Florida A&M (1-2)
Nov. 19, 2006 4 p.m. CT ESPN 360
Champaign, Ill. Assembly Hall (16,618)
On the Air
ESPN 360: Jeff Friedman, play-by-play; Frank Giardina, expert analyst.
Illini Sports Network - 47 stations: Brian Barnhart, play-by-play; Jerry Hester, expert analyst; Loren Tate pregame/halftime/ postgame interviews.
Illini Probable Starters
F - 41 Warren Carter (Sr., 6-9, 220, 11.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.7 bpg)
C - 55 Shaun Pruitt (Jr., 6-10, 245, 10.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg)
G - 25 Calvin Brock (r-So., 6-5, 195, 12.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.7 apg)
G - 1 Trent Meacham (r-So., 6-2, 195, 11.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 3.3 apg)
G - 3 Chester Frazier (So., 6-2, 190, 10.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 6.3 apg, 1.3 spg)
Off the Bench
G - 2 Chris Hicks (Jr., 6-2, 190, 2.0 ppg, 0.5 rpg)
C - 21 Brian Carlwell (Fr., 6-11, 265, 4.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg)
G - 31 Jamar Smith (So., 6-3, 185, 19.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg)
G - 33 Rich McBride (Sr., 6-3, 205, 10.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.1 apg in 2005-06)
F - 34 C.J. Jackson (r-Fr., 6-8, 260, 4.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg)
F - 42 Brian Randle (r-Jr, 6-8, 220, 7.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg)
F - 44 Marcus Arnold (r-Sr., 6-8, 245, 3.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg)
F - 50 Richard Semrau (Fr., 6-9, 230, 3.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg)
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 195-70/.736 (9th year)
At Illinois: 92-16/.852 (4th year)
Big Ten: 39-9/.813
Vs. Florida A&M: 1-0
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)
Florida A&M Head Coach: Mike Gillespie Sr.
Overall Record: 96-112/.462 (9th year)
At Florida A&M: 70-82/.461 (6th year)
Vs. Illinois: 0-1
Assistant Coaches: Mike Gillespie Jr., Chrys Cornelius, Avery Curry
Series Notes: Florida A&M
This is just the second-ever meeting between Illinois and Florida A&M. The Illini won the previous match-up on Nov. 21, 2004 at the Assembly Hall by the score of 91-60.
Illini Own Nation's Longest Non-Conference Homecourt Winning Streak
The victory over Georgia Southern on Friday marked Illinois' 49th consecutive win at the Assembly Hall over a non-conference opponent. That ranks as the longest active non-conference homecourt winning streak in the nation, leading Oklahoma (48) by one win. Oklahoma next plays at home on Dec. 2 vs. TCU.
Randle Out 4-6 Weeks Following Surgery
Starting forward Brian Randle will miss 4-6 weeks after having surgery on Friday in Philadelphia to repair a damaged muscle in the groin/abdominal area.
Last Time Out: Georgia Southern
Illinois jumped out to a 9-0 less than two minutes into the game and never looked back, rolling past Georgia Southern 85-50 on Friday at Assembly Hall. Four UI players scored in double figures led by sophomores Trent Meacham and Calvin Brock, who both notched career highs with Meacham scoring 19 and Brock adding 17. Warren Carter tallied 12 points despite playing only 12 minutes while Chester Frazier chipped in with 10.
Illinois' defense was again suffocating, holding Georgia Southern to 34.6 percent shooting (18-52), the third straight Illini opponent to shoot under 35 percent. Illinois forced 27 GSU turnovers and outrebounded the Eagles 38-31.
Notes from Jackson State
Illinois fought back from an early 14-point deficit to defeat Jackson State 76-55 on Wednesday ... The Illini shot a season-high 55.8 percent against JSU, highlighted by 17-23 shooting (73.9 percent) after intermission ... Warren Carter posted career highs of 16 points and 15 rebounds to record the first double-double of his career ... Chester Frazier played all 40 minutes, recording career highs in three categories: points (14), assists (9) and rebounds (7).
Notes from Austin Peay
Illinois dominated Austin Peay 80-35 in Monday's season opener ... The Illini defense was stifling, holding Austin Peay to just 35 points, the second-lowest scoring total in Assembly Hall history, and to 13 baskets, tying the second-fewest field goals in Assembly Hall history ... Illinois' 45-point win was its largest margin of victory in seven years, since defeating Bethune-Cookman by 50 points (97-47) on Dec. 28, 1999.
Brock Stepping Up
Sophomore Calvin Brock is making the most of his opportunity in the Illini lineup. With Brian Randle unavailable, Brock has started the past two games, totaling 14 points on 6-9 shooting and six rebounds vs. Jackson State, followed by a career-high 17 points on 7-11 shooting, four rebounds and three assists vs. Georgia Southern. He is also a perfect 4-of-4 from 3-point range over those two contests.
Brock, who totaled 23 points all of last season as a redshirt freshman, has already scored 37 points this year, 31 of which have been in the last two games.
Trent Meacham starred at Champaign Centennial High School and initially went to Dayton on a full scholarship. After playing as a true freshman at Dayton in 2004-05, Meacham returned to Illini country, choosing to walk-on to the Illinois squad. Meacham sat out last season as a transfer and has been awarded a scholarship for this season.
Meacham scored eight points off the bench in Illinois' opener vs. Austin Peay on Monday. After an injury to Jamar Smith, Meacham found himself in the starting lineup just two days later, playing all 40 minutes vs. Jackson State, scoring eight points with a career-high six assists. Meacham then led Illinois against Georgia Southern, scoring a career-high 19 points in 36 minutes.
Meacham ranks third on the Illini in scoring, averaging 11.7 points on the year, is second on the team with 10 assists, and is shooting 50 percent from 3-point range (7-14) and 83.3 percent from the free throw line (10-12).
Illini Through Three Games...
Six players are averaging in double figures, led by Jamar Smith at 19.0 ppg and followed by Calvin Brock (12.3), Trent Meacham (11.7), Warren Carter (11.3), Shaun Pruitt (10.7), and Chester Frazier (10.3).
Warren Carter, who averaged 1.9 rebounds over the first three years of his career, leads the Illini on the glass this season, averaging 7.0 rpg. He had his first career double-double Wednesday vs. Jackson State with career bests of 16 points and 15 rebounds. Carter's 15 boards are the most by a Big Ten player to start the season.
Chester Frazier is averaging 6.3 assists through three games. He had a career-high nine assists vs. Jackson State on Wednesday.
Illinois is holding its opponents to an average of just 46.7 points on 31.3 percent shooting and 21.8 percent from 3-point range. No opponent has scored more than 55 points, while all three opponents have shot under 35 percent from the field and under 30 percent from 3-point land.
Illinois is averaging 80.3 points and is outscoring its opponent by an average of 33.7 points.
Illinois has shot better than 50 percent in two of its three games and is shooting 51.9 percent on the season. Illinois has shot better than 45 percent from 3-point range in all three games and is shooting 47.9 percent from behind the arc on the season.
Illinois has outrebounded all three opponents and is outrebounding its opponent by an average of 12.0 boards.
Shorthanded on the Perimeter
The Illini backcourt is currently operating without three key players. Junior Brian Randle missed over a week of practice due to a strained muscle in the groin/abdominal area. He sat out the two exhibition games and then started Monday's season opener. Randle played nine minutes in the first half and has been sidelined again by the injury. Randle had surgery on Friday and is out 4-6 weeks.
Sophomore Jamar Smith was on pace for a career night against Austin Peay, with 19 points on 7-10 shooting, when he was injured early in the second half and missed the rest of the game. Smith has a high ankle sprain and is expected to be out 3-4 weeks.
Senior Rich McBride, meanwhile, is serving a suspension until the Savannah State game on Nov. 21.
Tickets Still Available as Illini Hope to Extend Consecutive Sell-Out Streak at Assembly Hall
Fans still have an opportunity to purchase tickets to see the Illini in action at the Assembly Hall this season.
There are approximately 2,000 tickets available for Illinois' game vs. Savannah State next Tuesday. There are also a few hundred tickets remaining for games vs. Florida A&M on Sunday, IUPUI on Dec. 6 and Idaho State on Dec. 21.
Illinois enters the Florida A&M game with an active school-record streak of 31 consecutive sell-out crowds at The Hall. That streak will be on the line against Savannah State next Tuesday.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.fightingillini.com, by phone at 1-866-ILLINI-1 or in person at the UI Athletics Ticket Office in the Assembly Hall North Box Office.
Assembly Hall: The House of 'Paign
Illinois owns the best homecourt record (ranked by winning percentage) in the nation over the last four-plus years at 59-2 (.967). The Illini are 96-4 (.960) at the Assembly Hall over the past seven-plus years, which ranks second in the nation for homecourt winning percentage this decade behind only Gonzaga.
The Illini also carry a winning streak of 49 in a row at the Assembly Hall against non-conference opponents into Sunday's game vs. Florida A&M. That ranks as the longest non-conference homecourt winning streak in the nation, leading Oklahoma by one win (OU's next home game is Dec. 2).
Below is a look at Illinois' record at the Assembly Hall this decade:
Year Overall Big Ten 2006-07 3-0 0-0 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 96-4 (.960) 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:
92-16: Illinois' overall record under Weber, a winning percentage of .852.
45-2: Illinois' record at the Assembly Hall under Weber, a winning percentage of .957.
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.
79-11: Illinois' record in regular season games under Weber, a winning percentage of .878.
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.
*For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at top of this page.