Illinois takes on Savannah State on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Assembly Hall.
Nov. 20, 2006
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #5: Illinois (4-0) vs. Savannah State (5-0)
Nov. 21, 2006 7 p.m. CT ESPN 360
Champaign, Ill. Assembly Hall (16,618)
On the Air
ESPN 360: Michael Reghi, 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, 10.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.5 bpg)
C - 55 Shaun Pruitt (Jr., 6-10, 245, 11.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg)
G - 25 Calvin Brock (r-So., 6-5, 195, 13.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.0 apg)
G - 1 Trent Meacham (r-So., 6-2, 195, 14.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 3.5 apg)
G - 3 Chester Frazier (So., 6-2, 190, 11.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 7.3 apg, 1.5 spg)
Off the Bench
G - 2 Chris Hicks (Jr., 6-2, 190, 1.3 ppg, 0.3 rpg)
C - 21 Brian Carlwell (Fr., 6-11, 265, 4.0 ppg, 2.0 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, 2.7 ppg, 3.0 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, 3.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg)
F - 50 Richard Semrau (Fr., 6-9, 230, 2.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg)
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 196-70/.737 (9th year)
At Illinois: 93-16/.853 (4th year)
Big Ten: 39-9/.813
Vs. Savannah State: 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)
Savannah State Head Coach: Horace Broadnax
Overall Record: 49-116/.297 (7th year)
At Savannah State: 7-28/.200 (2nd year)
Vs. Illinois All-Time: 0-1
Assistant Coaches: Jay Gibbons, Raheem Waller
Series Notes: Savannah State
This is the first-ever meeting between Illinois and Savannah State.
Illini Own Nation's Longest Non-Conference Homecourt Winning Streak
The victory over Florida A&M on Sunday marked Illinois' 50th 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 two wins. Oklahoma next plays at home on Dec. 2 vs. TCU.
Illini Carry Nation's Longest Regular Season Non-Conference Winning Streak
Illinois has won 37 consecutive regular season non-conference games over the last three-plus seasons, which is the longest active streak in the nation. And while Illinois' streak dates back to the 2003-04 season, no other school in the country has a streak that goes back further than 2004-05. Washington ranks second on the list, 16 wins behind the Illini with an active streak of 21 straight wins. Washington next plays on Nov. 24 vs. Eastern Washington.
Illinois' streak began on Dec. 11, 2003 with a win over Maryland-Eastern Shore. The Illini won their last five regular season non-conference games of the 2003-04 season, posted back-to-back undefeated non-conference records of 14-0 in 2004-05 and 2005-06, and have won their first four games of the 2006-07 season to extend the streak to 37.
Illinois is 41-2 (.953) overall in regular season non-conference games under Weber, with the only losses coming in 2003 to North Carolina (Dec. 2) and Providence (Dec. 9).
Chicago Invitational Challenge
Tuesday's game is part of the inaugural Chicago Invitational Challenge. The exempt tournament consists of eight teams, with four of those teams (Illinois, Miami (OH), Bradley and Rutgers) hosting two games on campus before moving to the new Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates on Friday and Saturday for the final two games. In addition to the Savannah State game, Illinois' victory last Wednesday over Jackson State was part of the tournament.
The Illini move on to the Sears Centre to play Miami (OH) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The winner of the Illinois vs. Miami (OH) game will play the winner of the Bradley vs. Rutgers game on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., while the losers of those two games will play at 5 p.m.
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 1,200 tickets available for Illinois' game vs. Savannah State on Tuesday. There are also a few hundred tickets remaining for games vs. IUPUI on Dec. 6 and Idaho State on Dec. 21.
Illinois enters the Savannah State game with an active school-record streak of 32 consecutive sell-out crowds at The Hall. That streak will be on the line against Savannah State tomorrow.
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.
Last Time Out
Illinois won its fourth straight game to start the season, defeating Florida A&M 84-63 on Sunday at the Assembly Hall. The Illini trailed until midway through the second half, but made a furious run to pull away after the break. Illinois at one point in the second half scored on 20 of 21 possessions, shooting 62.5 percent after intermission.
Trent Meacham led the Illini with a career-high 24 points. He nailed eight 3-pointers, tying the Illini school record for threes in a game. Calvin Brock notched a double-double with career highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Chester Frazier also had a double-double with 13 points and a career-high 10 assists. Frazier had just one turnover while playing all 40 minutes. Shaun Pruitt was just shy of a double-double scoring 14 points on 6-9 shooting to go along with nine rebounds.
Notes from 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 ... Four UI players scored in double figures led by sophomores Trent Meacham (19 points) and Calvin Brock (17 points) ... Illinois' defense held 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.
Randle Out 4-6 Weeks Following Surgery
Starting forward Brian Randle will miss 4-6 weeks after having surgery last Friday in Philadelphia to repair a damaged muscle in the groin/abdominal area.
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 points (14) 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.
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 has been Illinois' leading scorer the past two games, scoring 19 points vs. Georgia Southern followed by a career-high 24 points vs. Florida A&M. He tied the school record for 3-pointers in a game with eight vs. FAMU en route to his 24 points.
Meacham ranks second on the Illini in scoring, averaging 14.8 points on the year, is second on the team in assists (3.5 apg), and is shooting 55.6 percent from 3-point range (15-27) and 83.3 percent from the free throw line (10-12).
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 three games. He totaled 14 points on 6-9 shooting and six rebounds vs. Jackson State, had 17 points on 7-11 shooting vs. Georgia Southern, and most recently tallied the first double-double of his career vs. Florida A&M with career highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds along with a career-best seven assists.
Brock, who totaled 23 points all of last season as a redshirt freshman, has already scored 55 points this year (13.8 ppg), 49 of which have been in the last three games. Brock is shooting 59 percent from the floor (29-39) and 66.7 percent from 3-point range (6-9) on the year.
Illini Through Four Games...
Six players are averaging in double figures, led by Jamar Smith at 19.0 ppg and followed by Trent Meacham (14.8), Calvin Brock (13.8), Shaun Pruitt (11.5), Chester Frazier (11.0) and Warren Carter (10.8).
Warren Carter, who averaged 1.9 rebounds over the first three years of his career, is second on the Illini in rebounding this season, averaging 6.0 rpg. He had his first career double-double last 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.
Trent Meacham is shooting 55.6 percent from 3-point range (15-27), while Brock is shooting 66.7 (6-9).
Chester Frazier is averaging 7.3 assists through four games. He had a career-high 10 assists vs. Florida A&M on Sunday and had nine assists vs. Jackson State.
Illinois is averaging 81.2 points and is outscoring its opponent by an average of 30.5 points.
Illinois has shot better than 50 percent in three of its four games and is shooting 52.3 percent from the field on the season.
Illinois has shot better than 40 percent from 3-point range in all four games and is shooting 45.9 percent from behind the arc on the season.
Illinois is holding its opponents to an average of just 50.8 points on 35 percent shooting and 27.8 percent from 3-point range. No opponent has scored more than 63 points, while three of four opponents have shot under 35 percent from the field and under 30 percent from 3-point land.
Illinois has outrebounded all four opponents and is outrebounding its opponent by an average of 12.5 boards.
*For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at top of this page.