Nov. 24, 2012
Probable Starters (from the previous game)
Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG APG Other
G 13 Tracy Abrams 6-1 185 So. 14.3 3.5 3.8 50.0% FG
G 1 D.J. Richardson 6-3 195 Sr. 11.8 5.5 1.8 1.7 spg
G 3 Brandon Paul 6-4 200 Sr. 19.7 4.2 3.7 32 FTA
F 42 Tyler Griffey 6-9 220 Sr. 10.5 3.0 0.5 57.1% 3FG
F/C 32 Nnanna Egwu 6-11 235 So. 6.5 4.8 1.0 1.2 bpg
Off the Bench
Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG APG Other
F 0 Sam McLaurin 6-8 220 Gr. 5.0 4.2 0.8 15 off. reb.
G 2 Joseph Bertrand 6-6 195 r-Jr. 6.5 4.7 0.7 53.6% FG
G 10 Mike LaTulip 6-0 165 Fr. 2.8 0.3 0.0 3-6 3FG
F 15 Mike Shaw 6-8 215 So. 0.7 0.7 0.2 1 steal
G/F 20 Myke Henry 6-6 230 So. 3.8 3.3 0.2 41.7% 3FG
G/F 21 Devin Langford 6-7 200 r-Fr. 0.5 1.5 0.3 2 steals
F/C 23 Ibby Djimde 6-8 245 So. 0.0 0.2 0.0 10 minutes
G 24 Rayvonte Rice % 6-4 240 Jr.
G 31 Kevin Berardini 6-0 165 r-Jr. 1.0 0.0 0.4 5-6 FT
% Rice is sitting out this season per transfer rules.
Head Coach: John Groce
Career Record: 91-56/.619 (5th year)
At Illinois: 6-0/1.000 (1st year)
Assistant Coaches: Dustin Ford (1st year), Paris Parham (1st year), Jamall Walker (1st year)
Special Assistant to the Head Coach: Brandon Miller (1st year)
Director of Basketball Operations: Mark Morris (1st year)
Video Coordinator: Andy Etheridge (1st year)
Home Sweet Home
Following four straight games in Hawaii, the 6-0 Illini return to Champaign to play five out of their next six games at the Assembly Hall, including a three-game home stand that begins Sunday afternoon against Gardner-Webb.
Illinois owns a 17-game non-conference home winning streak, and has won 29 consecutive regular season home games over non-conference opponents.
Groce Off to Historic Start
First-year head coach John Groce has the Illini off to a 6-0 start this season. He is just the third Illini coach ever - and only the second since World War II - to begin his UI tenure with at least six consecutive wins. Harry Combes won his first seven games as head coach at Illinois (1947-48), while Fletcher Lane won his first 12 games at Illinois (1907-08), although 11 of those 12 victories came against club teams.
Illini Win EA SPORTS Maui Invitational; Paul Named MVP, Richardson All-Tourney
Illinois claimed the 2012 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, winning the tournament for the first time in four tries after a runner-up finish in 2000 and third-place showings in 1987 and 2007. And the Illini did it in dominating fashion, posting winning margins of 30 points over USC, 23 points over Chaminade and 17 points over Butler. In fact, Illinois never trailed in 120 minutes of play in Maui, with only one tie (2-2 vs. Butler in title game's opening minute).
Senior Brandon Paul earned tournament MVP honors, averaging 19.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists over the three games. He shot 51.4 percent from the field (19-37) and 47.6 percent from the arc (10-21) while making all 11 free throw attempts.
Fellow senior D.J. Richardson was selected to the All-Tournament Team, averaging 12.7 points, team-highs of 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals, and 3.0 assists.
Dominance in Maui
Illinois averaged 85.3 points (256) and outscored its opponents by an average of 23.3 points per game (85.3-62.0).
Illinois shot better than 50 percent from the field (86-171) and more than 41 percent from 3-point range (34-82).
The Illini were nearly automatic from the free throw line, making 50-of-56 attempts (89.3 percent).
Illinois' defense held opponents to under 39 percent shooting (68-175), including less than 28 percent from the 3-point arc (19-68).
The Illini owned a rebounding margin of +8.3 (38.0-29.7).
Fresh off the Illinois-Butler game on Wednesday that pitted former staff members John Groce and Brad Stevens on opposing sidelines, it will be another reunion on Sunday at the Assembly Hall as John Groce faces close friend and former assistant Chris Holtmann. Now in his third year as head coach at Gardner-Webb, Holtmann was previously an assistant on Groce's Ohio staff for two seasons (2009-10). Groce and Holtmann go back to their college days, when they were teammates at Taylor University in the early '90s.
Illinois has made a staggering 69 three-pointers through six games, a total that leads the nation. The Illini are currently averaging 11.5 made treys per game and are shooting an impressive 41.1 percent from behind the arc (69-168).
Illinois has made at least 10 three-pointers in every game this season, becoming the first UI team ever to make double-digit three-point field goals in six consecutive games.
Illinois has made 30 more 3-point baskets than its opposition (69-to-39), a total of 90 more points and meaning the Illini are outscoring the competition by a margin of 15 points per game from the land of three.
The Fighting Illini are currently averaging 83.0 points per game, ranking second in the Big Ten in scoring. That is up more than 17 points from last year's scoring average of 65.6. The Orange and Blue have scored at least 75 points in all six games this season, something that happened only six times all season in 2011-12 (32 games).