Men's Basketball
Men's Basketball Game Notes vs. Maryland

Meyers Leonard and the Illini are looking to improve to 7-0
Meyers Leonard and the Illini are looking to improve to 7-0

Nov. 28, 2011

Game 7 Notes // Illinois (6-0) at Maryland (3-2)

13th Annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Nov. 29, 2011 // 6:30 pm CT/7:30 pm ET // College Park, Md. // Comcast Center (17,950)

Complete Illinois Game Notes | Maryland Game Notes

Gameday Links: Watch | Listen | Gametracker | Twitter

TV: ESPN (also streamed online at - Dave Pasch, (Play-By-Play), Doris Burke (Analyst) Radio: Illini Sports Network - Brian Barnhart (Play-By-Play), Jerry Hester (Analyst), Loren Tate (Reports) Satellite Radio: Sirius - 113

PROBABLE STARTERS (from the previous game)

Pos.	No.	Name	        Ht.	Wt.	Yr.	PPG	RPG	APG	Other
G	0	Sam Maniscalco	6-0	180	Gr.	11.5	2.2	2.5	54.8% FG
G	1	D.J. Richardson	6-3	195	Jr.	13.5	2.7	2.0	40.5% 3FG
G	3	Brandon Paul	6-4	200	Jr.	7.8	2.8	3.0	24 FTA
F	42	Tyler Griffey	6-8	230	Jr.	7.7	5.5	0.5	13 off. reb.
C	12	Meyers Leonard	7-1	245	So.	12.3	6.8	0.7	3.2 bpg

Off the Bench
Pos.	No.	Name	        Ht. 	Wt.	Yr.	PPG	RPG	APG	Other
G	2	Joseph Bertrand	6-5	195	r-So.	6.0	2.7	1.5	90.9% FT
G	4	Crandall Head	6-4	190	So.	2.5	1.0	4.0	1 steal
G	13	Tracy Abrams 	6-1	185	Fr.	4.0	2.3	1.2	1.0 spg
F	15	Mike Shaw	6-8	230	Fr.	1.5	3.8	0.2	57.1% FG
G/F	20	Myke Henry	6-6	230	Fr.	8.0	1.5	0.5	58.3% FG
G/F	21	Devin Langford	6-7	200	Fr.
F/C	23	Ibby Djimde	6-8	250	Fr.	0.8	1.3	0.0	1 FG
G	25	Jean Selus 	6-2	195	Sr.	0.0	0.3	0.3	5 minutes
F/C	32	Nnanna Egwu	6-11	245	Fr.	4.2	2.7	0.5	1.7 bpg
G	44	Kevin Berardini	6-0	175	r-So.	0.0	0.0	0.0	3 minutes

Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Bruce Weber
Career Record: 302-140/.683 (14th year)
At Illinois: 199-86/.698 (9th year)

Series Notes vs. Maryland
Series Record: Maryland leads 5-3
Last Meeting:  Illinois 80, Maryland 76 (Nov. 19, 2010 // New York, N.Y.)
Series Streak: Illinois W-1
Record at College Park: Maryland leads 2-0
Weber vs. Maryland: 1-2

2011 Big Ten/ACC Challenge Schedule (All times listed are Central)

Tuesday, Nov. 29:
#14/15 Michigan (5-1) at Virginia (5-1) 6 pm ESPN2
Northwestern (5-0) at Georgia Tech (4-2) 6:15 pm ESPNU
Illinois (6-0) at Maryland (3-2) 6:30 pm ESPN
Miami (4-1) at Purdue (6-1) 8 pm ESPN2
Clemson (3-2) at Iowa (4-2) 8:15 pm ESPNU
#3/4 Duke (7-0) at #2/2 Ohio State (6-0) 8:30 pm ESPN

Wednesday, Nov. 30:
Indiana (6-0) at North Carolina State (5-1) 6:15 pm ESPN2
Penn State (5-2) at Boston College (2-4) 6:15 pm ESPNU
Florida State (5-2) at Michigan State (4-2) 6:30 pm ESPN
Virginia Tech (5-1) at Minnesota (6-1) 8:15 pm ESPN2
Wake Forest (4-2) at Nebraska (4-1) 8:15 pm ESPNU
#9/7 Wisconsin (6-0) at #5/5 North Carolina (5-1) 8:30 pm ESPN

Hot Start
The Illini are 6-0 for the first time since the 2008-09 season. Illinois' last 7-0 start was in 2006-07.

Weber Eyes 200
Bruce Weber is just one victory away from reaching the 200-win marker at Illinois. In only his ninth season in Champaign, Weber already ranks third on the school's all-time coaching wins list behind Lou Henson (423 wins in 21 seasons) and Harry Combes (316 wins in 20 seasons).

When he reaches that milestone, Weber will become just the third active Big Ten coach in the 200-win club, joining Michigan State's Tom Izzo (387 wins in East Lansing) and Wisconsin's Bo Ryan (248 wins in Madison).

Non-Conference Road Success
Illinois has won its last four non-conference road games, a streak that dates back to the 2008-09 season. It began with a 69-63 victory at Vanderbilt on Nov. 20, 2008, continued with a 76-74 win at Clemson on Dec. 2, 2009 and a 76-66 victory at Stony Brook on March 17, 2010, and reached four straight with a 78-63 win at Western Michigan on Nov. 27, 2010.

Illinois - Big Ten/ACC Challenge Notes
• Illinois carries a two-game winning streak in the Challenge. No current member of the Illini roster has lost a Challenge game.
• Illinois is 5-7 all-time in the Challenge.
• Illinois is 2-2 on the road in the Challenge.
• The Big Ten has won two straight Challenges, defeating the ACC by a 6-to-5 margin in each of the last two years.
• This is Illinois' fourth game against Maryland in the Challenge, tying the most match-ups Illinois has had with an opponent. The Illini also have faced North Carolina four times in the Challenge.
• The Illini are 0-3 against Maryland in Challenge play.
• Illinois has been ranked eight times in the Challenge. The Illini are receiving votes in this week's polls.
• Illinois has twice played a No. 1-ranked team in the Challenge. Illinois fell to No. 1 Duke in 2000 and defeated No. 1 Wake Forest in 2004.
• Illinois' opponent in the Challenge has twice gone on to win the NCAA Championship (Duke in 2000-01 and Maryland in 2001-02).


Nov. 30, 1999 // #17 Duke 72, #16 Illinois 69 // United Center, Chicago
No. 16 Illinois shot just 34 percent from the field in dropping a three-point decision to No. 17 Duke at the United Center. Duke's Chris Carrawell led all scorers with 21 points while Frank Williams and Cory Bradford led the Illini with 14 each.

Nov. 28, 2000 // #1 Duke 78, #9 Illinois 77 // Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum
Turnovers cost the No. 9 Fighting Illini a chance at knocking off No. 1 Duke as Illinois committed 26 turnovers in a one-point loss to the Blue Devils at Greensboro, N.C. Illinois controlled the glass, outrebounding Duke 42-27. Frank Williams led the Illini with 19 points while Jason Williams led Duke with a game-high 23 points and Mike Dunleavy scored 21.

Nov. 27, 2001 // #5 Maryland 76, #2 Illinois 63 // Cole Fieldhouse; College Park, Md.
No. 5 Maryland won its 80th consecutive home game against non-conference opponents in the final season at Cole Field House, handing No. 2 Illinois its first loss of the season. Juan Dixon led all scorers with 25 points while Chris Wilcox scored 19. Blandon Ferguson scored 11 points off the bench to lead the Illini.

Dec. 3, 2002 // #25 Illinois 92, #12 North Carolina 65 // Assembly Hall; Champaign, Ill.
No. 25 Illinois won its first Challenge game with a 27-point rout of No. 12 North Carolina at the Assembly Hall. Seniors Brian Cook and Sean Harrington led the way for the Illini. Cook scored a game-high 22 points with eight rebounds and five assists. Harrington came off the bench to nail six 3-pointers and finish with 20 points and five steals. Sean May led UNC with 21 points.

Dec. 2, 2003 // #10 North Carolina 88, #11 Illinois 81 // Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum
No. 10 North Carolina outlasted No. 11 Illinois to claim a seven-point victory at the Greensboro Coliseum. Illinois trailed by just one point late, 79-78, but could not stop Carolina down the stretch. Sean May scored a game-high 23 points while Rashad McCants added 20 for the Tar Heels. Deron Williams led the Illini with 22 points and Roger Powell added 20.

Dec. 1, 2004 // #5 Illinois 91, #1 Wake Forest 73 // Assembly Hall; Champaign, Ill.
No. 5 Illinois recorded its second win in school history over a top-ranked opponent, blowing past No. 1 Wake Forest at the Assembly Hall. Roger Powell was one of four Illini in double figures, scoring a game-high 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting. Dee Brown and Luther Head each scored 16 and Deron Williams dished out 11 assists to go along with eight points. Illinois came out of the game strong, was ahead 54-33 at halftime and led by as many as 32 points in the second half. Eric Williams led Wake Forest with 18 points. Following its victory, Illinois took over the No. 1 ranking in the polls and held that spot for the remainder of the regular season.

Nov. 29, 2005 // #12 Illinois 68, North Carolina 64 // Smith Center; Chapel Hill, N.C.
In a rematch of the 2005 NCAA Championship game, Illinois topped North Carolina to end the Tar Heels' 21-game winning streak at the Dean Smith Center. Dee Brown led the Illini with 14 points while James Augustine recorded a double-double with 14 points and game-high 13 rebounds, which included six offensive boards. Tyler Hansbrough scored a game-high 17 points for UNC.

Nov. 28, 2006 // #23 Maryland 72, Illinois 66 // Assembly Hall; Champaign, Ill.
No. 23 Maryland defeated Illinois by six points, breaking the Illini's 51-game winning streak over non-conference opponents at the Assembly Hall. Mike Jones had a game-high 19 points while Greivis Vasques added 17 points off the bench. Shaun Pruitt led the Illini with a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Warren Carter also had a double-double, tallying 13 points and 11 boards.

Nov. 28, 2007 // Maryland 69, Illinois 61 // Comcast Center; College Park, Md.
In a back-and-forth game that featured nine ties and 15 lead changes, Maryland went on a key 10-2 run midway through the second half to open up a 49-44 advantage. Illinois cut it to two late, but the Terrapins made 7-of-8 from the free throw line in the final minute to seal the win. Eric Hayes scored a game-high 18 points while James Gist added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Terps. Calvin Brock led the Illini with 13 points and seven rebounds, and Shaun Pruitt finished with 10 points and eight boards.

Dec. 2, 2008 // Clemson 76, Illinois 74 // Assembly Hall; Champaign, Ill.
The Illini dropped a two-point heartbreaker at home to Clemson. After the Illini led at halftime and for much of the second half, Clemson went on a 9-1 run to go up by five with two minutes remaining. Illinois made it a one-possession game and had the ball with a chance to win or force overtime, but the Illini could not get a shot off before the buzzer. Mike Davis erupted for a career-high 28 points while Demetri McCamey scored 20. Many of the baskets came courtesy of Chester Frazier, who dished out a career-high 12 assists. Demontez Stitt was one of four Clemson players to score in double figures, leading the Tigers with 18 points. Trevor Booker added 16 points and eight rebounds.

Dec. 2, 2009 // Illinois 76, #18 Clemson 74 // Littlejohn Coliseum; Clemson, S.C.
Illinois trailed by as many as 23 points early in the second half before pulling off the biggest comeback in school history to defeat 18th-ranked Clemson on its homecourt. The Illini trailed 60-41 with 14:35 left but then went on a remarkable 22-1 run in less than six minutes to take a 63-61 lead with 8:47 remaining. Mike Tisdale hit a driving layup to put the Illini up 75-74 with 41 seconds left. Tisdale then blocked a shot on the defensive end and Brandon Paul hit one free throw with :8.4 remaining to make it a 2-point lead. Demontez Stitt missed a runner on Clemson's final possession. Mike Davis led the Illini with a game-high 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting and nine rebounds while Brandon Paul scored 20. Stitt led the Tigers with 15 points.

Nov. 30, 2010 // #20 Illinois 79, North Carolina 67 // Assembly Hall; Champaign, Ill.
Illinois won its second straight ACC/Big Ten Challenge game, defeating North Carolina at the Assembly Hall. The Illini had five players score in double figures, led by Mike Davis, who tallied a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Demetri McCamey added 17 points and eight assists. Illinois shot 50.8 percent overall and was effective from long distance, hitting 8-of-12 three-pointers. John Henson led the Tar Heels with 16 points. The biggest difference in the game was Illinois' ability to capitalize off of turnovers. North Carolina had 18 turnovers, which the Illini converted into 26 points. UNC, meanwhile, scored just eight points off of Illinois' 14 turnovers.

Notes from Sunday's Win over Chicago State
• Illinois improved to 30-1 in November home games under Weber. The lone November home loss during the Weber era came against Maryland on Nov. 28, 2006. Since then, the Illini have won 17 straight home games in the month of November.
• The 47-point win marked the UI's largest margin of victory since downing Savannah State by 47 points, 81-34, on Nov. 21, 2006.
• Illinois scored its most points on the young season with its best shooting performance - hitting 35-of-62 attempts (56.6 percent) from the field.
• Illinois led the entire way for the third time in six games.
• A season-high five players scored in double-figures. Myke Henry led the way with a career-high 14 points, a trio of Illini tallied 11 in Meyers Leonard, D.J. Richardson and Nnanna Egwu (also a career high), and Tyler Griffey matched his season high with 10.
• The Illinois bench and the first-year Illini were particularly effective against the Cougars. The non-starters recorded 48 of Illinois' 90 points while first-year players Henry (14), Egwu (11), Sam Maniscalco (8), Mike Shaw (7), Tracy Abrams (4) and Ibby Djimde (3) combined for 47 points.

Illinois Team Notes
• Illinois carries a 22-game regular season non-conference winning streak at the Assembly Hall.
• The Illini used a different starting lineup in each of the first three games. However, the lineup the UI debuted in that third game has now started four straight contests.
• Out of six games, five different players have led the team in rebounding while four different players have led the team in scoring.v • The Illini have outrebounded five of six opponents and own a +8.0 rebound margin. Much of the advantage has been on the offensive glass, where the Illini have converted 89 second-chance points, an average of 14.8 points per game.
• Illinois' defense is holding teams to combined 34.6 percent shooting. No opponent has shot 41 percent or better.
• Opponents are shooting better from 3-point range (36 percent) than the field (34.6 percent) on the year.
• Opponents have yet to exceed 27 points in the first half.
• 11 Illini players are averaging double figures in minutes.
• The Illini bench has outscored the opposing bench in five of six games. Illinois reserves are averaging 21.5 points per game and are outscoring opponent reserves by an average of 10.3 points.
• The Illini are averaging a Big Ten-best 6.8 blocks per game.
• After averaging 18.3 turnovers during its first three games (55), Illinois has averaged just 9.0 turnovers over its last three games (27).

Illini Player Notes
• After ranking fifth on the team in scoring last season, D.J. Richardson currently leads the Illini in scoring with an average of 13.5 points. He has increased his scoring average by 5.1 points over last year (8.4 ppg).
• Held to just five points in the season opener, Richardson has reached double figures in each of the last five games. Over that five-game stretch, he has averaged 15.2 points (76) on 50 percent shooting (26-52) and 46.7 percent 3-point shooting (14-30).
• Richardson's five straight games scoring in double figures ties the longest of his career, equaling a five-game streak he set last season from Nov. 30 through Dec. 18.
Meyers Leonard has scored at least eight points in all six games, with four in double figures. Last season, he had a total of two games in double figures.
• Leonard averaged a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds in Cancun while playing 73 of a possible 80 minutes.
• Leonard has 19 blocked shots on the season, leading the Big Ten and ranking 13th nationally with an average of 3.2 blocks per game.
• Leonard leads the Illini in both free throws (21) and free throw attempts (25) while shooting 84 percent from the line.
• Leonard has 74 points in six games after scoring 68 points during as a freshman. He also has 41 rebounds on the year after totaling 41 boards last season.
Sam Maniscalco is shooting nearly 55 percent on the season. He has made 50 percent or better from the field in each of the six games.
• Maniscalco has scored in double figures in three of the last four games, averaging 14.0 points (56).
Joseph Bertrand has played double figures minutes in all six games. Last year, he recorded double figure minutes only once.
• Bertrand is averaging 7.5 points (30) on 64.7 percent shooting (11-17) over the last four games.
• Bertrand has scored 36 points in six games after totaling 17 points all of last season.
Tyler Griffey has 46 points in six games, already surpassing his total of 42 points last season. Griffey also has 33 rebounds on the year, exceeding his total of 30 boards last year.