Calvin Brock and the Illini host Weber State Saturday at 4 p.m. CT.
Nov. 30, 2007
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #7: Illinois (4-2) vs. Weber State (2-3)
Dec. 1, 2007 4 pm CT BTN
Champaign, Ill. Assembly Hall (16,618)
On the Air
BTN: Brent Stover, play-by-play; Kenny Battle, expert analyst.
Illini Sports Network - 45 stations: Brian Barnhart, play-by-play; Jerry Hester, expert analyst; Loren Tate, pregame/halftime/postgame interviews.
Illini Probable Starters
F - 42 Brian Randle (r-Sr, 6-8, 220, 11.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg)
F - 23 Rodney Alexander (Jr., 6-7, 225, 8.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg)
C - 55 Shaun Pruitt (Sr., 6-10, 245, 11.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.0 apg)
G - 25 Calvin Brock (r-Jr., 6-5, 195, 9.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.5 spg)
G - 3 Chester Frazier (Jr., 6-2, 190, 7.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.0 spg)
Off the Bench
G - 1 Trent Meacham (r-Jr., 6-2, 195, 8.3 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.0 spg)
G - 2 Chris Hicks (Sr., 6-2, 190, 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg)
G - 13 Jeff Jordan (Fr., 6-1, 185, 0.3 ppg, 0.3 rpg)
G - 22 Steve Holdren (r-Jr., 6-5, 200, 1.8 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 1.0 apg)
F - 24 Mike Davis (Fr., 6-9, 195, 2.0 ppg, 1.3 rpg)
F - 30 Bill Cole (Fr., 6-9, 210, 2.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg)
F - 32 Demetri McCamey (Fr., 6-3, 205, 5.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.8 apg)
C - 33 Brian Carlwell (So., 6-11, 265, 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg)
F - 50 Richard Semrau (r-Fr., 6-9, 235, 0.0 ppg, 0.5 rpg)
C - 54 Mike Tisdale (Fr., 7-1, 215, 3.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg)
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 219-84/.723 (10th year)
At Illinois: 116-30/.795 (5th year)
Big Ten: 48-16/.750
Vs. Weber State: 0-0
Assistant Coaches: Wayne McClain (7th year), Jay Price (5th year), Jerrance Howard (1st year)
Assistant to the Head Coach: Gary Nottingham (5th year)
Trainer: Al Martindale (25th year at Illinois)
Weber State Head Coach: Randy Rahe
Overall Record: 22-15/.595 (2nd year)
At Weber State: Same
Vs. Illinois: 0-0
Series Notes: Weber State
This is the first-ever meeting between Illinois and Weber State.
Illini Notes ...
Calvin Brock is averaging 13.0 points on 50 percent shooting over the last three games. He had 13 points at Maryland, 12 vs. Oklahoma State, and a season-high 14 vs. Duke. Brock's 13 points at Maryland were a team best, marking the first time in his career that he has been the Illini's leading scorer in a game.
Trent Meacham is averaging 13.0 points and is shooting 47.1 percent from the field (8-17) and 55.6 percent from 3-point range (5-9) over the last two games. He had nine points at Maryland and a season-high 17 vs. Oklahoma State.
Chester Frazier is averaging 8.0 rebounds over the last three games. He had seven boards at Maryland, eight vs. Oklahoma State and tied his season high with nine vs. Duke.
Demetri McCamey is averaging 5.5 assists and has an assist/turnover ratio of 2.75 over the last two games. He had five assists at Maryland and a career-high six assists vs. Oklahoma State.
Home Sweet Home
Illinois returns to campus and now has a stretch of playing seven of its next nine games at home beginning with Saturday's contest vs. Weber State. The Assembly Hall will be a welcomed site for the Illini, who last played at home on Nov. 11 in the season opener vs. Northeastern. The Illini then played five consecutive games over a 19-day period away from the Assembly Hall. In all, the Illini covered a total of 10,170 miles by plane and bus during the trips to the Hawaiian Islands and Maryland:
Trip Date Miles Champaign to Chicago (bus) Nov. 13 140 Chicago to Honolulu (plane) Nov. 14 4,230 Honolulu to Kahului (plane) Nov. 17 100 Kahului to Lahaina (bus) Nov. 17 20 Lahaina to Kahului (bus) Nov. 22 20 Kahului to Los Angeles (plane) Nov. 22 2,480 Los Angeles to Chicago (plane) Nov. 23 1,740 Chicago to Champaign (bus) Nov. 23 140 Champaign to Baltimore (plane) Nov. 27 620 Baltimore to College Park (bus) Nov. 27 30 College Park to Baltimore (bus) Nov. 28 30 Baltimore to Champaign (plane) Nov. 28 620 TOTAL 10,170 miles
Weber Radio Show Coming to Chicago
Coach Weber will be in Chicago next Monday, Dec. 3, to host his weekly radio show. Chicago-area Illini fans are invited to attend the statewide broadcast of the Bruce Weber Radio Show, which will be held Monday from 7-8 pm at Joe's Sports Bar (940 W. Weed St.).
Tickets on Sale for United Center Game vs. Arizona
Tickets for the annual Lexus December to Remember Classic at the United Center in Chicago are on sale now through Ticketmaster. This year the Illini take on Arizona next Saturday, Dec. 8, at 11 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 312-559-1212.
Last Time Out: At Maryland
Illinois fell at Maryland 69-61 Wednesday night in the ninth annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Illini were unable to make enough plays down the stretch to pull out a road win in a back-and-forth game that featured 10 ties and 15 lead changes. Calvin Brock led the Illini with 13 points while Rodney Alexander and Shaun Pruitt added 10 points apiece.
Dominating the Glass
Illinois has outrebounded its opponent every game this year and owns a rebounding margin of +8.3 on the season. Here is a breakdown of Illinois' success on the boards through the first six games of the 2007-08 season:
vs. Northeastern 47-42 +5 at Hawaii 42-28 +14 vs. Arizona State 31-24 +7 vs. Duke 41-31 +10 vs. Oklahoma State 39-26 +13 at Maryland 42-41 +1 Total 242-192 +50 reb Avg. 40.3-32.0 +8.3 rpg
Illinois' bench is contributing nearly 23 points per game and has outscored the opposing bench in four of six games. Here is a breakdown of Illinois' bench production through this season's first six games:
vs. Northeastern 17-21 -4 at Hawaii 25-14 +11 vs. Arizona State 19-29 -10 vs. Duke 22-17 +5 vs. Oklahoma State 33-7 +26 at Maryland 21-17 +4 Total 137-105 +32 pts Avg. 22.8-17.5 +5.3 ppg
Illini Already Building Resume
Illinois notched some key non-conference victories during the month of November that could pay dividends in March. Illinois is the only team in the Big Ten with both a road win and two wins over opponents from BCS conferences. The Illini won at Hawaii and defeated Arizona State of the Pac-10 and Oklahoma State of the Big XII. Through Nov. 30, Minnesota is the only other Big Ten team with a road win (at Iowa State), while Wisconsin and Michigan State are the only other conference teams with two wins over BCS opponents (Wisconsin has beaten Colorado-Big XII and Georgia-SEC, while Michigan State has defeated Missouri-Big XII and N.C. State-ACC).
Illinois Finishes Third at Maui Invite
Illinois finished third at the 2007 EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, held Nov. 19-21. The Illini rolled past Arizona State 77-54 in the opening round, behind career-high totals of 17 points apiece from Brian Randle and Rodney Alexander. Illinois fell to No. 13 Duke 79-66 in the semifinal, as Brian Randle again led the UI with 16 points. Trent Meacham then came off the bench to score a season-high 17 points as the Illini won the third-place game with a 65-49 victory over Oklahoma State.
Brock Named to Maui Invite All-Tourney Team
Junior Calvin Brock was named to the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational All-Tournament Team after averaging 9.3 points and 4.3 rebounds during the tournament in just over 21 minutes per game. Brock came off the bench to record a season-high 14 points vs. Duke, which was also the second-highest scoring output of his career. He earned his first start of the season the following day vs. Oklahoma State and scored in double figures again with 12 points on 5-7 shooting while pulling down a game-high eight boards. He shot 50 percent (11-22) on the week and also led the Illini with five steals.
Randle More Aggressive on Offense
Senior and three-year starter Brian Randle is averaging double figures in scoring for the first time in his career. Randle is tied for the team lead with an average of 11.0 points and reached double figures in each of the first four games this season, a career-best streak, before it came to an end vs. Oklahoma State when he left due to injury just seven minutes into the game. Randle had 14 points in the opener vs. Northeastern, 12 points at Hawaii, a career-high 17 points vs. Arizona State and 16 points vs. Duke.
Randle is shooting nearly 54 percent from the field (27-51) and is also averaging 4.8 rebounds on the season (third on the team).
Pruitt a Force Inside
Illinois has one of the top post players in the Big Ten in senior and three-year starting center Shaun Pruitt. A preseason All-Big Ten selection, Pruitt is tied with Randle for the team lead in scoring, averaging 11.0 points, and leads the team in rebounding with 8.0 rpg. Pruitt has scored at least nine points in all six games this season, with a season-high 15 points at Hawaii, 12 vs. Northeastern, 11 vs. Duke, 10 at Maryland, and nine each vs. Arizona State and Oklahoma State.
Pruitt has 10 career double-doubles including one this season, when he pulled down a career-high 17 boards to go along with his 12 points vs. Northeastern in the opener. It marked the highest rebounding total by an Illini player in eight seasons, since Sergio McClain had 18 rebounds at Michigan on Jan. 16, 2000.
Frazier Does It All
Point guard Chester Frazier has earned a reputation for his relentless play and ability to impact the game in all areas. Leading the team in playing time at over 33 minutes per contest, Frazier is averaging 7.0 points and ranks second on the Illini in assists (17) and steals (6). Despite standing 6-2, Frazier also is second in rebounding behind Pruitt with an average of 6.3 rpg. Frazier has twice grabbed a season-high nine rebounds, against Hawaii and Duke, tallied eight boards vs. Oklahoma State, and had seven in his last outing at Maryland.
Senior Shaun Pruitt is the Illini's leading returning scorer and rebounder. A third-team All-Big Ten selection last year and a preseason first-team All-Big Ten honoree this season, Pruitt was second on the team in scoring in 2006-07 (11.4 ppg) and led the Illini and ranked third in the Big Ten in rebounding (7.5 rpg). Pruitt also ranked fourth in the conference in field goal percentage (.549) and was second in the league with nine double-doubles on the year. He was the only Illini player to start all 35 games last season and enters Saturday's game vs. Weber State with an active streak of 74 consecutive starts.
Junior Chester Frazier was named to the Big Ten All-Defensive Team last season. He averaged 7.2 points and 4.5 rebounds while ranking fourth in the conference in assists (4.5 apg) and sixth in the league steals (1.5 spg).
Senior Brian Randle missed nearly one-third of the season last year due to a number of injuries. In 23 starts, he averaged 7.4 points and was third on the team in rebounding (5.0 rpg).
Illinois welcomes a number of new faces to the program this season. In fact, Illini coach Bruce Weber believes it is the largest group of newcomers he has ever had as he begins his 29th year coaching college basketball. There are six new players on campus this year: guards Demetri McCamey and Jeff Jordan, forwards Rodney Alexander, Bill Cole and Mike Davis, and center Mike Tisdale. In addition, junior Steve Holdren is now eligible after sitting out last season as a transfer, and freshman Richard Semrau has rejoined the active roster after taking a medical redshirt last season.
Illinois is happy to having a healthy and deep roster after a number of injuries took its toll on last season's squad. Six different players combined to miss a total of 58 games due to injury in 2006-07.
Illinois ranked fourth in the nation in scoring defense last year, allowing an average of just 57.1 points on the season. The Illini also ranked 21st in the NCAA in field goal percentage defense (.402) and 29th in rebounding margin (+5.2 rpg).
In conference games, Illinois led the Big Ten in scoring defense (55.8) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.286), while ranking third in field goal percentage defense (.404).
Assembly Hall: The House of 'Paign
The Illini have put together the second-best homecourt record in the nation over the last eight-plus years, owning a record of 108-7 (.939) at the Assembly Hall this decade. The Illini are also 57-5 (.919) at The Hall during Weber's tenure.
Below is a look at Illinois' record at the Assembly Hall this decade:
Year Overall Big Ten 2007-08 1-0 0-0 2006-07 14-3 6-2 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 108-7 (.939) 57-6 (.905)
Following is a list of the NCAA Div. I teams with the best homecourt records this decade (courtesy of Allan Spear, STATS):
School Record .Pct Next 1. Gonzaga 98-6 .942 Dec. 5 2. ILLINOIS 108-7 .939 Dec. 1 T3. Wisconsin 119-10 .922 Dec. 3 T3. Kansas 119-10 .922 Dec. 5 5. Michigan State 117-10 .921 Dec. 1 6. Utah State 114-10 .919 Dec. 1 7. Duke 115-11 .913 Dec. 8 8. Southern Illinois 100-10 .909 Dec. 1 9. Texas 117-12 .907 Dec. 5 10. BYU 108-12 .900 Dec. 5
*For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at the top of thie page.