Men's Basketball
Illinois Game Notes vs. Clemson

Demetri McCamey and the Illini host Clemson in the 10th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday at 6:30 pm. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
Demetri McCamey and the Illini host Clemson in the 10th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday at 6:30 pm. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

Dec. 1, 2008

Champaign, Ill. -

Illinois Men's Basketball Game Notes vs. Clemson in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Game #7: Illinois (6-0) vs. Clemson (7-0)
10th Annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge
Dec. 2, 2008 // 6:30 p.m. CT // ESPN2
Champaign, Ill. // Assembly Hall (16,618)

On the Air

ESPN2: Jon Sciambi, play-by-play; Fran Fraschilla, expert analyst.

Illini Sports Network-44 stations: Brian Barnhart, play-by-play; Jerry Hester, expert analyst; Loren Tate pregame/halftime/ postgame interviews.

Illini Probable Starters
G - 32   Demetri McCamey   So., 6-3, 205     12.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.5 apg
G - 1    Trent Meacham     r-Sr., 6-2, 195   11.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.3 apg
G - 3    Chester Frazier   Sr., 6-2, 195     6.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 7.0 apg
F - 24   Mike Davis        So., 6-9, 210     12.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 1.7 apg
C - 54   Mike Tisdale      So., 7-1, 235     10.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.3 bpg

Off the Bench G - 13 Jeff Jordan So., 6-1, 185 1.3 ppg, 0.3 rpg G - 15 Bubba Chisholm Jr., 5-11, 180 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg C - 21 Stan Simpson Fr., 6-9, 220 considering redshirt F - 23 Dominique Keller Jr., 6-7, 230 5.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg G - 25 Calvin Brock r-Sr., 6-5, 200 3.8 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.3 apg F - 30 Bill Cole So., 6-9, 215 1.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg G - 33 Alex Legion So., 6-5, 200 ineligible due to transfer rules F - 34 C.J. Jackson r-Jr., 6-8, 265 0.7 ppg, 0.3 rpg C - 50 Richard Semrau r-So., 6-10, 240 2.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg

Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 237-101/.701 (11th year)
At Illinois: 134-47/.740 (6th year)
Big Ten: 53-29/.646
Vs. Clemson: 0-0
Assistant Coaches: Wayne McClain (8th year), Jay Price (6th year), Jerrance Howard (2nd year)
Assistant to the Head Coach: Gary Nottingham (6th year)
  Director of Basketball Operations: Sean Harrington (1st year)
  Trainer: Al Martindale (26th year at Illinois)

Clemson Head Coach: Oliver Purnell
Overall Record: 357-259/.580 (21st year)
At Clemson: 101-68/.598 (6th year)
Vs. Illinois: 0-0

Opening Tip
Illinois' current 6-game winning streak is its longest since winning its first seven games of the 2006-07 season.

Illinois has now won 10 of its last 11 games dating back to the end of last season.

Unselfish Illini
With assists on 74.7 percent of its baskets this season (115 assists on 154 field goals), Illinois currently leads the nation in assist percentage.

Illinois-Clemson Notes
Illinois-Clemson is the only 2008 ACC/Big Ten Challenge game between undefeated teams, with the 6-0 Illini hosting the 7-0 Tigers ... Illinois and Clemson are meeting for the third time overall (Illini lead series 2-0) and the first time in the Challenge ... This match-up will pit strength against strength, as Clemson ranks 33rd in the nation in scoring (81.1 ppg), while the Illini rank 22nd nationally in scoring defense (56.2 ppg) ... Clemson is shooting 49.3 percent from the field, while Illinois has not had an opponent shoot better than 45 percent this season.

ACC/Big Ten Challenge Schedule
Here are the match-ups for this year's ACC/Big Ten Challenge (all times listed are Central):

Monday, Dec. 1
Wisconsin at Virginia Tech         6 pm      ESPN2

Tuesday, Dec. 2 Ohio State at Miami 6 pm ESPN Iowa at Boston College 6 pm ESPNU Clemson at Illinois 6:30 pm ESPN2 Duke at Purdue 8 pm ESPN Virginia at Minnesota 8:30 pm ESPN2

Wednesday, Dec. 3 Indiana at Wake Forest 6:15 pm ESPN Penn State at Georgia Tech 6:30 pm ESPN2 Michigan at Maryland 6:30 pm ESPNU North Carolina vs. Michigan State 8:15 pm ESPN Florida State at Northwestern 8:30 pm ESPN2

Illinois in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge
The ACC/Big Ten Challenge is now in its 10th year of existence ... Illinois is 3-6 all-time in the Challenge ... This is the fourth time that the Illini will play a Challenge game at the Assembly Hall. Illinois is 2-1 at The Hall in the Challenge, defeating North Carolina in 2002 and Wake Forest in 2004, and losing to Maryland in 2006 ... This year marks just the third time in the history of the Challenge that Illinois has not been ranked in the Top 25 (the Illini are receiving votes in the current polls) ... Illinois' opponent also has been ranked seven of 10 times, with the only unranked opponents North Carolina in 2005 (although UNC moved into the polls the week after Illinois' victory over the Tar Heels), Maryland in 2007, and Clemson this season ... Illinois has twice played a No. 1-ranked team in the Challenge. Illinois fell to No. 1 Duke at Greensboro, N.C. 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).

Last Time Out: Illini Win South Padre Island Invitational Championship
Illinois won a pair of close games to claim the championship of the South Padre Island Invitational, defeating Kent State, 69-63, in overtime in the third round, and Tulsa, 48-44, in the title game.

Mike Tisdale scored a career-high 20 points vs. Kent State with seven rebounds and three blocked shots, while Mike Davis recorded his third double-double of the year with 17 points and a game-high 13 boards.

Tisdale led the Illini again vs. Tulsa, recording 12 points along with seven rebounds and three blocks. Richard Semrau came off the bench to score a career-high nine points while Demetri McCamey added eight.

November Perfection
With its 6-0 start, Illinois completed the month of November without a blemish. The Illini own a 30-3 record in November games during Bruce Weber's tenure and have gone undefeated on the month four times in Weber's six years: Nov. 2003 (3-0), Nov. 2004 (4-0), Nov. 2005 (6-0) and Nov. 2008 (6-0).

Tisdale Named South Padre Island Invitational MVP and Big Ten Co-Player of the Week
Sophomore Mike Tisdale was named MVP of the South Padre Island Invitational after a breakout weekend. Tisdale averaged 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks over two games. He scored a career-high 20 points while tying his career-high with seven rebounds in the win over Kent State. Tisdale was again the game's leading scorer the following night, registering 12 points in the title game vs. Tulsa. He tied his career high in rebounding once again, grabbing seven boards. Tisdale also tallied three blocked shots against both opponents.

But it wasn't just his scoring, it was when the points came, that helped Tisdale garner the MVP award. He scored 10 of Illinois' last 15 points vs. Kent State, including the Illini's first three baskets of overtime, highlighted by an up-and-under move that put the Illini up 66-63 with 22 seconds left. He was not done with the late game heroics, however, breaking a 44-all tie vs. Tulsa with the game's final two field goals, a left-handed turnaround in the lane with 1:13 left that put the Illini up two, followed by a 17-foot jumper with 22 seconds remaining to put the Illini up by the final margin of four points.

Tisdale was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on Monday, sharing the award with Purdue's E'Twaun Moore. He is the first Illini to receive the conference weekly honor since Shaun Pruitt on Dec. 24, 2007.

Frazier and McCamey Earn South Padre Island Invitational All-Tournament Team Honors
In addition to Mike Tisdale's MVP award, the Illini had two players named to the South Padre Island Invitational All-Tournament Team in guards Chester Frazier and Demetri McCamey.

Frazier played outstanding defense, guarding Kent State's Al Fisher and Tulsa's Ben Uzoh. Despite battling a deep thigh bruise that had Frazier receiving treatment throughout the weekend, he logged 78 of a possible 85 minutes and led the tournament in assists with 16 (eight each vs. Kent State and Tulsa) while totaling just four turnovers.

He also made perhaps the highlight play of the tournament, when with the Kent State game tied at 62 in overtime, he tracked down an offensive rebound and jumped completely over the Illini bench to save the ball before landing in the first row of the stands.

McCamey, meanwhile, had nine points and seven assists vs. Kent State followed by eight points vs. Tulsa.

Assisting The Offense
Illinois' ball movement has been very effective to start the season. The Illini are averaging 19.2 assists per game, which leads the Big Ten and is ninth in the NCAA, and have recorded assists on 74.7 percent of its baskets (115 assists on 154 field goals). Illinois leads the nation in assist rate.

Illinois recorded a season-high 25 assists vs. Jackson State on Nov. 23, the most by a Big Ten team this year and the UI's highest total since dishing out 26 vs. IUPUI on Dec. 6, 2006. Here is a game-by-game look at Illinois' assists-to-field goals percentage this season:

Game           A     FG    Pct.
E. Washington  14    24    58.3
Texas A&M-CC   22    27    81.5
Vanderbilt     18    24    75
Jackson State  25    31    80.6
Kent State     23    25    92
Tulsa          13    23    56.5
Total          115   154   74.7

Davis Off to Great Start
Sophomore forward Mike Davis has been very productive to start the season, nearly averaging a double-double. Davis leads the Illini in scoring at 12.7 points per game and leads the Big Ten in rebounding, averaging 9.7 boards.

Davis has posted three double-doubles in six games. He notched career highs of 20 points and 14 rebounds vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Nov. 16), had 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds at Vanderbilt (Nov. 20), and had 17 points and a game-high 13 rebounds vs. Kent State last Friday.

Davis tied his career high in scoring with another 20-point outing vs. Jackson State on Nov. 23, hitting 9-of-10 shots. Davis also recorded a career-high five assists vs. the Tigers.

Meacham Comfortable With New 3-Point Line
Senior Trent Meacham, the Illini's top 3-point marksman last season, is shooting it well once again from behind the arc. Meacham is 13-of-25 on the year from the land of three, a 52 percent clip.

Meacham made 3-of-4 threes in the opener vs. Eastern Washington, 3-of-5 vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 4-of-6 at Vanderbilt, and 2-4 vs. Jackson State.

Meacham has scored in double figures in four games, highlighted by a season-high 18 vs. Eastern Washington. He ranks third on the Illini in scoring on the year, averaging 11.5 points.

Frazier In Control
Chester Frazier is off to a solid start to his senior season. Frazier leads the Big Ten in assists, registering 42 assists over the first six games for an average of 7.0 apg. And despite playing nearly 32.5 minutes per game, Frazier has totaled just nine turnovers on the year, ranking second in the Big Ten with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.7.

For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf file at top of this page.