Dec. 3, 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. 11.5 3.4 3.5 1.4 spg
G 1 D.J. Richardson 6-3 195 Sr. 12.3 4.9 1.8 2.8 3FG/G
G 3 Brandon Paul 6-4 200 Sr. 18.3 4.8 4.1 1.7 a/to
F 42 Tyler Griffey 6-9 220 Sr. 11.3 2.9 0.4 56.7% 3FG
F/C 32 Nnanna Egwu 6-11 235 So. 6.1 4.3 0.8 1.1 bpg
Off the Bench
Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG APG Other
F 0 Sam McLaurin 6-8 220 Gr. 4.4 4.0 0.6 20 off. reb.
G 2 Joseph Bertrand 6-6 195 r-Jr. 8.4 4.6 1.0 57.8% 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 2.8 0.3 42.9% 3FG
G/F 21 Devin Langford 6-7 200 r-Fr. 0.4 1.4 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 NCAA transfer rules
Head Coach: John Groce
Career Record: 93-56/.624 (5th year)
At Illinois: 8-0/1.000 (1st year)
Assistant Coaches: Dustin Ford
(1st year), Paris Parham
(1st year), Jamall Walker
Special Assistant to the Head Coach: Brandon Miller
Director of Basketball Operations: Mark Morris
Video Coordinator: Andy Etheridge
Series Notes vs. WESTERN CAROLINA
The Last Meeting
December 17, 2007
Series Record: Illinois leads 1-0
Last Meeting: Illinois 58, Western Carolina 35 (Dec. 17, 2007 // Champaign, Ill.)
Series Streak: Illinois W-1
Record at Champaign: Illinois leads 1-0
Series Streak at Champaign: Illinois W-1
Groce vs. Western Carolina: First meeting
Illinois men's basketball season and single-game tickets are currently available. Season tickets in C-level are $399. Single-game tickets range from $22-$45. Tickets can be purchased online at fightingillini.com, by phone at 1-866-ILLINI-1, or in person at the Illinois Ticket Office at the Assembly Hall.
Tickets are available through Ticketmaster for the United Center game vs. Auburn on Dec. 29 and the Big Ten Tournament at the United Center, March 14-17. Tickets for those events can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.
Groce Off to Historic Start
First-year head coach John Groce has the Illini off to an 8-0 start this season, the best debut for an Illini coach in the modern era. Groce is just the second Illini coach ever - and first in more than 100 years - to begin his UI tenure with at least eight consecutive wins. Fletcher Lane owns the best start of any first-year Illini coach. He won his first 12 games during the 1907-08 season, although 11 of those 12 victories came against YMCA/Athletic Club teams.
Tuesday's game vs. Western Carolina will be streamed live at BTN.com and FightingIllini.com. The video stream is part of the Illini All-Access package via the Big Ten Digital Network, available through monthly or annual subscription. The Illini All-Access subscription includes all BTN.com streaming events involving Illini athletics. The service is $9.95 per month and fans can sign-up at FightingIllini.com.
The game will be televised tape-delay. The BTN is scheduled to air the Western Carolina game on Wednesday (Dec. 5) at 12:30 p.m. CT.
At 8-0, the Illini are currently tied for the NCAA lead in wins and are one of 20 undefeated teams left in Div. I. Three of those remaining unbeatens are in the Big Ten, tied for first among all conferences.
Movin' On Up
Illinois has climbed to No. 13 in this week's Associated Press rankings, after debuting at No. 22 last week. Illinois' current ranking of 13th is its highest since reaching No. 12 in the Dec. 13, 2010 AP poll.
The Illini basketball program has been ranked in the Top 25 each of the last five seasons.
Fast Out of the Gate Again
The Illini are off to an 8-0 start for the second consecutive season. Illinois won its first 10 games last year before suffering its first loss to UNLV on Dec. 17. With a win against Western Carolina, Illinois would tie the 11th-best start in school history at 9-0.
Illinois currently leads the NCAA in total 3-point field goals (90) and 3-point field goals per game (11.3). The Illini made at least 10 three-pointers in its first six games of the season, becoming the first UI team ever to make double-digit three-point field goals in six consecutive games. Illinois most recently made a season-high 14 treys in the win over Georgia Tech, just one shy of the Assembly Hall record and two off the school record.
Illinois has made 36 more 3-point baskets than its opposition so far this season (90-to-54), a total of 108 more points and meaning the Illini are outscoring the competition by a margin of 13.5 points per game from the land of three.
While it's still early, the Illini look to be well on their way to challenging the school record for 3-point field goals per game.
Most 3FG Made Per Game in school history (Season)
Season 3FG G Avg.
2012-13 90 8 11.3
2004-05 344 39 8.8
1995-96 231 31 7.5
1996-97 238 32 7.4
2005-06 241 33 7.3
Illinois made 14 three-pointers against Georgia Tech on Wednesday, the best mark since 2005 and equaling the fourth-highest total in school history.
Most 3FG Made in School History (Game)
Rank 3FG Opponent
1. 16 vs. Arizona, March 26, 2005
2. 15 Purdue, March 3, 2005
15 Penn State, Jan. 12, 2005
4. 14 Georgia Tech, Nov. 28, 2012
14 IUPUI, Dec. 6, 2006
14 Northwestern, Feb. 23, 2005
14 vs. Gonzaga, Nov. 27, 2004
14 Iowa, Feb. 24, 1996
Home Sweet Home
Illinois owns a 19-game non-conference home winning streak, and has won 31 consecutive regular season games at the Assembly Hall over non-conference opponents.
Illinois' last home loss to a non-Big Ten team came against Dayton in the 2010 NIT Quarterfinal. The Illini's last home loss to a non-conference opponent during the regular season, meanwhile, was to Clemson in the 2008 ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Notes from the ACC/Big Ten Challenge Victory Over Georgia Tech
Illinois won its seventh Challenge game, the most wins by a Big Ten team in the history of the event.
Illinois also won its fourth-straight game in the Challenge, tied with Purdue for the longest active streak by a team from either conference.
Head coach John Groce became the first Illini coach to win his first Challenge game.
The Illini made a season-high 14 three-pointers, just one off the Assembly Hall record of 15 and two away from the school record of 16. It marked the seventh time in eight games this season Illinois has made at least 10 threes.
Joseph Bertrand went on a solo 10-0 run late in the second half to give the Illini control of the game. With Illinois trailing 58-54, the run started with a layup at the 6:26 mark, followed by back-to-back threes at 6:01 and 5:25, and capped off by an acrobatic layup and a foul at 4:48, giving the Illini a 64-58 lead. Bertrand's layup appeared at No. 3 on SportsCenter's Top-10 plays of the day.
Illinois finished the game on a 21-4 run over the last six-and-a-half minutes, turning the 58-54 deficit into a 75-62 victory.
Illinois again had a balanced attack, as four different players scored in double figures. Bertrand scored a season-high 15 points and Brandon Paul also had 15 to go along with seven rebounds and a season-high seven assists. Tyler Griffey and D.J. Richardson added 14 points apiece.