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

 
Illinois and UNLV met in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
Illinois and UNLV met in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
 

Dec. 15, 2011

Game #11 // #19/19 Illinois (10-0) vs. UNLV (10-2)

Dec. 17, 2011 // 4 pm CT // Chicago, Ill. // United Center (20,000)

Complete Illinois Game Notes

Preview Interviews: Coach Weber | Sam Maniscalco | Brandon Paul | Tracy Abrams

Gameday Links: Watch on BTN2Go | Listen | Gametracker | Twitter

TV: BTN - Wayne Larrivee, (Play-By-Play), Shon Morris (Analyst) Radio: Illini Sports Network - Brian Barnhart (Play-By-Play), Jerry Hester (Analyst), Loren Tate (Reports) Satellite Radio: Sirius - 93, XM - 192

Ticket Information
Tickets are available through Ticketmaster for Saturday's game vs. UNLV at the United Center in Chicago. They can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or in person at the United Center ticket office. The UC box office will open at Noon on Saturday. It's a double-header at the UC, with the Illini women's team playing Texas Tech at 1 pm prior to the Illinois-UNLV contest.

Probable Starters (from the previous game)

Pos.	No.	Name	        Ht.	Wt.	Yr.	PPG	RPG	APG	Other
G	0	Sam Maniscalco	6-0	180	Gr.	12.0	2.5	2.8	89.7% FT
G	1	D.J. Richardson	6-3	195	Jr.	13.7	2.5	1.7	1.1 spg
G	3	Brandon Paul	6-4	200	Jr.	10.6	3.9	3.4	46 FTA
F	42	Tyler Griffey	6-8	230	Jr.	7.5	4.8	0.7	19 off. reb.
C	12	Meyers Leonard	7-1	245	So.	13.4	7.2	1.1	2.6 bpg

Off the Bench

Pos.	No.	Name	        Ht. 	Wt.	Yr.	PPG	RPG	APG	Other
G	2	Joseph Bertrand	6-5	195	r-So.	3.8	1.6	1.2	90.9% FT
G	4	Crandall Head	6-4	190	So.	1.2	0.7	1.5	2 steals
G	13	Tracy Abrams 	6-1	185	Fr.	3.1	2.3	1.6	12 off. reb.
F	15	Mike Shaw	6-8	230	Fr.	1.4	2.7	0.1	50% FG
G/F	20	Myke Henry	6-6	230	Fr.	4.0	1.2	0.2 	52.9% FG
G/F	21	Devin Langford	6-7	200	Fr.
F/C	23	Ibby Djimde	6-8	250	Fr.	0.6	1.1	0.0	1 FG
G	25	Jean Selus 	6-2	195	Sr.	0.0	0.2	0.2	5 minutes
F/C	32	Nnanna Egwu	6-11	245	Fr.	2.9	2.0	0.4	1.2 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: 306-140/.686 (14th year)
At Illinois: 203-86/.702 (9th year)
Associate Head Coach: Wayne McClain (11th year)
Assistant Coaches: Jay Price (9th year), Jerrance Howard (5th year)
Assistant to the Head Coach: Gary Nottingham (9th year)
Director of Basketball Operations: Sean Harrington (4th year)

Series Notes vs. UNLV
Series Record: Illinois leads 3-0
Last Meeting:  Illinois 73, UNLV 62 (March 18, 2011 // Tulsa, Okla.)
Series Streak: Illinois W-3
Record at Neutral Site: Illinois leads 3-0
Weber vs. UNLV: 1-0

The United Center: Illinois' Home Away from Home
While games played at the United Center count as neutral site in the record book, for Illinois the UC is a home away from home. Saturday's contest against UNLV marks the 43rd game the Illini have played at the UC, dating back to the 1994-95 season. Illinois owns an all-time record of 32-10 (.762) at the United Center (see next page for list of Illinois' all-time results at the United Center).

It is a homecoming game for many Illini players, as the current UI roster features eight players from Chicagoland.

Previous Illinois Games at the United Center Dec. 4, 1994 Duke L 65-70 Dec. 23, 1995 California W 83-69 Dec. 21, 1996 UCLA W 79-63 Dec. 13, 1997 Clemson W 71-61 March 6, 1998 Wisconsin W 66-61 March 7, 1998 Purdue L 47-68 Dec. 5, 1998 Bradley W 53-48 March 4, 1999 Minnesota W 74-67 March 5, 1999 Indiana W 83-66 March 6, 1999 Ohio State W 79-77 March 7, 1999 Michigan State L 50-67 Nov. 30, 1999 Duke L 69-72 Dec. 18, 1999 Kansas W 84-70 March 10, 2000 Indiana W 72-69 March 11, 2000 Penn State W 94-84 March 12, 2000 Michigan State L 61-76 Dec. 16, 2000 Arizona W 81-73 March 9, 2001 Purdue W 83-66 March 10, 2001 Indiana L 56-58 Dec. 8, 2001 Arkansas W 94-91 March 15, 2002 San Diego St W 93-64 March 17, 2002 Creighton W 72-60 Dec. 14, 2002 Temple W 70-54 Feb. 22, 2003 Northwestern W 73-61 March 14, 2003 Northwestern W 94-65 March 15, 2003 Indiana W 73-72 March 16, 2003 Ohio State W 72-59 Dec. 6, 2003 Arkansas W 84-61 Dec. 29, 2003 UIC W 75-60 Dec. 11, 2004 Oregon W 83-66 March 11, 2005 Northwestern W 68-51 March 12, 2005 Minnesota W 64-56 March 13, 2005 Wisconsin W 54-43 Dec. 3, 2005 Xavier W 65-62 Dec. 9, 2006 UIC W 71-66 March 8, 2007 Penn State W 66-60 March 9, 2007 Indiana W 58-54, ot March 10, 2007 Wisconsin L 41-53 Dec. 8, 2007 Arizona L 72-78, ot Dec. 6, 2008 Georgia W 76-42 Jan. 2, 2010 Gonzaga L 83-85, ot Dec. 18, 2010 UIC L 54-57

Current Illini at the United Center
Brandon Paul (2 G): 11.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.5 spg, 1.0 bpg UC Highlights: Five points, three rebounds and two blocked shots vs. UIC (12/18/10) ... 17 points, three assists and three steals vs. Gonzaga (1/2/10).

D.J. Richardson (2 G): 9.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.0 spg UC Highlights: 13 points and three assists vs. UIC (12/18/10) ... Six points and four rebounds vs. Gonzaga (1/2/10).

Meyers Leonard (1 G): 4 pts, 1 reb (vs. UIC, 12/18/10)

Tyler Griffey (2 G): 1 pt, 0 reb

Hot Start
At 10-0, Illinois is off to its best start since 2005-06, when the UI went undefeated in non-conference play (14-0) and won its first 15 games (see chart on page 4 for a list of Illinois' 10 best starts in school history). The current 10-game winning streak is the fourth longest of the Weber era, and the longest since the 15 straight victories to open the 2005-06 season. Here is a list of the top five Illini winning streaks under Weber:

	Rk.	Streak	First Win	Last Win
	1.	29 	Nov. 19, 2004	March 3, 2005
	2.	15	Nov. 18, 2005	Jan. 5, 2006
	3.	12	Jan. 31, 2004	March 13, 2004
	4.	10	Nov. 11, 2011	current
	5.	8	March 11, 2005	April 2, 2005 

Undefeated Illini
Illinois is one of nine remaining undefeated teams in Division I. Here is a list of the nation's remaining undefeated teams, through Dec. 15:

Illinois 10-0 Murray State 10-0 Syracuse 10-0 Indiana 9-0 Marquette 9-0 Missouri 9-0 Louisville 9-0 Baylor 8-0 Xavier 8-0

Last Time Out
Illinois won its 10th straight game at the Assembly Hall and improved to 10-0 on the season with an 80-63 victory over Coppin State on Sunday night. Four Illini scored in double figures, led by D.J. Richardson, who tied his career high with 20 points. Meyers Leonard netted 18 and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds to tally his second double-double of the season. Sam Maniscalco and Brandon Paul, meanwhile, added 12 points apiece.

The Illini shot 56.4 percent for the game and were hot from 3-point range, knocking down a season-high 10 treys on season's best 45.5 percent shooting from behind the arc.

Five on the Starting Five
D.J. Richardson
1. Leads the team in scoring with an average of 13.7 points.
2. Has increased his scoring average by 5.3 points over last year (8.4 ppg), when he was the UI's fifth-leading scorer.
3. Leads the Illini in 3-point shooting at 30.4 percent (26-66) and average of 2.6 threes per contest.
4. Has scored in double figures in eight of the last nine games, and is coming off a career high-tying 20 points vs. Coppin State.
5. Only Illini playing more than 28 minutes per game (30.7 mpg).

Meyers Leonard
1. Leads the Illini in rebounding (7.2 rpg) and ranks second on the team in scoring (13.4 ppg).
2. One of three Big Ten players to increase his scoring average by more than 10 points over last year (+11.3), joining Penn State's Tim Frazier (+11.1) and Wisconsin's Ben Brust (+11.2).
3. Scored at least eight points in all 10 games, with seven in double figures. Last season, he had a total of two games in double figures.
4. Ranks 14th in the NCAA in field goal shooting at 63.8 percent (51-80) and 27th in the nation in blocked shots, averaging 2.6 bpg.
5. Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 5.

Sam Maniscalco
1. Scoring average of 12.0 points ranks third on the team.
2. Leads Illini and ranks second in the Big Ten in free throw shooting at 89.7 percent (26-29).
3. Second on the team in 3-point shooting at 36.4 percent (16-44).
4. Has logged 29+ minutes in five of the last six games.
5. Registered his Illinois career-high of 24 points at Maryland (Nov. 29). Collegiate career high came at Bradley where he had 31 points vs. Creighton on March 5, 2010.

Brandon Paul
1. Fourth Illini scoring in double figures with average of 10.6 points.
2. Scored in double figures in each of the last four games, averaging 14.8 points over that stretch (59).
3. Season-high 17-point outings in two of last four contests (St. Bonaventure and Maryland).
4. Leads Illini in assists with 3.4 average.
5. Has made 48 trips to the free throw line this season, third-highest total among Big Ten guards behind Penn State's Tim Frazier (82 FTA) and Purdue's Lewis Jackson (56 FTA).

Tyler Griffey
1. Illinois is 14-0 in games he has started during his career (10-0 this season, 4-0 in 2009-10).
2. Shooting 54.5 percent from the field over the last six games (18-33).
3. Averaging 7.5 points and 4.8 boards, more than tripling his scoring and rebounding averages from last season (1.6 ppg and 1.2 rpg in 2010-11).
4. Second on the Illini with 19 offensive rebounds.
5. Has scored in double figures three times this year after totaling three double-figure scoring games over his first two seasons.

Illinois Team Notes
• Four players carry a double-figure scoring average, while nine players are averaging double figures in minutes.
• Illinois ranks 20th in the NCAA in scoring defense, allowing an average of 56.5 points.
• Illinois' defense is holding teams to combined 37.9 percent shooting, ranking 34th in the NCAA. Only one opponent (Gonzaga) has topped 43 percent from the field.
• The Illini rank 25th in the nation in scoring margin (+15.1 ppg).
• Illinois has held four opponents to less than 50 points at the Assembly Hall.
• Illinois carries a 25-game regular season non-conference winning streak at the Assembly Hall.
• The Illini have outrebounded all but two opponents and own a +5.0 rebound margin.
• Out of 10 games, six different players have led the team in rebounding while five different players have led the team in scoring.
• 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 eight straight contests.

HEADLINES