Brian Randle and the Illini host Miami (OH) Thursday at 6 p.m. CT.
Dec. 19, 2007
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #10: Illinois (6-3) vs. Miami (OH) (5-4)
Dec. 20, 2007 6 p.m. CT BTN
Champaign, Ill. Assembly Hall (16,618)
On the Air
BTN: Rich Waltz, 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, 9.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.3 apg)
C - 55 Shaun Pruitt (Sr., 6-10, 245, 11.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg)
G - 25 Calvin Brock (r-Jr., 6-5, 195, 8.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.7 spg)
F - 23 Rodney Alexander (Jr., 6-7, 225, 6.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg) -OR-
G - 1 Trent Meacham (r-Jr., 6-2, 195, 11.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.3 spg)
G - 3 Chester Frazier (Jr., 6-2, 190, 5.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.1 spg)
Off the Bench
G - 2 Chris Hicks (Sr., 6-2, 190, 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg)
G - 13 Jeff Jordan (Fr., 6-1, 185, 0.5 ppg, 0.3 rpg)
G - 22 Steve Holdren (r-Jr., 6-5, 200, 1.3 ppg, 1.1 rpg)
F - 24 Mike Davis (Fr., 6-9, 195, 2.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg)
F - 30 Bill Cole (Fr., 6-9, 210, 2.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg)
F - 32 Demetri McCamey (Fr., 6-3, 205, 4.7 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 2.6 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, 4.8 ppg, 1.7 rpg)
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 221-85/.722 (10th year)
At Illinois: 118-31/.792 (5th year)
Big Ten: 48-16/.750
Vs. Miami: 1-0
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)
Miami Head Coach: Charlie Coles
Overall Record: 290-229/.559 (18th year)
At Miami: 198-145/.577 (12th year)
Vs. Illinois: 0-1
Series Notes: Miami
Illinois and Miami are meeting for the fifth time, with the Illinois owning a 4-0 lead in the all-time series. The teams met for the first time in 52 years last season, on Nov. 24 at the Chicago Invitational Challenge in Hoffman Estates. Illinois fell behind by 16 points in the first half but fought back, and Chester Frazier made a game-winning basket with 18 seconds left to lead the Illini to a 51-49 victory.
Illini Notes ...
Thursday marks the second of three games in a span of six days for the Illini. Prior to this stretch, Illinois played just one game in 15 days after opening the season with seven games in three weeks.
Thursday's game vs. Miami marks just the fourth time in 10 games this season that Illinois will play at the Assembly Hall. Illinois has played a total of six road/neutral games, the third-highest total among BCS schools.
In three home games, Illinois' defense is holding opponents to an average of 50.3 points (151) on 32.5 percent shooting from the field (52-160) and 23.2 percent from 3-point range (13-56). Opponents are also averaging 19.0 turnovers (57).
Just nine games into the season, seven different players have been the Illini's leading scorer in a game.
Illinois' defense held Western Carolina to 35 points on Monday, the third-lowest point total in Assembly Hall history and just one point off the record-low score of 34 set by Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1985 and tied by Savannah State last season.
Trent Meacham is averaging 17 points and is shooting 61.5 percent from the field (24-39) and 52.2 percent from 3-point range (12-23) over the last four games in which he has played (missed Monday's game vs. Western Carolina with an ankle injury). He has also totaled 14 assists with only four turnovers (3.5 a/to ratio), along with eight steals over that span.
Shaun Pruitt has scored at least nine points in all but one game this season. He had a career-high 24 points vs. Arizona and made 10-of-11 from the field, tying the sixth-best shooting performance in school history.
Pruitt has scored in double figures in each of the last two games, with 24 points vs. Arizona and 11 vs. Western Carolina. It is the first time he has reached double figures in back-to-back games since the first two games of the season (12 points vs. Northeastern and 15 at Hawaii).
Calvin Brock is averaging 10.7 points on 50.9 percent shooting from the field (27-53) and 54.5 percent from 3-point range (6-11) over the last six games.
Chester Frazier is averaging 5.5 assists over the last four games after averaging just 2.6 assists over the first five games.
Mike Tisdale is averaging 8.3 points on 63.2 percent shooting over the last three games. He is coming off a career-high 13 points on 6-7 shooting vs. Western Carolina.
Trent Meacham ranks second in the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio with a 3.7 ratio on the season (26 assists/7 turnovers).
Shaun Pruitt leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds with an average of 3.8 per game (34 total off. reb.).
Pruitt has started every game over the past two-and-a-half seasons, entering the Miami game with an active streak of 77 consecutive starts.
Illinois is averaging 17.8 assists per game over the last four games after averaging just 12.6 apg through the first five games. The Illini had a season's best 23 assists vs. Arizona on Dec. 8.
Illinois has played a challenging schedule to date, with a strength of schedule currently ranked 39th by Ken Pomeroy and 46th by Jeff Sagarin. Six of Illinois' first nine games have come on the road (Hawaii, Maryland) or at neutral sites (Arizona State, Duke and Oklahoma State in Maui and Arizona in Chicago). Through Dec. 18, Illinois is tied for third among schools from BCS conferences that have played the highest number of road and neutral games:
Most Road/Neutral Games by BCS Schools (thru 12/18) T1. Georgia Tech ACC 7 T1. North Carolina ACC 7 T3. Providence Big East 6 T3. South Florida Big East 6 T3. ILLINOIS Big Ten 6 T3. Michigan Big Ten 6 T3. Colorado Big XII 6 T3. USC Pac-10 6 T3. Washington State Pac-10 6 T3. Auburn SEC 6Illinois' three home games through Dec. 18 are also the fewest among Big Ten teams. The next lowest total is five home games by two league teams:
Most Home Games by Big Ten Schools (thru 12/18) T1. Wisconsin 8 T1. Iowa 8 3. Indiana 7 T4. Michigan State 6 T4. Minnesota 6 T4. Ohio State 6 T4. Penn State 6 T4. Purdue 6 T9. Michigan 5 T9. Northwestern 5 11. ILLINOIS 3Last Time Out: Western Carolina
The Illini' 23-point margin of victory equaled its largest of the season. Mike Tisdale scored a career-high 13 points on 6-7 shooting to lead the UI, while Shaun Pruitt also reached double figures with 11 points.
Illini Own Nation's Best Homecourt Record This Decade at The Assembly Hall: The House of 'Paign
The Illini have put together the best homecourt record in the nation over the last eight-plus years, owning a record of 110-7 (.940) at the Assembly Hall this decade. The Illini are also 59-5 (.922) at The Hall during Weber's tenure. Illinois has won eight in a row at Assembly Hall heading into its next home game vs. Miami.
Below is a look at Illinois' record at the Assembly Hall this decade:
Year Overall Big Ten 2007-08 3-0 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 110-7 (.940) 58-6 (.906)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. ILLINOIS 110-7 .940 Dec. 20 2. Gonzaga 100-7 .935 Dec. 31 3. Kansas 121-10 .924 Dec. 22 4. Michigan State 119-10 .922 Dec. 19 5. Utah State 116-10 .921 Dec. 20 6. Wisconsin 121-11 .917 Dec. 22 7. Duke 117-11 .914 Jan. 6 8. Texas 120-12 .909 Dec. 29 9. BYU 111-12 .902 Dec. 21 10. Southern Illinois 101-11 .902 Dec. 22Dominating the Glass
Illinois' bench is contributing 25 points per game and has outscored the opposing bench in six of nine games.
Illinois has also had six double-figure scoring games by players off the bench this season:
Player Opponent Points Calvin Brock Hawaii 11 Demetri McCamey Hawaii 10 Calvin Brock Duke 14 Trent Meacham Oklahoma State 17 Trent Meacham Weber State 26 Mike Tisdale Western Carolina 13Meacham Settles in at Shooting Guard
Meacham did not play in Monday's win over Western Carolina because of an ankle injury. But over the last four games in which he has played, Meacham is averaging 17.0 points and is shooting 61.5 percent from the field (24-39) and 52.2 percent from 3-point range (12-23). He had a game-high 17 points vs. Oklahoma State, nine at Maryland, a career-high 26 points vs. Weber State and 16 vs. Arizona.
In addition to his increased scoring, Meacham is also taking care of the basketball, ranking second in the Big Ten with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.7 on the season (26 a/7 to).
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 leads the Illini in scoring and rebounding, averaging 11.9 points and 7.7 rebounds. He has scored at least nine points in all but one game this season, with a career-high 24 points vs. Arizona, 15 at Hawaii, 12 vs. Northeastern, 11 vs. both Duke and Western Carolina, 10 at Maryland, and nine each vs. Arizona State and Oklahoma State.
Pruitt made 10-of-11 from the field against Arizona, which tied the sixth-best shooting performance in school history.
Pruitt has scored in double figures in each of the last two games, with 24 points vs. Arizona and 11 vs. Western Carolina. It is the first time he has reached double figures in back-to-back games since the first two games of the season, when he had 12 points vs. Northeastern and 15 at Hawaii.
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.
Pruitt also has 34 offensive rebounds on the year, leading the Big Ten with an average of 3.8 per game.
One of the most Illini's most durable players in recent years, Pruitt has started every game over the last two-and-a-half seasons and enters the Miami game with an active streak of 77 consecutive starts.
Randle More Aggressive on Offense
Senior and three-year starter Brian Randle currently carries a career-high scoring average of 9.8 points. He 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 returned to double figures for the first time in four games vs. Arizona, scoring 11 points. He also had a season-high five assists vs. the Wildcats. He just missed double figures vs. Western Carolina, finishing with nine points.
Randle is shooting 48 percent from the field (36-75) and in addition to ranking third on the Illini in scoring, he is also the team's third-leading rebounder with an average of 4.7 rebounds on the season.
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 32.9 minutes per contest, Frazier is averaging 5.9 points and leads the Illini in assists (3.9 apg) and ranks second in steals (1.1 spg).
Despite standing 6-2, Frazier also is second on the team in rebounding behind Pruitt with an average of 6.0 rpg. He currently ranks 12th in the Big Ten in rebounding and is the only point guard listed in the ranking of the league's top 20 rebounders.
Frazier has twice grabbed a season-high nine rebounds, at Hawaii and vs. Duke, He also tallied eight boards vs. Oklahoma State, and seven at Maryland. He has been the UI's leading rebounder in four games this season.
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.
*For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at top of this page.