Joseph Bertrand has come up big in the last two Braggin' Rights games.
|Game 12: Illinois (9-2) vs. No. 23 Missouri (10-0) // 33rd Annual Bud Light Braggin' Rights|
|When||Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 | 4:30 p.m. CST|
|Location||St. Louis, Mo. | Scottrade Center (22,153) | Illinois Sections 103-115|
|Television||ESPN2 (Dave O'Brien, PBP & Jimmy Dykes, analyst)|
|Listen||Illini Sports Network | Listen (All-Access) | Sirius 112 / XM 191|
|Printable Game Notes||Illinois | Mizzou | Big Ten|
|Season Stats||Illinois | Mizzou | Big Ten|
|Preview Interviews||Groce Press Conference | Tracy Abrams | Jon Ekey | Malcolm Hill|
|Social Media||@IlliniHoops | #Illini | @IlliniAthletics | Facebook | YouTube|
Illinois Probable Starters (from previous game)
|G||13||Tracy Abrams||6-2||190||Jr.||11.5||4.0||3.4||14.0 ppg, 4.7 apg in last three|
|G||24||Rayvonte Rice||6-4||235||r-Jr.||17.7||5.5||1.9||Scored 12+ points in every game as Illini|
|G||2||Joseph Bertrand||6-6||200||r-Sr.||10.7||5.3||1.1||16.0 ppg, 70% FG in last 2 BR games|
|F||33||Jon Ekey||6-7||225||Gr.||9.2||6.4||0.3||2.3 made threes/game is 4th in B1G|
|F/C||32||Nnanna Egwu||6-11||250||Jr.||8.3||5.4||0.3||12 p, 9 r in last year's Braggin' Rights game|
Off the Bench
|Pos.||No.||Name||Ht.||Wt.||Yr.||PPG||RPG||APG||Note||G||1||Jaylon Tate||6-3||160||Fr.||2.7||1.1||3.5||3.5 assist/to ratio ranks 2nd in B1G|
|G||10||Mike LaTulip||6-1||170||So.||1.3||0.4||0.3||3-5 3FG|
|G||21||Malcolm Hill||6-6||210||Fr.||3.8||2.7||0.7||2013 STL Post-Dispatch High School POY|
|C||22||Maverick Morgan||610||250||Fr.||18||1.5||0.1||Shooting 53.3 percent from field||G||25||Kendrick Nunn||6-3||180||Fr.||2.8||1.1||0.6||Simeon grad wears 25 to honor Ben Wilson|
|F||31||Austin Colbert||6-9||210||Fr.||2.3||1.1||0.2||Shooting 55 percent from the field|
|G||3||Ahmad Starks *||5-9||170||Sr.||10.4*||2.0*||2.3*||Transfer must sit out 2013-14 season|
|G||11||Aaron Cosby *||6-3||195||Jr.||12.6*||2.5*||3.0*||Transfer must sit out 2013-14 season|
|F||35||Darius Paul *||6-8||220||So.||10.4*||5.7*||1.7*||Transfer must sit out 2013-14 season|
|* 2012-13 stats at former school|
Dec. 19, 2013
Head Coach: John Groce
Career Record: 117-71/.622 (6th year)
At Illinois: 32-15/.681 (2nd year)
Assistant Coaches: Dustin Ford (2nd year), Paris Parham (2nd year), Jamall Walker (2nd year)
Special Assistant to the Head Coach: Ryan Pedon (1st year)
Series Notes vs. Missouri
Series Record: Illinois leads 27-16
Record at St. Louis: Illinois leads 20-12
Last Meeting: #12 Missouri 82, #10 Illinois 73 (Dec. 22, 2012 // St. Louis)
Series Streak: Missouri W-4
Groce vs. Missouri: 0-1
Braggin' Rights Notes
Illinois won eight consecutive Braggin' Rights from 1983-90 and won nine of the first 10 games in St. Louis. After Missouri won seven of nine games from 1991-99, Illinois won nine in a row from 2000-08, the longest winning streak in the history of the series. Mizzou has now won four straight heading into Saturday's contest, equaling the Tigers' longest Braggin' Rights win streak.
Illinois is unranked entering Braggin' Rights for the first time in four years. The Illini are 7-6 in the series when unranked.
Illinois is facing a ranked Missouri squad for the fourth straight year. Illinois is 9-6 when playing against ranked Tigers teams in the Braggin' Rights.
Illinois has one St. Louis area product on its roster in freshman guard Malcolm Hill (Belleville, Ill). Hill was the 2013 St. Louis Post-Dispatch All-Metro Player of the Year and the all-time leading scorer at Belleville East H.S. (2,067 points).
Braggin' Rights Breakdown
Series Record: Illinois leads 20-12
Current Streak: Missouri, W-4
Illinois when ranked: 13-6
Missouri when ranked: 6-9
When both teams are ranked: Illinois leads 6-3
When neither team is ranked: Illinois leads 5-2
In overtime games: Tied 2-2
At Scottrade Center: Illinois leads 11-8
At The Arena: Illinois led 9-4
Illinois' longest winning streak: 9 (2000-08)
Missouri's longest winning streak: 4, twice (1991-94 & 2009-12)
Illinois' largest winning margin: 32 points (2005)
Missouri's largest winning margin: 18 points (1994)
Closest margin: 1 point, four times (1992, 1993, 2003 and 2007)
Past Braggin' Rights Games in St. Louis
Dec. 10, 1980 Illinois 84, #14 Missouri 62 Dec. 8, 1981 #13 Missouri 78, Illinois 68 (OT) Dec. 28, 1983 #20 Illinois 66, Missouri 60 Dec. 6, 1984 #7 Illinois 65, Missouri 50 Dec. 21, 1985 #15 Illinois 67, Missouri 55 Dec. 23, 1986 #9 Illinois 92, Missouri 74 Dec. 22, 1987 Illinois 75, #17 Missouri 63 Dec. 19, 1988 #5 Illinois 87, #10 Missouri 84 Dec. 20, 1989 #5 Illinois 101, #4 Missouri 93 Dec. 19, 1990 Illinois 84, Missouri 81 Dec. 23, 1991 #16 Missouri 61, Illinois 44 Dec. 23, 1992 Missouri 66, Illinois 65 Dec. 22, 1993 Missouri 108, #19 Illinois 107 (3OT) Dec. 22, 1994 Missouri 76, #23 Illinois 58 Dec. 20, 1995 #14 Illinois 96, #15 Missouri 85 (OT) Dec. 28, 1996 Illinois 85, Missouri 69 Dec. 23, 1997 Missouri 75, Illinois 69 Dec. 22, 1998 #15 Missouri 67, Illinois 62 Dec. 21, 1999 Missouri 78, #15 Illinois 72 Dec. 21, 2000 #5 Illinois 86, Missouri 81 (OT) Dec. 22, 2001 #9 Illinois 72, #8 Missouri 61 Dec. 21, 2002 #12 Illinois 85, #11 Missouri 70 Dec. 23, 2003 #21 Illinois 71, #11 Missouri 70 Dec. 22, 2004 #1 Illinois 70, Missouri 64 Dec. 21, 2005 #6 Illinois 82, Missouri 50 Dec. 19, 2006 Illinois 73, Missouri 70 Dec. 22, 2007 Illinois 59, Missouri 58 Dec. 23, 2008 Illinois 75, #25 Missouri 59 Dec. 23, 2009 Missouri 81, Illinois 68 Dec. 22, 2010 #9 Missouri 75, #21 Illinois 64 Dec. 22, 2011 #8 Missouri 78, #25 Illinois 74 Dec. 22, 2012 #12 Missouri 82, #10 Illinois 73
Current Illini With Braggin' Rights Experience
Three players on the current UI roster have played in the Braggin' Rights: senior guard Joseph Bertrand, junior guard Tracy Abrams and junior center Nnanna Egwu.
Bertrand did not play as a freshman but had his coming out party as a sophomore, leading the Illini with 19 points on perfect 9-of-9 shooting and adding five rebounds. He was a spark off the bench again last year, totaling 13 points and three boards.
Abrams played just 12 minutes as a freshman and started last year but was limited to 19 minutes due to foul trouble, finishing with four points and five rebounds.
Egwu played just three minutes as a freshman but then started last year's game, just missing a double-double with 12 points and team-high nine boards.
Countdown to 1,700
With an all-time record of 1,699-910, Illinois stands just one win away from collecting its 1,700th victory, aiming to become the 13th program in NCAA Div. I history to reach that milestone. Illinois is the 11th-winningest program in NCAA history by percentage, meanwhile, with a 65.1 all-time winning percentage.
Taking on Another Ranked Opponent
Illinois faces its second straight ranked opponent this season in No. 23 Missouri. Last time out, the Illini dropped a 71-64 decision to No. 15 Oregon in Portland.
The Illini have lost five straight versus Top-25 teams, with the most recent win coming last season at No. 18 Minnesota, 57-53, on Feb. 10, 2013.
Illinois' last victory over a Top-25 opponent in non-conference play occurred last season as well, at No. 10 Gonzaga, 85-74, on Dec. 8, 2012.
Illinois' last win against a ranked Missouri team also was its last victory in the Braggin' Rights series, a 75-59 win over the No. 25 Tigers on Dec. 23, 2008.
Illinois is 4-8 against ranked opponents under Groce.
Transfers Provide Scoring Punch to Illini and Tigers
The leading scorers for both the Fighting Illini and Missouri Tigers are transfers who are in their first seasons after sitting out last year.
Junior Rayvonte Rice, who joined the Orange and Blue after two seasons at Drake, leads the Illini and ranks fourth in the Big Ten with an average of 17.7 points. Rice has scored at least 12 points in every game this year with four performances of 20-plus points.
Junior Jordan Clarkson joined the Tigers after two seasons at Tulsa. He leads Mizzou and ranks third in the SEC in scoring with an average of 19.4 points. Clarkson also has tallied at least 12 points in each game this year and has six outings of 20-plus points.
Missouri's top three scorers overall are transfers, with Jabari Brown (formerly of Oregon) averaging 19.0 points and Earnest Ross (previously at Auburn) averaging 14.2 points. Jon Ekey (graduate addition from Illinois State) is fourth on the Illini in scoring with an average of 9.2 points, leading transfers to account for two of the UI's top four scorers.
Illinois is playing six of its final eight non-conference games away from home prior to the Big Ten opener against Indiana on Dec. 31 at State Farm Center.
Illinois accumulated nearly 8,500 miles crisscrossing the country over the last three weeks in flights to Las Vegas, Atlanta (twice) and Portland.
Illinois is 6-0 this season when scoring at least 70 points, and 20-2 overall under Coach John Groce when reaching the 70-point marker.
The Illini are allowing an average of just 60.4 points per game (second in Big Ten, 13th in NCAA) on 39.3 percent shooting (fifth in Big Ten, 44th in NCAA).
Illinois stands out in a number of defensive categories, ranking 25th nationally in defensive efficiency (94.8), 36th in defensive effective field goal percentage (44.4), 33rd in defensive 2-point percentage (42.6) and seventh in defensive free throw rate (27.4).
Oregon was the first team to reach the 70-point marker against the Illini this season. The UI had held each of its first 10 opponents to less than 70 points, accomplishing the feat for the first time in eight years, since the 2005-06 UI squad did so in the first 16 games.
Illinois has rebounded 37.1 percent of its misses, ranking 48th in the nation in offensive rebound percentage.
The starting five has clearly carried the scoring load, combining for 80.3 percent of Illinois' points on the season (632 of 787).
Junior transfer Rayvonte Rice is the first Illini newcomer to score in double figures in each of his first 11 games since Kenny Battle did so in his first 13 games in 1987-88, also as a junior transfer (Northern Illinois).
Rice has led the Illini in scoring in each of the last six games, averaging 19.5 points (117) on 50.5 percent shooting (43-85).
Rice also is shooting 40 percent from 3-point range over the last six games (12-30), after shooting 22.7 percent behind the arc over the first five games (5-22).
Rice is shooting 59.3 percent on 2-pointers this season (54-91).
Rice is one of only two Big Ten players to score at least 12 points in every game this year, along with Penn State's D.J. Newbill.
Jon Ekey has scored in double figures in each of the last three games, averaging 11.7 points (35) on 50 percent shooting both from the field (11-22) and 3-point range (9-18). In his previous three games, Ekey combined for just 13 points on 5-of-19 shooting, and 3-of-15 from three.
Ekey collected his 500th career rebound Saturday versus Oregon, becoming one of just six active Big Ten players with 500 boards (current total of 502 includes his last three years at Illinois State).
Tracy Abrams led the Illini in scoring against Oregon with 16 points (tied for team lead with Rice). It marked the first time that Abrams - the UI's leading returning scorer - has been the team's top scorer in a game this year.
Abrams' assist numbers have been on the rise lately. He has totaled 14 assists over the last three games, doubling his total of seven assists over the previous three games.
Joseph Bertrand is shooting 57.6 percent from the field over the last five games (19-33), scoring in double figures three times.
Bertrand is shooting 53.3 percent from 3-point range this season (8-15) after entering his senior season as a career 31.3 percent shooter from behind the arc (20-64).
Nnanna Egwu, the Big Ten's No. 3 shot blocker, has recorded at least two blocks in nine of 11 games this year.
Freshman Jaylon Tate ranks second in the Big Ten with an assist/turnover ratio of 4.0 (36 assists, 9 turnovers).
Holiday Big Ten Mini-Pack Tickets On Sale Now
Back by popular demand again this holiday season is the Big Ten Mini-Pack. This special offer includes a ticket to three home conference match-ups - Saturday, Jan. 4 vs. Penn State, Wednesday, Jan. 15 vs. Purdue and Saturday, Feb. 1 vs. Iowa - all for a price of just $49. That is a savings of nearly 54 percent off the single-game ticket price. Mini-pack tickets can be purchased online at FightingIllini.com.
In addition to the Big Ten Mini-Pack, tickets are still available for all remaining Illinois home games. Single-game tickets can be purchased online at FightingIllini.com or by calling the Illinois Ticket Office at 1-866-Illini-1.
Five on the Starting Five
1. Offensive rating of 126.3 ranks 11th nationally among players with at least 24 percent of possessions used.
2. Big Ten's fourth-leading scorer with average of 17.7 points.
3. Scored at least 12 points in all 11 games, with four 20-plus point performances.
4. First Illini newcomer to score in double figures in first 11 games since Kenny Battle in 1987-88.
5. When including stats from two years at Drake, is only 22 points away from 1,200 for his career (1,178).
1. Second on the team in scoring at 11.5 ppg, the best scoring average of his career (10.6 ppg last year).
2. Leads team with 53 free throw attempts, showing a free throw rate of nearly 47 percent.
3. Tied for team lead in steals (1.3 spg).
4. Scored in double figures in three of last five games.
5. Illini's active career scoring leader with 644 points.
1. Team's third-leading scorer is averaging double figures for first time, a career-best 10.7 points.
2. Also has improved his rebounding, averaging career-best 5.3 boards this season.
3. Shooting 54.2 percent from the field, ranking eighth in the Big Ten.
4. Shooting 53.3 percent from 3-point range after entering season as career 31.3 percent 3-point shooter.
5. Illinois' lone scholarship senior to play entire career with the Orange and Blue.
1. Graduate transfer from Illinois State ranks fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 9.2 points.
2. Knocked down 25 threes in 11 games after making a total of 31 treys in 33 games last season at ISU.
3. Average of 2.3 threes per game ranks fourth in Big Ten.
4. Illini's leading rebounder with average of 6.4 boards.
5. Also team's best offensive rebounder, ranking ninth in league with average of 2.4 per game.
1. Illini's fifth-leading scorer with career-best 8.3-point average.
2. Big Ten's No. 3 shot blocker is averaging 2.3 blocks, up from average of 1.4 blocks last season.
3. Expanded his range to the arc this season, making three 3-pointers after only 1 trey in first two seasons.
4. Shooting 58.3 percent from the field over the last three games.
5. Started 48 of Illinois' last 51 games dating back to the end of his freshman campaign.