Brian Randle and the Illini take on Loyola (MD) Friday at 8 p.m. CT at the Assembly Hall.
Dec. 27, 2007
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #12: Illinois (7-4) vs. Loyola (MD) (5-6)
Dec. 28, 2007 8 p.m. CT BTN
Champaign, Ill. Assembly Hall (16,618)
On the Air
BTN: Tom Werme, play-by-play; Shon Morris, expert analyst.
Illini Sports Network - 45 stations: Brian Barnhart, play-by-play; Jerry Hester, expert analyst; Dave Loane, pregame/halftime/postgame interviews.
Illini Probable Starters
F - 42 Brian Randle (r-Sr, 6-8, 220, 10.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.1 apg)
C - 55 Shaun Pruitt (Sr., 6-10, 245, 13.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.0 apg)
G - 25 Calvin Brock (r-Jr., 6-5, 195, 8.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.5 spg)
G - 1 Trent Meacham (r-Jr., 6-2, 195, 10.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.0 spg)
G - 3 Chester Frazier (Jr., 6-2, 190, 5.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.0 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 - 23 Rodney Alexander (Jr., 6-7, 225, 6.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg)
F - 24 Mike Davis (Fr., 6-9, 195, 2.7 ppg, 1.5 rpg)
F - 30 Bill Cole (Fr., 6-9, 210, 2.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg)
F - 32 Demetri McCamey (Fr., 6-3, 205, 4.3 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 2.2 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, 4.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg)
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 222-86/.721 (10th year)
At Illinois: 119-32/.788 (5th year)
Big Ten: 48-16/.750
Vs. Loyola (MD): 0-0
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)
Loyola Head Coach: Jimmy Patsos
Overall Record: 44-54/.449 (4th year)
At Loyola: Same
Vs. Illinois: 0-0
Series Notes: Loyola
This is the first-ever meeting between Illinois and Loyola.
Illini Notes ...
Illinois is coming off a five-day break entering Friday's game vs. Loyola. Prior to the layoff, the Illini played three games in a span of six days.
Illinois defeated Missouri last Saturday in the 27th annual Braggin' Rights game in St. Louis. It marked the Illini's eighth straight win in the series, tying the school record for consecutive Braggin' Rights wins. Illinois also won eight straight over Mizzou from 1983-90.
Illini opponents are averaging just 51.3 points over the last three games.
Shaun Pruitt is the reigning Big Ten Co-Player of the Week after averaging 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds over three games last week. He is the first Illini player to earn Player of the Week honors since James Augustine on Dec. 5, 2005.
Illinois has played seven road/neutral games during non-conference play, tied for the second-highest total of road/neutral games among BCS schools.
Seven different players have been the Illini's leading scorer in a game.
Illinois has led during the second half in three of its four losses.
Shaun Pruitt has scored at least nine points in all but one game this season.
Pruitt has scored in double figures in each of the last four games, with 24 points vs. Arizona and Miami (OH), 14 vs. Missouri and 11 vs. Western Carolina. Over that four-game stretch, Pruitt is averaging 18.3 points and 10.0 rebounds.
Trent Meacham is averaging 14.0 points over the last six games while shooting 58 percent form the field and 50 percent from 3-point range.
Brian Randle is averaging 11.3 points over the last four games after scoring a total of just nine points over the three previous games.
Pruitt and Randle combined for 38 points vs. Miami on Dec. 20, the duo's highest scoring total this season.
Chester Frazier is averaging 4.8 assists over the last six games after averaging just 2.6 assists over the first five games.
Shaun Pruitt leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds with an average of 3.9 per game (43 total off. reb.). He ranks third in the league in total rebounds (8.4 avg).
Pruitt has started every game over the past two-and-a-half seasons, entering the Loyola game with an active streak of 79 consecutive starts.
Illinois' defense held Western Carolina to 35 points on Dec. 17, 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.
Last Time Out: Missouri
Illinois brought home the Braggin' Rights trophy for the eighth straight year, defeating Missouri 59-58 Saturday night in St. Louis on Shaun Pruitt's game-winning basket off an offensive rebound with 35 seconds left. Pruitt led the Illini with 14 points and eight rebounds while Trent Meacham had 13 points, five rebounds and five assists and Brian Randle added 11 points and eight boards.
Illinois' defense was stifling, holding Missouri to a season-low 58 points, more than 26 points below its season average and marking the first time Mizzou has scored less than 72 points on the season. The Tigers also shot a season-low 34.5 percent (20-58), its first game this season shooting less than 41 percent.
Pruitt Big Ten Co-Player of the Week
Shaun Pruitt was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on Monday, earning his first career weekly honor after averaging a double-double last week. He shares the award with Minnesota's Dan Coleman.
Pruitt averaged 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds over three games last week. He was the Illini's top scorer and rebounder in all three contests, recording 11 points and eight rebounds vs. Western Carolina, 24 points and 15 rebounds vs. Miami (OH), and 14 points and eight rebounds vs. Missouri. His 24 points against Miami tied his career high, (first set Dec. 8 vs. Arizona), while his double-double against the Redhawks was his second of the season and 11th of his career. Pruitt's top moment of the week came against Missouri, when he scored the game-winning basket off an offensive rebound with 35 seconds left, capping off an undefeated career for the Illini senior in the Braggin' Rights game.
Illinois has played a challenging schedule to date, with a strength of schedule currently ranked 35th by Jeff Sagarin and 42nd by Ken Pomeroy. Seven of Illinois' first 11 games have come on the road (Hawaii, Maryland) or at neutral sites (Arizona State, Duke and Oklahoma State in Maui, Arizona in Chicago and Missouri in St. Louis). Illinois is tied for second among schools from BCS conferences that have played the highest number of road and neutral games:
Most Road/Neutral Games by BCS Schools (thru 12/27) 1. Washington State Pac-10 8 T2. Georgia Tech ACC 7 T2. North Carolina ACC 7 T2. South Florida Big East 7 T2. ILLINOIS Big Ten 7 T2. Colorado Big 12 7
Dominating the Glass
Illinois has outrebounded eight of 11 opponents this year and owns a rebounding margin of +5.5 on the season. Illinois ranks fourth in the Big Ten in rebounding margin and is fifth in the conference in total rebounds, averaging 38.6 rpg.
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 13.2 points and 8.4 rebounds (third in Big Ten). He has scored at least nine points in all but one game this season, with a career-high 24 points vs. both Arizona and Miami (OH), 15 at Hawaii, 14 vs. Missouri, 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 on Dec. 8, which tied the sixth-best shooting performance in school history.
Pruitt has scored in double figures in each of the last four games, with 24 points vs. Arizona, 11 vs. Western Carolina, 24 again vs. Miami and 14 vs. Missouri. It is the first time he has reached double figures in four straight games since his streak of six straight games last season (1/20/07 through 2/7/07).
Over this current four game-stretch, Pruitt is averaging 18.3 points and 10.0 rebounds.
Pruitt has 11 career double-doubles including two this season: 12 pts-17 reb vs. Northeastern and 24 pts-15 reb vs. Miami. His career-high 17 rebounds vs. Northeastern marked the highest rebounding total by an Illini player in eight seasons, since Sergio McClain had 18 rebounds at Michigan on Jan. 16, 2000.
In addition to ranking third in the Big Ten in rebounding, Pruitt leads the league in offensive rebounds with an average of 3.9 per game (43 total).
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 Loyola game with an active streak of 79 consecutive starts.
Meacham Settles in at Shooting Guard
Junior Trent Meacham shared time at point guard and shooting guard last season, but with the addition of freshman Demetri McCamey to share point guard responsibilities with junior Chester Frazier, Coach Weber has Meacham focusing solely on the shooting guard position this season. The move has helped Meacham settle in and define his role on this year's squad.
Meacham did not play vs. Western Carolina because of an ankle injury. He returned to the lineup vs. Miami.
Over his last six games, Meacham is averaging 14.0 points on 58 percent shooting from the field (29-50) and 50 percent from 3-point range (16-32). He had a game-high 17 points vs. Oklahoma State, nine at Maryland, a career-high 26 points vs. Weber State, 16 vs. Arizona, three vs. Miami and 13 vs. Missouri.
In addition to his increased scoring, Meacham is also taking care of the basketball, leading the Illini with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.4 on the season (34 a/14 to).
Randle More Aggressive on Offense
Senior and three-year starter Brian Randle currently carries a career-high scoring average of 10.3 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.
He had his highest scoring total since the Duke game vs. Miami, scoring 14 points on 6-10 shooting. He most recently had 11 points in the win over Missouri.
Randle is shooting 49 percent from the field (46-94) and in addition to ranking third on the Illini in scoring, he is also the team's third-leading rebounder with an average of 4.8 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 34.0 minutes per contest (fifth in Big Ten), Frazier is averaging 5.2 points and leads the Illini in assists (3.8 apg) and ranks second in steals (1.0 spg).
Despite standing 6-2, Frazier also is second on the team in rebounding behind Pruitt with an average of 5.8 rpg. He currently ranks 14th 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.
*For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at top of this page.