D.J. Richardson and the Illini are looking to end a three-game skid at the United Center.
Dec. 27, 2012
|Game 14: #12 Illinois (12-1) vs. Auburn (5-6)|
|When||Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012 | 1:15 p.m. CT|
|Location||Chicago, Ill. | United Center (20,917) | Seating Map|
|Tickets||Buy Online or call 1-800-745-3000|
|Television||BTN | BTN2Go.com|
Announcers: Brian Anderson (Play-By-Play), Shon Morris (Analyst)
|Radio||Illini Sports Network | Listen | Sirius 135 / XM 198|
|Printable Game Notes||Illinois | Auburn | Big Ten|
|Season Stats||Illinois | Auburn | Big Ten|
|Social Media||@IlliniHoops | #Illini | Facebook | YouTube|
Probable Starters (from the previous game)
Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG APG Other G 13 Tracy Abrams 6-1 185 So. 10.9 3.5 3.1 1.4 spg G 1 D.J. Richardson 6-3 195 Sr. 11.2 4.4 2.0 2.4 3FG/G G 3 Brandon Paul 6-4 200 Sr. 19.2 5.3 3.6 6.5 FTA/G F 42 Tyler Griffey 6-9 220 Sr. 9.3 3.4 0.8 44.9% 3FG F/C 32 Nnanna Egwu 6-11 235 So. 6.2 4.2 0.6 1.2 bpg
Off the Bench
Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG APG Other F 0 Sam McLaurin 6-8 220 Gr. 4.2 3.9 0.5 33 off. reb. G 2 Joseph Bertrand 6-6 195 r-Jr. 8.9 4.4 0.7 58.4% FG G 10 Mike LaTulip 6-0 165 Fr. 2.4 0.3 0.0 3-6 3FG F 15 Mike Shaw 6-8 215 So. 0.9 0.5 0.1 2-3 FG G/F 20 Myke Henry 6-6 230 So. 4.0 2.5 0.2 36.0% 3FG G/F 21 Devin Langford 6-7 200 r-Fr. 0.6 1.2 0.2 2 steals F/C 23 Ibby Djimde 6-8 245 So. 0.0 0.1 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: 97-57/.630 (5th year)
At Illinois: 12-1/.923 (1st year)
Assistant Coaches: Dustin Ford (1st year), Paris Parham (1st year), Jamall Walker (1st year)
Special Assistant to the Head Coach: Brandon Miller (1st year)
Director of Basketball Operations: Mark Morris (1st year)
Video Coordinator: Andy Etheridge (1st year)
Series Notes vs. Auburn
Series Record: Illinois leads 1-0
Record at Neutral Sites: First meeting
Last Meeting: Illinois 107, Auburn 103, OT (Dec. 12, 1987 // Champaign, Ill.)
Series Streak: Illinois W-1
Groce vs. Auburn: First meeting
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 Auburn marks the 44th game the Illini have played at the UC, dating back to the 1994-95 season. Illinois owns an all-time record of 32-11 (.744) at the United Center.
This is a homecoming game for many Illini players, as half of the UI roster features players from Chicagoland in Brandon Paul (Gurnee) and Tracy Abrams, Nnanna Egwu, Myke Henry and Mike Shaw (Chicago), along with walk-ons Kevin Berardini (Lake Forest) and Mike LaTulip (Arlington Heights).
The Illini are trying to get back on the winning track at the United Center after dropping three straight and five of the last six. This recent downturn followed an 18-game winning streak at the UC for the Illini.
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 State 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 Dec. 17, 2011 UNLV L 48-64
United Center Ticket Information
Tickets are still available through Ticketmaster for Saturday's game vs. Auburn at the United Center. Ticket prices range from $15-60 and can be purchased online, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or in person at the United Center ticket office. The UC box office will open at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday.
Current Illini at the United Center
D.J. Richardson (3 G): 12.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.3 apg
UC Highlights: Game-high 19 points with season-high eight rebounds vs. UNLV (12/17/11) ... 13 points and three assists vs. UIC (12/18/10) ... Six points and four rebounds vs. Gonzaga (1/2/10).
Brandon Paul (3 G): 9.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.7 spg
UC Highlights: Seven points and career-high five steals vs. UNLV (12/17/11) ... Five points and three rebounds vs. UIC (12/18/10) ... 17 points, three assists and three steals vs. Gonzaga (1/2/10).
Tyler Griffey (3 G): 7 pts, 4 reb
Mike Shaw (1 G): 1 pts, 2 reb
Joseph Bertrand (1 G): 0 pts, 2 reb, 1 ast
Tracy Abrams (1 G): 0 pts, 1 reb, 1 ast
Nnanna Egwu (1 G): 0 pts, 1 reb
Myke Henry (1 G): 0 pts, 1 reb
Do It All Paul
Brandon Paul has been one of the most complete players in college basketball so far this season, affecting the game in all areas. In fact, he currently leads the Illini in points, rebounds, assists and steals. He is just one of three players in the nation to lead his team in all four of those major categories, joined by San Diego State's Jamaal Franklin and Rice's Tamir Jackson:
Illinois' 12 wins are tied for the most in NCAA Div. I (through Dec. 26). The Illini are one of nine teams with 12 victories, joined by Michigan, Minnesota, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, New Mexico and Wyoming.
Illinois currently leads the NCAA in 3-point field goals per game (9.8). The Illini made at least 10 three-pointers in each of 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 has now made 10 or more threes in eight of 13 games on the year.
Illinois has made 43 more 3-point baskets than its opposition so far this season (128-to-85), a total of 129 more points and meaning the Illini are outscoring the competition by a margin of 9.9 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, which is currently held by the 2004-05 Illini (8.8 per game).
Last Time Out: Braggin' Rights Stay with Missouri - Dec. 22 | Recap
The 32nd edition of the Braggin' Rights contest between Illinois and Missouri was as competitive as any in the history of the series, but the trophy stayed in the hands of the Tigers as No. 12 Missouri handed No. 10 Illinois its first loss of the season, 82-73, last Saturday in St. Louis.
The game featured 19 lead changes as both teams battled back and forth. Missouri closed the first half strong and opened up a 9-point advantage early after the break. But the Illini answered with a 12-2 run to regain the lead with 12 minutes remaining. Illinois extended its lead to 62-57 with eight minutes left, but Mizzou then went on a critical 13-2 run to move ahead 70-64. A pair of 3-pointers by Tyler Griffey made it a one-possession game twice in the closing minutes, but the Illini could not get over the hump.
Brandon Paul led the Illini in scoring for the eighth straight game, finishing with 23 points to go along with eight rebounds, five assists and two steals. Griffey nailed four 3-pointers and totaled 14 points, while Joseph Bertrand added 13. Nnanna Egwu, meanwhile, posted career highs in both scoring and rebounding, totaling 12 points and nine boards against the Tigers.
Five on the Starting Five
1. One of only three players in Div. I currently leading his team in points, rebounds, assists and steals.
2. Big Ten's No. 2 leading scorer with an average of 19.2 points.
3. Has scored in double figures in all 13 games, with six 20-plus point performances.
4. Leads all Big Ten players in 3-point field goals with 35 on the season.
5. Has made 85 trips to the free throw line, more than any other Big Ten guard.
1. Second on the team in scoring with an average of 11.2 points.
2. Tied for team lead in steals (1.5 spg).
3. Carries an active streak of 19 straight games making at least one 3-pointer.
4. Ranks fifth in school history in career 3-point field goals with 226.
5. Has started 109 career games, one away from breaking into the school's all-time top-10 list for starts.
1. Third on the team in scoring with an average of 10.9 points.
2. Has increased his scoring average by 6.2 points (4.7 last year).
3. Second on the team in assists (3.1 apg).
4. Scored in double figures in three of the last five games.
5. Has made 56 field goals in 13 games, already surpassing his total from 32 games last season (49).
1. Fourth on the team in scoring, averaging a career-best 9.3 points.
2. Has nearly doubled his scoring average from last season (4.9 ppg).
3. Shooting 44.9 percent from 3-point range, which ranks fifth in the Big Ten.
4. Has made 22 threes in 13 games after making a total of 16 treys in 32 games last season.
5. Has 13 blocked shots, already surpassing his total from all of last season (11).
1. Started all 13 games and is averaging 23.9 minutes after averaging 9.8 minutes last season.
2. Averaging 6.2 points and 4.2 rebounds, nearly tripling his averages from last season (1.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg).
3. Leads Illini in blocked shots with 16 (1.2 bpg).
4. Posted career highs last time out vs. Missouri with 12 points and nine rebounds.
5. Has made 35 baskets in 13 games, surpassing his total in 32 games last season (27).
The Illini are in the Top 25 for the fifth straight week, checking in at No. 12 in the current Associated Press rankings. The Illini were previously No. 10 for two straight weeks, No. 13 on Dec. 3, and entered at No. 22 on Nov. 26.
Groce Matches Best Start Ever by UI Coach
Illinois won its first 12 games under new head coach John Groce as he became just the second Illini coach ever - and first in more than 100 years - to begin his UI tenure with 12 consecutive wins. Groce tied Fletcher Lane for the all-time best start of any first-year Illini coach. Lane also won his first 12 games during the 1907-08 season, although 11 of those 12 victories came against YMCA/Athletic Club teams.
Fast Out of the Gate
Illinois' 12-0 start equaled the sixth-best in school history. The 12-game winning streak, meanwhile, was its longest in seven seasons, since winning 15 straight to open the 2005-06 season.