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    Game 14 Notes: #12 Illinois vs. Auburn in Chicago
    D.J. Richardson and the Illini are looking to end a three-game skid at the United Center.

    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
     Live Coverage GameTracker
     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

    Coaching Staff
    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:

    Dazzling Dozen
    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.

    3-Point Barrage
    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

    Brandon Paul
    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.

    D.J. Richardson
    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.

    Tracy Abrams
    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).

    Tyler Griffey
    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).

    Nnanna Egwu
    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).

    Ranked Illini
    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.

    Complete Illinois-Auburn Game Notes (PDF)

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