Men's Basketball
Illinois Game Notes vs. Tennessee State

 
Shaun Pruitt and the Illini host Tennessee State Sunday at 3 p.m. CT.
Shaun Pruitt and the Illini host Tennessee State Sunday at 3 p.m. CT.
 

Dec. 29, 2007

Champaign, Ill. -

Illinois Men's Basketball Game Notes vs. Tennessee State in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #13: Illinois (8-4) vs. Tennessee State (3-7)
Dec. 30, 2007 • 3 p.m. CT • BTN
Champaign, Ill. • Assembly Hall (16,618)

On the Air
TV

BTN: Roger Twibell, play-by-play; Shon Morris, expert analyst.

Radio
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, 10.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.1 apg)
C - 55 Shaun Pruitt (Sr., 6-10, 245, 13.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.2 apg)
G - 25 Calvin Brock (r-Jr., 6-5, 195, 8.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.3 spg)
G - 1 Trent Meacham (r-Jr., 6-2, 195, 10.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.1 apg)
G - 3 Chester Frazier (Jr., 6-2, 190, 5.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.8 apg)

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, 0.7 ppg, 0.4 rpg)
G - 22 Steve Holdren (r-Jr., 6-5, 200, 1.3 ppg, 1.1 rpg)
F - 23 Rodney Alexander (Jr., 6-7, 225, 6.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg)
F - 24 Mike Davis (Fr., 6-9, 195, 2.9 ppg, 1.7 rpg)
F - 30 Bill Cole (Fr., 6-9, 210, 2.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg)
F - 32 Demetri McCamey (Fr., 6-3, 205, 4.7 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 2.3 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, 0.6 rpg)
C - 54 Mike Tisdale (Fr., 7-1, 215, 4.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg)

Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 223-86/.722 (10th year)
At Illinois: 120-32/.789 (5th year)
Big Ten: 48-16/.750
Vs. Tennessee State: 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)

Tennessee State Head Coach: Cy Alexander
Overall Record: 326-280/.538 (22nd year)
At Tennessee State: 49-79/.383 (5th year)
Vs. Illinois: 0-0

Series Notes: Tennessee State
This is the third all-time meeting between Illinois and Tennessee State, all at the Assembly Hall, with the Illini having won both previous match-ups:
Dec. 3, 1991 Illinois 78, Tennessee State 56
Dec. 7, 1996 Illinois 86, Tennessee State 73

Illini Notes ...
• Illinois plays the second of four straight home games Sunday.

• Sunday's match-up with Tennessee State is Illinois' final non-conference game of the 2007-08 season. Illinois has compiled a record of 57-9 (.864) in regular season non-conference games during Bruce Weber's five-year tenure.

• Illini opponents are averaging just 49.3 points on 31.1 percent shooting over the last four games.

• Illinois held Loyola (MD) to 20 percent shooting (13-65) Friday night, the lowest field goal percentage in the 44-year history of Assembly Hall.

• Seniors Shaun Pruitt and Brian Randle are combining for 30.2 points and 16.2 rebounds over the last five games.

• 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.

• 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.

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 five games, with 24 points vs. Arizona and Miami (OH), 16 vs. Loyola (MD), 14 vs. Missouri and 11 vs. Western Carolina. Over that five-game stretch, Pruitt is averaging 17.8 points and 10.2 rebounds.

Brian Randle is averaging 12.4 points over the last five 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 4.7 assists over the last seven 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 3.8 per game (45 total off. reb.). He ranks second in the league in total rebounds (8.6 avg).

• Pruitt has started every game over the past two-and-a-half seasons, entering the Tennessee State game with an active streak of 80 consecutive starts.

• There have been 50 consecutive sellout crowds at the Assembly Hall entering Sunday's game vs. Tennessee State.

• 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.

• Illinois owns the nations second-best homecourt record this decade, with a mark of 111-8 (.933) at the Assembly Hall over the past eight-and-a half seasons.

Last Time Out: Loyola (MD)
In its first game back after Christmas, Illinois recorded its largest margin of victory on the season with a 34-point win over Loyola (MD), defeating the Greyhounds 77-43 Friday night at the Assembly Hall. Illinois' defense was the story once again, holding Loyola to just 20 percent shooting (13-65), marking the lowest field goal percentage in the 44-year history of Assembly Hall.

Brian Randle tied his career high with 17 points, while Shaun Pruitt recorded his third double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

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. 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.

Seniors Provide 1-2 Punch
Seniors Shaun Pruitt and Brian Randle have been very effective over the last five games, providing a powerful 1-2 punch that Coach Weber has been looking for out of the program's two most experienced players. Together, Pruitt and Randle are averaging 30.2 points and 16.2 boards over the last five games, accounting for 46.6 percent of the team's scoring and 39.5 percent of its rebounds. Below is a game-by-game look at how the senior duo has contributed over this five-game stretch:

                      POINTS	             REBOUNDS
Opponent	Pruitt	Randle	Duo	Pruitt	Randle	Duo
Arizona         24	11	35	9	6	15
W. Carolina     11	9	20	8	5	13
Miami           24	14	38	15	3	18
Missouri        14	11	25	8	8	16
Loyola          16	17	33	11	8	19
Total           89	62	151	51	30	81
Average         17.8	12.4	30.2	10.2	6.0	16.2
% Team Tot.     27.5	19.1	46.6	24.9	14.6	39.5

Lock Down "D"
Illinois has been one of the nation's top defensive teams each year under Bruce Weber. This year's squad looks to continue that style of aggressive man-to-man defensive pressure throughout each game. Illinois ranks fifth in the Big Ten in scoring defense with opponents averaging 59.9 points per game on the season The Illini are third in the league in field goal percentage defense (.376) and second in 3-pt field goal percentage defense (.288).

Illinois' defense has been particularly strong over the last four games, holding opponents to 49.3 points on 31.1 percent shooting. Here is a look at the opposition's offensive totals over the last four games:

Opponent	FG	Pct.	3FG	Pct.	PTS
W. Carolina     13-48	27.1	4-19	21.1	35
Miami           24-54	44.4	6-19	31.6	61
Missouri        20-58	34.5	6-19	31.6	58
Loyola          13-65	20.0	4-27	14.8	43
Total           70-225	31.1	20-84	23.8	197
Avg.            17.5 fg/game    5 3fg/game      49.3 ppg

Illini Still Braggin'
Illinois brought home the Braggin' Rights trophy for the eighth straight year, defeating Missouri 59-58 on Dec. 22 in St. Louis. Shaun Pruitt made a game-winning basket off an offensive rebound with 35 seconds left to give Illinois the victory. 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.

With eight consecutive wins in the series, Illinois has tied its school record for consecutive Braggin' Rights wins. The Illini also won eight straight over Mizzou fro 1983-90.

Illinois' defense was stifling in the win, 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.

Road Tested
Illinois has played a challenging schedule to date, with a strength of schedule currently ranked 40th by Ken Pomeroy. Seven of Illinois' non-conference 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 12/28)
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 nine of 12 opponents this year and owns a rebounding margin of +6.1 on the season. Illinois ranks fourth in the Big Ten in rebounding margin and also is fourth in the conference in total rebounds, averaging 39.9 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 13.4 points (15th in Big Ten) and 8.6 rebounds (T-2nd 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), 16 vs. Loyola (MD), 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 five games, with 24 points vs. Arizona, 11 vs. Western Carolina, 24 again vs. Miami, 14 vs. Missouri and 16 vs. Loyola. It is the first time he has reached double figures in five straight games since his streak of six straight games last season (1/20/07 through 2/7/07).

Over this current five game-stretch, Pruitt is averaging 17.8 points and 10.2 rebounds.

Pruitt has 12 career double-doubles including three this season: 12 pts-17 reb vs. Northeastern, 24 pts-15 reb vs. Miami and 16 pts-11 reb vs. Loyola. 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 second in the Big Ten in rebounding, Pruitt leads the league in offensive rebounds with an average of 3.8 per game (45 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 Tennessee State game with an active streak of 80 consecutive starts.

Randle More Aggressive on Offense
Senior and three-year starter Brian Randle currently carries a career-high scoring average of 10.8 points., ranking second on the team. 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 then had 11 points in the win over Missouri and most recently tied his career high with 17 points against Loyola on Friday night, hitting 7-of-10 shots.

Over the last five games, Randle is averaging 12.4 points and 6.0 rebounds.

Randle leads the team in field goal percentage on the season, shooting 51 percent from the field (11th in Big Ten). He also is the team's third-leading rebounder with an average of 5.1 rebounds on the season.

*For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at top of this page.

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