Illinois Game Notes vs. Tennessee State
Dec. 29, 2007
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
On the Air
Illini Probable Starters
Off the Bench
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Tennessee State Head Coach: Cy Alexander
Series Notes: Tennessee State
Illini Notes ...
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.
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)
Pruitt Big Ten Co-Player of the Week
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
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' 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'
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.
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
Pruitt a Force Inside
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
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.