Reigning Big Ten Co-Player of the Week Trent Meacham and the Illini open the Big Ten season Tuesday at Purdue.
Dec. 29, 2008
Champaign, Ill. -
FIGHTING ILLINI BASKETBALL
Game #14: Illinois (12-1) at #10ap/15 Purdue (11-2)
Dec. 30, 2008 // 6 p.m. CT/7 p.m. ET // ESPN2
West Lafayette, Ind. // Mackey Arena (14,123)
On the Air
ESPN2: Dave O'Brien, play-by-play; Steve Lavin, expert analyst
Illini Sports Network-44 stations: Brian Barnhart, play-by-play; Jerry Hester, expert analyst; Loren Tate pregame/halftime/postgame interviews.
Illini Probable Starters G - 32 Demetri McCamey So., 6-3, 205 12.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.5 apg G - 1 Trent Meacham r-Sr., 6-2, 195 12.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.7 apg G - 3 Chester Frazier Sr., 6-2, 195 6.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 6.5 apg, 1.5 spg F - 24 Mike Davis So., 6-9, 210 12.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.7 apg C - 54 Mike Tisdale So., 7-1, 235 11.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg
Off the Bench G - 13 Jeff Jordan So., 6-1, 185 1.3 ppg, 0.5 rpg, 1.3 apg G - 15 Bubba Chisholm Jr., 5-11, 180 0.6 ppg, 0.1 rpg C - 21 Stan Simpson Fr., 6-9, 220 considering redshirt F - 23 Dominique Keller Jr., 6-7, 230 6.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg G - 25 Calvin Brock r-Sr., 6-5, 200 4.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.2 apg F - 30 Bill Cole So., 6-9, 215 1.6 ppg, 1.1 rpg G - 33 Alex Legion So., 6-5, 200 3.3 ppg, 1.0 rpg F - 34 C.J. Jackson r-Jr., 6-8, 265 1.0 ppg, 0.6 rpg C - 50 Richard Semrau r-So., 6-10, 240 2.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
Overall Record: 243-102/.704 (11th year)
At Illinois: 140-48/.745 (6th year)
Big Ten: 53-29/.646
Vs. Purdue: 5-4
Assistant Coaches: Wayne McClain (8th year), Jay Price (6th year), Jerrance Howard (2nd year)
Assistant to the Head Coach: Gary Nottingham (6th year)
Director of Basketball Operations: Sean Harrington (1st year)
Trainer: Al Martindale (26th year at Illinois)
Purdue Head Coach: Matt Painter
Overall Record: 92-47/.662 (5th year)
At Purdue: 67-42/.615 (4th year)
Vs. Illinois: 3-2
Series Notes: Purdue
Purdue leads the all-time series over Illinois, 88-82, and the Boilermakers own a 56-27 advantage in games played in West Lafayette.
The teams met three times last year, with the Boilermakers winning 74-67 in West Lafayette on Jan. 19 and 83-75 in Champaign on Feb. 2, and the Illini winning the most recent match-up on March 4, a 74-67 overtime victory in the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinal.
Illini in Big Ten Openers
Illinois is 62-41 all-time in Big Ten opening games ... The Illini are 21-24 when beginning conference play on the road and 41-17 when opening league play at home ... This is just the fourth time in 13 seasons that Illinois begins Big Ten play on the road ... This is the 16th time that Illinois and Purdue open the Big Ten season against each other, with the Boilermakers owning an 8-7 edge over the Illini in conference openers ... The last time Illinois and Purdue tipped off Big Ten play against each other was on Jan. 2, 1997, when the Boilermakers defeated the 24th-ranked Illini 75-69 at the Assembly Hall.
Illinois current six-game winning streak matches its longest of the season.
With Illinois' Big Ten opener slated for Dec. 30, it marks the first time in 42 seasons that the UI starts conference play prior to the New Year.
Illinois begins the 2009 Big Ten slate with a pair of road games against Top 25 teams, playing at No. 10 Purdue on Tuesday and at No. 24 Michigan on Sunday. Michigan State is the only other team that opens league play with consecutive road games.
When including Illinois' game vs. No. 25 Missouri on Dec. 23, the Illini are in the midst of facing three ranked opponents over four games.
Illinois recorded its 12th win of the 2008-09 season in its most recent game vs. Eastern Michigan on Dec. 28. Last season, the Illini did not get win No. 12 until March 1.
Illinois enters Big Ten play with a 12-1 record, the third-best non-conference mark by the Illini under Weber and the program's best record entering league play since 2006.
With assists on 72 percent of its baskets this season, Illinois leads the nation in assist percentage. The Illini rank fifth in the NCAA with 19.8 assists per game. Illinois also ranks 11th nationally with a team assist-to-turnover ratio of +1.4.
Illinois ranks second in the Big Ten in field goal percentage, shooting 48.9 percent on the year. The Illini also are second in the conference in scoring margin at +15.5 ppg.
Illinois is shooting 52.2 percent from the field over the last seven games (203-389) and 45.5 percent from 3-point range over the last six games (78-99).
Illinois has won 16 of its last 18 games dating back to the end of last season.
Four Illini are scoring in double figures, while six players are averaging at least six points per game.
Illinois' top four leading scorers are separated by a total of only eight points on the season.
Illinois is the only Big Ten team with four players among the league's Top 25 scorers.
Six different players have been the Illini's leading scorer in a game.
Illinois has not trailed at halftime this season.
Illinois ranks 11th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 55.8 ppg.
Illini opponents are averaging just 52.2 points over the last six games (313), with all five teams scoring less than 60 points.
In the latest NCAA statistical rankings released on Dec. 22, Chester Frazier ranks 11th in the nation in assists and 15th in assist-to-turnover ratio. He leads the Big Ten in assists, averaging 6.5 apg, and is third in the league with an a/to ratio of +2.8.
Mike Davis leads the Big Ten in double-doubles this season with four, and ranks second in the league in rebounding, averaging 7.8 boards. Davis has been the Illini's top rebounder in 10 of 13 games.
Clemson is the only team to score more than 64 points and shoot better than 46 percent against the Illini this season.
Illinois has scored more bench points than the opposition in nine games.
Mike Tisdale has averaged 19.3 points (77) and 6.3 rebounds (25) over the last four games while shooting a combined 61.5 percent from the floor (32-52).
Trent Meacham has averaged 17.0 points (68) on 54.1 percent shooting (20-37) and 58.3 percent 3-point shooting (14-24) over the last four games.
Demetri McCamey averaged 20.5 points in Illinois' four non-conference games vs. BCS schools (23 vs. Vanderbilt, 20 vs. Clemson and Missouri and 19 vs. Georgia).
Meacham Named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week
Trent Meacham was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on Monday. Meacham wins his first career weekly award after averaging 19.5 points, 4.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds last week in wins over No. 25 Missouri and Eastern Michigan. He scored a season-high 23 points vs. Mizzou and then had 16 points vs. EMU. In the two games, he shot a combined 50 percent form the field (10-20), 63.6 percent from 3-point range (7-11) and 92.3 percent from the free throw line (12-13).
Meacham shares the honor with Michigan's DeShawn Sims.
For complete set of Illinois men's basketball game notes, click on .pdf link at top of this page.