Men's Basketball

    Indiana, Illinois Meet for Second Time

    Go Hoosiers! Senior guard Roderick Wilmont is averaging 16.4 points over the last seven games.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Senior guard Roderick Wilmont is averaging 16.4 points over the last seven games.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Feb. 9, 2007

    Illinois Game Notes (2-10-07)
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    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The No. 24/RV Indiana men's basketball team returns to Assembly Hall after a week off to face Illinois on Saturday, Feb. 10. This is the second regular-season meeting between the two teams, with the Hoosiers falling to the Fighting Illini, 51-43, on Jan. 23. Tip time is scheduled for 1 p.m. EST and the game will be televised nationally on CBS, with Ian Eagle (play-by-play) and Bill Raftery (analyst) on the call.

    The Indiana-Illinois Series
    Indiana and Illinois face off for the 157th time on Saturday afternoon and the second time this season, with the Hoosiers holding a 79-77 advantage in the all-time series. The Fighting Illini earned a 51-43 victory in Champaign, Ill., on Jan. 23, in Hoosier Head Coach Kelvin Sampson's first meeting against Illinois.

    The last time the teams squared off in Bloomington, the Hoosiers pulled out a 62-60 win over the No. 7/5 Illini on Jan. 17, 2006.

    Below is a look at the last five meetings between Indiana and Illinois:

    Date Outcome Location
    March 12, 2004 L, 71-59 Indianapolis
    Feb. 6, 2005 L, 60-47 Champaign
    Jan. 17, 2006 W, 62-60 Bloomington
    Feb. 19, 2006 L, 70-58 Champaign
    Jan. 23, 2007 L, 51-43 Champaign

    Scouting Illinois
    Illinois enters Saturday on a three-game winning streak, where it has not allowed an opponent to score over 50 points. The Fighting Illini sit 18-8 overall and 6-5 in the Big Ten, which puts them in fifth place. U of I is 2-3 on the road this season.

    Senior forward Warren Carter leads the Illini with 13.2 points per game to go along with 6.4 rebounds in 30.1 minutes per contest. Right behind Carter is junior center Shaun Pruitt. The Aurora, Ill., native has started all 26 games and leads the Fighting Illini with 7.7 boards per contest and an 11.6 scoring average.

    Sophomore guard Jamar Smith is contributing 8.4 points off the bench, while senior guard Rich McBride (10.0) is the third Illini averaging double figures.

    Bruce Weber is in his fourth season in Champaign and his ninth season overall. With the Illini, Weber carries a 107-24 (.817) record, including an appearance in the 2005 national championship game, and holds a 210-78 (.729) overall mark. Weber is 5-1 against the Hoosiers and owns a 1-1 mark in Bloomington.

    Illinois Last Time Out
    Warren Carter scored 17 points and Shaun Pruitt grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds to lead Illinois to a 58-43 road victory over Northwestern on Wednesday, Feb. 7. Carter had eight rebounds, while Pruitt finished with 13 points. Rich McBride scored 15, hitting 5-of-11 3-pointers. The Illini (18-8, 6-5 Big Ten) went on a 12-0 run early in the second half on the way to their third straight victory and fourth in their last five games.

    Tim Doyle scored 16 for Northwestern (11-12, 1-9), which suffered its ninth loss in 10 games. The Illini outrebounded the Wildcats, 40-16. Illinois was 9-for-22 on 3-pointers, while Northwestern hit 3-of-18.

    Bigger, Stronger, Faster
    Junior guard A.J. Ratliff netted a season-high 20 points against Wisconsin on Jan. 31, including 18 points in the second half. With time running down in the contest, Ratliff scored five straight points with under five minutes to play and added a pair of free throws and a mid-range jumper over the next three minutes to help ice the victory for the Hoosiers. Ratliff went 7-for-9 from the field - 4-of-6 from downtown - in the game, with a 6-for-7 performance in the closing half.

    Since Ratliff injured his left wrist against Ball State, he has actually improved his shooting numbers. Over his last eight games, Ratliff is shooting .612 from the field (30-for-49) and an astonishing .667 (20-for-30) from 3-point range. Both those numbers are tops on the team over that stretch. Before the injury, Ratliff's numbers were decidedly lower, as he shot .420 (42-for-100) overall and .308 (16-for-52) from downtown. The Hoosiers are 6-2 since Ratliff's return.

    Ratliff has led the team in bench scoring in each of the last four games, including 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting at Iowa on Feb. 3, and six of the last seven contests. His 62.5 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from downtown in conference contests both lead the league.

    Hot Rod
    Reaching 20 points for the fifth time this season, senior guard Roderick Wilmot closed with a team-high 24 points behind a 6-of-12 effort from 3-point range at Iowa on Feb. 3. Wilmont has hit at least five treys in a game four times this season and has reached the 20-point mark seven times in his career, as the Hoosiers are 6-1 in those contests.

    Including his career day at Penn State on Jan. 13 (seven games), Wilmont leads the club with 16.4 points each time out, three 20-point games and five contests in double figures. He is shooting 44.3 percent from downtown and 46.1 percent overall.

    Against the Nittany Lions, the Miramar, Fla., native set career highs with 25 points and 12 rebounds for the second double-double of his career and this campaign. Wilmont hit seven treys (second most in IU history) in 17 attempts (most in Indiana lore). He recorded 20 of the team's 40 points on 6-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc in the first half. The last time a Hoosier scored 20 points in a half came on Jan. 17, 2006, vs. Illinois (Marco Killingsworth). Wilmont also became the first IU player to ring up six 3s in a half since Bracey Wright on Dec. 29, 2003 at North Texas.

    Getting Offensive
    During its 6-3 start in league play, the Indiana offense has picked up the pace. Despite their 43-point performance at Illinois, the Hoosiers lead the league averaging 71.7 points per game (72.4) and own the second spot in the conference at 74.8 percent from the charity stripe (71.4). IU also leads the league in shooting at 40.7 percent from 3-point range (36.2) and sits first at 47.3 percent (46.0) overall. In taking care of the ball, the Hoosiers are first with a plus-1.89 turnover margin (plus-2.59), third with a 1.18 assist/turnover ratio (1.10) and fourth with 13.6 assists (13.8). The numbers in parentheses show Indiana's averages in non-conference play.

    Home Cooking
    Branch McCracken Court has been friendly to the Hoosiers this season. IU holds an 12-0 record on its home court and has won its last 14 games overall played in Assembly Hall - the longest home winning streak since the Hoosiers won 56 in a row from Feb. 24, 1991 to Jan. 24, 1995. Indiana is outscoring its opponents by an 18.2 margin in Bloomington. In its four Big Ten home games, IU is outscoring its opponents 75.2-60.0 (15.2 margin).

    The Hoosiers are averaging 75.8 points and shooting 47.5 percent on their home court while those numbers fall to 68.3 and 44.1 on the road or at neutral sites. Defensively, Indiana is limiting opponents to 58.8 points and 40.8-percent shooting at home compared to 64.9 points and 41.0 percent away from Assembly Hall.

    In The Polls
    Indiana moved up a spot in the Feb. 5 ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll to No. 24. However, the Hoosiers remain in the receiving votes category in the Associated Press Top 25. IU moved back into the polls on Jan. 22 for the first time since Feb. 6, 2006.

    Six of the Hoosiers' 2006-07 opponents appear in the A.P. Top 25 and in the Coaches' Poll. Indiana has already faced No. 3/3 Ohio State, No. 4/4 Wisconsin, No. 10/9 Butler, No. 16/16 Duke, No. 20/18 Kentucky and No. 21/20 Southern Illinois this season, posted a 2-4 record.

    Besting The Best
    Indiana's victory over second-ranked Wisconsin was IU's first victory over a team ranked in the top two since March 31, 2002, when the Hoosiers beat No. 1 Duke, 74-73, in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. IU's last defeated a top-two opponent in Assembly Hall on Jan. 7, 2001 - a 59-58 victory over No. 1 Michigan State. Indiana improved to 13-26 all-time against teams ranked in the top two, including an 8-10 mark vs. No. 2 foes. At Assembly Hall, IU is 5-3 against No. 2s (6-8 vs. teams ranked in the top two).




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