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Posts Tagged ‘John Groce’

Moving on: Michigan 73 – Illinois 55

Thursday, March 12th, 2015


Spike-Zak vs Illinois(Dustin Johnson, UMHoops)

After playing a thriller in last year’s Big Ten Tournament and splitting this season’s first two meetings in overtime it seemed natural to expect a closely contested battle when Michigan and Illinois met in the United Center on Thursday afternoon. Instead, Michigan kept its slim postseason hopes alive with a comfortable 73-55 win.

Four Factors
Michigan Illinois
55.1 eFG% 38.1
23.3 OReb% 32.4
14.1 TO% 15.6
13.6 FTR 22.0

Playing with nothing to lose, it didn’t take long for the Wolverines to get going, jumping out to a 14-2 lead through the first six minutes of the game. But a nearly six-minute scoring drought — something Michigan has become accustom to this season — allowed Illinois to come right back and take a 15-14 lead.

Michigan then went on a 15-4 run over the next five minutes to grab a 29-19 lead and cruised into halftime with a 40-23 lead. After the 15-14 Illinois lead, Michigan outscored the Illini 26-8 the remainder of the half.

While this season’s first two meetings featured comeback wins, Michigan wasn’t about to let that happen again. The lead widened to as many as 24 points and the Wolverines finished with an 18-point win.

Michigan shot 49.2 percent from the field and 46.7 percent (7-of-15) from three-point range for the game, while holding Illinois to 37.3 percent and 7.7 percent (1-of-13), respectively. Michigan had four starters in double figures, led by Aubrey Dawkins’ 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman added 15, Zak Irvin 14, and Max Bielfeldt 10. Abdur-Rahkman led the team with eight rebounds, while Irvin added six and six assists. Spike Albrecht contributed eight points and five assists.

Michigan faces top-seeded Wisconsin at 12pm EST on Friday with a trip to the Big Ten Tournament semifinal on the line.

Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
44 Max Bielfeldt* 4-7 0-0 2-2 2 2 4 1 10 1 0 1 0 31
02 Spike Albrecht* 2-6 2-3 2-2 1 0 1 0 8 5 2 0 0 39
12 M-A. Abdur-Rahkman* 6-12 1-1 2-2 2 6 8 3 15 2 2 0 2 38
21 Zak Irvin* 6-15 2-5 0-0 0 6 6 0 14 6 1 0 1 38
24 Aubrey Dawkins* 8-12 2-5 0-0 0 3 3 3 18 0 0 1 2 34
03 Kameron Chatman 0-4 0-1 0-0 0 4 4 3 0 1 1 1 0 19
04 Andrew Dakich 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1
20 Sean Lonergan 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
34 Mark Donnal 1-1 0-0 2-2 1 1 2 0 4 0 0 0 0 4
32 Ricky Doyle 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 3 2 0 0 0 0 5
Totals 29-59 7-15 8-8 7 25 32 13 73 15 9 3 5 200
Illinois 22-59 1-13 10-13 13 23 36 14 55 5 10 5 4 200
Full Stats

Michigan hoops preview: Big Ten Tournament vs (8) Illinois

Thursday, March 12th, 2015


UM-Illinois
Michigan (15-15, 8-10) vs Illinois (19-12, 9-9)
Thursday, Mar. 12 | Chicago, Ill. | 12:00 p.m. EST | Big Ten Network
Offense
64.6 Points/gm 69.9
(678-1,613) 42.0 Field Goal % 41.8 (743,1,779)
(237-666) 35.6 3-pt FG % 36.3 (230-634)
(345-458) 75.3 Free Throw % 79.4 (452-569)
11.5 FT Made/gm 14.6
30.5 Reb/gm 34.3
11.8 Assists/gm 12.1
9.7 Turnovers/gm 9.9
Defense
64.0 Points/gm 62.8
(717-1,592) 45.0 Field Goal % 41.4 (694-1,678)
(200-574) 34.8 3-pt FG % 32.0 (196-612)
34.0 Opp. Reb/gm 33.9
5.5 Steals/gm 6.4
1.7 Blocks/gm 3.2
Individual Leaders
Caris LeVert (14.9)*, Zak Irvin (14.0) Points/gm Rayvonte Rice (17.0), Malcolm Hill (14.2)
Caris LeVert (4.9)*, Derrick Walton Jr^ (4.7) Reb/gm Rayvonte Rice^ (6.4), Nnanna Egwu (5.9)
*Out for season, ^Injured

___________________________________________________________________________________

Michigan beat Rutgers on Sunday to finish the regular season with a .500 record at 15-15 and earn a 9-seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Today, the Wolverines face 8-seed Illinois, an opponent that they have played evenly with the past three meetings dating back to last year’s Big Ten Tournament matchup. In that one, top-seeded Michigan avoided upset thanks to a Jordan Morgan game-winner with 7.9 seconds left. This season, Michigan won the conference opener against the Illini in Ann Arbor, 73-65 in overtime, but fell in Champaign, 64-52 in overtime.

This season’s rubber match takes place in the United Center at 11 a.m. local time. Michigan needs a win to avoid a losing season, while Illinois needs to make a run to earn an NCAA Tournament bid.

The Starters
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Rayvonte Rice (G) 29.8 17.0 48.4 46.2 81.8 6.4 2.0 1.3 0.3 1.8
Malcolm Hill (G) 30.6 14.2 44.6 39.0 77.3 4.8 1.2 1.5 0.2 0.9
Kendrick Nunn (G) 30.2 11.2 40.5 37.1 81.7 3.5 2.0 1.4 0.2 1.2
Ahmad Starks (G) 24.2 8.1 36.0 33.8 82.1 1.6 2.3 1.1 0.1 0.6
Nnanna Egwu (C) 29.5 6.5 43.5 30.3 77.5 5.9 1.0 1.1 1.8 0.8
The Others
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Aaron Cosby (G) 25.3 7.8 29.3 31.1 80.0 3.6 1.7 1.3 0.0 0.3
Leron Black (F) 14.5 5.0 47.0 00.0 68.2 4.3 0.1 0.7 0.2 0.3
Jaylon Tate (G) 20.5 3.6 35.2 08.3 85.3 1.3 3.0 1.4 0.1 0.8
Maverick Morgan (C) 9.1 2.6 44.6 00.0 82.6 1.6 0.1 0.5 0.4 0.1
Austin Colbert (F) 7.3 1.8 57.7 75.0 61.5 2.1 0.1 0.3 0.1 0.2
The Schedule
Date Opponent Score
Nov. 14 Georgia Southern W 80-71
Nov. 16 Coppin State W 114-56
Nov. 21 Austin Peay W 107-66
Nov. 24 Brown W 89-68
Nov. 27 Indiana State* W 88-62
Nov. 28 Baylor* W 62-54
Dec. 2 at #15 Miami^ L 61-70
Dec. 6 American W 70-55
Dec. 9 #7 Villanova L 59-73
Dec. 13 Oregon L 70-77
Dec. 17 Hampton W 73-55
Dec. 20 Missouri W 62-59
Dec. 27 Kennesaw State W 93-45
Dec. 30 at Michigan L 65-73 OT
Jan. 3 at #20 Ohio State L 61-77
Jan. 7 #11 Maryland W 64-77
Jan. 11 at Nebraska L 43-53
Jan. 14 at Northwestern W 72-67
Jan. 18 Indiana L 74-80
Jan. 21 Purdue W 66-57
Jan. 24 at Minnesota L 71-79
Jan. 31 Penn State W 60-58
Feb. 3 Rutgers W 66-54
Feb. 7 at Michigan State W 59-54
Feb. 12 Michigan W 64-52 OT
Feb. 15 at #5 Wisconsin L 49-68
Feb. 22 Michigan State L 53-60
Feb. 25 at Iowa L 60-68
Feb. 28 Northwestern W 86-60
Mar. 4 Nebraska W 69-57
Mar. 7 at Purdue L 58-63
Mar. 12 Michigan#
*Las Vegas Invitational, ^ACC/Big Ten Challenge, #Big Ten Tournament
The Series

Illinois leads the all-time series 86-79. Michigan had won eight straight until the Illini topped the Wolverines on Feb. 12. Michigan and Illinois are 2-2 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament, including last season’s thrilling Michigan win.

Big Ten hoops power rankings: Pre-Big Ten Tournament

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015


Power Rankings_header
The Big Ten regular season came to an end on Sunday with Wisconsin retaining the top spot and conference newcomer Maryland grabbing a distant second. There wasn’t a lot of movement in the final power rankings as Indiana took the biggest drop of three places and Iowa had the biggest climb of three. The Big Ten Tournament began tonight, though those results are not reflected in these rankings.

Previous: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 6, Week 7, Week 9

1. Wisconsin (28-3, 16-2) – Even
Last Week: Beat Minn 76-63, Beat #23 Ohio State 72-48 This Week: Fri. (B1G Tournament) vs Mich/Illinois

The undisputed flagship team in the Big Ten finished the regular season with a flourish Sunday, pounding Ohio State by 24 points in Columbus. Wisconsin enters the conference tournament with a No. 1 seed on its mind.

2. Maryland (26-5, 14-4) – Up 2
Last Week: Beat Rutgers 60-50, Beat Nebraska 64-61 This Week: Fri. (B1G Tournament) vs NU/Indiana

Mark Turgeon couldn’t have hoped for a better inaugural season in the Big Ten, as his team cruised to a second-place finish and enters the postseason on a seven-game winning streak. Maryland already took down Wisconsin once, and doing so again would earn the Terps a Big Ten championship.

3. Iowa (21-10, 12-6) – Up 3
Last Week: Beat Indiana 77-63, Beat Northwestern 69-52 This Week: Thu. (B1G Tournament) vs Penn State

On Feb. 15 the Hawkeyes had lost five of their last seven games and stared down the barrel of another late-season collapse. Instead, Iowa blazed through its final six games and picked up the No. 5 seed in Chicago.

4. Michigan State (21-10, 12-6) – Down 1
Last Week: Beat Purdue 72-66, Beat Indiana 74-72 This Week: Fri. (B1G Tournament) vs Minn/Ohio State

Tom Izzo and the Spartans were shaky through 31 games this season, but closed with wins over two lesser opponents to snatch the No. 3 seed in the Big Ten Tournament.

5. Purdue (20-11, 12-6) – Down 3
Last Week: Lost at MSU 66-72, Beat Illinois 63-58 This Week: Fri. (B1G Tournament) vs Iowa/Penn State

Purdue is kicking itself heading into the conference tournament after it dropped two road games in the first week of March that would have solidified its NCAA resume. Instead, the first-round bye may actually hurt the Boilermakers, who will likely miss out with a one-and-done showing in Chicago.

6. Illinois (19-12, 9-9) – Up 2
Last Week: Beat Nebraska 69-57, Lost at Purdue 58-63 This Week: Thu. (B1G Tournament) vs Michigan

Illinois came within five points of finishing the season on a three-game streak that may have been enough to put them on the right side of the bubble. Instead, an 8-6 record down the stretch with five of those losses by eight points or less may not be enough for John Groce’s team.

7. Ohio State (22-9, 11-7) – Even
Last Week: Beat Penn State 77-67, Lost vs #6 Wisc 48-72
This Week: Thu (B1G Tournament) vs Minnesota

A 24-point loss to Wisconsin on Senior Day put an exclamation point on Ohio State’s tremendously disappointing season. The Buckeyes finished with only one win over a team ranked in the final AP poll: a home victory against Maryland. Ohio State was uncompetitive against each of Louisville, North Carolina and Wisconsin and will struggle to make a tournament run, barring a complete D’Angelo Russell takeover.

8. Indiana (19-12, 9-9) – Down 3
Last Week: Lost to Iowa 63-77, Lost to MSU 72-74 This Week: Thu. (B1G Tournament) vs Northwestern

The last six weeks of the season were awfully unkind to Tom Crean and the Hoosiers. After finally cracking the Top 25 with a 15-4 record, Indiana dropped eight of its last 12 games, putting its tournament status and coaching future in question. Indiana probably needed to win three of its last five games, but instead beat only Rutgers, the Big Ten’s junior varsity team, and lost three home games and a trip to Northwestern.

9. Northwestern (15-16, 6-12) – Up 1
Last Week: Beat Michigan 82-70 2OT, Lost to Iowa 52-69 This Week: Thu. (B1G Tournament) vs Indiana

Despite finishing the season with a losing record, Northwestern is trending sharply upwards, having won five of its final seven conference games. The Wildcats looked destined for a last-place finish after a 10-game losing streak, but flipped the switch in mid-February. Tom Crean’s collar is feeling a little tight heading into this Big Ten Tournament matchup.

10. Michigan (15-15, 8-10) – Down 1
Last Week: Lost at NU 78-82 2OT, Beat Rutgers 79-69 This Week: Thu. (B1G Tournament) vs Illinois

As strange as it may sound, Michigan is one of the better teams in the Big Ten… in the first 40 minutes of games. The Wolverines lost four overtime games, and had they finished those wins, they’d be sitting in the No. 4 seed with a double bye in the tournament.

11. Minnesota (17-14, 6-12) – Even
Last Week: Lost to #6 Wisc 63-76, Lost to Penn State 76-79 This Week: Wed. (B1G Tournament) vs Rutgers

Minnesota just couldn’t get rolling during conference play this season, mustering just one winning streak (three games) but following it with losses in five of its last six games.

12. Penn State (16-15, 4-14) – Up 1
Last Week: Lost to #23 OSU 67-77, Beat Minnesota 79-76  This Week: Wed. (B1G Tournament) vs Nebraska

A road win to finish the season snapped a six-game winning streak for Penn State, but it’ll still be one of four teams playing in the first round of the conference tournament Wednesday.

13. Nebraska (13-17, 5-13) – Down 1
Last Week: Lost at Illinois 57-69, Lost to #10 Maryland 61-64 This Week: Wed. (B1G Tournament) vs Penn State

Die-hard believers in what Nebraska accomplished last season considered Tim Miles’ team a legitimate contender heading into the 2014-15 campaign. Instead, Nebraska was the league’s greatest disappointment, finishing in 12th place and losing eight straight down the stretch.

14. Rutgers (10-21, 2-16) – Even
Last Week: Lost to #10 Maryland 50-60, Lost at Michigan 69-79 This Week: Wed. (B1G Tournament) vs Minnesota

Rutgers’ first year in the Big Ten was an absolute bloodbath. The Scarlett Knights will play Wednesday, on the two-month anniversary of their last win, carrying a 14-game losing streak on their shoulders.

Big Ten hoops power rankings: Week 9

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015


Power Rankings_header
Despite being posted on Wednesday, these rankings only take into account last week’s results, through Sunday. Wisconsin holds onto the top spot, while Purdue and Michigan State make big leaps into the top three. Ohio State is this week’s biggest tumbler, falling five spots thanks to a seven-point loss at Michigan. The bottom five remain the same in a slightly different order.

Previous: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 6, Week 7

1. Wisconsin (25-2, 13-1) – Even
Last Week: Beat Penn State 55-47, Beat Min 63-53 This Week: Tue at #14 Maryland, Sun vs Michigan State

Wins in two of its final four games would wrap up sole possession of the Big Ten title for Wisconsin, which is riding a 10-game winning streak. With a strong finish, Wisconsin has a shot at the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament behind Kentucky.

2. Purdue (18-9, 10-4) – Up 4
Last Week: Beat Indiana 67-63 This Week: Thu vs Rutgers, Sun at Ohio State

Purdue is no longer a nice surprise in the Big Ten. At 10-4, the Boilermakers are playing for a double bye in the conference tournament and all but locked into an NCAA bid. Matt Painter’s team has ripped off seven wins in eight tries, including a 3-1 record on the road.

3. Michigan State (19-8, 10-4) – Up 5
Last Week: Beat Michigan 80-67, Beat Illinois 60-53 This Week: Thu vs Minn, Sun at at #5 Wisconsin

Less than two weeks ago Michigan State was a bubble NCAA Tournament team. Now, after four straight wins, including back-to-back road wins over Michigan and Illinois, MSU is closing in on a second-place Big Ten finish.

4. Maryland (23-5, 11-4) – Even
Last Week: Beat Nebraska 69-65 This Week: Tue vs #5 Wisconsin, Sat vs Michigan

Mark Turgeon has steadied the ship after a rocky 2-3 stretch put Maryland’s position in the top 20 in question. Three straight wins have the Terrapins positioned for a strong finish in which they should win three of four.

5. Indiana (19-9, 9-6) – Up 2
Last Week: Lost to Purdue 63-67, Beat Rutgers 84-54 This Week: Wed at Northwestern

The middle of the Big Ten has really taken a hit over the last few weeks. Indiana, which has dropped five of its last nine, falls in at No. 5 as the rest of the Big Ten battles to stay off the bubble in the NCAA Tournament. Indiana’s last impressive win came over a month ago, on Jan. 22 against Maryland.

6. Iowa (17-10, 8-6) – Down 3
Last Week: Beat Rutgers 81-57, Beat Nebraska 74-46 This Week: Wed vs Illinois, Sat at Penn State

About the only thing Iowa has done right since back-to-back blowout wins over Michigan and Maryland is pounding Nebraska to the point where Tim Miles banned his team from its own locker room. Luckily for the Hawkeyes, a moderate finish of Illinois, Penn State, Indiana and Northwestern offers a great chance to reach the crucial 20-win plateau.

7. Ohio State (19-8, 8-6) – Down 5
Last Week: Lost at Michigan 57-64
This Week: Thu vs Nebraska, Sun vs Purdue

The last two games were not a good look for the previously resurgent Buckeyes, whose stay in the top 25 was as brief as Wisconsin’s struggles after a loss to Rutgers in January. OSU responded to a loss in East Lansing by falling to Michigan, which was riding a five-game losing streak in the conference.

8. Illinois (17-10, 7-7) – Down 3
Last Week: Lost to Michigan State 53-60 This Week: Wed at Iowa, Sat vs Northwestern

Illinois’ four-game winning streak hit a brick wall against conference-leading Wisconsin last week, as the Illini fell by 19 points in Madison. A home loss to Michigan State dropped John Groce’s team to No. 8 in the Big Ten, a dangerous place for teams hoping to avoid the Badgers in the third round of the conference tournament.

9. Michigan (14-13, 7-8) – Even
Last Week: Lost to MSU 67-80, Beat #24 OSU 64-57 This Week: Sat at #14 Maryland

If any team in the Big Ten needed a big morale boost, it was the battered, quickly sliding Wolverines. On Sunday, a start-to-finish waxing of the rival Buckeyes ended that streak and gave Michigan a realistic chance to finish the conference season with at least a .500 record.

10. Northwestern (13-14, 4-10) – Up 3
Last Week: Beat Minnesota 72-66, Beat Penn State 60-39 This Week: Wed vs Indiana, Sat at Illinois

A quick glance at some of the final scores during Northwestern’s 10-game conference losing streak would take some of the shock out of the Wildcats’ current three-game winning streak. Chris Collins’ team is finally finishing games, and has emerged as the top spoiler in the bottom half of the league.

11. Minnesota (16-12, 5-10) – Down 1
Last Week: Lost to Northwestern 66-72, Lost at #5 Wisconsin 53-63 This Week: Thu at Michigan State

Can the rest of these Big Ten teams all tie for last? Besides Northwestern’s modest winning streak, the bottom of the conference has completely gone up in flames. Minnesota checks in at No. 11 because they still appear to have a pulse, losing by just 10 points to Wisconsin Saturday, which is a small victory in itself.

12. Nebraska (13-14, 5-10) – Even
Last Week: Lost at #16 Maryland, Lost to Iowa 46-74 This Week: Thu at Ohio State

What happened to Nebraska’s vaunted home-court advantage? A team that lost only one game at home by a single point last season has dropped two straight at Pinnacle Bank Arena, including a 28-point thrashing at the hands of Iowa.

13. Penn State (15-13, 3-12) – Down 2
Last Week: Lost to #5 Wisconsin 47-55, Lost at NU 39-60 This Week: Sat vs Iowa

Penn State dropped three straight games against ranked teams before running into the buzz saw that is Northwestern Saturday. A 21-point pounding in Evanston put an early exclamation point on a disastrous conference season for the Nittany Lions.

14. Rutgers (10-18, 2-13) – Even
Last Week: Lost at Iowa 47-81, Lost to Indiana 84-54 This Week: Thu at Purdue

Rutgers is really bad. A 30-point loss to Indiana rounded out an 11-game losing streak with more tough games ahead. In their first Big Ten season, the Scarlett Knights are failing the test.

Michigan hoops preview: Illinois

Thursday, February 12th, 2015


UM-Illinois
Michigan (13-11, 6-6) vs Illinois (16-8, 6-5)
Thursday, Feb. 12 | Champaign, Ill. | 9:00 p.m. EST | ESPN
Offense
64.6 Points/gm 72.0
(497-1,195) 41.6 Field Goal % 42.8 (601-1,404)
(175-495) 35.4 3-pt FG % 37.0 (185-500)
(252-339) 74.3 Free Throw % 79.5 (342-430)
11.5 FT Made/gm 14.3
31.8 Reb/gm 34.6
12.0 Assists/gm 13.1
10.0 Turnovers/gm 10.0
Defense
61.8 Points/gm 63.3
(501-1,157) 43.3 Field Goal % 40.9 (524-1,324)
(144-424) 34.0 3-pt FG % 32.8 (162-494)
33.9 Opp. Reb/gm 34.4
5.7 Steals/gm 6.3
1.8 Blocks/gm 3.4
Individual Leaders
Caris LeVert (14.9)*, Zak Irvin (13.5) Points/gm Rayvonte Rice^ (17.2), Malcolm Hill (14.8)
Caris LeVert (4.9)*, Derrick Walton Jr (4.7) Reb/gm Rayvonte Rice^ (6.9), Nnanna Egwu (5.5)
*Out for season, ^Suspended

___________________________________________________________________________________

Michigan dropped its third straight game on Sunday, falling to Indiana by three points. Now, the Wolverines travel to Champaign, Ill. to face an Illinois squad that has won three straight and four of its last five, including a five-point win at Michigan State the last time out. Michigan has already beaten Illinois this season, a 73-65 overtime win on Dec. 30, but both teams featured much different lineups at the time. Michigan still had Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton Jr., while Illinois still had Rayvonte Rice and Aaron Cosby, both of which have been suspended for over a month. Let’s take a look at the Illini.

The Starters
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Malcolm Hill (G) 30.1 14.8 48.2 41.7 77.9 5.4 1.3 1.7 0.2 1.0
Kendrick Nunn (G) 28.4 11.5 42.8 41.6 84.1 3.3 2.0 1.1 0.2 1.3
Nnanna Egwu (F) 28.3 7.0 48.2 35.7 78.1 5.5 1.0 1.1 1.8 0.7
Leron Black (F) 15.6 5.4 47.0 00.0 66.7 4.6 0.0 0.9 0.3 0.4
Jaylon Tate (G) 20.6 3.9 35.5 08.3 86.0 1.3 3.5 1.3 0.1 0.9
The Others
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Ahmad Starks (G) 23.8 7.7 33.2 32.4 85.7 1.6 2.5 1.0 0.1 0.6
Maverick Morgan (C) 10.5 2.9 44.8 00.0 78.9 1.6 0.1 0.5 0.5 0.1
Austin Colbert (F) 6.2 1.6 56.3 50.0 63.6 1.7 0.1 0.3 0.1 0.1
Rayvonte Rice (G)^ 28.6 17.2 51.5 48.3 80.3 6.9 2.2 1.5 0.3 1.8
Aaron Cosby (G)^ 25.3 7.8 29.3 31.1 80.0 3.6 1.7 1.3 0.0 0.3
^Suspended
The Schedule
Date Opponent Score
Nov. 14 Georgia Southern W 80-71
Nov. 16 Coppin State W 114-56
Nov. 21 Austin Peay W 107-66
Nov. 24 Brown W 89-68
Nov. 27 Indiana State* W 88-62
Nov. 28 Baylor* W 62-54
Dec. 2 at #15 Miami^ L 61-70
Dec. 6 American W 70-55
Dec. 9 #7 Villanova L 59-73
Dec. 13 Oregon L 70-77
Dec. 17 Hampton W 73-55
Dec. 20 Missouri W 62-59
Dec. 27 Kennesaw State W 93-45
Dec. 30 at Michigan L 65-73 OT
Jan. 3 at #20 Ohio State L 61-77
Jan. 7 #11 Maryland W 64-77
Jan. 11 at Nebraska L 43-53
Jan. 14 at Northwestern W 72-67
Jan. 18 Indiana L 74-80
Jan. 21 Purdue W 66-57
Jan. 24 at Minnesota L 71-79
Jan. 31 Penn State W 60-58
Feb. 3 Rutgers W 66-54
Feb. 7 at Michigan State W 59-54
Feb. 12 Michigan
Feb. 15 at #5 Wisconsin
Feb. 22 Michigan State
Feb. 25 at Iowa
Feb. 28 Northwestern
Mar. 4 Nebraska
Mar. 7 at Purdue
*Las Vegas Invitational, ^ACC/Big Ten Challenge
The Series

Illinois leads the all-time series 85-79 and is 55-26 against Michigan in Champaign. However, Michigan has won the last eight straight meetings, including three straight in Champaign. Last season, Michigan dominated Illinois on the road, 84-53 to clinch the outright Big Ten regular season title. The teams have already met this season, with Michigan winning 73-65 in overtime in Ann Arbor.

Notes

• Illinois ranks sixth in the Big Ten in scoring, averaging 72.0 points per game, and seventh in scoring defense, allowing 63.3 points per game

• Illinois ranks 11th in the Big Ten in shooting percentage (42.8), fifth in three-point percentage (37.0), and leads the Big Ten in free throw percentage (79.5). The Illini defense ranks eighth in opponent shooting percentage (40.9) and ninth against the three (32.8)

• Illinois ranks 10th in the Big Ten in rebounding margin (plus-0.2) and third in turnover margin (plus-3.54)

• Illinois ranks ninth in the Big Ten in offensive rebounds per game (10.0)

• Malcolm Hill ranks 11th in the Big Ten in scoring (14.8 points per game)

• Nnanna Egwu ranks third in the Big Ten in blocked shots per game (1.8)

Big Ten hoops power rankings: Week 4

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015


Power Rankings_header
Conference newcomer Maryland has taken over the top spot in the rankings this week for the first time, supplanting Michigan State thanks to a 75-59 win over the Spartans. Iowa shot up four spots to the second spot, while Michigan, Illinois, Northwestern, and Penn State all held steady. This week, we get several top 25 matchups, beginning on Tuesday when 25th-ranked Iowa visits 6th-ranked Wisconsin and then on Thursday when 13th-ranked Maryland visits 23rd-ranked Indiana.

Previous: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3

1. Maryland (17-2, 5-1) – Up 2
Last Week: Beat Rutgers 73-65, Beat MSU 75-59 This Week: Thu at #23 Indiana, Sun vs Northwestern

Nobody saw this coming, but Maryland has taken Big Ten basketball by storm in 2015. The Terrapins just completed a season sweep of perennial power Michigan State and sit alone atop the conference standings.

2. Iowa (13-5, 4-1) – Up 4
Last Week: Beat Minnesota 77-75, Beat Ohio State 76-67 This Week: Tue at #6 Wisconsin, Sat at Purdue

Iowa delivered another punch in the gut to the Ohio State Buckeyes Saturday, riding a nine-point win to a season sweep of Thad Matta’s team. Iowa could really gain the early inside track with a win in Madison on Tuesday night.

3. Indiana (14-4, 4-1) – Up 1
Last Week: Beat Penn State 76-73, Beat Illinois 80-74 This Week: Thu vs #13 Maryland, Sun at Ohio State

Tom Crean’s Hoosiers are slowly putting together a solid resume after another 2-0 week moved them to within a half-game of the Big Ten lead. Nationally, Indiana climbed into the top 25 for the first time this season with No. 13 Maryland coming to town Thursday.

4. Wisconsin (16-2, 4-1) – Down 2
Last Week: Beat Nebraska 70-55 This Week: Tue vs #25 Iowa, Sat at Michigan

Wisconsin rebounded nicely from an unthinkable loss to Rutgers last Sunday by waxing Nebraska 70-55 at home. Now the Badgers face a meeting with Michigan in Ann Arbor sandwiched between two games against Iowa to end the month.

5. Michigan State (12-6, 3-2) – Down 4
Last Week: Lost to #14 Maryland 59-75 This Week: Wed vs Penn State, Sat at Nebraska

The Big Ten has little to hang its hat on after the top four teams, as the rest of the conference has struggled to show any signs of stability through the first third of the schedule. Michigan State is a perfect example of that, having lost five of their six games against quality opponents, with one good win in Iowa City.

6. Ohio State (14-5, 3-3) – Down 1
Last Week: Beat Michigan 71-52, Lost to Iowa 67-76 This Week: Thu at Northwestern, Sun vs #23 Indiana

Perhaps the only team with fewer quality wins than MSU is the Buckeyes, who’ve lost all five games against teams with a pulse. They’ll get another shot Sunday against a solid Indiana squad that beat OSU on Jan. 10.

7. Michigan (11-7, 4-2) – Even
Last Week: Lost to OSU 52-71, Beat Northwestern 56-54 This Week: Tue at Rutgers, Sat vs #6 Wisconsin

After being manhandled in Columbus on Jan. 13, Michigan returned home and eked out a last-second win over Northwestern Saturday. But the cost of the victory was steep as Caris LeVert, the team’s leader in scoring, rebounding, assisting, stealing, and blocking, went down for the season due to a foot injury suffered on the final defensive play.

8. Purdue (11-7, 3-2) – Up 3
Last Week: Beat Penn State 84-77 OT This Week: Wed at Illinois, Sat vs #25 Iowa

Purdue is staying afloat early in the conference season after pulling out a miracle overtime win in Happy Valley over the weekend. Now the road gets much tougher for the Boilermakers as they travel to Illinois before hosting nationally ranked Iowa and Indiana.

9. Nebraska (10-7, 2-3) – Down 1
Last Week: Lost to #7 Wisconsin 55-70 This Week: Tue vs Minnesota, Sat vs Michigan State

Nebraska’s modest two-game winning streak came to screeching halt in Madison as the Badgers manhandled Tim Miles’ team by 15 points. The Cornhuskers will need a scorching finish reminiscent of last year’s stretch run to return to the NCAA Tournament in 2015.

10. Illinois (12-7, 2-4) – Even
Last Week: Beat Northwestern 72-67, Lost to Indiana 74-80 This Week: Wed vs Purdue, Sat at Minnesota

A 2-4 Big Ten record doesn’t tell the whole story for Illinois, which has lost by 10 or less three times in six games. John Groce’s team is facing another disappointing conference season if it can’t find a way to win some of those toss-up contests.

11. Minnesota (12-7, 1-5) – Up 4
Last Week: Lost to Iowa 75-77, Beat Rutgers 89-80 This Week: Tue at Nebraska, Sat vs Illinois

After losing four of their first five conference games by a combined 13 points (and the other by 12 in Maryland), Minnesota finally got on the right side of a Big Ten matchup Saturday against Rutgers. Now five straight winnable games offer Richard Pitino’s team a chance to get back in the race.

12. Northwestern (10-8, 1-4) – Even
Last Week: Lost to Illinois 67-72, Lost to Michigan 54-56 This Week: Thu vs OSU, Sun at #13 Maryland

Last week was a heartbreaking one for Northwestern, as it dropped three straight games by single digits. The Wildcats had a chance to beat Michigan State in East Lansing before being blown out in overtime, then fell at home 72-67 to Illinois, and finally missed a wide open layup that would have forced OT in Ann Arbor. Next up: Ohio State and Maryland.

13. Rutgers (10-9, 2-4) – Down 4
Last Week: Lost to #14 Maryland 65-73, Lost to Min 80-89 This Week: Tue vs Michigan, Sat at Penn State

New Brunswick, New Jersey is still buzzing about last weekend’s upset win over Wisconsin. But in the meantime, the Scarlett Knights have dropped two straight Big Ten games. Rutgers will look to get back on track at home against Michigan on Tuesday evening.

14. Penn State (12-6, 0-5) – Even
Last Week: Lost to Indiana 73-76, Lost to Purdue 77-84 OT This Week: Wed at MSU, Sat vs Rutgers

After gifting away a win to Purdue Saturday, Penn State remained the only winless team in Big Ten play. The Nittany Lions failed to rebound a free throw with seconds remaining and allowed a game-tying long ball at the buzzer. Remember Penn State’s 12-1 nonconference start? Neither do they.

Big Ten hoops power rankings: Week 2

Monday, January 5th, 2015


Power Rankings_header
A week into Big Ten play and each team has played at least one conference game. The top two teams stayed the same while everyone else shuffled up and down. Iowa and Purdue were the biggest risers while Illinois took the biggest plunge.

Previous: Week 1

1. Wisconsin (14-1, 2-0) – Even
Last Week: Beat Penn State 89-72, Beat Northwestern 81-58 This Week: Wed vs Purdue, Sun at Rutgers

Wisconsin kicked off the conference season with a couple of blowout wins, smashing Penn State by 17 and Northwestern by 23. The Badgers will carry their seven-game winning streak into very winnable pair of games this week.

2. Maryland (14-1, 2-0) – Even
Last Week: Beat MSU 68-66 2OT, Beat Minnesota 70-58 This Week: Wed at Illinois, Sat at Purdue

Maryland’s resume is incredibly similar to that of Wisconsin, as the Terps have only lost their ACC/Big Ten Challenge game to a top-three opponent. Maryland picked up a huge win in their first Big Ten matchup, knocking off the Spartans in East Lansing.

3. Iowa (10-4, 1-0) – Up 5
Last Week: Beat #20 Ohio State 71-65 This Week: Mon vs Nebraska, Thurs vs Michigan State

The Big Ten season got off to a great start for Iowa, which went into Columbus and knocked off the No. 20 Buckeyes. The Hawkeyes are facing a gauntlet of a schedule over their next five games.

4. Ohio State (12-3, 1-1) – Up 1
Last Week: Lost to Iowa 65-71, Beat Illinois 77-61 This Week: Tue at Minnesota, Sat at Indiana

Thad Matta’s team quickly recovered from a stunning home loss to start the conference season by thrashing Illinois 77-61 Saturday. Now Ohio State hits the road for matchups with Minnesota and Indiana.

5. Indiana (11-3, 1-0) – Down 1
Last Week: Beat Nebraska 70-65 This Week: Mon at Michigan State, Sat vs #22 Ohio State

An overtime loss to Georgetown soured the end of Indiana’s non-conference season, but they bounced back to beat Nebraska on the road in their Big Ten opener, something only the conference-champion Wolverines did all of last season.

6. Purdue (10-5, 2-0) – Up 6
Last Week: Beat Minn 72-68, Beat Michigan 64-51 This Week: Wed at #4 Wisconsin, Sat vs #11 Maryland

The most surprising team through one week of Big Ten games might be the Boilermakers, who beat two teams that figured to be among the league’s leaders at the beginning of the year. If Purdue wins in Wisconsin Wednesday, that’ll turn some heads.

7. Northwestern (10-5 1-1) – Up 3
Last Week: Beat Rutgers 51-47, Lost to #4 Wisconsin 58-81 This Week: Sunday at Michigan State

The Wildcats were on a roll to finish out the non-conference season before hitting a brick wall at home against Wisconsin. Chris Collins might feel the wrath of an alarmingly easy schedule now that Big Ten play has started.

8. Penn State (12-3, 0-2) – Down 5
Last Week: Lost to #4 Wisconsin 72-89, Lost to Rutgers 46-50 This Week: Tue vs Michigan

Penn State was expected to lose its Big Ten opener to Wisconsin, but when it dropped Saturday’s showdown with Rutgers, the 12-1 non-conference record started to look a little fluky.

9. Minnesota (11-4, 0-2) – Down 2
Last Week: Lost to Purdue 68-72, Lost to #12 MD 58-70 This Week: Tue vs #22 OSU, Sat at Michigan

Richard Pitino’s team has only played three tough games, and Minnesota lost all three of them by at least nine points. The Gophers will carry an 0-2 conference record into a matchup with Ohio State.

10. Michigan State (9-5, 0-1) – Down 1
Last Week: Lost to #12 Maryland 66-68 2OT This Week: Mon vs Indiana, Thu at Iowa, Sun vs NW

After righting the ship against The Citadel following an unthinkable loss to Texas Southern, Michigan State dropped its Big Ten opener at home to newcomer Maryland.

11. Michigan (8-6, 1-1) – Up 3
Last Week: Beat Illinois 73-65 OT, Lost to Purdue 51-64 This Week: Tue at Penn State, Sat vs Minnesota

It looked like Michigan might start to turn its season around with a win over Illinois in the Big Ten opener, but a horrific offensive display in the second half against Purdue has dropped Michigan near the bottom of the league in contention status.

12. Rutgers (9-6, 1-1) – Up 1
Last Week: Lost to NW 47-51, Beat PSU 50-46 This Week: Thu at Nebraska, Sun vs #4 Wisconsin

Rutgers has struggled to put together a consistent stretch all season, never winning more than two games in a row. The trend continued in the conference opener, when the Scarlet Knights fell at home to Northwestern.

13. Illinois (10-5, 0-2) – Down 7
Last Week: Lost to Mich 65-73 OT, Lost to #20 OSU 61-77 This Week: Wed vs #11 Maryland, Sun at Neb

No, this week’s Illinois games were not re-runs. For the third straight season, Jon Groce’s team put together a strong non-conference season, only to drop the ball at the beginning of Big Ten play.

14. Nebraska (8-5, 0-1) – Down 3
Last Week: Lost to Indiana 65-70 This Week: Thu vs Rutgers, Sun vs Illinois

Nebraska may be the only team more disappointing than Michigan in the Big Ten. The Cornhuskers have no great wins and three ugly losses with a loaded conference slate on tap.

Big Ten hoops power rankings: Week 1

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014


Power Rankings_header
Welcome to our first Big Ten basketball power rankings of the season. We waited until the non-conference season was over so we could get a more complete picture of each team without preseason expectations impacting our rankings. These will be re-ranked each week for the remainder of the season. Also, please note that this week’s rankings were done before Tuesday’s games and was meant to be posted at the beginning of the week, but a little football news happened (you may have heard), so this got pushed. It will be posted Monday or Tuesday the rest of the season.

1. Wisconsin (12-1, 0-0) – Even
Last Week: Beat Cal 68-56, Beat Buffalo 68-56 This Week: Wed vs Penn State, Sun at Northwestern

Wisconsin’s nonconference season lacked a major splash after it lost to Duke, the only ranked team on its schedule, but the Badgers are still 12-1 with a national championship as their ceiling.

2. Maryland (12-1, 0-0) – Even
Last Week: Beat Oakland 72-56 This Week: Tues @ MSU, Sat vs Minnesota

Here’s the best surprise in the Big Ten so far: The Maryland Terrapins. Maryland won 12 games before the start of its first Big Ten schedule, including an upset victory over Iowa State in November. Now the Terps will start the conference season with a bang in East Lansing.

3. Penn State (12-1, 0-0) – Even
Last Week: Beat Dartmouth 69-49 This Week: Wed @ #4 Wisconsin, Sat @ Rutgers

Penn State looks ready to take another step in the right direction this season, winning all but one of their nonconference games. An overtime loss to Charlotte is overshadowed by quality wins over Virginia Tech and USC.

4. Indiana (10-3, 0-0) – Even
Last Week: Beat New Orleans 79-59, Lost to Georgetown 87-91 OT This Week: Wed @ Nebraska

Though they dropped three games during the nonconference season, Indiana played one of the toughest schedules in the Big Ten and picked up wins over SMU, Butler and Pitt.

5. Ohio State (11-2, 0-0) – Even
Last Week: Beat Miami OH 93-55, Beat Wright St 100-55 This Week: Tue vs Iowa, Sat vs Illinois

It’s tough to judge the new-look Buckeyes at this point in the season, as they weren’t very competitive in either of their marquee matchups, falling to both Louisville and North Carolina.

6. Illinois (10-3, 0-0) – Even
Last Week: Beat Kennesaw State 93-45 This Week: Tue @ Michigan, Sat @ #20 Ohio State

John Groce’s team was one rough stretch away from having an incredible nonconference season, as it dropped three of four games in early December. Nonetheless, Illinois is 10-3 and carries one of the nation’s most dangerous offenses into Big Ten play.

7. Minnesota (11-2 0-0) – Even
Last Week: Beat Furman 86-76, Beat UNCW 108-82 This Week: Wed @ Purdue, Sat @ #12 Maryland

Louisville and St. John’s knocked off the Gophers early in the season, but Richard Pitino’s team has won eight straight games heading into the Big Ten gauntlet.

8. Iowa (9-4, 0-0) – Even
Last Week: Beat North Florida 80-70 This Week: Tue @ #20 Ohio State

Iowa’s preconference season was filled with ups and downs, including a major road win over North Carolina in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge and last week’s loss to Northern Iowa.

9. Michigan State (9-4, 0-0) – Even
Last Week: Beat The Citadel 82-56 This Week: Tue vs #12 Maryland

Tom Izzo teams always seem to struggle early in the season and improve as the tournament draws nearer, but an offseason with four losses, including one to an awful Texas Southern team, has raised concerns in East Lansing.

10. Northwestern (9-4, 0-0) – Even
Last Week: Beat UIC 63-46, Beat N. Kentucky 76-55 This Week: Tue @ Rutgers, Sun vs #4 Wisconsin

The Big Ten isn’t expecting much of Northwestern this season, but the Cats did with nine games before the conference schedule and have a chance to play spoiler like they did in 2014.

11. Nebraska (8-4, 0-0) – Even
Last Week: Lost to Hawaii 58-66, Beat LMU 50-42 OT, Beat Ohio 71-58 This Week: Wed vs Indiana

What a disappointing start for Nebraska. A team that entered the season with heightened expectations has fallen to four unranked teams and sits near the bottom of the Big Ten. The Cornhuskers won’t play their first ranked team until Jan. 15 against Wisconsin.

12. Purdue (8-5, 0-0) – Even
Last Week: Lost to Gardner-Webb 84-89 This Week: Wed vs Minnesota, Sat vs Michigan

Purdue battled through another mediocre nonconference season in 2014, winning eight games but entering conference play on a three-game losing streak. It did make a nice three-game run in November-December, topping Missouri, BYU and N.C. State in a row.

13. Rutgers (8-5, 0-0) – Even
Last Week: Beat Sacred Heart 79-54, Beat Monmouth 59-58 This Week: Tues vs Northwestern, Sat vs PSU

Rutgers was a punching bag for much of their for Big Ten nonconference season, losing four games by double digits and scoring just 26 points in a loss to Virginia. Now the school’s first Big Ten schedule looms, starting at home against Northwestern.

14. Michigan (7-5, 0-0) – Even
Last Week: Beat Coppin State 72-56 This Week: Tue vs Illinois, Sat at Purdue

The Wolverines were the talk of the nation for the latter part of the offseason, losing four straight games to N.J.I.T., Eastern Michigan, Arizona and SMU. Michigan suffered through the worst offseason of any contending team in the country, and will have to make a huge splash in the conference season to earn a tournament bid.

Michigan 73 – Illinois 65 OT

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014


Dawkins vs Illinois(MGoBlue.com)

On a celebratory afternoon for the Michigan football program, in which new head coach Jim Harbaugh was introduced at halftime, the basketball team pulled together an inspired performance to top Illinois 73-65 in overtime.

Fans who packed the Crisler Center to the rafters to catch a glimpse of Harbaugh didn’t have much to cheer for through the first 20 minutes as Michigan and Illinois went back and forth in an uneventful half.

Michigan jumped out to a 7-2 lead, but Illinois went on an 18-6 run over the next 12 minutes to grab a 20-13 lead. True freshman Aubrey Dawkins hit a three to end the drought, and back-to-back baskets by Max Bielfeldt and Ricky Doyle tied the game. But Illinois outscored Michigan 12-6 over the last four minutes of the half to take a 32-26 lead into the locker room.

Illinois guard Malcolm Hill kicked off the second half with a three and the Illini kept piling on, reaching a 13-point lead midway through the half. Dawkins nailed his second three of the game to stop the bleeding, and Zak Irvin followed with two straight threes to cut the deficit to six. After an Illinois dunk, Dawkins connected again, and after an Illinois free throw, another Dawkins three brought Michigan within three points.

Four Factors
Michigan Illinois
48.5 eFG% 46.6
27.5 OReb% 20.0
7.4 TO% 14.9
21.2 FTR 24.1

Michigan forced a turnover and LeVert scored to pull within one, but Hill answered with a bucket of his own. With less than three minutes to play, two straight Doyle baskets gave Michigan its first lead since the opening minutes. Hill answered with another jumper to put Illinois back on top, but Doyle responded with another layup to give Michigan a 58-57 lead with 1:13 remaining. Hill hit a pair of free throws to tip the scales back in Illinois’ favor, but Doyle made one of two free throws to tie the game at 59. A last-second Illinois attempt fell short, sending the game into overtime.

Hill stayed hot, scoring the first basket of the extra frame, but Dawkins made a pair of free throws to tie it and Irvin followed with a three. After a pair of Hill free throws, Dawkins nailed his sixth three of the game to put Michigan ahead by four and Michigan never looked back.

Dawkins, who had scored just 15 points all season coming into the game, led the way with 20 on 6-of-7 shooting from three-point range. LeVert followed with 19 points on 9-of-19 shooting, while Irvin and Doyle each finished with 13 points. Spike Albrecht led Michigan with six rebounds, while Irvin, Dawkins, and Mark Donnal added five apiece.

As a team, Michigan shot 40.9 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from downtown. But a hot second half and overtime, in which Michigan shot 47.1 percent overall and 44.4 percent from long range, propelled the Wolverines to victory. Michigan also out-rebounded Illinois 39-36 and committed just five turnovers compared to the Illini’s 12. Hill was the only Illinois player in double figures with 19 points, while Rayvonte Rice was held to eight on 3-of-11 shooting.

At 1-0 in the Big Ten and 8-5 overall, Michigan hits the road for two straight against Purdue (8-5, 0-0) on Saturday and Penn State (12-1, 0-0) on Tuesday.

Three Stars:

***Aubrey Dawkins***
20 points (career high, 6-of-8 FG, 6-of-7 3pt, 2-of-2 FT), five rebounds (two offensive), one turnover in 24 minutes

**Caris LeVert**
19 points (9-of-19 FG, 1-of-5 3pt, 0-of-2 FT), three rebounds (one offensive), five assists, two steals, one turnover in 42 minutes

*Zak Irvin*
13 points (4-of-15 FG, 3-of-10 3pt, 2-of-2 FT), five rebounds, one assist, one steal in 42 minutes

Final Game Stats
# Name FG-FGA 3FG-3FGA FT-FTA OR DR TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
03 Kameron Chatman* 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 0 19
32 Ricky Doyle* 5-6 0-0 3-6 1 1 2 1 13 1 0 0 1 21
10 Derrick Walton Jr* 0-8 0-2 0-0 0 4 4 1 0 1 1 0 1 27
21 Zak Irvin* 4-15 3-10 2-2 0 5 5 2 13 1 0 0 1 42
23 Caris LeVert* 9-19 1-5 0-2 1 2 3 1 19 5 1 0 2 42
02 Spike Albrecht 1-3 0-1 2-2 0 6 6 0 4 5 0 0 2 25
12 M-A. Abdur-Rahkman 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
24 Aubrey Dawkins 6-8 6-7 2-2 2 3 5 3 20 0 1 0 0 24
34 Mark Donnal 0-3 0-2 0-0 2 3 5 2 0 1 1 0 0 21
44 Max Bielfeldt 1-2 0-0 0-0 2 2 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 3
Totals 27-66 10-28 9-14 11 28 39 12 73 15 5 1 7 205
Illinois 24-58 6-15 11-14 7 29 36 15 65 11 12 4 2 205
Full Stats

Michigan hoops preview: Illinois

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014


UM-Illinois
Michigan (7-5) vs Illinois (9-3)
Tuesday, Dec. 30 | Ann Arbor, Mich. | 3 p.m. EST | ESPN2
Offense
67.7 Points/gm 79.1
(281-657) 42.8 Field Goal % 45.2 (360-797)
(94-259) 35.8 3-pt FG % 37.7 (103-273)
(148-205) 72.2 Free Throw % 77.7 (205-264)
12.3 FT Made/gm 15.8
32.1 Reb/gm 37.8
13.4 Assists/gm 14.1
10.1 Turnovers/gm 9.8
Defense
62.3 Points/gm 62.4
(280-631) 44.4 Field Goal % 38.7 (289-746)
(86-237) 36.3 3-pt FG % 30.6 (83-271)
32.9 Opp. Reb/gm 35.1
6.5 Steals/gm 6.3
1.9 Blocks/gm 3.6
Individual Leaders
Zak Irvin (15.3), Caris LeVert (14.9) Points/gm Rayvonte Rice (17.7), Malcolm Hill (13.0)
Caris LeVert (5.4), Derrick Walton Jr (4.5) Reb/gm Rayvonte Rice (6.5), Malcolm Hill (5.7)

___________________________________________________________________________________

After slogging through the non-conference portion of the schedule, winning just three of eight following a 4-0 start, the Michigan basketball team opens Big Ten play tonight against Illinois. But the basketball game won’t be the main attraction for those in attendance. New head football coach Jim Harbaugh will be introduced at the game and those hoping to get a first look at the former star quarterback and hopeful savior of the program will pack the Crisler Center to its rafters.

But John Beilein’s squad will look to get conference play off to a good start against a talented and athletic Illini team that went 10-3 in non-conference play. Let’s take a look at Illinois.

The Starters
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Rayvonte Rice (G) 27.8 17.7 51.4 47.1 80.6 6.5 1.8 1.2 0.4 1.9
Malcolm Hill (G) 25.5 13.0 52.6 40.9 71.4 5.7 1.2 1.8 0.1 0.9
Nnanna Egwu (F) 26.6 7.8 50.0 36.8 85.7 5.4 1.0 0.8 1.8 0.2
Ahmad Starks (G) 24.0 7.7 36.3 31.0 88.9 1.7 3.1 1.1 0.1 0.5
Kendrick Nunn (G) 23.5 9.0 45.0 43.6 90.9 2.8 1.8 0.7 0.1 1.3
The Others
Minutes Points FG% 3FG% FT% Reb Ast TO Blk Stl
Aaron Cosby (G) 23.8 8.2 30.8 32.8 87.0 3.5 2.0 1.5 0.0 0.2
Leron Black (F) 15.1 5.9 46.4 00.0 61.9 4.2 0.0 0.5 0.2 0.4
Maverick Morgan (C) 9.3 3.5 55.6 00.0 80.0 1.8 0.1 0.5 0.6 0.0
Jaylon Tate (G) 16.1 3.2 36.0 25.0 75.9 1.2 3.1 1.3 0.1 0.7
Austin Colbert (F) 5.8 1.8 50.0 50.0 63.6 1.7 0.0 0.3 0.2 0.1

Illinois is led by senior guard Rayvonte Rice (6’4″, 230), who ranks fourth in the Big Ten in scoring with 17.7 points per game. He also leads the Illini with 6.5 rebounds per game, which ranks 12th in the conference. He has scored in double figures in all 13 games this season with a high of 29 in a 77-70 loss to Oregon three weeks ago. His three-point shooting percentage of 47.1 ranks sixth in the Big Ten and he’s made at least one three in 11 of 13 games and two or more threes in eight of 13. He hit 5-of-7 against Oregon.

Fellow guard Malcolm Hill, a 6’6″, 230-pound sophomore guard, is the only other player on the team averaging double figures. His 13.0 points and 5.7 rebounds per game both rank second on the team. He leads all starters with a 52.6 shooting percentage, but followed up a season-high 20 points against Villanova with back-to-back six-point outings against Oregon and Hampton in which he shot just 5-of-16.

Sophomore guard Kendrick Nunn is the team’s third leading scorer, averaging 9.0 points per game. A member of the Big Ten All-Freshman Team a year ago, Nunn (6’3″, 190) scored a season-high 16 points against Hampton two weeks ago. He’s the second-best three-point shooter on the team, shooting 43.6 percent from downtown.

The fourth guard in the starting lineup is fifth-year senior Ahmad Starks (5’9″, 170), who averages 7.7 points in 24 minutes per game. He leads the team with 3.1 assists per game compared to just 1.1 turnovers, but shoots just 36.3 percent from the field and 31.0 percent from three-point range. He opened the season with scoring outputs of 10, 18, and 12, but has reached double figures just once in the past 10 games, a 13-point game against Missouri. During an eight-game stretch between his 12-point game and 13-point game he made just 15-of-51 (29.4 percent) overall and 9-of-32 (28.1 percent) from downtown.

Nnanna Egwu is the lone starter in the front court. The 6’11″, 250-pound senior forward averages 7.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Despite his big body, he’s never been a big scorer, and his season high is 13 points against Austin Peay. Against Michigan last season, he scored 13 in two games combined. He’s also not afraid to attempt the occasional three, having made 7-of-19 this season after attempting just one in his final 17 games last season.

Redshirt junior guard Aaron Cosby started the first nine games this season before being replaced by Nunn. His 8.2 points per game rank fourth on the team, but like Starks, his production tailed off after a hot start. He averaged 13.4 points in the first five games, but scored just 26 points combined in the next seven games while shooting just 14.9 percent (7-of-47) from the field. He came back to life with 13 points against Kennesaw State on Saturday on 5-of-10 shooting.

Sophomore guard Jaylon Tate (6’3″, 170), a Chicago Simeon product, plays the second-most minutes off the bench, averaging 3.2 points and 3.1 assists in 16.1 minutes.

Freshman Leron Black and sophomore Maverick Morgan are the backups inside. Black (6’7″, 220) averages 5.9 points and 4.2 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per game, while Morgan (6’10″, 250) averages just 3.5 and 1.8 in 9.3 minutes per game.

The Schedule
Date Opponent Score
Nov. 14 Georgia Southern W 80-71
Nov. 16 Coppin State W 114-56
Nov. 21 Austin Peay W 107-66
Nov. 24 Brown W 89-68
Nov. 27 Indiana State* W 88-62
Nov. 28 Baylor* W 62-54
Dec. 2 at #15 Miami^ L 61-70
Dec. 6 American W 70-55
Dec. 9 #7 Villanova! L 59-73
Dec. 13 Oregon# L 70-77
Dec. 17 Hampton W 73-55
Dec. 20 Missouri# W 62-59
Dec. 27 Kennesaw State W 93-45
Dec. 30 at Michigan
Jan. 3 at #21 Ohio State
Jan. 7 #15 Maryland
Jan. 11 at Nebraska
Jan. 14 at Northwestern
Jan. 18 Indiana
Jan. 21 Purdue
Jan. 24 at Minnesota
Jan. 31 Penn State
Feb. 3 Rutgers
Feb. 7 at Michigan State
Feb. 12 Michigan
Feb. 15 at #6 Wisconsin
Feb. 22 Michigan State
Feb. 25 at Iowa
Feb. 28 Northwestern
Mar. 4 Nebraska
Mar. 7 at Purdue
*Las Vegas Invitational, ^ACC-Big Ten Challenge, !Jimmy V Classic, #Neutral court game

Michigan and Illinois have played three common opponents so far this season. Both beat Coppin State, although the Illini did so in much more convincing fashion, topping the Eagles 114-56 in their second game of the season. Michigan beat Coppin State 72-56 last week. Both Michigan and Illinois lost to Villanova. While Michigan fell by five points in the Legends Classic Championship game, Illinois lost 73-59 in Madison Square Garden. Finally, Michigan beat Oregon 70-63 in the Legends Classic semifinal, but Illinois lost to the Ducks 77-70 in a neutral court game in Chicago on Dec. 13.

The Series

Illinois holds a 85-78 all-time series lead, but Michigan has won the last seven meetings. Michigan leads 49-28 all-time in Ann Arbor with the last loss coming on Feb. 23, 2010. Last season, Michigan’s 84-53 win at Illinois clinched the outright Big Ten title with three games remaining in the regular season. The teams faced off again in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal with Michigan pulling out a 64-63 win.

Notes

• Illinois ranks third nationally with a 77.6 percent free throw average

• Michigan and Illinois are tied for seventh nationally with 10.1 turnovers per game