LIVE BLOG: Illinois vs. Mizzou

Illini Inquirer publisher Jeremy Werner is live blogging at the Scottrade Center for the 35th Braggin' Rights Game vs. Mizzou

Tipoff

Looks like I'm going to have to abandon the live blog. WiFi is brutal here.

Illinois' lineup is the same as last game: Malcolm Hill, Kendrick Nunn, Michael Finke, Jalen Coleman-Lands and Jaylon Tate. That is just the third time this season that Illinois has had the same lineup in back-to-back games. They'e had 10 different lineups in 13 games.

Officials tonight: Pat Adams, Ted Valentine, Mike Eades

20 minutes to tipoff

John Groce has said he doesn't want the current four-game win streak to cover up the Illini's issues. They still don't defend the threeor the post well.

Still, one thing that encourages me: the Illini are who they are now. By that, I mean that they aren't looking over their shoulders for Mike Thorne's return or Leron Black's return. Those guys probably aren't coming back soon, if at all. So the rest of this team knows the rotation and knows its role. This team still might have flaws but at least its not in flux like it was for most of the first 10 games of the season due to players leaving and returning due to injuries.

One hour to tipoff

Some recruiting news from our own Derek Piper.

Mizzou is the home team, so they host recruits for this game. No word yet on if Belleville East wing Jordan Pickett -- both top Illini targets in 2017 -- will be here. Former East St. Louis star Jeremiah Tillmon is now playing at La Lumiere Prep, Illini guard Jalen Coleman-Lands' alma mater.

Illinois has the two best players in this game: Malcolm Hill (18.5 ppg) and Kendrick Nunn (18.4 ppg). The two rank second and fourth, respectively, in scoring in the Big Ten. More importantly, they've experienced two Border Wars. They must produce, but they also must lead their young team. The Illini haven't been able to put away teams this season. This Mizzou team will give them opportunities. Hill and Nunn must lead the charge.

90 minutes to tipoff

Some Mizzou players are on the court shooting around. This is a young Mizzou team.

KenPom ranks Mizzou as the 339th most experienced team among Division-I programs (Illinois 244th). Of Mizzou's top 10 scorers, four are freshmen and three are sophomores. Their rotation includes just two juniors and one senior.

Read more about them in Sean Harrington's great premium breakdown of the rosters and a game plan for the Illini.

Derek Piper gives the keys for the Illini and a prediction in his preview.

Of course, Illinois is pretty young too. They have four freshmen in their rotation, including two on the court right now: Aaron Jordan and D.J. Williams. Jordan is going through some short shooting drills. Williams is doing some dribbling drills with both hands. He's skilled. If I were Williams though, I'd focus on two things: defense and rebounding. Those are his paths to the court right now.

2 hours to tipoff

Jeremy Werner, Illini Inquirer publisher here, courtside at Scottrade Center for the 35th edition of the Bud Light Braggin' Rights Game. Illinois (7-5) enters tonight's matchup against Mizzou (5-5) with a 22-12 all-time series lead. Of course, this is a streaky series. Illinois won eight consecutive from 1983-90, then Mizzou won seven of nine from 1991-99, then illinois won nine in a row from 2000-08 and then Mizzou won four straight.

Coming off back-to-back wins, Illinois can continue that trend with another win tonight. Of course, the last two have been really close. Tracy Abrams (remember him?) made the game-winning free throws of a 65-64 win in 2013, and of course, Rayvonte Rice made the game-winning, buzzer-beating three in a 62-59 win last year.

This is my first trip to the Braggin' Rights Game. I know, I know.. I've covered Illinois for about eight years but never made it. I tried to attend as a Daily Illini beat writer in 2008 but a blizzard kept me at home. The last four years I've had to do the radio show (my main job then). After taking over as publisher of Illini Inquirer (my main priority with radio as the side gig now), this was a must-see.

I know both programs are down (Illinois has missed two straight tournaments and Mizzou coach Kim Anderson is 14-28 in his four-thirds of a season. But judging by the number of Illini fans near my hotel, attendance will still be pretty good. As John Groce says, throw out the records with this one. It's still a big deal. I'm looking forward to the atmosphere.

Gotta be honest, it feels like its October, not December. I was sweating on my short walk over here -- and I had my coat in my arms! I'm not going to complain about unseasonable warmth.

I got great seats tonight!


Illini Inquirer Top Stories

Mizzou is the home team, so they host recruits for this game. No word yet on if Belleville East wing Jordan Pickett -- both top Illini targets in 2017 -- will be here. Former East St. Louis star Jeremiah Tillmon is now playing at La Lumiere Prep, Illini guard Jalen Coleman-Lands' alma mater.

\n

Illinois has the two best players in this game: Malcolm Hill (18.5 ppg) and Kendrick Nunn (18.4 ppg). The two rank second and fourth, respectively, in scoring in the Big Ten. More importantly, they've experienced two Border Wars. They must produce, but they also must lead their young team. The Illini haven't been able to put away teams this season. This Mizzou team will give them opportunities. Hill and Nunn must lead the charge.

\n

\n

90 minutes to tipoff

\n

Some Mizzou players are on the court shooting around. This is a young Mizzou team.

\n

KenPom ranks Mizzou as the 339th most experienced team among Division-I programs (Illinois 244th). Of Mizzou's top 10 scorers, four are freshmen and three are sophomores. Their rotation includes just two juniors and one senior.

\n

Read more about them in Sean Harrington's great premium breakdown of the rosters and a game plan for the Illini.

\n

Derek Piper gives the keys for the Illini and a prediction in his preview.

\n

Of course, Illinois is pretty young too. They have four freshmen in their rotation, including two on the court right now: Aaron Jordan and D.J. Williams. Jordan is going through some short shooting drills. Williams is doing some dribbling drills with both hands. He's skilled. If I were Williams though, I'd focus on two things: defense and rebounding. Those are his paths to the court right now.

\n

2 hours to tipoff

\n

Jeremy Werner, Illini Inquirer publisher here, courtside at Scottrade Center for the 35th edition of the Bud Light Braggin' Rights Game. Illinois (7-5) enters tonight's matchup against Mizzou (5-5) with a 22-12 all-time series lead. Of course, this is a streaky series. Illinois won eight consecutive from 1983-90, then Mizzou won seven of nine from 1991-99, then illinois won nine in a row from 2000-08 and then Mizzou won four straight.

\n

Coming off back-to-back wins, Illinois can continue that trend with another win tonight. Of course, the last two have been really close. Tracy Abrams (remember him?) made the game-winning free throws of a 65-64 win in 2013, and of course, Rayvonte Rice made the game-winning, buzzer-beating three in a 62-59 win last year.

\n

This is my first trip to the Braggin' Rights Game. I know, I know.. I've covered Illinois for about eight years but never made it. I tried to attend as a Daily Illini beat writer in 2008 but a blizzard kept me at home. The last four years I've had to do the radio show (my main job then). After taking over as publisher of Illini Inquirer (my main priority with radio as the side gig now), this was a must-see.

\n

I know both programs are down (Illinois has missed two straight tournaments and Mizzou coach Kim Anderson is 14-28 in his four-thirds of a season. But judging by the number of Illini fans near my hotel, attendance will still be pretty good. As John Groce says, throw out the records with this one. It's still a big deal. I'm looking forward to the atmosphere.

\n

Gotta be honest, it feels like its October, not December. I was sweating on my short walk over here -- and I had my coat in my arms! I'm not going to complain about unseasonable warmth.

\n

I got great seats tonight!

\n
\n

Good seats tonight pic.twitter.com/q7VdKDnRNU

\n— Jeremy Werner (@JWernerScout) December 23, 2015
\n ","mobileBody":"

Tipoff

Looks like I'm going to have to abandon the live blog. WiFi is brutal here.

Illinois' lineup is the same as last game: Malcolm Hill, Kendrick Nunn, Michael Finke, Jalen Coleman-Lands and Jaylon Tate. That is just the third time this season that Illinois has had the same lineup in back-to-back games. They'e had 10 different lineups in 13 games.

Officials tonight: Pat Adams, Ted Valentine, Mike Eades

20 minutes to tipoff

John Groce has said he doesn't want the current four-game win streak to cover up the Illini's issues. They still don't defend the threeor the post well.

Still, one thing that encourages me: the Illini are who they are now. By that, I mean that they aren't looking over their shoulders for Mike Thorne's return or Leron Black's return. Those guys probably aren't coming back soon, if at all. So the rest of this team knows the rotation and knows its role. This team still might have flaws but at least its not in flux like it was for most of the first 10 games of the season due to players leaving and returning due to injuries.

One hour to tipoff

Some recruiting news from our own Derek Piper.

Belleville Althoff wing Jordan Goodwin (@jGoodwin1123) tells me he'll be at the Braggin' Rights game. Big-time target for #Illini & Mizzou.

— Derek Piper (@DPiperScout) December 23, 2015

Mizzou is the home team, so they host recruits for this game. No word yet on if Belleville East wing Jordan Pickett -- both top Illini targets in 2017 -- will be here. Former East St. Louis star Jeremiah Tillmon is now playing at La Lumiere Prep, Illini guard Jalen Coleman-Lands' alma mater.

Illinois has the two best players in this game: Malcolm Hill (18.5 ppg) and Kendrick Nunn (18.4 ppg). The two rank second and fourth, respectively, in scoring in the Big Ten. More importantly, they've experienced two Border Wars. They must produce, but they also must lead their young team. The Illini haven't been able to put away teams this season. This Mizzou team will give them opportunities. Hill and Nunn must lead the charge.

90 minutes to tipoff

Some Mizzou players are on the court shooting around. This is a young Mizzou team.

KenPom ranks Mizzou as the 339th most experienced team among Division-I programs (Illinois 244th). Of Mizzou's top 10 scorers, four are freshmen and three are sophomores. Their rotation includes just two juniors and one senior.

Read more about them in Sean Harrington's great premium breakdown of the rosters and a game plan for the Illini.

Derek Piper gives the keys for the Illini and a prediction in his preview.

Of course, Illinois is pretty young too. They have four freshmen in their rotation, including two on the court right now: Aaron Jordan and D.J. Williams. Jordan is going through some short shooting drills. Williams is doing some dribbling drills with both hands. He's skilled. If I were Williams though, I'd focus on two things: defense and rebounding. Those are his paths to the court right now.

2 hours to tipoff

Jeremy Werner, Illini Inquirer publisher here, courtside at Scottrade Center for the 35th edition of the Bud Light Braggin' Rights Game. Illinois (7-5) enters tonight's matchup against Mizzou (5-5) with a 22-12 all-time series lead. Of course, this is a streaky series. Illinois won eight consecutive from 1983-90, then Mizzou won seven of nine from 1991-99, then illinois won nine in a row from 2000-08 and then Mizzou won four straight.

Coming off back-to-back wins, Illinois can continue that trend with another win tonight. Of course, the last two have been really close. Tracy Abrams (remember him?) made the game-winning free throws of a 65-64 win in 2013, and of course, Rayvonte Rice made the game-winning, buzzer-beating three in a 62-59 win last year.

This is my first trip to the Braggin' Rights Game. I know, I know.. I've covered Illinois for about eight years but never made it. I tried to attend as a Daily Illini beat writer in 2008 but a blizzard kept me at home. The last four years I've had to do the radio show (my main job then). After taking over as publisher of Illini Inquirer (my main priority with radio as the side gig now), this was a must-see.

I know both programs are down (Illinois has missed two straight tournaments and Mizzou coach Kim Anderson is 14-28 in his four-thirds of a season. But judging by the number of Illini fans near my hotel, attendance will still be pretty good. As John Groce says, throw out the records with this one. It's still a big deal. I'm looking forward to the atmosphere.

Gotta be honest, it feels like its October, not December. I was sweating on my short walk over here -- and I had my coat in my arms! I'm not going to complain about unseasonable warmth.

I got great seats tonight!

Good seats tonight pic.twitter.com/q7VdKDnRNU

— Jeremy Werner (@JWernerScout) December 23, 2015
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