Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber Overall Record: 105-54 (6th year) Big Ten: 0-0 At Illinois: 2-0 (1st year) vs. Temple: first meeting Assistant Coaches: Chris Lowery (1st year), Wayne McClain (3rd year), Jay Price (1st year) Assistant to the head coach: Gary Nottingham (1st year) Trainer: Al Martindale (21st year at Illinois).
Temple Head Coach: John Chaney Overall Record: 468-211 (22nd season) At Temple: 693-270 Vs. Illinois: 1-3 Assistant Coaches: Dan Leibovitz, Bill Ellerbee, Mark Macon
Series History - Temple Illinois and Temple are tied 3-3 in the all-time series, but the Owls have won all three previous meetings in Philadelphia, 51-38 in 1937, 42-41 in 1940 and 92-56 in 1991. The 1991 loss is Illinois' most-lopsided defeat in almost 30 years since the 1973-74 season (40 points at Indiana 2/9/74). Illinos posted a 70-54 win at the United Center in Chicago last season.
Top Programs Two of the winningest 16 teams in the history of college basketball meet Saturday in Philadelphia. In 108 years of basketball, Temple ranks sixth with 1,608 wins and in 99 years, Illinois ranks 16th with 1,460 victories. Temple ranks 13th in all-time winning percentage at .648 while the Illini are 17th at .646.
Last Time Out Illinois used balanced scoring to post another lopsided home win, 93-61, over Mercer Wednesday night in Champaign. Dee Brown led all scorers with 18 points while Roger Powell posted his first-career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Deron Williams followed with a career-high 14 points, Nick Smith added 13 and James Augustine scored 10. The Illini shot 54 percent from the field while holding Mercer to just 40 percent. The Illini jumped out to a 48-17 halftime lead and coasted home.
Last Year vs. Temple Brian Cook led Illinois with 25 points and 11 rebounds as Illinois posted a 70-54 win at the United Center in Chicago last December. The UI defense held Temple to just 29 percent shooting from the field, and held the Owls to just seven field goals in the deciding second half as the Illini broke open a three-point halftime lead. David Hawkins led Temple with 22 points after making nine of 10 free throws. Temple coach John Chaney was not on the sidelines for the Owls as he stayed in Philadelphia while recovering from an illness.
Head, Spears Should See First Floor Time Junior guard Luther Head and redshirt-freshman Aaron Spears should be clear to see their first action of the season Saturday at Temple after sitting out two exhibition games and the first two games of the regular season due to team rules violations. Freshman guard Richard McBride is scheduled to miss two more games (through Dec. 2) for violating team rules.
First-Time Action Freshman Brian Randle has been in the starting lineup in his first two games as an Illini. He responded with eight points and a team-high three steals in the opener and six points and five boards in the second. He leads the team with five steals after two games. Junior transfer Jack Ingram, who sat out last season after transferring from Tulsa, scored four points and grabbed five rebounds in his first action as an Illini and had eight points and eight boards vs. Mercer. Freshman forward Warren Carter came off the bench and scored nine points, grabbed three rebounds and two assists in his first collegiate game against Western Illinois.
Brown Named Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year Sophomore guard Dee Brown was named the Big Ten's Preseason Player of the Year by the media and to the preseason All-Big Ten squad by both the media and coaches. Wisconsin's Devin Harris was the preseason player of the year as voted by the coaches. Brown was also named to the 12-man Playboy Magazine All-America squad and is one of 50 players on the Wooden Award All-America preseason watch list. Brown is the fourth-consecutive Illini to earn league preseason player of the year honors following Cory Bradford in 2001, Frank Williams in 2002 and Brian Cook in 2003.
New Faces on the Roster
Ingram Transfers From Tulsa: Jack Ingram, a 6-10 forward/center from San Antonio, Texas, transferred to Illinois from Tulsa in the summer of 2002 and sat out the 2002-03 season per NCAA transfer rules. He begins the 2003-04 season with junior eligibility.
Freshmen Trio: The 2003 recruiting class of 6-foot-3-inch guard Richard McBride of Springfield (Ill.) Lanphier High School, 6-8 forward Brian Randle of Peoria (Ill.) Notre Dame High School and 6-9 forward Warren Carter of Lake Highlands High School in Dallas, Texas are now in their freshman seasons at Illinois. Both McBride and Randle are three-time all-state picks. Carter was the Texas Class 5A Player of the Year in 2003.
Home Cookin Illinois is 41-1 (.976) at the Assembly Hall over the last three-plus years, with the only loss coming to Michigan State in 2002 ... Since then, the Illini have won 19 straight at the Hall ... Illinois is 53-2 (.964) at the Assembly Hall over the past four-plus seasons, the best home record in the nation over that period ...The Illini have won 28 in a row at the Assembly Hall against non-conference opponents.
Tough Slate Illinois (ranked No. 12) once again is set to tackle one of the nation's most-difficult schedules this year. Opponents included in the preseason USA Today/ESPN Top 25 are No. 3 Michigan State, No. 6 Missouri, No. 10 North Carolina and No. 14 Wisconsin. Purdue (34th), Memphis (36th), Ohio State (36th), Providence (41st), Temple (48th), Illinois-Chicago (53rd), Indiana (53rd) and Minnesota (53rd) all received votes in the first poll of the season.