#11/11 ILLINOIS (3-1) F - 40 James Augustine (So., 6-10, 225, 10.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg) F - 43 Roger Powell (Jr., 6-6, 220, 17.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg) C - 45 Nick Smith (Jr.-r, 7-2, 240, 6.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg) G - 5 Deron Williams (So., 6-3, 210, 16.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 6.5 apg) G - 11 Dee Brown (So., 6-0, 175, 16.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 4.0 apg)
Off The Bench ... C - 1 Aaron Spears (Fr.-r, 6-9, 260, 2.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg) G - 4 Luther Head (Jr., 6-3, 175, 9.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg) G - 25 Jerrance Howard (Sr.-r, 6-1, 200, 1.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg) G - 33 Richard McBride (Fr., 6-3, 210, n/a) F - 34 Fred Nkemdi (Jr., 6-6, 220, n/a) F - 41 Warren Carter (Fr., 6-9, 205, 6.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg) F - 42 Brian Randle (Fr., 6-8, 200, 6.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg) C - 50 Jack Ingram (Jr.-r, 6-10, 240, 3.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Series History - Arkansas
Illinois leads the series 3-0, including wins each of the last two seasons. The Illini defeated Arkansas 94-91 at the United Center in 2001 and 62-58 last year in Little Rock. Illinois also posted a 65-53 win over the Razorbacks in Champaign in 1949. The Illini are scheduled to return to Little Rock next season.
Top 25 Streak Continues
Illinois is ranked 11th in the current ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll, extending its streak to 62 consecutive polls in which the Illini have been ranked. Illinois is also ranked No. 11 in the AP Top 25 poll. The Illini had a school record-streak of 30 straight polls in the Top 10 snapped in January, 2002, but has never dropped out of the Coaches' Top 25 the last three-plus seasons.
Last Time Out
Illinois dropped a hard-fought contest to No. 10 North Carolina in Greensboro, N.C. on Tuesday in the fifth annual Big Ten-ACC Challenge. Deron Williams scored a career-high 22 points and Roger Powell added 20 as Illinois moved to 3-1 on the season. After commiting 14 turnovers in the first half, the Illini played the entire second half with none. Illinois went just seven of 18 from the free-throw line and were outscored by 15 points from the line by the Tar Heels. Williams added eight assists and James Augustine led the Illini with 11 rebounds. Sean May led the Tar Heels with 23 points and 14 rebounds, while Jawad Williams had 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Williams Showcases All-Around Game
He scores, he defends, he distributes the ball...guard Deron Williams has been turning heads with his senational play to start his sophomore season. Williams has scored in double figures in all four games, setting a career-high in points in three-consecutive games. He ranks third on the team in scoring at 16.3 points per game, more than doubling his freshman scoring average of 6.3 points. He scored a career-high 22 points vs. North Carolina and is shooting 50 percent from the field (24-48) and nearly so from 3-point land (9-20, .450). While his scoring has improved dramatically, Williams remains an unselfish player with the ball in his hands. He leads the Illini in assists with 26 (6.5 apg), setting a career high with eight assists in the season opener vs. Western Illinois and again Tuesday against North Carolina.
Back-to-Back Double-Doubles for Powell
Junior Roger Powell recorded the first double-double of his Illinois career against Mercer on Nov. 26, scoring 16 points and grabbing a career-high 10 rebounds. What better way to follow up that performance than with another double-double in his next outing vs. Temple. Powell scored 19 points and matched his career high with 10 boards. He most recently scored a season-high 20 points against North Carolina. Powell leads the team in scoring and ranks second in rebounding, averaging 17.3 points and 7.0 rebounds. He is shooting 66 percent from the field (27-41) and leads the Illini with 15 offensive rebounds in four games.
All Hands on Deck and Available
Junior guard Luther Head and redshirt-freshman Aaron Spears saw their first action of the season Nov. 29 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 return Saturday against Arkansas. He sat out four games also for violating team rules.
Big Ten Leaders
Sophomore James Augustine (.667) and Roger Powell (.659) rank second and third, respectively, in field goal percentage in the Big Ten. Powell ranks seventh in scoring while sophomore guards Dee Brown and Deron Williams are tied for eighth in scoring. Williams is second in the league in assists and fourth in free-throw shooting, one spot behind Nick Smith. Powell ranks second in the league in offensive rebounding with 3.75 per game. Brown leads the Big Ten with 3.50 three-pointers per game. As a team, the Illini lead the league in scoring (85.8 ppg), field-goal shooting (.508) and assist/turnover ratio (1.31). Illinois is second in the league in assists (19.25 avg.) and three-point field goals per game (6.75 avg.). The Illini are third in rebounding margin (+11.0) and scoring margin (+17.0)