Illini Carry Nation's Longest Regular Season Non-Conference Winning Streak Illinois has won 40 consecutive regular season non-conference games over the last three-plus seasons, which is the longest active streak in the nation. And while Illinois' streak dates back to the 2003-04 season, no other school in the country has a streak that goes back further than 2004-05. Washington ranks second on the list, 18 wins behind the Illini with an active streak of 22 straight wins. Washington next plays on Nov. 29 vs. Idaho. Illinois' streak began on Dec. 11, 2003 with a win over Maryland-Eastern Shore. The Illini won their last five regular season non-conference games of the 2003-04 season, posted back-to-back undefeated non-conference records of 14-0 in 2004-05 and 2005-06, and have won their first seven games of the 2006-07 season to extend the streak to 40. Illinois is 44-2 (.957) overall in regular season non-conference games under Weber, with the only losses coming in 2003 to North Carolina (Dec. 2) and Providence (Dec. 9).
Series Notes: Maryland
Tuesday marks the sixth meeting between Illinois and Maryland, with the Terrapins holding a 3-2 edge in the all-time series. The last time the two teams met was at the 2001 ACC/Big Ten Challenge, when No. 5 Maryland defeated No. 2 Illinois 76-63 at Cole Field House. The UI's last win in the series was at the 2000 Maui Invitational, when No. 8 Illinois defeated No. 6 Maryland 90-80 in the Maui Semifinal.
This is the first match-up between the two schools at the Assembly Hall.
Weber Goes for 200th Win
Bruce Weber is aiming for his 200th career coaching victory. Now in his ninth season as a head coach, Weber enters the Maryland game with a career record of 199-70. He totaled 192 wins entering this season, which ranked as the third most wins in NCAA history by a coach after his first eight seasons.
Illini Winners of Four Straight In-Season Tourneys
Illinois' title at the Chicago Invitational Challenge last weekend marked its fourth consecutive regular-season tournament championship. That run began when the Illini won the 2001 Las Vegas Invitational. It continued with Illinois' championship in the 2004 Las Vegas Holiday Classic, followed by the 2005 South Padre Island Invitational title.
The last time Illinois did not win a regular season tournament was the 2000 Maui Invitational when the Illini fell to Arizona in the championship game.
Randle Out Following Surgery
Starting forward Brian Randle will miss 2-4 more weeks after having surgery on Nov. 17 in Philadelphia to repair a damaged muscle in the groin/abdominal area.
Frazier On Point
Chester Frazier has taken over the reins at point guard following the graduation of Dee Brown. The sophomore from Baltimore has been very productive in all facets of the game. He is averaging 11.6 points and leads the Big Ten with an average of 7.0 assists. He is also fourth on the Illini with an average of 4.6 rebounds and leads the team in steals, averaging 1.4 spg.
Frazier has scored in double figures in each of the last six games, led by a career-high 17 points vs. Savannah State on Nov. 21. He recorded his first career double-double vs. Florida A&M on Nov. 19 with 13 points and 10 assists.
Frazier had 10 points vs. Miami (OH) on Friday, hitting a game-winning layup with 18 seconds left. He then recorded his second double-double vs. Bradley on Saturday with 10 points and a career-high 11 assists. His 11 assists vs. BU are the most by a Big Ten player this season. Following his play last weekend, Frazier was named MVP of the Chicago Invitational Challenge.
While continuing to rack up the assists, Frazier has also done a good job cutting down on his turnovers lately. After totaling 13 turnovers in the first two games, he has combined for just 12 turnovers over the past five games. He had only one turnover in 35 minutes vs. Bradley compared to 11 assists. Frazier's assist-to-turnover ratio the past five games is 2.67.
Pruitt A Consistent Contributor
Shaun Pruitt started every game last season and is once again the Illini's starting center this year. He has scored in double figures in six of seven games, averaging 12.0 points on the season. Pruitt had 15 points on 7-9 shooting vs. Jackson State (Nov. 15) and recorded the first double-double of his career with 10 points and a career high-tying 10 rebounds vs. Savannah State (Nov. 21).
He earned Chicago Invitational Challenge All-Tournament Team honors after posting a double-double with 12 points and a career high-tying 10 boards vs. Miami (OH) on Friday followed by a season-high 16 points and nine rebounds in a career-best 31 minutes vs. Bradley on Saturday.
Pruitt leads the Illini in rebounding with an average of 7.0 boards and has been an efficient scorer, shooting 61 percent from the field (36-59) to rank fifth in the Big Ten.
Brock Stepping Up
Sophomore Calvin Brock has made the most of his opportunity in the Illini lineup. With Brian Randle unavailable, Brock has started the past six games. He totaled 14 points on 6-9 shooting and six rebounds vs. Jackson State (Nov. 15), had 17 points on 7-11 shooting vs. Georgia Southern (Nov. 17), and tallied the first double-double of his career vs. Florida A&M (Nov. 19) with career highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds along with a career-best seven assists. He most recently scored eight points vs. Bradley on Saturday.
Brock is fifth on the team in scoring, averaging 10.9 points and is shooting 56.1 percent from the floor (32-57) and 46.7 percent from 3-point range (7-15) on the year.
Carter Aiming High As A Senior
Warren Carter is off to a fast start to his senior season. The replacement for James Augustine at power forward, Carter has started all seven games this year and is fourth on the team in scoring with an average of 11.4 points. He has reached double figures four times, led by a career-high 17 points in his most recent game vs. Bradley on Saturday. Carter also had eight rebounds vs. the Braves and had eight points, three blocks and three steals vs. Miami (OH) the night before to earn a spot on the Chicago Invitational All-Tournament Team.
Carter is second on the team in rebounding, averaging 5.9 rpg. He had the first double-double of his career vs. Jackson State (Nov. 15) with 16 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. His 15 boards vs. JSU are the most by a Big Ten player this year.
Trent Meacham starred at Champaign Centennial High School and initially went to Dayton on a full scholarship. After playing as a true freshman at Dayton in 2004-05, Meacham returned to Illini country, choosing to walk-on to the Illinois squad. Meacham sat out last season as a transfer and has been awarded a scholarship for this season.
After an injury to Jamar Smith in the season opener vs. Austin Peay, Meacham found himself in the starting lineup just two days later, playing all 40 minutes vs. Jackson State (Nov. 15), scoring eight points with a career-high six assists.
Meacham was Illinois' leading scorer for two straight games with 19 points vs. Georgia Southern (Nov. 17) followed by a career-high 24 points vs. Florida A&M on Sunday. He tied the school record for 3-pointers in a game with eight vs. FAMU en route to his 24 points.
Meacham is averaging 10.6 points on the season, is second on the team in assists (2.7 apg), and is second in the Big Ten in 3-point field goal shooting at 50 percent (17-34).
Weber Nation's Second-Winningest Coach over Past Five-Plus Seasons
Bruce Weber has coached consistent winners everywhere he's been throughout his college career. In fact, over the past five-plus seasons only one head coach in America has more wins on his resume than Weber. Beginning with the 2001-02 season, Weber has recorded 148 victories, which trails only Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (152 wins, next game Nov. 28) and leads Roy Williams (142 wins, next game Nov. 29) for the most wins by an NCAA Div. I coach over this time span. In his final two years at Southern Illinois, Weber went 28-8 in 2001-02 and 24-7 in 2002-03. He then took over the Illinois program, leading the Illini to a 26-7 record in 2003-04, a 37-2 mark in 2004-05, another 26-7 record in 2005-06, and a 7-0 mark so far this season.
Illini Nation's Second-Winningest Team over Past Six-Plus Seasons
Illinois ranks as the second-winningest team in the nation over the past six-plus seasons in terms of total wins, and ranks third over that same time span in terms of winning percentage. Illinois has reeled off 174 victories since the beginning of the 2000-01 season, which trails only Duke, while the Illini's .813 winning percentage over that time span trails just Duke and Gonzaga.
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