Hoop Preview: Illinois at the BJC

Struggling Nittany Lions looks to break out of their funk vs. a hot Illini outfit on Senior Day.

Illinois @ Penn State

Tipoff: 2 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center

Records: Penn State 10-16, 1-12; Illinois 20-9, 8-6.

Coaches: Ed DeChellis is 41-73 in four seasons at Penn State and 146-166 in 11 seasons overall; Bruce Weber is 109-25 in four seasons at Illinois and 212-79 in nine seasons overall.

Series: Illinois leads 18-7.

TV: ESPN. Dave Pasch (play-by-play) and Bill Hoskett (color).

Radio: Steve Jones (play-by-play) and Dick Jerardi (color) will call the game for the Penn State Sports Network.

Last Time Out: Penn State lost at No. 1 Ohio State (68-60) Wednesday. Illinois beat Michigan (54-42) in Champaign the same night.

Next Up: Penn State plays host to Iowa Wednesday.

Lineups:

Penn State

G Mike Walker, 6-2 Jr. (5.0)

G David Jackson, 6-1 Sr. (3.7)

F Geary Claxton, 6-5 Jr. (16.4)

F Jamelle Cornley, 6-5 So. (13.8)

F Milos Bogetic, 6-10 So. (4.4)

Illinois

G Richard McBride, 6-3 Sr. (10.4)

G Chester Frazier, 6-2 So. (7.5)

F Warren Carter, 6-9 Sr. (13.3)

F Brian Randle, 6-8 Jr. (7.6)

C Shaun Pruitt, 6-10 Jr. (11.3)

Notes:

• Quick Quiz: When was Penn State's last home win over Illinois? The answer later.

• Jackson and Ben Luber will be honored before the game on Senior Day. Luber is questionable due to a wrist injury sustained in the Ohio State game. DeChellis said he is sorry to see the seniors going out with such a difficult final season, “but they've been great guys. No problems on the court or off, and that's what we're supposed to be about. They're both good students, they both work hard, they've both done everything we've asked them to do. … For that, I am grateful.”

• The Lions have lost 12 straight games. The Illini have won 5 of 6. This is the only meeting between the two teams this season.

• After struggling early in the Big Ten campaign, the rebuilt Illini are getting the job done on the defensive end. They have given up an average of 47.7 points in their last six games.

• Also being honored Saturday will be four senior managers: Pete Bordi, Adam Fisher, Marc Cusat and D.J. Black. DeChellis joked that Bordi and Fisher have “only been around for eight years.” Then he added, “Those two guys have been mainstays. I don't know what I'm gonna do without them.”

• Quiz Answer: Though PSU stunned Illinois in Champaign last season, the Lions have not beaten the Illini in Happy Valley since a wild 98-95 overtime affair in 2001.

Prediction: Illinois 52, Penn State 46

Comment: This is a far cry from 2001. Look for the two teams combined to have trouble topping PSU's point total from that memorable game.

FOS Record: 21-5

-30-


Fight On State Top Stories