LIVE! Georgetown (and no Trent Frazier)

LIVE! Georgetown (and no Trent Frazier)

CHAMPAIGN — Trent Frazier's presence was missed. Illinois got a big game from freshman guard Ayo Dosunmu in Frazier's stead, but the Illini dropped Tuesday night's Gavitt Tipoff Games showdown with Georgetown 88-80.

Dosunmu scored a game-high 25 points and was one of five Illinois players in double figures. James Akinjo finished off the freshmen guard duel with 19 points for the Hoyas.

Illinois (1-1) will return to action Monday against No. 3 Gonzaga in the first round of the Maui Invitational.


Illinois 72, Georgetown 68 — 6:51 left in 2nd half

Adonis De La Rosa has 5 minutes tonight. That's a number that's going to go up with Giorgi Bezhanishvili in foul trouble. And while De La Rosa might be able to play in his debut following offseason knee surgeyr, he doesn't look ready in a basketball sense. De La Rosa just doesn't have any rhythm on offensive end. But somebody's got to man up Georgetown center Jessie Govan, so as long as Bezhanishvili is on the bench with four fouls that's going to fall to De La Rosa.


Illinois 61, Georgetown 61 — 11:38 left in 2nd half

Ayo Dosunmu has 12 points in this half alone — at one point scoring 10 of 12 points for Illinois. The Illini freshman guard has taken over this game. Count him as the reason Illinois is even still in this one. Hurting the Illini? Georgetown shooting 59.1 percent from the field. The same thing that plagued Illinois all of last season has reared its ugly head tonight. Too many easy layups.


Georgetown 39, Illinois 37 — Halftime

A few halftime thoughts ...

— As well as Ayo Dosunmu and Giorgi Bezhanishvili played to start the game (they still lead the Illini with nine points apiece), they didn't finish particularly. They both picked up late second fouls (on offensive fouls), and Dosunmu was just a little out of control offensively to end the half.

— Mac McClung still hasn't dunked.

— Kipper Nichols is doing a little bit of everything for the Illini. That's big. No Trent Frazier means somebody had to step up. Nichols is doing it with seven points, four rebounds and three assists.

— Alan Griffin is flying around in his debut. Crashing the boards. Knocked down a three-pointer. Not a bad start.

— Attendance tonight is listed at 14,656 ... with 2,515 free tickets distributed to students.

To the Twitter machine!


Georgetown 32, Illinois 28 — 3:57 left in 1st half

No Trent Frazier was going to mean someone — or, more correctly, multiple someones — were going to have to step up in his absence. So far it's been freshmen Ayo Dosunmu and Giorgi Bezhanishvili. They have nine points apiece to lead the Illini and are 8 of 14 combined from the field.

What's not good for Illinois, though, is the combined 7 of 7 shooting for Georgetown on layups and dunks. That includes a pair of acrobatic finishes by freshman guard Mac McClung, who still hasn't dunked yet. I'm waiting.


Georgetown 16, Illinois 15 — 11:20 left in 1st half

The Hoyas are on a 10-3 run during the last 3 1/2 minutes, and they got there with a number of too easy shots at the rim. Georgetown made its first six shots of the game and is still hitting at 70 percent. The biggest change beyond Illinois giving up easy layups? The Hoyas have started handling the Illini's pressure defense better.


Illinois 12, Georgetown 6 — 15:50 left in 1st half

Plenty to mention through the first 4 minutes or so tonight. Some quick hits.

— Adonis De La Rosa has officially made his Illini debut. He was first off the bench.

— Illinois has already forced four Georgetown turnovers and scored five points off them.

— Georgetown guard and viral sensation Mac McClung is getting boo'd every time he touches the ball.

— Nothing, and I mean nothing, has kept Ayo Dosunmu from attacking the basket and scoring at the rim. Two "easy" layups that he made happen by beating his man off the dribble.

— Hoyas' big man and leading scorer Jessie Govan is still scoreless.


Illinois vs. Georgetown — 7:30 p.m., FS1

Trent Frazier's absence doesn't change one of Illinois' keys for tonight's game. The Illini still have to try and keep Georgetown off the boards.

"They’re a very good rebounding team," Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. "I think we’ve got to do a good job of making contact early. The first three or four possessions of the Evansville game we just turn and ran to the ball — or to the rim — and they got a couple long rebounds.

"We’ve got to do a better job of hitting them. They’re going to play a little more interior, so they won’t be quite as much five out. We’ve got to lay bodies on people on the blocks and drive them out of there. That’s something we’ve really focused on here the last few days."


Illinois vs. Georgetown — 7:30 p.m., FS1

In case you somehow missed it, Illinois got some good recruiting news with a commitment from four-star 2019 center Antwan January. Click here to read about him.


Illinois vs. Georgetown — 7:30 p.m., FS1

University of Illinois student had no reason not to come out to State Farm Center for tonight's game with free tickets available. As of 45 minutes to tip at least 2,400 students had taken the Illini up on that offer.

It's what Illinois coach Brad Underwood wanted.

"I’m excited for our fans," Underwood said. "This is a great opportunity for our students to come see us. Get on those floor seats and really make some noise against a big time, quality opponent. An opportunity to get in the basketball spirit here in the month of November."


Illinois vs. Georgetown — 7:30 p.m., FS1

The biggest challenge for Illinois tonight other than figuring out what to do without Trent Frazier? Finding a way to at least slow down Georgetown center Jessie Govan. Slowing him down being the operative phrase there because Govan's awfully hard to stop outright.

The 6-foot-10, 255-pound center is averaging 19.5 points and 7.5 rebounds this season and is basically a walking double-double.

"Govan in the middle is a legit pro prospect," Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. "He’s a guy that was a double-double machine last year. He has proven that this year. He is one of the most efficient offensive players I’ve seen. Maybe as good a big guy as we’ll see all season long."


Illinois vs. Georgetown — 7:30 p.m., FS1

So ... no Trent Frazier tonight against the Hoyas. That certainly changes things for Illinois. The Illini can slide Andres Feliz into the starting lineup, but that changes what Brad Underwood is able to do with his bench. Not to mention Illinois can't go with that three-headed monster of Frazier, Feliz and Ayo Dosunmu. That's been the Illini's best offensive lineup so far this season (small sample size aside).

Da'Monte Williams is going to be asked to do more — particularly on the offensive end. The sophomore guard already does all the gritty, little things. Now he's got to summon his inner scorer a little more. Alan Griffin (back from a knee injury) should also make his Illinois debut tonight, and his minutes might be a bit more than expected if he's good to go for more.

We'll see.


Good evening everybody and welcome back to another LIVE! Report from State Farm Center.

First, the bad news. Starting point guard Trent Frazier will not play for the Illini tonight.

He is being held out for concussion protocol. The injury happened at the end of Monday's practice. More to come in a bit.

Not to diminish Evansville (the Purple Aces fared better against Xavier in their second game), but I think it's safe to say fans are a little more interested in tonight's game.

Sure, Georgetown might not be Georgetown anymore, but the Hoyas still have some cachet simply for their name. And maybe Patrick Ewing has his old/new team on the upswing. The softest nonconference schedule maybe ever saw Georgetown go 15-15 last year in Ewing's first season as coach. 

This year's Georgetown team has some interesting players. Jessie Govan is obviously an advantage for the Hoyas in the paint — and a serious challenge for Illinois freshman forward Giorgi Bezhanishvili. Georgetown also has some intriguing guards in freshmen James Akinjo and Mac McClung (a dunking extraordinaire). 

Illinois' season really kicks into high gear starting tonight. This is the last warmup before the Illini head to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational (and a first-round matchup with No. 3 Gonzaga).

While you're waiting for tipoff tonight at State Farm Center, be sure to check out our full complement of pregame coverage.

Bezhanishvili happy to pump up UI, fans

CHAMPAIGN — Giorgi Bezhanishvili is 2 for 2 in his still-brief Illinois basketball career. That's 2 for 2 on "Giorgi!" chants from the State Farm Center crowd during the Illini's exhibition win against Illinois Wesleyan and their season opener against Evansville.

Whether it's the three-pointers he hits — acknowledged by kissing his fingers and pointing skyward — or the tenacity he's shown in the post, the Illinois freshman has the Illini fans' attention. It's coming on campus, too, in addition to gameday.

"That's always kind of been my thing," Bezhanishvili said. "I'm really a simple person. I give my energy to people, and people give energy back. (The fans) help us. They bring energy to the team, too. I've always been a guy like that. That's just me."

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