Final game for the Illini in Maui: Xavier

Final game for the Illini in Maui: Xavier

Illinois vs. Xavier

8 p.m. today


Illinois (1-3)


P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G Trent Frazier So. 6-1 18.0 Wellington, Fla.

G Ayo Dosunmu Fr. 6-5 15.5 Chicago

G Aaron Jordan Sr. 6-5 9.8 Plainfield

F Kipper Nichols R-Jr. 6-6 7.8 Cleveland

F Giorgi Bezhanishvili Fr. 6-9 9.5 Rustavi, Georgia

FYI: Frazier is 9 of 23 (39.1 percent) from three-point range during Illinois' Maui Invitational run. His 3-of-10 performance against Iowa State on Tuesday evened out his monster game Monday night against No. 3 Gonzaga when he made 6 of 13 three-pointers.

Off the bench

P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G Da'Monte Williams So. 6-3 5.5 Peoria

G Andres Feliz Jr. 6-2 8.8 Guachupita, D.R.

G Alan Griffin Fr. 6-5 7.0 Ossining, N.Y.

Xavier (2-3)


P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

G Quentin Goodin Jr. 6-4 15.0 Campbellsville, Ky.

G Paul Scruggs So. 6-3 12.4 Indianapolis

G Kyle Castlin Gr. 6-4 4.6 Marietta, Ga.

F Naji Marshall So. 6-7 12.2 Atlantic City, N.J.

F Tyrique Jones Jr. 6-9 11.0 Bloomfield, Conn.

FYI: First-year coach Travis Steele rebuilt his team on the fly this season with a trio of graduate transfers, including Castlin, who joined the Musketeers after averaging 10.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists last season at Columbia.

Off the bench

P Name Yr. Ht. PPG Hometown

F Zach Hankins Gr. 6-11 11.4 Charlevoix, Mich.

F Ryan Welage Gr. 6-10 10.6 Greensburg, Ind.

G Keonte Kennedy Fr. 6-5 1.6 Aurora, Colo.


Site: Lahaina Civic Center (2,400), Lahaina, Hawaii.

Radio: Brian Barnhart (play-by-play) and former Illini Deon Thomas (analysis) will have the call on the Illini Sports Network on WDWS 1400-AM, WHMS 97.5-FM, WDAN 1490-AM, WDNL 102.1-FM and WPXN 104.9-FM.


Series history: Illinois leads 2-1.

Last meeting: Xavier won 65-59 on Dec. 29, 2006, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

FYI: The Musketeers were able to stifle the post-Dee Brown Illini in that matchup. Jamar Smith put up a team-high 16 points and Shaun Pruitt chipped in an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double, but Illinois couldn't do enough in the second half in the loss.

Scott Richey's storylines


Illinois isn't exactly shy about pulling up from three-point range and letting it fly. Not with shooters like Aaron Jordan (44 percent), Alan Griffin (44 percent), Trent Frazier (38 percent) and Ayo Dosunmu (53 percent) on the team. Xavier's a team to test from three-point range. The Musketeers have allowed their opponents to shoot 41 percent from beyond the arc, which includes 17 of 33 three-point shooting by Evansville.


Xavier coach Travis Steele — former Illinois coach JohnGroce's younger half brother — is still trying to figure out his new-look team without guys like Trevon Bluiett and J.P. Macura anchoring the roster anymore. After two wins to open the year, the Musketeers have dropped three straight. "There's no moral victories," Steele said. "We expect to win. We have to figure it out — sooner rather than later."


Illinois draws a No. 1 NCAA tournament seed from last season in Xavier — something Illini coach Brad Underwood emphasized even if the Musketeers' roster looks different. "They have got guys back from that team," he said. "I haven't seen a lot of them yet, but that's a team, and most importantly it's a program that has such a long history of success."

Prediction: Xavier 77, Illinois 71

Any momentum Illinois built from nearly upsetting No. 3 Gonzaga in the first round evaporated in the second half of Tuesday's loss to Iowa State. A repeat of the latter is a certain recipe for another loss in Maui. (N-G prediction record: 2-2)