Live! from Illinois-Quincy

Live! from Illinois-Quincy

Illinois 73, Quincy University 45 - Final

-Little sloppy to close this out. Illinois will finish with 17 assists against 16 turnovers.

-Kevin Berardini and Jean "Canada" Selus got a round of applause from the Krush as they checked into the game. The Krush wants Berardini to launch a 3.

-D.J. Richardson shot it well, again, and finished with a game-high 17 points. He made 4 of 6 three-point attempts.

-Joseph Bertrand arguably had the best line: 10 points, five rebounds, three assists.

-Illinois held Quincy without a field goal for roughly 10 minutes in the second half. Why doesn't Bruce Weber play a zone? Because Quincy finally scored when Illinois switched to a zone.

-We'll have injury updates and a story on Tracy Abrams' progression in Tuesday's News-Gazette. Thanks for reading.

Klee

Illinois 57, Quincy University 30 - 8:37 left in regulation

-Chester Frazier and Jerrance Howard scheming on the sideline. Some fortunate staff needs to hire Chester when he's done at Illinois. He will earn his Masters in May 2012.

-The Orange Krush is giving Austin Weber a hard time: "Aus-tin... Aus-tin... Aus-tin..."

-Props to Mike Koon, who has done a fine job replacing Mike Cation on the mic tonight.

-And thanks to Lorita Bertrand for letting me in their home for Sunday's profile on her son Joseph. Good people right there.

-Joseph Bertrand, the team's best rebounding guard as I wrote today, got the second-half start in place of Brandon Paul.

-I feel like Meyers Leonard sometimes hangs on the rim just to hang on the rim. And I don't mind that.

-I don't expect you'll see Sammy Maniscalco again tonight. He played 11 minutes in the first half, just what they wanted.

-Illinois looking to get it inside on every possession. Nnanna Egwu is taking advantage of it... except when he gets to the foul line. The normally reliable free-throw shooter is 2-for-6. That usually is one of his strengths.

-Not Myke Henry's night. Also his first night. That's what I meant by patience. The kid has star potential - down the road.

-Another strong outing from Meyers Leonard (10 points, four rebounds, one foul). He's been very good in recent practices, as well. One thing they've worked on with him is setting legal screens. Sometimes he's like a pulling (football) guard, plowing through defenders. But right now he's starting to come around. Difference-maker.

-Joseph Bertrand with the game's highlight so far. He elevated up near the top of the white square as he tried to block a layup attempt. Forget that he was called for a foul - only a few guys can leap like that.

Back in a few.

Klee

Illinois 35, Quincy University 18 - Halftime

-I'm an advocate of playing more guys this season because I think it gives Illinois the best chance to beat good teams. But the first half tonight is a good example of why not to go deeper. The constant lineup shuffling has upset the chemistry on the court, and there's been little rhythm to the offense. Until the final two minutes, Illinois had more turnovers than assists.

-Quincy switched to a zone defense at 7:40. Illinois turned it over on the first possession when a high-low entry pass got away from Meyers Leonard.

-Always entertaining to sit near Quincy coach Marty Bell. He wanted a goaltending call on Meyers Leonard, didn't get it, then Quincy hit a three-pointer after securing a loose ball. "I'm glad you didn't call it," Bell then told an official. "We got three out of it."

-They're keeping close tabs on Sam Maniscalco's minutes. He barely worked up a sweat before Brandon Paul subbed in for him.

-Leading scorers for Illinois: Richardson (nine points) and Bertrand (eight).

-Joseph Bertrand's line: eight points (4-for-5 field goals), four rebounds, two assists.

-Leading rebounds: Leonard (four) and Bertrand (four).

-Mike Shaw is the best passer among the Illini big men. After watching two weeks of practice, I think he might be the best post-entry passer on the team.

Back in a few.

Klee

Illinois 20, Quincy University 7 - 10:00 left in the first half

-Mike Shaw, Sam Maniscalco and Nnanna Egwu first off the bench for Illinois.

-Three airballs in the first two minutes.

-Three assists on the first three field goals for Illinois.

-Austin Weber checked out of the game and is 0-for-2 from the field.

-Sam Maniscalco hit his first shot, a three-pointer from the left wing.

-At one point Illinois had five guys on the court that haven't played significant (or any) minutes for the Illini: Maniscalco, Bertrand, Henry, Shaw and Djimde.

-I see two people in B-20 checking their phones, presumably for the Bears score. It's 0-0 in the first.

-Nnanna Egwu with two quick fouls.

-That's a shot Joseph Bertrand has really worked on this offseason: the jump-stop floater in the lane. "Good shot, Joe," Weber said.

-Now the coach is all over two freshmen in the huddle: "Get aggressive!" He didn't like their (lack of) defensive intensity on one possession.

-The way Tracy Abrams has played the past two weeks - in the two exhibitions and in practice - is a huge development for Illinois. I can't overstate that. There are still some kinks to work out - sometimes he goes too fast and too far into a defense - but he has been excellent.

-And as the beat writer that makes me happy, because I enjoy talking to Tracy Abrams.

-Quincy is giving an all-out effort. Just severely outmanned, as you would expect.

Back in a few.

Klee

Illinois vs. Quincy University - Assembly Hall - Tipoff

-Tyler Griffey's uncle, Rich Stevens, is in attendance. He played for the Raiders a while back. He was a lineman, so I won't ask if he got a Broncos score from yesterday.

-Athletic director Mike Thomas will be in attendance tonight. This will be his first basketball game - exhibition, at least - as the AD at Illinois.

-If Sammy Maniscalco is on the floor for more than 20 minutes, I vow to personally remove him from the game. Or at least attempt to.

-That's two straight games with Chester Frazier sporting a suit and tie.

-I would estimate 2,000-3,000 in attendance.

-Starting lineup: Abrams, Richardson, Paul, Griffey and Leonard.

Back in a few.

Klee

Illinois vs. Quincy University - Assembly Hall - 10 minutes until tipoff (7:30 p.m.)

-This won't be close. Quincy lost by 39 at Illinois State last night.

-If the ballot would allow me, I would've ranked UNC and Kentucky at 1 and 1A in our preseason AP Top 25. I don't expect UK will be far behind the Tar Heels, and I do think this will be Calipari's best team (so far) at Kentucky.

-Looks like the usual media contingent here on press row - John Supinie (GateHouse), Mark Tupper (Decatur Herald Review), Shannon Ryan (Chicago Trib), Jeremy Werner (ConnectFM), Rob McColley (SmilePolitely), Brad Sturdy (Rivals.com), Jack Tuttle (Scout.com) and the good people from the Daily Illini. So read all of their coverage tomorrow (or tonight). We miss Lindsey Willhite. He's off shooting a puck somewhere.

-Crandall Head is shagging jumpers for his teammates. He won't play tonight and will miss two real games due to the suspension. Good chance for Joe Bertrand and Myke Henry to earn minutes.

-D.J. Richardson, Brandon Paul and Sam Maniscalco are the captains meeting with officials at midcourt.

Back in a few.

Klee

Illinois vs. Quincy University - Assembly Hall - 40 minutes until tipoff (7:30 p.m.)

-Looks good for some of the wounded Illini tonight. Myke Henry is stretching and feeling better about his knee. Sammy Maniscalco is going through warmup lines and should get some time tonight. Even Devin Langford, his left ringer in a splint, is going through some of the warmup drills. He did one-handed (with his right hand) in dribbling drills in practice last week. Big kid. Standing next to Henry, he's got at least an inch on him.

-Good showing from the Krush tonight. They're rolling in right now.

-With the Bears game, and the fact it's Quincy, don't expect more than 5,000 in attendance. Maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised.

-Starting lineup change tonight. Well, the guy who introduces the starting lineup. PA announcer Mike Cation is on the IR. He lost his voice and has been replaced by Mike Koon. He's all over it.

-I count 18 players warming up for Quincy.

-Chicago Simeon junior Kendrick Nunn still is planning an unofficial visit for the season opener Friday against Loyola.

-Again, I apologize, but I'll have to roll out before the final buzzer. It's only me tonight and we've got print coverage to take care of.

Back in a few.

Klee

Illinois vs. Quincy University - Assembly Hall - 90 minutes until tipoff (7:30 p.m.)

Evening everyone. We'll be here at the Assembly Hall with updates from the Illini's second (and final) exhibition tune-up before the regular season opens Friday against Loyola. A few things to get started...

-The Illini are banged up, but I expect you'll see more guys on the floor than in the Wayne State game. Coaches are hoping to get Maniscalco 8-12 minutes tonight. I'm guessing he will see more than that. It's worth noting, however, the senior point guard didn't practice Friday. He's out of the walking boot but not close to 100 percent. Devin Langford (finger) is out. Crandall Head (suspension) is out. Tracy Abrams re-aggravated a toe injury in Friday's practice. It looked painful. Myke Henry (knee, thigh bruise) was noticeably hobbled. Same with Joseph Bertrand, who told me the hip pointer was really bothering him during the first exhibition game.

"One, we play so hard in practice that’s part of why we’ve had so many injuries," Bruce Weber said.

-Quincy features second-year freshman Austin Weber, the nephew of Bruce Weber. This is the second time Austin, a former standout at Glenbrook North, has played at the Assembly Hall. He was here for the 2009 Shootout at the Hall.

"The assistant coaches and coach (Marty) Bell were very, very positive about him," Bruce Weber said of his nephew after doing a coaching clinic at Quincy.

-The Purdue athletic department has hired Brian Cardinal as an administration assistant. Here's the podcast from our radio show with the NBA champion last week.

-The UI coaches emphasized rebounded, especially with the guards, in practice last week. More on that here.

-Counted 11 future Illinois opponents on the preseason Naismith Award list that was released today. Here's the complete list.

-Wrote a profile on Joseph Bertrand for Sunday's News-Gazette: Click here.

I'll cut this thing off in the second half. Early deadline tonight. Back in a few.

Klee (pklee@news-gazette.com)

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