Lineups: UT Martin at Illinois, 5 p.m. today

Lineups: UT Martin at Illinois, 5 p.m. today

Illinois (1-0)


P Name Yr. Ht. PPG

G Te'Jon Lucas So. 6-1 8.0

G Mark Smith Fr. 6-4 9.0

G Mark Alstork Gr. 6-5 17.0

F Leron Black R-Jr. 6-7 14.0

C Michael Finke R-Jr. 6-10 12.0FYI: Black not only shot 86 percent from the field in Friday's 102-55 victory against Southern en route to 14 points, but he also tied Alstork for the team lead with four assists and grabbed six rebounds in a solid all-around effort.

Off the bench

F Kipper Nichols R-So. 6-6 14.0

G Trent Frazier Fr. 6-1 7.0

G Aaron Jordan Jr. 6-5 17.0

UT Martin (0-1)


P Name Yr. Ht. PPG

G Darius Thompson Jr. 6-3 7.0

G Matthew Butler R-Sr. 6-2 20.0

F Jailen Gill Jr. 6-8 4.0

F Mike Fofana So. 6-8 5.0

F Fatodd Lewis R-Jr. 6-8 0.0FYI: The Skyhawks dropped their season opener 102-91 on Friday on the road at Marshall. Illinois will also play the Thundering Herd this season on Nov. 19 in Champaign.

Off the bench

F Dominique Williams Gr. 6-6 25.0

G Delfincko Bogan Jr. 5-10 10.0

C Terrence Parker Jr. 6-9 12.0


Site: State Farm Center (15,544), Champaign.

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

TV: Jim Barbar (play-by-play) and Sean Harrington (analysis) have the call on ESPNU.

Series history: Illinois leads 2-0.

Last meeting: Illinois won 84-46 on Dec. 30, 2005, in Champaign.

FYI: The last victory against the Skyhawks was part of a 15-game winning streak to start the 2005-06 season. Rich McBride was 7 of 10 from three-point range and led the Illini with a game-high 21 points.

Scott Richey's storylines

Finishing at the rim

A couple of late three-pointers by Aaron Jordan in Friday's victory against Southern still only meant 19-percent shooting from beyond the arc for the Illini in their 47-point win. Illinois was more efficient inside the arc and finished with 36 points in the paint against the Jaguars. "I'd always like to see more points in the paint," Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. "I'm an old school guy. The closer you are to the basket, the better chance it has to go in. There's an aggression when you get the ball in the paint, and we talk about that a great deal." Mark Smith, Mark Alstork and Te'Jon Lucas attacked the basket the most, and the Illini shot 66.7 percent on two-pointers in the win.

Jordan rules

Jordan began his Illinois career with a 14-point performance in the Illini's 2015-16 season opener against North Florida. Just three days shy of the two-year anniversary of that game, the 6-foot-5 guard did himself three points better. Jordan's 17-point game against Southern also nearly matched the 23 points he scored in the entirety of the 2016-17 season when his minutes dropped from 11.4 to 6.9 per game from his freshman season. "It felt good, but I couldn't have done it without my teammates," Jordan said. "Everybody was out there playing together, moving the ball. Everybody got a little piece of it (Friday), so shoutout to them."

Getting it done defensively

Scoring 102 points shines a spotlight on the Illinois offense. Deservedly. Save for the three-point shooting, the Illini got out and ran in the second half, pushing the tempo, and played solid halfcourt offense in the second half against the Jaguars. The Illini's defense was solid, too. Illinois forced 22 Southern turnovers and held the Jaguars to 18 percent three-point shooting and 37 percent shooting overall. Lucas led the Illini with three steals, and freshman big man Greg Eboigbodin had his first two career blocks. "We got five assists and 22 turnovers for the opposing team," Alstork said. "If we do that each and every night, we put ourself in a good position to win every night."

Prediction: Illinois 90, UT Martin 71

One game in, and it's already time to adjust what might be possible for Illinois offensively. Just think if the Illini would have made even a few more three-pointers. Their 47-point victory against Southern might have been even more of a rout. The fact UT Martin gave up triple digits to Marshall on Friday bodes well for another high-scoring game at State Farm Center. That's the type of game a Brad Underwood team can thrive in. (N-G prediction record: 1-0)