Lineups: Austin Peay at Illinois, 7 p.m. today

Lineups: Austin Peay at Illinois, 7 p.m. today

Illinois (6-3)


P Name Yr. Ht. PPG

G Te'Jon Lucas So. 6-1 5.9

G Mark Smith Fr. 6-4 9.1

G Mark Alstork Gr. 6-5 8.7

F Leron Black R-Jr. 6-7 14.7

C Michael Finke R-Jr. 6-10 11.1

FYI: Alstork found his offensive rhythm during Illinois' opening Big Ten weekend, scoring in double figures in both games for the first time since Illinois' season opener. He matched his Illini career high with 17 points Sunday against Maryland.

Off the bench

F Kipper Nichols R-So. 6-6 10.7

G Trent Frazier Fr. 6-1 6.1

G Aaron Jordan Jr. 6-5 12.9

Austin Peay (4-4)


P Name Yr. Ht. PPG

G Tre' Ivory Sr. 5-11 5.3

G Dayton Gumm Fr. 6-2 13.6

G/F Terry Taylor Fr. 6-5 12.6

F Chris Porter-Bunton R-Jr. 6-5 5.3

F Averyl Ugba Sr. 6-7 11.6

FYI: The Governors are one of the poorer free throw shooting teams in the country, ranking 340th of 351 Division I teams at 61 percent, which does not include their wins against non-Division I programs Oakland City (Ind.) and Bethel (Tenn.). Porter-Bunton is the only starter shooting better than 70 percent.

Off the bench

G/F Steve Harris Jr. 6-4 7.4

G Zach Glotta Jr. 6-0 5.8

F Richard Henderson Fr. 6-6 6.8


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

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

TV: Lisa Byington (play-by-play) and former Illini Stephen Bardo (analysis) have the call on BTN.

Series history: Illinois leads 3-1.

Last meeting: Illinois won 107-66 on Nov. 21, 2014, in Champaign.

FYI: Just two players on the Illinois roster — Leron Black and Cameron Liss — played in the last win against Austin Peay. Black had eight points off the bench in what was the third game of his Illini career. Five Illini finished in double figures in the 41-point victory, with Malcolm Hill and Rayvonte Rice leading the way with 16 points apiece.

Scott Richey's storylines

Disappointing start

Brad Underwood's reflection on Sunday night's overtime loss to Maryland left him in the same place before Tuesday's practice as he was immediately after Illinois failed to close out the Terrapins in regulation. How the Illini started the game — a 10-0 deficit in the first 4 minutes of action — still disappointed him the most. "The one thing that was fairly new to me was that — that start — and not being ready to play," Underwood said. "I guess, in hindsight, I was very fortunate at (Stephen F. Austin) and Oklahoma State that when the lights came on our guys were ready to go. ... It leads me to I've got to do a better job there. I've got to make sure our guys know there's a game ready to play when we throw it up."

Shooter's mentality

The four shots Michael Finke made Sunday against Maryland were three more than he made in Illinois' previous two games combined. The redshirt junior forward was 1 of 6 combined in losses to Wake Forest and Northwestern, and his only two points in the Illini's Big Ten opener against the Wildcats came at the free throw line. "I've got to keep staying confident," Finke said. "That's the biggest thing for me. Everytime I shoot it, I feel like it's going in. Obviously the past couple games they haven't been falling for me, but I've just got to keep shooting it — keep playing. I've got to rebound a little better and just do what I can to get involved and help my team win." Taking Maryland big man Ivan Bender off the dribble for a baseline dunk made for two important points for Finke on Sunday. "It felt good to get out there and just put the ball on the floor and attack the rim," Finke said. "That's something I've got to keep striving for."

Defense first

Don't be surprised if Austin Peay plays a similar style to Illinois. The Governors should considering who their coach is. Matt Figger is in his first season at Austin Peay — replacing longtime coach Dave Loos— and his path to Clarksville, Tenn., included stops at Kansas State and South Carolina where he worked with Underwood under Frank Martin. "They play the same kind of defense," Underwood said. "They don't have tremendous size, but they've got defensive end-looking type guys. ... With the exception of their Virginia game in their opener, this has been a team that's been right there in a lot of games. Matt does an unbelievable job, and they're playing extremely hard."

Prediction: Illinois 91, Austin Peay 73

Dick Vitale shouldn't have any reason to make a prediction about this game. If he did in fact pick the Illini to win like he did during the 1987 NCAA tournament, the odds of him having to stand on his head after an Austin Peay upset are fairly low. Illinois is the favorite. It’s all about how the Illini bounce back in a game they should win, especially after Illinois has suffered three straight losses despite being in position to win all three. (N-G prediction record: 8-1)