Lineups: Iowa at Illinois, 7 p.m. today

Lineups: Iowa at Illinois, 7 p.m. today

Illinois (10-7, 0-4)

Starters

P Name Yr. Ht. PPG

G Trent Frazier Fr. 6-1 9.6

G Mark Smith Fr. 6-4 8.1

G Mark Alstork Gr. 6-5 6.6

F Leron Black R-Jr. 6-7 14.3

F Michael Finke R-Jr. 6-10 10.6

FYI: Fighting the flu Saturday at Michigan, Black's seven-point scoring effort was the first time since Nov. 17 he didn't hit double digits playing a full game for the Illini.

Off the bench

F Kipper Nichols R-So. 6-6 8.7

G Da'Monte Williams Fr. 6-3 4.5

G Aaron Jordan Jr. 6-5 9.9

iowa (9-9, 0-5)

Starters

P Name Yr. Ht. PPG

G Jordan Bohannon So. 6-0 12.1

G Isaiah Moss R-So. 6-5 12.1

F Nicholas Baer R-Jr. 6-7 5.6

F Tyler Cook So. 6-9 14.7

F Luke Garza Fr. 6-11 10.2

FYI: Bohannon has finished with five assists or more in 10 games this season for the Hawkeyes, including each of his past two. Ten assists in Iowa's home loss to Ohio State on Jan. 4 stands as his season high.

Off the bench

G Maishe Dailey So. 6-7 6.0

F Cordell Pemsl So. 6-9 5.9

F Ahmad Wagner Jr. 6-7 2.0

Details

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, WDAN 1490-AM, WDNL 102.1-FM and WPXN 104.9-FM.

TV: Tim Brando (play-by-play) and former Illini Stephen Bardo (expert analysis) have the call on FS1.

Series history: Illinois leads 85-71

Last meeting: Illinois won 70-66 on Feb. 18, 2017, in Iowa City, Iowa, to complete the season sweep.

FYI: Illinois forward Michael Finke averaged 14.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in the Illini's pair of wins last season against Iowa.

Scott Richey's storylines

Handling the youth

Illinois has been able to stay in games with its offense faltering because of three things — aggressive ball pressure defense, offensive rebounding and limiting turnovers. The Illini managed the first two in Saturday's loss at Michigan, but the fact that Mark Smith, Trent Frazier and Te'Jon Lucas combined for 14 of the Illini's 17 turnovers in the 10-point defeat certainly didn't help their cause. "Those are (young) guys handling the ball," Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. "Those are things we can show them on film, and yet once the speed of the game happens and the size of the other team happens and the coverage they have, we've got to grow in those areas. That's why experience is invaluable."

Putting it all together

Frazier doesn't lack for confidence — in himself or in his teammates — even after two more Big Ten losses last week put Illinois at 0-4 in the conference. The 6-foot-1 freshman guard said the Illini played "great" in those games. Just not for a full game. "We've just got to be consistent," the speedy lefty out of Florida said. "It's either we play the first half great or second half great. We've got to put it all together and play a full game of 40 minutes."

Beware the hawkeyes

Iowa's in the same boat as Illinois in the Big Ten. Winless. The Hawkeyes' struggles extended out of conference play, too, with losses to Louisiana-Lafayette and South Dakota State in the Cayman Islands. But Iowa is a team Underwood remains wary of heading into today's game. Underwood considers Iowa sophomore forward Tyler Cook — the Hawkeyes' leading scorer and rebounder — one of the best players in the Big Ten, and Iowa's length on the perimeter could also be trouble. "They throw a lot of different defenses at you," Underwood said. "They're a team that will press us a little bit. They're not a real big set team. They run a lot of motion, so they test your principles. ... They're very much like us in terms of they want to play fast. They'll pitch it ahead and shoot it quick."

Prediction: Illinois 75, Iowa 67

Both teams are in fairly dire need of a win simply to escape what is now a shared Big Ten cellar. Playing at home for just the third time in the last month, the Illini have the advantage — even if students won't be back until the next home game (Jan. 22 against Michigan State). A loss would keep Illinois in a tenuous spot given the next two games are back on the road at Nebraska and Wisconsin. (N-G prediction record: 14-3)

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