Illinois at Indiana: What to expect

Illinois at Indiana: What to expect


ILLINOIS (12-14, 2-11)


P Name Yr. Ht. PPG

G Trent Frazier Fr. 6-1 12.3

G Mark Alstork Gr. 6-5 6.7

G Aaron Jordan Jr. 6-5 8.3

F Leron Black R-Jr. 6-7 14.4

F Greg Eboigbodin Fr. 6-9 2.1

FYI: The Illini rank third in the Big Ten in three-point defense, allowing their opponents to shoot just 32.5 percent. But Illinois is last in the Big Ten when it comes to opponents' overall field goal percentage. The difference? Teams are making 53.4 percent of their two-pointers against the Illini, which puts them in the bottom 60 teams in the country.

Off the bench

G Te'Jon Lucas So. 6-1 5.3

G Mark Smith Fr. 6-4 6.2

F Kipper Nichols R-So. 6-6 9.4

INDIANA (14-12, 7-7)


P Name Yr. Ht. PPG

G Devonte Green So. 6-3 7.8

G Robert Johnson Sr. 6-3 13.3

G Zach McRoberts R-Jr. 6-6 2.8

F Freddie McSwain Sr. 6-6 3.9

F Juwan Morgan Jr. 6-8 16.9

FYI: The search for Yogi Ferrell's successor at point guard continues without a real answer for the Hoosiers. While Pittsburgh transfer Josh Newkirk took the reins last season, Green has supplanted him in the starting lineup the last two games.

Off the bench

G Josh Newkirk R-Sr. 6-1 7.2

F Justin Smith Fr. 6-7 5.2

G Aljami Durham Fr. 6-4 4.5


Site: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall (17,222), Bloomington, Ind.

Radio: Brian Barnhart (play-by-play) and former Illini Deon Thomas (expert analysis) 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.

TV: Cory Provus (play-by-play) and Shon Morris (analysis) have the call on BTN.

Series history: Indiana leads 90-87.

Last meeting: Illinois won 73-71 on Jan. 24 in Champaign.

FYI: The Illini's victory last month snapped a four-game losing streak to the Hoosiers. It also kept Illinois from setting a program record for the most Big Ten losses to start a season — a record these Illini share with the 1906-07 team that went winless in eight games in the second year of the program.

Scott Richey's storylines

Wanted: Better effort

Film review from Sunday's home loss to Penn State only served to reinforce what Illinois coach Brad Underwood expressed immediately after the game. The second half — where the Illini scored just 16 points and allowed the Nittany Lions to pull away for their 22-point victory — did not feature the type of effort Underwood expects. "That's something I'm not going to stand for," Underwood said. "I'm not trying to downplay anything (Penn State) did, but that was a game that was right there for the taking. The last 8 minutes of that were us just laying down."

Finke's availability up in the air

Michael Finke's status for Wednesday's game remains unclear after the redshirt junior forward suffered a concussion Saturday during practice following an inadvertent collision chasing down a loose ball. Finke missed his first game of the season Sunday after making 25 straight starts for the Illini. "He did not practice (Monday), and we'll see where he's at as he goes through the (concussion) prototcol again (Tuesday)," Underwood said before the Illini got in a final practice in preparation to face the Hoosiers.

Morgan tough to stop

Last month's Illinois-Indiana game wasn't the best of Juwan Morgan's season — and by extension, his career — but it was certainly a highlight for the Hoosiers' junior forward. Morgan was 12 of 14 from the field and scored 28 points to come up six short of the career high he set in Indiana's Dec. 16 overtime win against then No. 18 Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic. "There's not just one way to stop him," Underwood said. "He's a hard guard. We've got to do a better job of identifying some of our ball screen coverages, and then we've got to do a better job of just making his touches hard. I don't think we fought him very well in terms of just trying to take things away."

Prediction: Indiana 75, Illinois 69

Illinois has proven susceptible to athletic forwards this season, from UNLV's Brandon McCoy to Minnesota double-double machine Jordan Murphy and Michigan State's duo of Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson Jr. Morgan, too, and making life a little more difficult for the Hoosiers' scoring leader will go a long way toward a second win against Indiana this season. But can the Illini make that happen? It's been a question mark all season long. (N-G prediction record: 19-6)