North Carolina A T Minnesota Basketball

North Carolina A&T played both Minnesota and Maryland last season. The Aggies get another crack at a Big Ten team this season on Dec. 29 with a game at Illinois.

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CHAMPAIGN — The full Illinois men's basketball schedule has still not been released. But the Illini's nonconference slate can, at this point, mostly be pieced together thanks to the teams Brad Underwood's squad will be playing.

The latest game yet to be reported here is a Dec. 29 matchup at State Farm Center with North Carolina A&T as reported by the Greensboro News & Record's Spencer Turkin, who is also the Aggies' play-by-play announcer.

North Carolina A&T went 19-13 last season and finished second in the MEAC.  The Aggies started the 2018-19 season 4-9 with losses to four power six programs (Wake Forest, Maryland, Minnesota and eventual NCAA champions Virginia) before winning 15 of their last 19 games. 

North Carolina A&T has to replace its top four scorers from last season. The Aggies' top returning scorer is 6-foot-8 senior forward Ronald Jones (7.5 ppg), but they added 2019 News-Gazette All-State Second Team selection Fred Cleveland Jr. The 5-10 guard averaged 21.3 points, 4.5 assists, 3.2 steals and 2.8 rebounds last season for Chicago Leo.

The North Carolina A&T game makes for nine known games on Illinois' nonconference schedule. The rest are Nov. 8 at Grand Canyon and Nov. 10 at Arizona with home games against Hawaii (Nov. 18), The Citadel (Nov. 20), Hampton (Nov. 23), Miami (Dec. 2), Old Dominion (Dec. 14) and the Braggin' Rights game in St. Louis against Missouri on Dec. 21.

Scott Richey covers college basketball for The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).