Location: Champaign, IL
Nickname: Fightin Illini
Chief Illiniwek They got rid of Chief Illiniwek in 2007
Last time out: Beat Maryland
Line: Illinois by 13.5
Typical Rotation Depth: 6+
KenPom rank: 12
- Brad Underwood has been at Illinois for 5 years. Trent Frazier and Da'Monte Williams have played for Underwood the entire time.
- Illinois leads the nation in offense rebounding percentage. Nebraska clocks in 312th in allowing them.
- Flash PG Andre Curbelo has been injured for a while and will be out this game as well
- Illinois had to replace all 3 of their assistants this season as Orlando Antigua and Chin Coleman went to Kentucky and Stephen Gentry went to Gonzaga
Player to watch: Kofi Cockburn
Very large human Kofi Cockburn is a known commodity in the conference and is having a monster year, clocking in currently at #4 in the nation in scoring, #3 in rebounding. It may be relevant to note that Cockburn's personal bests for rebounds are 18 in a game, 7 offensive.
Possible Rutgers Starters
G 1 Trent Frazier 6-2 175 Sr. 11.5
G 11 Alfonso Plummer 6-1 180 Gr. 16.4
G 20 Da’Monte Williams 6-3 215 Sr. 4.4
G/F 3 Jacob Grandison 6-6 210 Gr. 12.1
C 21 Kofi Cockburn 7-0 285 Jr. 22.5
F 33 Coleman Hawkins 6-10 215 So. 7.9
F 4 Omar Payne 6-10 240 Jr. 1.5
The Rest of the Roster
Starting PG Trent Frazier is Illinois' 11th all-time leading scorer. Frazier is capable of scoring 30 or sitting back and letting the rest of the score as the situation dictates. Utah transfer Alfonso Plummer is a a career 40% 3pt shooter and is shooting 41.9% on the year. You can't leave the three level scorer unguarded. Jacob Grandison is shooting 50% from 3 on the year. Glue guy Da'Monte Williams is the 5ht option but can knock down shots when he takes them. Hawkins and Payne spell Grandison and Cockburn off the bench.
G 0 Brandin Podziemski 6-5 200 Fr. 2.1
F 2 Connor Serven 6-9 235 So. 0.0
G 10 Luke Goode 6-7 200 Fr. 2.7
C 12 Brandon Lieb 7-0 220 So. 1.1
F 13 Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk 6-8 235 r-So. 1.6
G 15 RJ Melendez 6-7 205 Fr. 3.4
G 5 Andre Curbelo 6-1 175 So. 9.3
UNL Game Notes
Probable starters for Nebraska
1 Alonzo Verge G 6-3
30 Keisei Tominaga G 6-2
5 Bryce McGowens G 6-7
11 Lat Mayen F 6-9
13 Derrick Walker F 6-9
0 C.J. Wilcher G 6-5
35 Eduardo Andre F 6-11
10 Kobe Webster G 6-0
14 Trevor Lakes F 6-8
23 Keon Edwards G 6-7
3 Quaran McPherson G 6-3
33 Oleg Kojenets F 7-0
4 Jackson Cronin G 6-1
12 Sam Hoiberg G 6-0
15 Chris McGraw G 6-0
21 Jace Piatkowski G 6-3
2 Trey McGowens G 6-4
32 Wilhelm Breidenbach F 6-10
Teams like Nebraska tend to bounce back off of poor showings and Saturday in Rutgers classified as poor. Seems like a decent bet Nebraska will play 30+ minutes of watchable basketball tonight.
Offensively, the best way to attack this Illinois team is to run offense to the rim. Expect a big dose of Verge and Walker to start the game and hopefully the Huskers can go from there. The Illini play 3 guards that are shorter than 6'3" so it's possible that this is the game where we try and get Bryce McGowens going. Illinois is a team that runs you off the 3 so hopefully the Huskers will take the hint.
Defensively, Nebraska might be in for a long night. Illinois surrounds Cockburn with four 3pt shooters so Nebraska's double-teams are likely to get burned on rotations and absolutely torched if the Huskers don't commit to hustling on defense. It gets worse though as Illinois is the best offensive rebounding team in the country. Illinois will follow up many of their misses with backbreaking 2nd+ chance points.
This might be a trap game of sorts for Illinois, one where they go through the motions as Nebraska isn't putting fear into anyone these days. This is also an Illinois team geared towards breaking the will of Nebraska before we get to halftime. Let's play the game and find out.
Prediction: Illinois 85 - Nebraska 71