Game Day Essentials
Indiana (16-5, 7-4) v. No. 18 Illinois (16-5, 9-2)
- Tip Time: Noon Eastern
- Location: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Indiana
- Television: ESPN (Jason Benetti and Robbie Hummel)
- IU Radio Network: IU Radio Network
- Stream: Watch ESPN
- Point Spread: Indiana is an 1-point favorite
- KenPom Projected Score: No. 24 Indiana 68 No. 16 Illinois 67
- Series: Indiana leads 93-90. Illinois won the last meeting 75-71 on 2/2/21.
During its current three-game winning streak, Illinois’ defense is holding opponents to an average of 59.3 points on combined 36.3% shooting, including 21.4% from three.
Illinois has won seven of its last eight Big Ten road games, and 12 of its last 14.
Their 9-2 record is Illinois’ best after 11 Big Ten games since 2005 (11-0).
Illinois snapped a seven-game skid at Indiana last season, posting its first win at Assembly Hall since 2010.
The Illini are aiming for back-to-back wins in Bloomington for the first time since 2009 and 2010.
Illinois is the winningest team over the last three Big Ten seasons. They are 23-3 in their last 26 games versus Big Ten opponents.
Leading the way for the Illini is National Player of the Year candidate Kofi Cockburn. He is coming off the Big Ten’ top performance this season, with 37 points on 16-19 FG and 12 boards in a win over No. 11 Wisconsin.
- Cockburn has 40 career double-doubles, one away from the Illinois record set by Skip Thoren from 1963-65
- Cockburn is the only NCAA player listed in the top 15 in both points and rebounds, ranking sixth in scoring at
22.1 ppg and fifth in rebounding at 11.6 rpg.
- Cockburn is one of just two players nationally averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.
- Cockburn ranks second in the NCAA with eight 20-point, 10-rebound games.
- Cockburn is the first high-major conference player since 2009 to average 22+ points and 11+ boards
- Despite missing five games, Cockburn still ranks eighth in the NCAA in double-doubles this season with 12. He had double-doubles in nine straight games, including the first six Big Ten contests, until the streak snapped Jan. 17 vs. Purdue.
- Cockburn has 15 assists in 16 games. His season total in 31 games last year was five.
Trent Frazier is averaging 15.1 points over the last eight games (121), scoring at least 13 points six times.
- Frazier is averaging 5.3 assists over the last seven games (37).
- Frazier is No. 9 on the UI scoring list (1,677) and also ranks in the Illini top 10 in career games played (second), minutes (second), 3-pointers (third), starts (fifth) and steals (sixth).
- Frazier is 23 away from becoming the eighth Fighting Illini to reach 1,700 career points.
Alfonso Plummer is averaging 17.5 points over the last 17 games (297), shooting 42% from 3-point range (58-138) while averaging 3.4 made threes.
- Plummer has scored in double figures 14 times, with eight outings of 20+ points.
- Plummer leads the Big Ten in 3-pointers, averaging 3.0 makes. He led the Pac-12 last season, averaging 2.6 made threes while at Utah.
Da’Monte Williams is Illinois’ all-time leader in games played, currently at 147.
- Williams leads the Big Ten and ranks 10th in the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.05
Coach Brad Underwood
Brad Underwood is the 18th head coach in Illinois history, hired in March 2017. He has won more than 68 percent of his games during his eight years as a Division I head coach, recording six 20-win seasons. Underwood has made five appearances in the NCAA Tournament, with a sixth precluded by the cancellation of the 2020 postseason due to COVID-19.
Underwood’s fourth Illini team in 2021 put together one of the best seasons in school history, ending the year ranked No. 2 in the final AP poll, winning the Big Ten Tournament championship, and earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Illinois went 16-4 in conference play to mark its winningest Big Ten season ever. Illinois led the Big Ten in victories while playing a full conference schedule, but missed out on the regular season title due to an unequal number of games played creating a win percentage differential of .024.
The Illini went on to win the Big Ten Tournament, earning the program’s first conference tournament title since 2005.
In all, Illinois totaled 19 wins against conference foes in 2021, setting a school record and tying the second-most wins ever by a Big Ten school against league competition in a single season.
Illinois earned the fourth NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed in school history after winning 14 of 15 games over a two-month stretch leading into NCAA March Madness. The remarkable run included seven wins over ranked teams, with five coming against top-10 foes.
Illinois KenPom Highlights
Tempo – No. 205 (Offense No. 299 / Defense No. 39)
Offensive Efficiency – No. 19
- The Illini are No. 35 nationally in effective field goal percentage, making 36.7 percent from three (No. 42) and 53.2 percent from two (No. 67)
- Illinois is No. 10 in the country with a 36.2 percent offensive rebounding rate
- UI assists on 57.8 percent of its field goals, No. 42.
- Kofi Cockburn is No. 5 in the country with 7.6 fouls drawn per 40-minutes. Alfonso Plummer is making 93.2 percent of his free throws on 59 attempts.
Defensive Efficiency – No. 27
- Illinois’ effective field goal percentage defense of 44.3 percent is No. 14 nationally, and they are No. 1 in the league in Big Ten games at 44.5 percent. They are particularly strong against 2-pointers, allowing just 43.4 percent overall, good for No. 12 nationally, and 43.8 percent in Big Ten games, No. 1 in the conference.
- The Illini don’t look to force turnovers. Their defensive turnover rate of 15.4 percent is No. 327 nationally.
- UI likes to run teams off the 3-point line. Opposing 3-point attempts are just 29.1 percent of all field goal attempts, No. 6 nationally. Opponents only assist on 38.7 percent of field goals, No. 5 nationally. That all sets up for Illinois to try to force Xavier Johnson into the paint for contested shots.
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