Illini Wonk
Friday, December 02, 2005
  Xavier Gunning for the Illini
Today, Illinois takes on the Muketeers of Xavier. A member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, Xavier has played three games this year and won them by an average of 30 points, including a 19 point win over Purdue in the Wooden Tradition.

Xavier returns all five starters and the top two reserves from a team that went 17-12 (10-6) last season and finished tied for second in their conference. That will be an advantage for Xavier over the Illini writes Dustin Dow in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

They will be led by senior forward Brian Thornton, who comes into the game averaging 20 points on 84 percent shooting along with 7.3 rebounds per game. Dedrick Finn has returned to the team after (I'm not kidding) being suspended for stealing his ex-girlfriend's dog.

For Xavier, the game with Illinois stands out as their biggest matchup of the season. A10 opponent George Washington is the only other team ranked in the top 25 on their schedule. So it's not surprising that Xavier has been looking ahead to the game. Following the last win over Copin State, Xavier sophomore guard Stanley Burrell said:
"All we've been talking about is playing Illinois. Not to say we were looking over Coppin State; Coach did a great job of letting us know we need to stay focused. ... But all week leading up to it, we've just been thinking about playing Illinois - playing Illinois and putting on a good show."

Xavier has a lot to play for, as Dow shows in another article. "Xavier could very well find itself on the NCAA Tournament bubble in March,"'s Jerry Palm said. "A win against a team like Illinois is one of those things that can put you over."

Illinois will be looking to keep their perfect record intact following a much-publicized road victory over the North Carolina Tarheels. They will also be looking to record their 15th straight win in the United Center and improve on their 27-6 all-time record in the arena. "We always do well there," forward James Augustine said. The Chicago Tribune welcomes the Illini to town with the following headline: Sweet 2nd home in Chicagoland.

The oddsmakers have the Illini 5-5.5 point favorites. For those of you who don't get the game on TV, you can listen to the Musketeer's broadcast here and get the GameTracker here. For the Illinois game notes, click here.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home
A college hoops blog dedicated to the Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team.
Where will Illinois spend the 2007 postseason?
Watching on ESPN
Free polls from

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More

Link to buy Dee Brown book Link to buy Leatherbound, Autographed Century of Orange and Blue book

Where do my $ go? Blogroll Me! Subscribe in NewsGator Online LiveMessage Alerts

Add this blog to my Technorati Favorites!
Your E-mail:

December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / March 2007 /


Sports Publishing Logo

Listed on BlogShares

Powered by Blogger