Illinois faces tough test vs No. 14 Michigan State
Illinois (9-4, 1-1) vs. No. 14 Michigan State (10-3, 2-0)
Jack Breslin Student Events Center, East Lansing, Michigan; Thursday, 8 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: No. 14 Michigan State presents a tough challenge for Illinois. Illinois has won one of its two games against ranked teams this season. Michigan State has won its last eight games against conference opponents dating back to last season.
STEPPING UP: Michigan State’s Xavier Tillman has averaged 13.1 points and 9.9 rebounds while Cassius Winston has put up 16.2 points and 5.6 assists. For the Fighting Illini, Kofi Cockburn has averaged 16 points and 9.7 rebounds while Ayo Dosunmu has put up 15.6 points.TERRIFIC TILLMAN: Tillman has connected on 31.8 percent of the 22 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 3 of 5 over his last three games. He’s also made 63.5 percent of his foul shots this season.
PERFECT WHEN: The Spartans are 7-0 when they hold opposing teams to 65 points or fewer and 3-3 when opponents exceed 65 points. The Fighting Illini are 6-0 when recording at least 14 offensive rebounds and 3-4 when they fall short of that total.
BEHIND THE ARC: Illinois’s Dosunmu has attempted 47 3-pointers and connected on 29.8 percent of them, and is 4 for 12 over the past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: Illinois is ranked first among Division I teams with an offensive rebound percentage of 40.1 percent. The Fighting Illini have averaged 13.3 offensive boards per game.