Illinois Preview Capsule
Last season: 14-18, lost to Iowa in first round of Big Ten tournament.
Illinois signs 5 more for Underwood’s 2nd season
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois has signed five players to national letters of intent, including three guards and a 7-footer from Senegal.
Coach Brad Underwood said Wednesday the Illini signed guards Andres Feliz (Northwest Florida State Junior College), Alan Griffin (Archbishop Stepinac, N.Y.) and Tevian Jones (Culver City, Calif.), forward Giorgi Bezhanishvili (The Patrick School, N.J.) and West African center Samba Kane (Florida Prep Academy).
Illinois’ Finke, Lucas decide to transfer
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois has lost two more players after Michael Finke and Te'Jon Lucas announced their plans to leave the program.
The Illini went 14-18 in coach Brad Underwood's first year at the school. Finke, Lucas and Mark Smith have decided to transfer, and Leron Black is turning pro after averaging a team-high 15.3 points.
Illinois’ leading scorer, Leron Black, turning pro
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Leron Black, the leading scorer for Illinois last season, will not return for his final year of eligibility.
Black had his best season in Brad Underwood's first year as head coach. The junior had career highs in points, assists, blocks, free throw percentage, 3-point field goal percentage and overall field goal percentage. He led the Illini with 15.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. The Illini finished 14-18.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Nebraska’s 72-66 loss to Big Ten cellar-dweller Illinois, which broke a six-game winning streak, will go in the record book as occurring Sunday.
Coach Tim Miles isn’t so sure the game wasn’t lost a couple of days earlier.
“We hadn’t practiced that great coming in,” Miles said. “And we played that way.”
Leron Black scored a career-high 28 points and snagged seven rebounds, to help Illinois outlast Nebraska for a 72-66 victory yesterday.
Black’s career-high 28 pushes Illinois past Nebraska 72-66
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Close games have not gone well for Illinois this season. The Illini have lost nine games by single digits, including three losses in overtime and one at the buzzer against Nebraska on Jan. 15.
But in a rematch Sunday afternoon, the Illini got their revenge in a 72-66 victory over the Cornhuskers, powered by Leron Black.
Happ scores 27, Wisconsin beats Illinois 78-69
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Ethan Happ scored 27 points on 12-of-20 shooting to lead Wisconsin to a series record 13th straight win over Illinois, 78-69 Thursday at the State Farm Center.
The Illini last defeated the Badgers on Jan. 2, 2011, in Champaign.
Brevin Pritzl scored 15 and Brad Davison added 14 points for the Badgers (11-15, 4-9 Big Ten). Happ, who averages 17.4 points per game, also had six rebounds, eight assists, two steals and three blocks.
Bridges, No. 6 Michigan State hold off Illinois 87-74
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Miles Bridges helped No. 6 Michigan State overcome a game so sloppy, coach Tom Izzo called it "ridiculous."
Bridges scored 31 points, Jaren Jackson Jr. had 21 points and 11 rebounds and the Spartans beat Illinois 87-74 on Monday night despite committing 25 turnovers.
Badgers men’s basketball: Wisconsin snaps losing streak with 75-50 win over Illinois
The shot clock was winding down in the second half Friday night when Brevin Pritzl forced up a deep, contested prayer from 3-point range that appeared to have no chance of going through the hoop.
It banked in, much to the delight of the sophomore guard on the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team and the crowd at the Kohl Center.
It was that kind of night for Pritzl and the Badgers, who snapped a three-game losing streak with a 75-50 victory over Illinois.
Black, Williams help Illini hold off Grand Canyon, 62-58
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois freshman reserve guard Da'Monte Williams only scored 3 points for Illinois in Saturday's non-conference game against Grand Canyon, but he definitely made them count.
Williams' all-net 3-pointer from the top of the key with 17 seconds left lifted Illinois past Grand Canyon 62-58.
Frazier, Black lead Illinois to 70-64 win over Missouri
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Leron Black came up a double winner on Saturday.
He scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds to help Illinois to a 70-64 win over Missouri in the 37th annual pre-Christmas showdown.
Black capped off the strong performance by proposing to his longtime girlfriend Sheila Segura at courtside minutes after the contest. Segura happily accepted.
Trent Frazier came off the bench to score a career-high 22 points for the Illini (9-5), who won their fifth successive game in the series.
Illinois routs Longwood 92-45 behind Jordan, Frazier
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — With leading Illinois scorer Leron Black out with an injury, coach Brad Underwood turned to Aaron Jordan on Wednesday night and the junior did not disappoint. In his first start of the year, Jordan poured in a career-high 22 points and snagged a team-high eight rebounds in Illinois' 92-45 victory over Longwood.
Trent Frazier also had a big night, scoring a career-high 20 points with four assists, four rebounds and zero turnovers.
Finke, Black edge Illinois past Austin Peay 64-57
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois dropped its home-opening conference game by a point to Maryland. It was a tough loss for a team still searching for its first Big Ten win.
Illini Coach Brad Underwood expected that energy to carry over against Austin Peay, but despite a 64-57 win Wednesday night against Austin Peay, Underwood wasn't pleased his team's effort.
Cowan leads Maryland past Illinois 92-91 in overtime
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Maryland stopped a furious Illinois second-half comeback to steal a 92-91 overtime win in Big Ten conference action Sunday night.
Either team could have won the game in the final minutes and seconds, trading shots and fouls like heavyweight boxers.
"That was a big-time college basketball game," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "We were terrific in the first half, and they were terrific in the second half. It's a game we probably shouldn't have won, but we'll take it."
Northwestern outlasts Illinois in overtime, 72-68
ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — Scottie Lindsey scored five of his game-high 22 points in overtime and Northwestern trailed for much of the evening before pulling out a 72-68 victory over Illinois on Friday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
Vic Law added 16 points before fouling out in overtime and Bryant McIntosh had 14 points and six assists for Northwestern (5-3).
Leron Black led Illinois (6-2) with 15 points, whle Te'Jon Lucas and Mark Alstork had 14 points apiece.
Finke’s double-double helps Illinois beat D-III Augustana
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Michael Finke had his second career double-double and four more Illinois players scored in double figures to help the Illini beat Division III Augustana (Ill.) 96-62 on Wednesday night.
Illinois is 5-0 for the first time since winning its first six games in 2014-15.
Black, Nichols lead Illinois past Marshall 91-74
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Nursing a late-game lead over Marshall that topped 20 points more than once, Illinois coach Brad Underwood took a timeout and unloaded on his team.
Coasting toward its fourth straight win, Underwood thought the Illini had lost their focus -- taking questionable shots and playing soft defense.
"You've got to learn to finish, you've got to learn to make free throws and you've got to learn to go 'til the final horn," he said after the game.
Black’s career high powers Illinois past UT Martin 77-74
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — After a 47-point victory in his Illinois debut, coach Brad Underwood said that it was easy.
He cautioned his team to not to get ahead of themselves because the competition would get tougher, and his words held true in Sunday's 77-74 win over UT Martin.
The Skyhawks dropped their season opener to Marshall but responded with a strong effort against their first power-five opponent of the year.
Illinois Preview Capsule
Last season: 20-15 overall, 8-10 in the Big Ten.
Nickname: Fighting Illini.
Coach: Brad Underwood.
Conference: Big Ten.
Who's gone: G Malcolm Hill, G Tracy Abrams, G Jalen-Coleman Lands (transfer), G D.J. Williams (transfer), G Jaylon Tate, G Alex Austin C Maverick Morgan, C Mike Thorne Jr.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Tracy Abrams scored 18 points, Leron Black had a double-double and Illinois pulled away midway through the second half to beat Boise State 71-56 on Monday night in the second round of the NIT.
No. 2 seed Illinois (20-14) will play fourth-seeded Central Florida (23-11) in a quarterfinal. The game was tied at 49 with 10 minutes left before Illinois closed on a 22-7 run.
Hill, Black carry Illini past Valpo 82-57 in NIT opener
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Malcolm Hill scored 25 points, Leron Black had a double-double and Jamall Walker picked up a win in his debut as the interim coach for Illinois, an 82-57 romp over short-handled Valparaiso in an opening game of the NIT on Tuesday night.
Illinois survives Ohio State 75-70
CHAMAPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Malcolm Hill was placed into a familiar position at the end of Illinois' 75-70 win over Ohio State on Sunday night.
With five seconds left on the shot clock, Hill received the inbound pass and drove to his left for a layup to give the Illini a 71-67 lead with 55-seconds left. A Tracy Abrams rebound and free throws from himself and Jalen Coleman-Lands sealed the thriller for the Illini.
Illinois overpowers Central Michigan 92-73
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Tracy Abrams scored a career-high 31 points and led Illinois in a 92-73 drubbing of Central Michigan on Saturday afternoon.
Abrams scored 23 points in the first half and finished 7 of 8 from 3-point range on a day when he scored his 1,000th career point with Illinois (8-3).
Illinois survives scare from IUPUI 85-77
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Malcolm Hill scored 23 of his 32 points in the second half to help Illinois hold off IUPUI 85-77 on Tuesday night.
Illinois (7-3) shot 55 percent from the field and 7 of 16 from 3-point range.
The Illini opened with a 10-0 run but committed eight turnovers, allowing IUPUI to rally to a 42-41 halftime lead.
Mike Thorne Jr. hit a jumper, Hill dunked and Illinois pulled ahead in the second half by shooting 60 percent from the field.