Illini Resume Big Ten Play at #16 Indiana

(From Illinois DIA Office)

December 31, 2023

 

Illinois at No. 16/15 Indiana
Date | Time Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023 | 11:30 a.m. CT
Location Bloomington, Ind. | Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
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Illinois Starters Last Game (2023-24 Stats)
Pos. No. Name Ht. Yr. PPG RPG APG Season Note
G 3 Makira Cook 5-6 Sr. 12.5 4.1 3.5 Missed first 3 games
G 1 Genesis Bryant 5-6 Sr. 15.2 3.2 3.4 Two 30-point games this season
G 24 Adalia McKenzie 5-10 Jr. 10.4 4.5 2.1 Double-digit points in five games
F 41 Camille Hobby 6-3 Jr. 7.7 3.6 0.1 First start as an Illini vs. UTEP
F 44 Kendall Bostic 6-2 Sr. 12.4 8.7 1.4 21 career double-doubles

HEAD COACH SHAUNA GREEN

Career Record: 184-90 (.672), 10th season
Division I Record: 155-65 (.705), Eighth season
At Illinois: 28-15 (.651), Second season
Big Ten Record: 11-8

ABOUT THE OPPONENT

  • Indiana sits at 10-1 (1-0) on this season heading into Sunday's contest.
  • The Hoosiers enter the game on a 9-game win streak, the longest active streak in the B1G currently.
  • IU went 28-4 last season including 16-2 in league play to claim the regular season championship.

ALL-TIME SERIES INFO

Sunday's game marks the 79th all-time meeting against Indiana, and the 38th to be played in Bloomington. Illinois trails in the series 30-48 and has dropped the last 15 decisions dating back to the 2012-13 campaign.

COOK NAMED TO WEST PALM BEACH CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM

After playing 74:29 of 80 possible minutes and recording 17.0 points/game, 7.0 assists/game, and 6.5 rebounds/game, Illinois senior Makira Cook was named to the West Palm Beach Classic All-Tournament Team following the Illini's holiday contests in the Sunshine State. In Illinois' WPB Classic opener vs. Arkansas, Cook delivered the third double-double of her career with 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists. Against UTEP, Cook connected for 17 points and 9 assists.

COACH GREEN FACES HER ALMA MATER

For the first time in her career as both an assistant and head coach, Shauna Green (the former Shauna Geronzin), coached against her alma mater, Canisius, on Sunday, Nov. 26. The Illini took down the Golden Griffins, 90-58.

Wearing No. 34 for the Griffs from 1998-2002, Green scored 2,012 career points, the most of any men's or women's player - a record which still stands. She also became the program's all-time leading rebounder with 910 boards - a mark that now ranks second. Green was Named 1999 MAAC Rookie of the Year and was also voted 2002 Canisius Female Athlete of the Year. She was a four-time All-MAAC selection and three-time All-MAAC First-Team honoree. She was enshrined into the Canisius Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.

CITI SHAMROCK CLASSIC IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

The Fighting Illini faced off against No. 16/14 Notre Dame from the nation's capital on Saturday, Nov. 18, in the second-annual Citi Shamrock Classic. Action from Entertainment & Sports Arena – home of the Washington Mystics. The Irish won the outing 79-68.The game was televised live on NBC and streamed on Peacock. The nationally televised game marked Illinois women's basketball's first-ever game aired on NBC or Peacock.

In addition to the highly anticipated matchup on the court, Friday featured a women's leadership luncheon, offering both teams an opportunity to hear from a select group of the most powerful women in business and sports. Additionally, both teams participated in a community service initiative presented by Gatorade, which included a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

HAVE A NIGHT, GENESIS BRYANT

For the second time in as many seasons, Genesis Bryant delivered a career-high night in the Illini's season-opening game. This season, Bryant scored 32 points on 75% shooting to go along with four rebounds and four assists. She shot 10-for-11 from 2, 2-for-5 from 3 (12-for-16), and 6-for-7 from the free-throw line. She was the first Illini to record at least 30 points in a game since Makira Cook scored 33 points at Indiana on Dec. 4, 2022.

Bryant's Game Score of 26.8 was the top mark in NCAA WBB on Nov. 7. "Game score" is a metric giving a measurement of a player's productivity for a single game.

BRYANT GOES FOR 30, AGAIN

In the Illini's 79-68 loss to No. 16/14 Notre Dame from the nation's capital, Genesis Bryant put on a show on the biggest stage, scoring 31 points. The output marked Bryant's second 30-point game of the season and her career. Bryant is the first Illini to have multiple 30-point games in a season since 2010-11 when Karisma Penn did so as a sophomore.

FIELD TRIP DAY 2023

  • Illinois hosted its annual Field Trip Day on Nov. 15, 2023, when the Illini took on Saint Peter's.
  • Attendance was called at 11,563 - the 4th largest crowd in program history and top mark since 2/20/00.
  • The first of the "we want 100" chant from the students started in the third quarter. With 56 seconds left in the game, Shay Bollin hit a jumper to push the Illini into triple digits for the 103-33 victory.
  • The 70-point margin of victory is the third-largest in program history.
  • The Illini moved 6-1 in Field Trip Day games.

ALL-TIME FIELD TRIP DAY GAMES

Illinois has hosted the promotional event every season besides the COVID year since 2016-17.

DATE OPPONENT ATTENDANCE RESULT
11-17-2016 Memphis 2,358 L, 54-64
11-10-2017 IPFW 1,148 W, 64-50
11-07-2018 Alabama A&M 2,364 W, 88-60
11-05-2019 Chicago State 4,189 W, 96-66
2020-21 Not Held
11-09-2021 NC Central 1,983 W, 73-56
11-16-2022 McNeese State 8,141 W, 100-38
11-15-2023 Saint Peter's 11,563 W, 103-33

RETURNING SCORING

Illinois women's basketball returned 93.4% of its scoring from the 2022-23 season, which is believed to be the second-highest percentage across NCAA WBB. That breaks down to 2,251 of 2,410 points returning for the Illini. In those returners are all five starters from last season and 10 total players.

SEASON OPENERS

  • The Illini have posted an all-time record of 32-18 (.640) in season openers & have won 7 straight.
  • The Illini are 24-6 all-time (.800) when starting the season at State Farm Center (includes 2016 opener played at Parkland during SFC renovations).

HOME ATTENDANCE NUMBERS

Across its 15 home games during the 2022-23 season, Illinois Women's Basketball saw 52,295 fans fill the State Farm Center en route to a 12-3 record. That total attendance ranked 5th in program history and made Shauna Green the only head coach to bring in 50,000 or more fans in her first season with the Illini.

In Illinois' season - and home - opener, the attendance of 2,680 marked the largest ticketed season-opening crowd at State Farm Center since 2000 (3,954). Through seven home games, Illinois has a combined attendance of 31,370 for an average of 4,481 a game.

EXHIBITION EXPOSITION

No. 23 Illinois began the second year of the Shauna Green era in Champaign with a resounding 121-60 victory over Truman State in the team's lone exhibition game of the 2023-24 campaign. Green used the preseason game to give playing time to all 14 players, while 12 different scorers registered at least one point in the blowout victory, including eight Illini in double figures.

Illinois is 2-0 in exhibitions since Green's arrival.

COOK LANDS ON LIEBERMAN AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST

For the first time in Illinois women's basketball program history, a Fighting Illini player was named to the Nancy Lieberman Top-20 Preseason Watch List as Makira Cook was announced as an honoree on Oct. 16. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) have given the award annually since 2000 to the top point guard in the country.

A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates. To be considered for this prestigious award, candidates must exhibit the floor leadership, play-making, and ball-handling skills of Class of 1996 Hall-of-Famer Nancy Lieberman.

NCAA COACHING LIMIT INCREASE

With the NCAA's coaching limit increase going into effect on July 1, Emily Durr and Jenna Giacone have been elevated to assistant coaches on Shauna Green's Illinois women's basketball staff. Durr adds on-court coaching duties in addition to her director of recruiting operations responsibilities, while Giacone adds on-court coaching duties on top of her director of scouting and player development role in year two on Green's Illini staff.

Both Durr and Giacone followed Green from her previous stop at Dayton. Durr served one season as an administrative associate with the Flyers, while Giacone played six seasons under Green at UD.

FIRST SEASONS AT A NEW SCHOOL

Shauna Green quickly took Illinois women's basketball out to a refreshing start and has sustained that success better than anyone. Green was one of 38 head coaches in their first season at a new school last season. The Illinois squad was one of just 10 programs under a new coach last season to have secured 20 or more wins and one of seven to make the NCAA Tournament.

TEAM RECORD COACH PREVIOUS JOB
Florida State 23-10 Brooke Wyckoff Florida St. (Assc. HC)
Illinois 22-10 Shauna Green Dayton
Mississippi State 22-11 Sam Purcell Louisville (Assc. HC)
Georgia 22-12 Katie Abrahamson-Henderson UCF
Oklahoma State 21-12 Jacie Hoyt Kansas City
Towson 21-12 Laura Harper Coppin State
Harvard 20-12 Carrie Moore Michigan (Ast. Coach)
Missouri State 20-12 Beth Cunningham Duke (Ast. Coach)
Chattanooga 20-13 Shawn Poppie Virginia Tech (Assc. HC)
Syracuse 20-13 Felisha Legette-Jack Buffalo

COOK NAMED TO NAISMITH WOMEN'S PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST

Preseason accolades continue to roll in for Illinois women's basketball senior Makira Cook, as the point guard has been named to the 50-player 2023-24 Jersey Mike's Naismith Women's Player of the Year Watch List. Cook is the third Fighting Illini player in program history to land on the Naismith preseason list. She joins Tauja Catchings and Susan Blauser, who were both selected to the list ahead of the 1999-2000 season.

WOODEN AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST

Fighting Illini women's basketball senior Makira Cook was been named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List, the organization announced Nov. 14. Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for the most prestigious honors in college basketball, the Wooden Award All American Team™ and Most Outstanding Player Award.

Cook is one of nine Big Ten representatives to earn a spot on the preseason list this season. She's also the second athlete in Illinois program history named to the prestigious watch list, joining Jenna Smith from the 2009-10 season.

THE ILLINI TURNAROUND

Illinois secured the biggest one-year Big Ten win improvement in program history last season, finishing with 10 more conference wins (11) during the 2022-23 campaign than the Illini had during the 2021-22 season (1). This ties the best one-year Big Ten win improvement in Big Ten Conference history. Illinois won 15 more games (22) than the 2021-22 total of seven. The one-year overall improvement set a new program record, and was the third-largest improvement in Big Ten history.

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