Illinois vs Kansas City Basketball Preview

From Illinois Sports Information Office 

November 11, 2022

#23 ILLINOIS (1-0) vs. Kansas City (0-2)
Date | Time Friday, Nov. 11, 2022 | 8 p.m. CT
Location Champaign, Ill. | State Farm Center
Tickets FightingIllini.com
Television BTN (Connor Onion & Bruce Weber)
Live Stream foxsports.com/live | FOX Sports App
Radio  Busey Bank Illini Sports Network | Varsity Network App | SiriusXM 83, SXM App 83
Live Stats StatBroadcast
Printable Notes Illinois | Kansas City
Pregame Press Conference Coach Underwood (Nov. 10)
Stats Illinois | Kansas City
Record Book Illinois

 

HEAD COACH BRAD UNDERWOOD

Career Record: 204-93 (.687), 10th year
At Illinois: 95-66 (.590), 6th year
Big Ten: 55-43 (.561)

SERIES NOTES VS. KANSAS CITY

All-Time Record: First meeting
Underwood vs. Kansas City: First meeting

OPENING TIPS

  • Illinois continues its three-game homestand to open the season, facing Kansas City on Friday (8 p.m. CT, BTN).
  • Fans are encouraged to arrive early and be in their seats well ahead of tip-off as Illinois will hold a pregame ceremony to pass out championship rings and raise a banner in recognition of the 2022 Big Ten title. All returning players, coaches, and staff member who helped lead Illinois to its first regular-season conference title since 2005 will be recognized.
  • In addition, four former stars who stand among the most beloved players in school history are expected to attend the pregame ceremony to receive their rings and help raise a Big Ten banner to the State Farm Center rafters for the second year in a row: Alfonso Plummer, Da'Monte Williams, Kofi Cockburn and Trent Frazier.
  • Illinois is No. 23 in the current Associated Press rankings. Head Coach Brad Underwoodhas Illinois ranked in three straight preseason polls for the first time since the 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons.
  • Illinois is a dramatically different team this season, welcoming three power-five transfers and a top-10 recruiting class to account for eight newcomers.
  • Illinois must replace all five regular starters, its top five leading scorers, and a total of 10 players from last year's Big Ten champions. The Illini have lost 86% of its points, 80% of its rebounds, and 83% of its minutes played from a year ago.
  • Illinois is the winningest team in the Big Ten over the last three seasons, registering a 44-16 mark in league play. The Illini won the regular season championship in 2022, led the conference in wins while adding a B1G Tournament crown in 2021, and finished one game back of the title in 2020.

NOTES ON THE FORMER ILLINI RETURNING FOR THE BIG TEN CHAMPIONS CEREMONY

Alfonso Plummer: Beginning his rookie season with the Mexico City Capitanes in the NBA G League … Third-team All-Big Ten selection last year after ranking second on the team in scoring at 14.6 ppg … Made 98 three-pointers on the season, third-most in Illini history … Tied school record with eight three-pointers vs. Ohio State … Broke the UI single-season free throw record by making 87.4% from the line.

Da'Monte Williams: Played in 159 career games during his five-year career, the most in Illini history … Carried on the proud tradition of Peoria natives helping lead Illinois to a Big Ten title … Gained national acclaim as an All-Glue Guy who played and defended every position on the court … Scored more than 600 points and collected more than 600 rebounds during his career.

Kofi Cockburn: Set to embark on pro career in Japan with Niigata Albirex BB … The greatest center in Fighting Illini history … Two-time consensus All-American; one of three players in program history to achieve that distinction … The only player in the country to average 20+ points and 10+ rebounds last season, garnering first-team All-America honors by 11 organizations … Illinois' leading scorer (1,546) and rebounder (861) among three-year players … School-record holder with 45 career double-doubles.

Trent Frazier: Returning to campus from Serbia, where he is off to a brilliant start to his pro career with FMP Meridian … Second-team All-Big Ten and Big Ten All-Defensive Team selection last season … School-record holder for most games started (138) and most minutes played (4,855) … Finished his career No. 5 on the Illini all-time scoring list with 1,794 points … Second in school history with 310 career 3-pointers … Sixth at UI in career steals (207), ninth in career assists (452) and 10th in career field goals (593).

 

BRUUUUUUUCE IS BACK

Former Fighting Illini head coach Bruce Weber will be courtside at State Farm Center on Friday, providing color commentary on the Big Ten Network broadcast of Illinois vs. Kansas City.

Weber was hired at Illinois on April 30, 2003, after five successful seasons as head coach at Southern Illinois. In his first season, Weber led the Illini to an outright Big Ten championship, NCAA Sweet 16 appearance, and final record of 26-7.

Weber earned consensus National Coach of the Year honors in his second season in 2005, directing Illinois to its first-ever appearance in the national championship game and to the Final Four for the first time since 1989. The Illini went 37-2, tying the NCAA?record for wins a season (since broken). Illinois won a second consecutive outright Big Ten title, also won the Big Ten Tournament, and received the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Illinois won its first 29 games of the season, stood atop the national polls for 15 straight weeks, and was ranked No. 1 in the final 2005 Associated Press poll.

In all, Weber posted seven 20-win seasons and six NCAA appearances in his nine years in Champaign, compiling a 210-101 (.675) record, including 89-65 (.578) in conference play with two Big Ten titles, two additional runner-up finishes, and a Big Ten Tournament title.

Following his Illini tenure, Weber spent 10 years as head coach at Kansas State, retiring after the 2022 season.

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