Lindenwood versus Illini Preview

IlliniGuys Staff

Cover photo courtesy of Joe Clark, IlliniGuys

November 25, 2022

#16 ILLINOIS (4-1) vs. Lindenwood (3-4)
Date | Time Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 | 8:00 p.m. CT
Location Champaign, Ill. | State Farm Center
Tickets fightingillini.com
Television None
Live Stream bigtenplus.com | B1G+ App
Radio  Busey Bank Illini Sports Network | Varsity Network App | SiriusXM 138/195, SXM App 957
Illinois Probable Starters
Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG APG Note
G 1 Skyy Clark 6-3 200 Fr. 7.6 4.0 2.2 52.6% FG (10-19); 42.9% 3FG (6-14)
G 0 Terrence Shannon Jr. 6-6 215 Sr. 21.2 6.8 4.0 18th in NCAA in scoring; 8 threes vs UCLA
G 15 RJ Melendez 6-7 205 So. 5.8 2.2 0.8 2nd on team in steals (7)
G/F 24 Matthew Mayer 6-9 225 Gr. 6.0 3.4 1.6 11 pts, 5 ast & 4 reb vs UCLA
F 33 Coleman Hawkins 6-10 225 Jr. 10.0 5.2 3.6 10 pts & 3 blk vs UVA; 7 ast vs UCLA
Off the Bench
Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG APG Note
G 1 Sencire Harris 6-4 160 Fr. 5.6 1.2 0.6 +23 in 16 minutes in Las Vegas
F 2 Connor Serven 6-9 235 Jr. 0.0 1.0 0.0 Academic All-Big Ten
G 3 Jayden Epps 6-2 190 Fr. 10.8 2.4 1.8 Team-high 14 points vs UVA
G 10 Luke Goode 6-7 200 So. 2.0 1.8 0.5 2021-22 stats; sidelined (foot surgery)
C 12 Brandon Lieb 7-0 220 Jr. 0.7 1.0 0.0 Academic All-Big Ten
G/F 20 Ty Rodgers 6-6 200 Fr. 1.8 3.6 1.6 2.0 assist/turnover ratio (8:4)
G 22 Paxton Warden 6-4 180 Fr. 0.0 0.0 0.0 Illinois state champion
F 42 Dain Dainja 6-9 270 r-So. 14.0 7.6 0.2 3rd in NCAA in FG% at 80% (32-40)

HEAD COACH BRAD UNDERWOOD

Career Record: 207-94 (.688), 10th year
At Illinois: 98-67 (.594), 6th year
Big Ten: 55-43 (.561)

SERIES NOTES VS. LINDENWOOD

All-Time Record: Illinois leads 1-0
Last Meeting: Illinois 117, Lindenwood 65 (Nov. 26, 2019 in Champaign)
Underwood vs. Lindenwood: 1-0

The Illini comeback after a successful Las Vegas tournament where they defeated then ranked #8 UCLA 79-70 and then lost to #16 Virginia 70-61.

The Illini faced a much older and more experienced Virginia team that is one of the most disciplined defensive teams in the country. With the defense made famous by his father at Wisconsin and improved by Virginia Coach Tony Bennett who recruits on a higher level, the veteran Cavaliers were able to get to the ball quicker and arrive first at desired spots on the floor. Virginia benefited at the free throw line as the team out shot the Illini 32-9 at the free throw line resulting in a 21-point advantage that ultimately aided the Virginia cause resulting in a victory.

This game serves to demonstrate what the Illini could achieve later in the season as their team learns to work better together and as their younger players gain valuable experience. While no one enjoys losing, there were many teachable moments during the game and the opportunity for improvement is there for the coaches to use the video for player training.

Lindenwood comes into the game 3-4 with notable losses to Dayton, 73-46 and Missouri, 82-53. In their last three games, Lindenwood is 2-1 with their loss an overtime loss to Western Carolina.

The Lions are let in scoring by Chris Childs who is averaging 17.4 points per game. Childs is a 6'2" senior guard from the Bronx, NY who also leads the team in minutes played at over 37 per game. He is shooting 43.8% overall with 41.3% from the 3-point line and 82.6% from the free throw line. His fellow G running mate Kevin Caldwell, Jr. a 5'11" senior from Alton, IL. Caldwell is averaging 15.9 points per game on 41.4% shooting with 36.1% from the 3-point line and 72.7% from the free throw line. Both guards are averaging just over 5 rebounds per game as well.

Another Illinois connection on Lindenwood is senior forward Cam Burrell. Burrell is a 6'7" forward from Morgan Park, IL. He spent a season at Eastern Illinois and three more (one a redshirt season) at Western Illinois before transferring to Lindenwood. He is currently averaging 11. 3 points per game and 5.6 rebounds per game to put him 2nd on the team behind Childs. Burrell is also averaging 1.7 blocked shots per game.

Finally, Lindenwood boasts a former Central Illinois high school basketball star as former St. Joseph-Ogden guard and 2016 state championship team member Brandon Trimble is averaging 6.4 points per game. The 6'2" guard for Lindenwood and is in his third season there after transferring from Wisconsin Parkside.

Coach Underwood is looking for his 99th career win at Illinois.

OPENING TIPS

  • No. 16 Illinois plays its first home game in 11 days on Friday night, hosting Lindenwood (8 p.m. CT, B1G+).
  • Brad Underwood is closing in on his 100th win at Illinois, two away from becoming the sixth head coach in school history to reach 100 wins.
  • Reigning Big Ten Player of the Week Terrence Shannon Jr. leads the Fighting Illini, boasting averages of 21.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists. Shannon ranks 18th in the NCAA in scoring, and second among Big Ten players (Kris Murray, Iowa).
  • Shannon is one of only two players in the country averaging at least 20 points, six rebounds and four assists (Elijah Pepper, UC Davis).
  • Dain Dainja is one of the nation's most productive players off the bench, averaging 14.0 points and 7.6 rebounds in an average of just 18.7 minutes. He ranks third in the NCAA in field goal percentage at 80%.
  • Dainja is the nation's only player averaging at least 12 points and six rebounds in less than 20 minutes per game.
  • Illinois has seven newcomers among its current 9-man playing rotation, including four true freshmen.
  • Illinois has climbed to No. 16 in this week's AP poll after debuting at No. 23 in the preseason rankings and moving to No. 19 last week. Brad Underwood has Illinois in the Top 25 for a fourth straight season after leading the program to a final AP ranking of No. 21 in 2020, No. 2 in 2021, and No. 19 in 2022.
  • 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.

SHANNON JR.'S B1G WEEK

Terrence Shannon Jr. is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week. He earned the award after averaging 22.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting 59.5% from the field and 56.5% from three. He had career and school-record performances while leading the No. 16 Fighting Illini to a 2-1 record on the week, including a top-10 victory.

Shannon began the week by setting a new career scoring high with 30 points in just 23 minutes in the blowout win over Monmouth, adding eight rebounds and four assists.

He then had arguably the signature performance of the early college basketball season, pouring in 29 points while tying the school record with eight 3-pointers in Illinois' comeback win over No. 8 UCLA in Las Vegas.

Shannon was on fire throughout the night, going 8-of-9 from downtown to become the sixth player in Illini history with eight made threes in a game. He also tallied his third career double-double – and first as an Illini – collecting a game-high 10 rebounds vs. UCLA to go with his 29 points.

Shannon finished the week by tying his career high with six assists and scoring nine points in the loss to No. 16 Virginia in the championship game of the Continental Tire Main Event.

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