GAME THREAD: FAU @ Illinois - December 29, 2018
What: FAU (8-4) vs. Illinois (4-8)
When: Saturday, Dec 29th @ 3:00 PM
Where: State Farm Center
Series: First meeting between the two teams.
Live Video: BTN Plus (FEE)
Radio: ESPN 106.3
Illinois Team Site: Here
Illini at a Glance:
Offense - 74.9 PPG, 44% FG, 38% 3PT
Defense - 75.2 PPGA, 47% FGA, 35% 3PTA
Rebounding - 33.5 PG, 36.9 PG Opponents
Illinois has played the No. 9-ranked schedule in the nation by kenpom, and the second-toughest schedule among teams from the six major conferences (Kansas).
In contrast to their overall marks, through five home games, Illinois' defense is allowing an average of 68.8 points on 41.5 percent shooting, including 28.7 percent from 3-point range. Only one opponent has scored more than 75 points and shot better than 47 percent from the field at State Farm Center.
Illinois' five starters are all averaging between 9.5 and 16.5 points per game on the season. Every player in the rotation has shown the ability to lead the scoring attack, with a different Illini leading the team in scoring over a six-game stretch from Nov. 21-Dec. 8.
Over the last four games, sophomore Trent Frazier is averaging 19.8 points (79) while shooting 53.3 percent from 3-point land (16-30). Frazier has tallied back-to-back 20+ point games for the first time in his career, scoring 25 vs. East Tennessee State (Dec. 15) and netting 28 vs. Missouri (Dec. 22).
FAU at a Glance
Offense - 75.2 PPG, 42% FG, 31% 3PT
Defense - 69.2 PPGA, 41% FGA, 30% 3PTA
Rebounding - 41.6 Owls, 35.8 Opponents
Florida Atlantic hits the midpoint of a four game road trip against the Illini, while wrapping up their non-conference schedule. The team will move into league play after Saturday's tilt with contests against UAB (1/3) and MTSU (1/5).
Sliding a bit as of late, Owls currently have an RPI of 194, and are 1-3 on the road. The team is 7-1 so far this season when out-rebounding their opponents.
Junior forward Jailyn Ingram tore his ACL in the Owlsí game at Arkansas State and will miss the remainder of the year. Ingram was FAUís leader in points (18.9 pg) and rebounds (8.2) at the time he went down.
FAU will likely look to senior Anthony Adger for increased offensive production in Ingram's absence. Adger made just six threes as a junior, but has hit 36 this year.
The Illini are heavy favorites, but if the Owls can play efficient, and manage a healthy percentage from the floor, the contest could still be within reach.
Opening Line Illinois - 15
Owl's Nest Prediction Illinois -8
There is a former FAU basketball player named Buchanan that lives in Champaign. Iím curious if heíll be there. If I see any FAU fans at all it will probably be him. Most of the FAU alum in Illinois live around Chicago which is about 2.5 to 3 hours away.†
The injured Owls are getting set to take on the #Illini.— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) December 29, 2018
Reminder that Ingram's season is done with a torn ACL. But Stapleton is STILL out as well. C Karlis Silins traveled with the squad, but will not dress. Sebree injured his ankle YESTERDAY, and will see limited action today.
#FAU's Starting Five vs. Illinois:— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) December 29, 2018
PG - Michael Forrest
SG - Anthony Adger
SF - Jayleen Sebree
PF - Madiaw Niang
C - Simeon Lepichev
Expect Forrest & Adger to rotate time between the #1 & #2 slots, especially with Adger's 3PT shot vs. Illinois' solid 3PT defense.
11:20 1H | #Illini 14 - #FAU 11— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) December 29, 2018
Owls are playing well in chilly Champaign, Illinois, despite not having converting any three-pointers yet.
The refs let Illinois's Alan Griffin take a swipe at Michael Forrest's face. So if this is the kind of game we're gonna have, buckle up.
8:07 1H | #Illini 17 - #FAU 16— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) December 29, 2018
LOL this school's supposed to be P5? We are having out third scoreboard/clock issue of the game. The substitution horn went off mid-play, and is the only thing that can stop the Owls offense amidst a 5-0 run.
7:50 1H | #FAU 19 - #Illini 17— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) December 29, 2018
COP THAT AND-ONE MAITRE! Owls lead in the heart of BigTen country as the Montreal native drives the line for an acrobatic layup, then converts the old school three-point play.
3:28 1H | #Illini 23 - #FAU 21— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) December 29, 2018
Both teams have gone cold from the floor. The Owls haven't converted in over 3 minutes, the Fighting Illini in 2:45. Still, the Owls are within striking distance to take the lead at the half.