Mar 5, 2012; Asheville, NC, USA; Western Carolina Catamounts guard Trey Sumler (5) calls out a play against the Davidson Wildcats during the first half of the finals of the 2012 Southern Conference tournament at the Asheville Civic Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Men’s Basketball: Western Carolina Game Preview


The No. 13/14 Illinois Fighting Illini will play the Western Carolina Catamounts as they look to improve to 9-0 on the season.

It has been six days since the Fighting Illini last played a game. This is the longest break for the team this season.

Western Carolina is a member of the Southern Conference and finished third in the North division with an 8-10 conference record last season. Their overall record was 17-18.

This season, the Catamounts have three players averaging double-digit in points. Their top two scorers are junior guard Trey Sumler and junior forward Tawaski King. Sumler leads the team with 17.6 points per game while King is second with 14.1 points per game. The only other player averaging double-digits for Western Carolina is junior forward Tom Tankelewicz. He is averaging 10.6 points per game.

The Catamounts do not average a ton of rebounds per game this season. King is their leading rebounder with 5.5 rebounds per game and Sumler is third on the team with 4.1 rebounds per game. Junior forward Preston Ross is second on Western Carolina and is averaging 4,4 rebounds per contest this season.

This will be the second meeting between the Fighting Illini and the Catamounts. Illinois currently leads the series 1-0.

Illinois last met Western Carolina on December 17, 2007. The Illini defeated the Catamounts, 58-35.

This should be an easy win for the Fighting Illini, but it will be interesting to see if Joseph Bertrand can continue his hot streak. In their last game against Georgia Tech, it was Bertrand that ignited his team in the second half. Although, expect all the Illini players to get good stats in this game.

The fans will most likely see big plays from Brandon Paul, Tyler Griffey, and D.J. Abrams too.

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Tags: Basketball Featured Illinois Fighting Illini Joseph Bertrand Popular Trey Sumler Western Carolina Catamounts