Dec 20, 2011; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Eastern Kentucky Colonels forward Eric Stutz (42) makes a pass around Arkansas Razorbacks guard Mardracus Wade (1) during a game at Bud Walton Arena. Arkansas defeated Eastern Kentucky 71-57. Mandatory Credit: Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Men’s Basketball: Eastern Kentucky Game Preview

The No. 10 Illinois Fighting Illini will play the Eastern Kentucky Colonels as they look to win twelve straight games to open the season.

However, Eastern Kentucky is undefeated themselves coming into Sunday’s game.

Eastern Kentucky is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference and finished eighth in the conference last season. They were 16-16 overall and 7-9 in conference.

Dec 20, 2011; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Eastern Kentucky Colonels guard Mike DiNunno (3) dribbles the ball against Arkansas Razorbacks guard Julysses Nobles (23) during a game at Bud Walton Arena. Arkansas defeated Eastern Kentucky 71-57. Mandatory Credit: Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

The Colonels only have two players who are averaging double-digit points per contest this season. They are senior guard Mike DiNunno and junior guard Glenn Cosey.

Cosey leads the team with 17.7 points per game this season while DiNunno is second with 14.1 points per game. In the team’s last game, Cosey scored 23 points and DiNunno scored just twelve points.

Eastern Kentucky’s leading rebounder is junior guard Tarius Johnson. Johnson is currently averaging 5.3 rebounds per game for the Colonels. His highest rebounding night came against Norfolk State where he racked up eight rebounds in the win.

One thing that the Colonels seem to being doing well this season is shooting the ball. Coming into Sunday’s game against Illinois, they are 13th in the entire nation with a field goal percentage of 49.5%. Jeff Johnson is the player with the highest field goal percentage. He is shooting 65.6% so far this season.

This will be the second meeting between the Fighting Illini and the Colonels. The last time these teams met was on December 6th, 1985. Illinois won that contest, 79-56.

Illinois has a 21-game non-conference home winning streak and they’ve won 33 consecutive regular season home games over non-conference opponents.

Brandon Paul has been playing amazing basketball as of late for the Fighting Illini. In their last game against Norfolk State, he went 3-of-10 (all 3-pointers) from the field, made 5-of-8 free throws, and scored 14 points. Paul has scored in double figures in all 11 games, with five 20-plus point performances.

Paul should be on his game yet again in this one. Also, look for players such as D.J. Richardson and Tyler Griffey to get going for the Illini as well.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @RickyWidmer.

Tags: Basketball Brandon Paul Eastern Kentucky Colonels Glenn Cosey Illinois Fighting Illini

comments powered by Disqus