Head Coach Brad Underwood
Career Record: 161-78 (.675), eighth yr
At Illinois: 52-51 (.505), 4th yr
Series Notes vs. Rutgers
Record: Illinois leads 8-2
Streak: Rutgers W-1
Record at Piscataway: Tied 2-2
Streak at Piscataway: Rutgers W-1
Last Year’s Meetings: ILL 54, RUT 51 (1/11/20 @ILL) | RUT 72, #22 ILL 57 (2/15/20 @RUT)
Underwood vs. Rutgers: 4-1
• No. 13 Illinois has back-to-back highway journeys to conclude a stretch with 5 out of six away from house, starting Sunday at 19th-ranked and undefeated Rutgers (12 p.m. CT, ESPN2).
• Illinois is aiming to begin Big Ten play 2-Zero for the primary time since 2013-14 (house wins over Indiana & Penn State).
• Illinois is making an attempt to win its opening Big Ten highway recreation, in the meantime, because the 2010-11 season (at Iowa).
• After beating No. 10 Duke in Durham, Illinois enters its recreation at No. 19 Rutgers trying to defeat consecutive ranked groups on the highway for the primary time since March 1-8, 2014 (at No. 18 Michigan State & at No. 24 Iowa).
• Leading the Illini is preseason All-American Ayo Dosunmu. Owning early-season numbers of 22.7 factors, 7.6 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per recreation, Dosunmu is the one participant within the nation at present averaging at least 20 factors, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
• Kofi Cockburn is coming off a dominant efficiency in Tuesday’s Big Ten opening win over Minnesota. Cockburn turned the primary participant within the NCAA this season to tally 33 factors and 13 rebounds in the course of the Illini win.
On The Offensive
Illinois at present ranks eighth in offensive effectivity (kenpom) at 112.0. That is the second-highest rating ever for this system (since metric started monitoring in 1997), behind solely the 2005 NCAA runner-up squad that completed No. Three in offensive effectivity.
The Illini are 20th within the NCAA in scoring offense, averaging 88.Three factors. Illinois has reached at least 77 factors in six of its first seven video games.
Illinois ranks sixth nationally in efficient area aim share (60.1%). That is fueled by robust enchancment from behind the arc to begin the yr, the place the Illini at present rank ninth within the NCAA in 3-point area aim share (43.2%). Last season the Illini struggled with 3-point capturing, rating 294th (30.9%). Illinois can be one of many nation’s greatest groups from 2-point vary, capturing 58.1% to rank 25th.
While it is clearly early into the 2020-21 season, the manufacturing of junior guard Ayo Dosunmu is up considerably throughout the board to this point. And that is coming off a formidable sophomore marketing campaign the place he earned first-team All-Big Ten accolades. Here is a glance at Dosunmu’s present numbers in comparison with a yr in the past:
Dosunmu is the one participant within the NCAA averaging at least 20 factors, 6 rebounds and 5 assists on the younger season. How troublesome would it not be to take care of such lofty numbers? Consider that relationship again to 1992-93, solely three gamers have posted these stats for a whole yr: Memphis’ Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway in 1993, Morehead State’s Ricky Minard in 2004, and Ohio State’s Evan Turner in 2010.
Dosunmu ranks 12th nationally with a 119.7 offensive score (kenpom) and is fourth within the early working for Kenpom.com Player of the Year.
He opened the season by scoring 20+ in three straight video games, the longest streak of his profession, had back-to-back 18-point outings vs. No. 2 Baylor and at No. 10 Duke, then had a career-high 36-point effort at Missouri. He is coming off a season-low 10 factors vs. Minnesota, a recreation the place his scoring wasn’t wanted because the Illini dominated inside.
Dosunmu’s present scoring common of 22.7 factors is the very best by an Illini since Nick Weatherspoon netted 25.Zero ppg in 1973. He is trying to turn into simply the second Illini within the final 29 years to common at least 20 factors for a season, becoming a member of Brian Cook in 2003 (20.Zero ppg).
Illinois has a robust presence within the paint in sophomore Kofi Cockburn. He is averaging 16.7 factors whereas approaching 70% capturing from the sector (.683). He anchors the Illini inside protection and is grabbing practically 10 rebounds per recreation (9.4) whereas main the workforce with 9 blocked pictures. Cockburn ranks among the many high three gamers within the Big Ten and amongst nationwide leaders in a variety of key classes this season:
Double Doubles – 4 1st B1G, fifth NCAA
Field Goal Pct – 68.3% third B1G, 21st, NCAA
Free Attempts – 53 2nd B1G, fifth, NCAA
Rebounds – 9.Four RPG third B1G, 46th, NCAA