Penn State vs. Illinois: Full Game Preview
|Penn State||T Frazier 16.3||R Travis 7.0||D (DJ) Newbill 4.0|
|Illinois||B Paul 16.4||J Bertrand 4.5||T Abrams 3.5|
On Thursday, Penn State heads to Assembly Hall (IL) to take on Illinois. It takes place at 8:15 p.m. EST and you can catch it on Big Ten Network. The Nittany Lions are 4-3 against the Fighting Illini over the last four years. The last time they played they won 54-52 on Jan. 19, 2012.
Penn State is in 12th place in the Big Ten and Illinois is in sixth. Both teams continue to fight for position.
In spite of 17 points from Sasa Borovnjak, the Nittany Lions came up short 79-71 against Michigan on Feb. 17. He contributes 3.4 rebounds per game in addition to his 6.9 points per game. For the Fighting Illini, Brandon Paul finished with 8 points and 6 rebounds in the 62-41 blowout of Northwestern on Feb. 17. He leads the team with 16.4 points per game.
Reviewing current performance metrics, Illinois has an edge in one significant category, scoring, where the Fighting Illini have the upper hand over the Nittany Lions, 70 points per game to 60 points per game.
- Penn State has a much better NCSA Athletic Ranking than Illinois (No. 11 vs. No. 35).
- Penn State is better under pressure, and has defeated Illinois in nine out of the last 13 games decided by five points or fewer.
- Penn State has a much better NCSA Power Ranking than Illinois (No. 11 vs. No. 50).
- Jermaine Marshall is ranked 6th in the Big Ten in points and 7th in the Big Ten in steals.
- You'll do better on next semester's exams, right? Penn State currently has a higher Academic Progress Rate (980 to 952) than Illinois, per the NCAA.
- Ross Travis is ranked 6th in the Big Ten in rebounds.
- The Penn State assist leader (Devonte (DJ) Newbill, 105 assists) has more assists than the Illinois assist leader (Tracy Abrams, 99 assists).
- Devonte (DJ) Newbill is ranked 5th in the Big Ten in points and 5th in the Big Ten in assists.
- Penn State has come back to win after being down at half against Illinois three times since 2000.
- Penn State has a much lower admission rate (more selective) according to Kiplinger (52 percent vs. 65 percent).
- The Penn State rebounding leader (Ross Travis, 183 rebounds) has more rebounds than the Illinois rebounding leader (Joseph Bertrand, 127 rebounds).