The Illinois Fighting Illini will host The Citadel Bulldogs in an inter-conference battle Wednesday night from the State Farm Center. The Bulldogs tallied a 73-69 road win against SE Missouri State on Tuesday night, and the Fighting Illini earned a 66-53 home win against Hawaii on Monday night.
The Citadel Record First Win of Season
The Citadel Bulldogs have found the win column for the first time this season. They dropped each of their first three games which included a road loss to Georgia and earned a 73-60 road win against SE Missouri State on Tuesday night in a game that had the Bulldogs as 6.5 point underdogs. Hayden Brown accumulated 26 points in the loss to Georgia and he shot at least 50% in each of their first three games. The junior forward leads the team with an average of 16.2 points.
Fletcher Abee has been accurate from deep, sporting a 10 for 24 clip from three-point range. The freshman guard has been a bright spot in the Bulldogs rough start, averaging 12 points on the season. Kaelon Harris logged the double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds in Tuesday’s victory. The senior guard is averaging 10 points and eight rebounds per game.
The Bulldogs are placed down at 315th overall in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball rankings, and they will likely finish in the bottom half of their conference this season. The Citadel are looking good from an offensive standpoint, averaging 77.2 points, ranking them 111th overall. They are having issues defensively and are conceding an average of 85.5 points, placing them down at 345th in the country.
Illinois Registers Win in Three of First Four Games
The Illinois Fighting Illini are targeting their second straight win. Illinois returns a good portion of last year’s roster and have won three of their first four games with their lone defeat occurring against Arizona. They were 16 point favorites in a game that resulted in a 66-53 victory against Hawaii in their latest action on Monday night. Ayo Dosunmu is expected to be a leader this season. He leads the team with 13.8 PPG last year and has posted 13.5 PPG on a subpar 43.8% field goal efficiency through four games.
Trent Frazier is heating up after a slow start, scoring a combined 29 points in his last two games, and he is fourth in team scoring with 9.8 PPG. Andres Feliz is one of several players expected to improve this season. The senior guard has shot 50% in three of four games and is averaging a team-leading 16 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.
The Fighting Illini are expected to be a much-improved team after winning only 12 games last year. So far they are off to an uninspiring start which included a loss to Nicholls State. They are positioned 46th in the country in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball rankings. Illinois has been inconsistent offensively, and they are scoring an average of 74 points, ranking them 161st overall. They are allowing an average of 71 points, placing them 237th in D1.
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