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Las Vegas Invitational Preview

Game information for Illinois' upcoming matchups in the Las Vegas Invitational.

Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Las Vegas Invitational ~ Day 1

Illinois (4-0) vs Indiana State (3-1)

When: Thursday, November 27th | 4:00pm CT

Where: Orleans Area | Las Vegas, NV

Television: Fox Sports 1 | FoxSportsGo

RadioIllini Sports NetworkListenTuneIn

Baylor (4-0) vs Memphis (1-1)

When: Thursday, November 27th | 11:00pm CT


Illinois/Indiana State

After a 89-68 victory over Brown, the Illinois Fighting Illini will look to improve their record to 5-0 on Thanksgiving against Indiana State. The Sycamores are coming off a 61-57 win over Austin Peay Monday night; this will be their toughest stretch of the season as their next three games are against Illinois, Baylor/Memphis, and Butler.

The Illini are featuring an extremely balanced attack through the first four games of the season as five players are averaging double figures in points. As a team, the Illini are averaging an astounding 97.5 points per game--that puts them 2nd in the nation.

Indiana State is led by junior Guards Khristian Smith and Devonte Brown; they're averaging 16.5PPG and 15.8PPG respectively.

Probable Starters:

Illinois Fighting Illini:

  1. Ahmad Starks (11.3PPG, 2.0RPG, 3.3APG)
  2. Aaron Cosby (14.3PPG, 2.5RPG, 2.0APG)
  3. Rayvonte Rice (17.3PPG, 7.5RPG, 2.5APG)
  4. Malcolm Hill (12.8PPG, 6.8RPG, 2.0APG)
  5. Nnanna Egwu (8.3PPG, 3.5RPG, 2.3APG)

Indiana State Sycamores:

  1. Brenton Scott (8.8PPG, 5.0RPG, 1.3APG)
  2. Khristian Smith (16.5PPG, 4.8RPG, 0.8APG)
  3. Devonte Brown (15.8PPG, 6.3RPG, 2.0APG)
  4. Justin Gant (8.5PPG, 6.0RPG, 0.8APG)
  5. Jake Kitchell (7.5PPG, 6.0RPG, 1.0APG)

Numbers to Know:


According to Ken Pomeroy, Indiana State is ranked 151st out of 351 teams in Division 1 College Basketball. This will presumably be Illinois' toughest test so far.


Rayvonte Rice's effective field goal percentage is currently 78.6%, that's good for 19th in the country. This particular stat is the same as regular FG%, but it appropriately accounts for made three-pointers by giving them 50% more credit. Rice is averaging a team-high 17.3 points per game and he's doing it while taking just 21% of the team's shots while he's on the floor.


Illinois' turnover percentage is 11.9%, that's 3rd best in the country. That's pretty astonishing considering the type of up-tempo/transition game they're trying to play on the offensive end. Although the team's adjusted tempo is just 68.7 possessions (111th), their average possession length is 14.9 seconds (17th). Opposing teams haven't been able to force many turnovers and that's a good sign thus far.

Prediction: Illinois 84, Indiana State 65


I admittedly don't know a whole lot about these two teams so I'm not going to write much here. However, I'd be pretty shocked if Memphis wins this game; the Tigers looked horribad against Wichita State last week.

Probable Starters:

Baylor Bears:

  1. Lester Medford (10.3PPG, 1.5 RPG, 3.3APG)
  2. Kenny Chery (10.3PPG, 3.5RPG, 2.8APG)
  3. Johnathan Motley (10.3PPG, 3.8RPG, 0.5APG)
  4. Rico Gathers (6.5PPG, 9.0RPG)
  5. Royce O'Neale (8.8PPG, 9.5RPG, 4.5APG)

Memphis Tigers:

  1. Markel Crawford (6.0PPG, 2.0RPG, 1.0APG)
  2. Avery Woodson (9.0PPG, 0.5RPG, 1.5APG)
  3. Chris Hawkins (3.5PPG, 2.5RPG, 0.5APG)
  4. Nick King (11.0PPG, 7.5RPG, 1.0APG)
  5. Austin Nichols (8.5PPG, 2.5RPG)

Prediction: Baylor 67, Memphis 59


Las Vegas Invitational ~ Day 2

Third Place Game: Loser Game 1 vs Loser Game 2

When: Friday, November 28th | 7:00pm CT

Television: Fox Sports 1 | FoxSportsGo

Championship: Winner Game 1 vs Winner Game 2

When: Friday, November 28th | 9:30pm CT

Television: Fox Sports 1 | FoxSportsGo


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