At a Glance: Eastern Kentucky

At a Glance: Eastern Kentucky

A quick look at Illinois' Sunday opponent -- the Eastern Kentucky Colonels.

CHAMPAIGN - Sunday's contest between Illinois and Eastern Kentucky will be a battle of unbeaten teams.

Only nine schools in college basketball remain undefeated. After Sunday's game -- that number will be eight.

No. 10 Illinois (11-0) vs. Eastern Kentucky (9-0)
Sunday, Dec. 16, 5 p.m. - Champaign, Ill. - Assembly Hall (16,618)

Notes (from EKU sports information):

• Eastern is of to its best start in 66 years. The last time EKU began a season with more than five-straight wins was 1946-47 when the "Maroons" started 11-0. Eastern Kentucky is ranked 18th in this week's Mid-Major Top-25. EKU cracked the poll for the first time on Dec. 3 at No. 23.

• The Colonels' nine-game winning streak is the longest since the team won 10 in a row during the 1964-65 season.

• EKU is the only unbeaten team in the OVC, one of only two remaining undefeated mid-major teams and one of only 14 unbeaten D-I teams in the nation.

• The Colonels are ranked 18th in the latest Mid-Major Top-25.

• Champaign native Jef Johnson returns to Illinois to play in his hometown.

• Glenn Cosey was named OVC Co-Newcomer of the Week on Monday. He has now earned the award three times this season.

• Illinois is the first ranked opponent EKU has faced since falling 76-67 at No. 17 Murray State on Jan. 4, 2012.

• Mike DiNunno's lay-up with 2.3 seconds left gave EKU a 72-70 win over Western Carolina.

• Deverin Muf made two free throws with 1.4 seconds left in overtime against Towson to give EKU the win.

• Eastern played its first seven games of the 2012-13 season at home.

• EKU was picked to place fifth this season in the OVC East Division.

Projected starters:

Glenn Cosey - G, Jr., 6-0, 182 - 17.7 ppg, 3.4 apg
Mike DiNunno - G, Sr., 5-11, 196 - 14.1 ppg, 4.7 apg
Tarius Johnson - G, Jr., 6-5, 187 - 6.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg
Deverin Muff - F, Soph., 6-8, 220 - 5.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg
Eric Stutz - F, Soph., 6-8, 225 - 8.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg

Off the bench:

Corey Walden - G, Soph., 6-2, 206 - 8.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg
Marcus Lewis - G, Jr., 6-4, 185 - 5.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg
Timmy Knipp - G, Soph., 6-7, 205 - 2.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg

Series history:

Series record: Illinois leads 1-0
Last meeting: Illinois 79, Eastern Kentucky 56 - Dec. 6, 1985 - Champaign, Ill.
Groce vs. Eastern Kentucky: 1-1

Notable Quotable:

"We've got to come in focused. We can't change the way we play just because the opponent isn't ranked or something like that. That's something that comes with maturity.

"We've got to make them uncomfortable. Coach (Groce) talked about something Eric Spoelstra tells the Miami Heat. In order for them to be uncomfortable, we have to be uncomfortable. We have to play hard and make them make tough baskets." -- Illinois guard Brandon Paul

Eastern Kentucky team info:

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