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Illinois Almost Lewises: Squeaks Out Last Exhibition 62–56

Guard Chester Frazier pulled down ten rebounds, while forward Mike Davis led the team in shooting in a tough battle against a Div. II team from Romeoville, Ill. It’s role reversal, but this year’s Illini squad will take whatever it can get from its players. In truth, Davis added seven rebounds to his scoring effort (18 points in 25 minutes). Demetri McCamey added four of ten treys, tallying 16 points to go with four rebounds and three assists.

“Sharpshooter” Trent Meacham was one for eight from the floor, with four turnovers. Starting post-man Mike Tisdale contributed three rebounds.

Division II Lewis University nearly won Sunday’s game. Yes, it’s an exhibition. But the truth is that Lewis was competitive. Guard Brandon Dagans repeatedly found a shot — whether off screens, or knifing through the middle. Swingman Jason Genova hurt Illinois with soft runners and long bombs. Freshman center Marty Strus outplayed the taller, older Tisdale.

While fans wonder who’ll get the most playing time, the coaching staff is wondering who’ll contribute the statistics. Frazier can’t score, and Davis gets lost on D. Only Calvin Brock shows flashes of greatness at both ends of the court—emphasis on the “flashes.”


No substitutions ‘til the 14:36 mark. Considering this was an exhibition, that suggests the starting line-up has solidified, until further notice.


Calvin Brock, Mike Tisdale, Demetri McCamey, Trent Meacham, and Chester Frazier.

On the other hand, don’t be surprised to find Semrau and Davis starting by Big Ten season. Frazier and McCamey will certainly start, everything else is in flux. By the time Alex Legion gets up to speed, it seems just as likely that he would take one of the big guys minutes. And if Calvin Brock displays the kind of defensive intimidation of which he’s capable, he can determine his own PT.

Referee Steve Welmer made the play of the game — a non-call, when Demetri McCamey kicked the ball out of bounds with about a minute to go, and Lewis trailing by two. Flyers Coach Scott Trost protested. Welmer swaggered over, pulled his pants up (his trademark, and the only serious reason for not just buying a belt), and explained that he could have called a foul. Subjective officiating is like judicial legislation.

Free-throws were terrible. Illinois managed only 13 of 23 attempts.


…moving screen, nowhere near the rebound, better/sharper cuts than last year (and last game), much trouble getting open — 6-10 Lewis U. Freshman Marty Strus had him step for step, and locked up.

Eventually Tisdale recognized that he needs only to spread himself out — at either end of the floor. On offense, a dump pass to Tisdale’s torso will find his soft hands, for a baby hook. On defense, he can be like a human spider web — catching all nearby flying objects.

Immediate turnover on re-entry — next trip, stuffed by shorter defender — just like last game.

When Tisdale keeps the ball above his head, no one can reach it – much less block his feathery little hook shot. When he brings the ball down, it invariably gets ripped away from him.


Checked in at 10:18 of the second half. His footwork looks good. He provides a defensive quickness you’d expect from a guy with a much shorter wingspan. But he still made a tasty treat for the Lewis big men. They ate him alive when it mattered most.


Coach’s decision.


Entered at 8:32, watched Tisdale’s two goofs sandwich a defensive rebound, then entered the flow with a turnaround jumpshot, good for one free-throw.

Bad outlet and poor follow-up defense led to a Lewis basket. At the other end, he tipped it out of bounds.

Finished with three points and two rebounds in nine minutes.


Missed a lot.

What a weird looking shot he has. It seems to come from his hip. For a flightless white (?) guy, that’s a tricky delivery — and makes one regret Jamar Smith’s long-departed lightning delivery, which seemed to launch from a spot about a foot above his head.


People talk about his loafing, but I don’t see it. There’s a languor to his movement, but it’s not laziness. See here, how the camera catches him perfectly while everyone else whizzes past.


Good interior passing. On his first touch, a give and go, he went tentatively, and found himself too far under the basket — and couldn’t make the lay-up. Coach Weber yelled “you’re a big strong guy!” This week, the caoching staff hopes to buy Semrau a mirror.


Instant offense. Catch, shoot, make. It took him six seconds to tally two buckets. That’s a season’s worth of scoring for Frazier.

After the game, McCamey and Davis cheerfully repeated rote answers to rote questions.

Then Weber talked for a long time.


Amanda Banas got the leggings at Dallas & Co., the shorts from T.I.S.

Dennis & Elaine Fayhee acquired their sweaters from Brooks Brothers and Ann taylor Loft, respectively.

Jonathan & Jo Ramirez didn’t say where Ethan found his shirt.

Jad and Sarah Mason say she got the top half from Eddie Bauer,

and the shoes at

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