At a Glance: Colgate

At a Glance: Colgate

A look at Illinois' opponent for Friday's season opener -- the Colgate Raiders.

Colgate (Hamilton, New York) travels to Champaign Friday the loser of the previous three meetings with Illinois -- the last in 1961.

The Raiders return 11 players - two starters - from last year's squad that finished 8-22 (2-12 in the Patriot League).

Colgate must replace it's leader in three-pointers made (Mike Venezia) and top rebounder (Nick Pascale).

Projected starters: Mitch Rolls - Sr., G, 6-0, 170 pounds, 8.6 points, 2.1 rebounds per game in 11-12.
John Brandenburg - Sr., C, 6-11, 263, 5.2 points, 2.8 rebounds.
Pat Moore - Jr., G, 6-5, 186, 9.9 points, three rebounds.
M. Burntowski - Sr., F, 6-7, 230, did not play last year.
Brandon James - Sr., F, 6-6, 220, five points, 3.9 rebounds.

Key reserves:

Luke Roh - Soph., G, 6-4, 195, 3.3 points, 3.3 rebounds
Matt McMullen - Soph., F, 6-6, 220, 1.7 points, 1.5 rebounds

Colgate notes:

- Colgate was picked to finish seventh in the 2012-13 Patriot League preseason coaches poll. LeHigh was the top choice, followed by Bucknell, American, Holy Cross, Lafayette and Army.

- The Raiders return leading scorer, Moore, who averaged 9.9 points a year ago. In each of his first two seasons, Moore has totaled more than 450 points and 70 assists.

- Point guard Mitch Rolls makes the Colgate go. His 276 career assists rank fifth all-time in school history and his 129 3-pointers made rank eighth. He led the Raiders in each of the last three seasons in assists and also paced the team in steals in 2011-12.

Series notes:

Record: Illinois leads 3-0
Last meeting: Illinois 88-50, Dec. 30, 1961 @ Chicago
Record @ Champaign: Illinois leads 2-0
John Groce vs. Colgate: 0-0

Illinois notes:

The Illini are 94-13 all-time in season openers and are 92-15 in home openers. The Illini have won their last 13 openers in Assembly Hall.

- To welcome Groce and his family, the Illinois student section has organized 'Orange Hush,' where fans are encouraged to remain silent until the Illini score their 10th point.

- Groce is the 17th coach in Illinois history. Previous first-year coaches compiled a 14-2 record in their debut games.

- Senior guard Brandon Paul was named to the Wooden Award preseason Top 50, released Thursday. Paul averaged 14.7 points and 4.7 rebounds a game last year, including a 43-point performance against Ohio State.

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