CHAMPAIGN, Illinois (Ticker) -- Two-time defending Big Ten Conference champion Illinois will be without senior forward Brian Cook when it opens its season against Lehigh on Sunday.
Cook, who averaged 13.5 points and 6.7 rebounds and led the Big Ten in free-throw percentage (92 percent), is suspended for two games, along with junior guard Jerrance Howard, for participating in an unsanctioned summer tournament.
The Fighting Illini, who fell to Kansas in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament to complete a 26-9 campaign, lost all-conference players Frank Williams and Robert Archibald to the NBA but acquired a top-10 recruiting class, led by McDonald's All-American guard Dee Brown.
Brown and fellow freshmen guard Deron Williams and forward James Augustine are expected to start against Lehigh.
Lehigh opened its season with a 68-62 home triumph over Dartmouth on Friday. Guards Ra Tiah, Matt Logie and Zlatko Zavovic scored 20, 18 and 16 points, respectively.
This will be the first meeting between the schools.