CHAMPAIGN, Illinois (Ticker) -- No. 12 Illinois will shoot for its 10th win in 11 games when it closes out its soft preseason schedule by welcoming Oakland to Assembly Hall on Saturday.
The Fighting Illini (9-1) have fattened up on the likes of Lehigh, Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Coppin State. Illinois has had quality wins against North Carolina and Missouri, but has played only one true road game this season, which it lost to Memphis on December 28, 77-74.
Illinois opens its Big Ten slate with a trip to Minnesota on Tuesday.
Illinois had no problems with Coppin State on Monday, cruising to a 63-37 triumph. Forward Brian Cook led the Illini with 20 points against the Eagles.
Oakland (5-5) has lost back-to-back games to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Jacksonville State.
The Golden Grizzlies have scored plenty of points, leading the Mid-Continent Conference at a clip of 80.7 per game. Junior guard Mike Helms averages 26.5 points a contest to pace Oakland, which also gets 19.2 from sophomore swingman Rawle Mitchell.
This will be the first-ever meeting of the schools.