St. Louis, Mo., August 16, 2016 –The Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team will open its 2016-17 season with an exhibition contest Sunday, Oct. 30, at the University of Illinois. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Ill.
WashU returns four starters and 14 letterwinners from last year's squad, which won its final five games to finish with a 15-10 overall record. The Bears also secured its 32nd-consecutive winning season under head coach Mark Edwards.
Junior forward Andrew Sanders, a second-team All-University Athletic Association (UAA) selection year ago, averaged a team-best 15.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game in 25 starts for the Bears at power forward. Joining Sanders on the all-conference second team was senior forward Clinton Hooks, who started all 25 games at shooting forward averaging 12.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in 2015-16.
Junior guard Kevin Kucera started all 25 games at point guard for the Bears, and averaged 11.0 points and a team-high 5.4 assists per game. Junior center David Schmelter started 12 games at center averaging 9.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest, while junior forward Matt Highsmith started the remaining 13 games averaging 8.1 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.
Illinois returns three starters from last year's team that posted a 15-19 record. Senior forward Malcolm Hill, a second-team all Big Ten selection, averaged a team-high 18.1 points per game. Hill was the only Big Ten player to lead his team in scoring, rebounding and assists in 2015-16. Illinois also returns sophomore guard Jalen Coleman-Lands (10.3 ppg) and senior center Maverick Morgan (8.3 ppg).
Fans unable to attend can watch the Illinois-WashU game online by purchasing a subscription to BTN Plus, available at BTN2Go.com. BTN Plus programming consists of non-televised games produced by students at Big Ten universities and is available through either a monthly or annual subscription.
Sunday contest vs. at Illinois will also be broadcast live at no cost on the Bear Sports Network. Jay Murry will provide play-by-play.
WashU begins its 102nd season of college basketball by traveling to Webster University in its 2016-17 season opener on Tuesday, Nov. 15. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.