Loyola at Illinois
When: 8 p.m. Friday, Assembly Hall
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The skinny: The Illini officially turn the team over to junior guards Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson. Loyola and new coach Porter Moser, meanwhile, have a tough opening assignment with very little experience in the backcourt.
Texas-Pan-Am at DePaul
When: 8 p.m. Friday, McGrath-Phillips Arena
Radio: WSCR 670-AM
The skinny: Sophomore forward Cleveland Melvin is DePaul's player to watch. The Big East rookie of the year scored 33 points in an exhibition win over Lewis. The 18th-ranked Blue Demon women open their season at 6 p.m. vs. St. Mary's.
Northern Illinois at Purdue
When: 6 p.m. Friday, Mackey Arena
The skinny: There will be no easing into the schedule for first-year NIU coach Mark Montgomery plans to give five freshmen heavy minutes this season. Purdue (26-8 last season) is anxiously awaiting the return of 6-8 senior Robbie Hummel. He hasn't played in a game since Feb. 24, 2010 because of two knee injuries.
UIC at Eastern Michigan
When: 7 p.m. Friday, EMU Convocation Center
Radio: WMVP 1000-AM
The skinny: UIC lost most of its top scorers from a 7-24 team, but second-year coach Howard Moore still plans to field a veteran lineup, led by C Darrin Williams and former juco PG Gary Talton. EMU is coming off a 9-22 season.
-- Mike McGraw