Illinois State Redbirds Men's Basketball Preview

Led by second-year head coach Dan Muller, the 2013-14 Illinois State men's basketball team features 10 newcomers to the team, including eight who are eligible to play this season, as part of a nationally-recognized recruiting class. Along with five junior college transfers and five incoming freshmen, ISU will rely on the experience of sophomore returners Kaza Keane and Nick Zeisloft.

Keane led the Redbirds in assists per game (3.2) and Zeisloft amassed ISUs top three-point shooting percentage (41.8 percent) in 2012-13. Sophomore walk-on guard Matt Stacho is also beginning his second season, and junior forward John Jones is eligible to compete for the first time after sitting out the last two years due to an NCAA amateurism issue prior to his enrollment at ISU.

There is no question that Illinois State has an athletic roster, with Basketball Times ranking the Redbirds' 2013 class No. 29 in its June edition, and Lindy's naming four ISU newcomers to its Top-100 junior college transfers list. While there are 10 new faces on the squad, Muller's expectations have not changed in his second year. The Redbirds will strive to play fast and be defensively tough with a balanced scoring attack.

returning players

Kaza Keane Kaza Keane
Split time as ISU's point guard ... Started 10 of 31 games played ... Led the team with 3.2 assists per game ... Held scoreless during Illinois State's two games at the Valley Tournament

Nick Zeisloft Nick Zeisloft
Played in 25 games, with one start ... Suffered a knee sprain and bone bruise (Feb. 13), and missed five games before returning against Northern Iowa (March 8) ... Scored six points on 2-for-4 shooting from beyond the arc in ISU's Valley Tournament semifinal loss to Final Four qualifier Wichita State (March 9)

Matt Stacho Matt Stacho
Became a member of the team after walking on midway through the season ... Played in three games for a total of seven minutes ... Made his collegiate basketball debut in the win over Southern Illinois (Feb. 2)


2012-13 stats

Team Statistics
SCORING 2460 2265
Points per game 74.5 68.6
Scoring margin +5.9 -
FIELD GOALS-ATT 871-1914 796-1879
Field goal pct .455 .424
3 POINT FG-ATT 242-697 225-673
3-point FG pct .347 .334
3-pt FG made per game 7.3 6.8
FREE THROWS-ATT 476-658 448-638
Free throw pct .723 .702
F-Throws made per game 11.6 14.4
REBOUNDS 1159 1191
Rebounds per game 35.1 36.1
Rebounding margin -1.0 -
ASSISTS 490 433
Assists per game 14.8 13.6
Turnovers per game 13.1 14.7
Turnover margin +1.6 -
Assist/turnover ratio 1.1 0.9
STEALS 239 207
Steals per game 7.2 6.3
BLOCKS 144 82
Blocks per game 4.4 2.5
ATTENDANCE 104655 142862
Home games-Avg/Game 16-6541 13-8507
Neutral site-Avg/Game - 4-8066