Illinois State hosts the Eagles Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.
Daishon Knight led five Redbirds in double figures with 17 points and added five assists and rebounds.
The Redbird Arena crowd of 9,510 was the largest since 2010.
Tony Wills scores two free throws in the final five seconds to secure Redbird win.
Zach Lofton scored 12 points to lead Illinois State in a 96-58 season-opening loss at No. 14 Virginia Commonwealth Friday night. Nine Redbirds made their NCAA Division I debuts in the opener at VCU's Siegel Center.
WJBC Redbird Recap:Missouri State vs. ISU
Photos from the game at Redbird Arena at 3:05 p.m. on February 1, 2014.
Illinois State vs. No. 4 Wichita State
Photos from Illinois State's men's basketball game versus Loyola at Redbird Arena.
Illinois State Vs. Chicago State on Dec. 4, 2013.
Illinois State vs. Northwestern (USATSI)
The last time the Illinois State men's basketball team participated in the NCAA Tournament, Dan Muller was the leader on the floor. He is striving to repeat that accomplishment, this time from the sideline, as ISU's head coach. Muller was named the 19th men's basketball coach in school history May 8, 2012.
Throughout his first two seasons, Muller has led the Redbirds to back-to-back 18-win campaigns, including two wins over Top-25 programs, plus victories against the Big Ten, the BIG EAST and the Southeastern Conference (SEC), along with two postseason wins.
Muller has also guided ISU student-athletes to three All-Missouri Valley Conference selections (one first team, one second team and one honorable mention), two MVC All-Newcomer honors and one MVC All-Freshman and MVC All-Defensive Team selection. Additionally, two Redbirds have garnered All-MVC Scholar-Athlete recognition under Muller's tutelage.
During his second season as Illinois State's head coach, Muller was charged with leading the most inexperienced team in NCAA Division I basketball in 2013-14. With just two and a half years of returning experience, Muller guided ISU to another 18-win season, including marquee victories over a Top-25 program (vs. No. 25 Dayton, Dec. 7), a Big Ten team (at Northwestern, Nov. 17), a BIG EAST opponent (vs. DePaul, Dec. 22) and an SEC foe (vs. Texas A&M, March 24). ISU had never-before earned wins against the Big Ten, the BIG EAST and the SEC in the same season.
The Redbirds also tied for fourth place in the final Missouri Valley Conference standings, with a 9-9 record. Illinois State played particularly well on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena, where the Redbirds went 14-3 with a dominant 8-1 records against Valley foes. For the 19th time in program history, ISU advanced to the postseason by earning a spot in the 16-team College Basketball Invitational (CBI) field. Muller led the Redbirds to two victories in the CBI which tied for the most-ever postseason wins by an ISU team.
Under Muller's guidance, newcomers Daishon Knight and Reggie Lynch both earned All-MVC accolades, as Knight was named to the All-MVC Honorable Mention Team and the All-Newcomer Team, while Lynch was placed on the All-Newcomer Team and the All-Freshman Team.
Lynch set the MVC freshman single-season blocks record by amassing 96 blocks, which also ranked No. 3 on the MVC single-season blocks list. Meanwhile, Knight set a program record with four MVC Newcomer of the Week selections. Nick Zeisloft was also named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team in 2013-14.
In his first year at Illinois State, Muller led the Redbirds to an 18-win season, with at least one victory against nine of the Missouri Valley Conference's 10 teams. Muller also guided ISU to the Valley Tournament semifinals for the fifth time in six years.
During the regular season, Illinois State earned a marquee win at No. 16 Creighton, 75-72, in front of a sellout crowd of 18,494 at CentryLink Center Omaha. The Bluejays went on to win the Valley regular-season and tournament titles. The victory was ISU's first over a nationally ranked team on the road since topping No. 17 Tulsa in 1985.
Under Muller's tutelage, ISU was awarded two All-Missouri Valley Conference selections for the first time since 2010, as senior forward Jackie Carmichael received first-team recognition, and senior guard Tyler Brown garnered second-team accolades.
Additionally, Carmichael earned All-Valley Tournament and Valley All-Defensive Team honors, and he was named to the 2013 Lou Henson All-America Team. Muller also helped sophomore guard Johnny Hill land a spot on the Valley Most-Improved Team after Hill increased his offensive and rebounding productivity by nearly six points and three rebounds per game.
For Muller's first-year efforts, he was named one of 10 national finalists for the 2013 Joe B. Hall Award, which is presented annually to the top first-year coach in Division I college basketball.
Before becoming Illinois State's leader, Muller spent 12 years as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt. Under former Illinois State head coach Kevin Stallings, Muller was regarded as one of the top assistant coaches in the country. As Vanderbilt's recruiting coordinator, Muller spearheaded the program's recruiting efforts since 2006, which were the highest-rated recruiting classes in the history of the program.
Since 2006, the Vanderbilt men's basketball program signed six four-star recruits and Rivals 150 Prospects, in addition to five-star recruit John Jenkins in 2009, the nation's leading high school scorer and a PARADE and Reebok All-American.
During Muller's tenure, Vanderbilt had 18 players named to the All-Southeastern Conference First and Second teams and a player named to the All-SEC Defensive Team three consecutive years (2010, 2011 and 2012).
Since Muller joined the Vanderbilt staff in 2000, the staff and team accomplished seven 20-win seasons. Starting in 2003, Vanderbilt has been recognized nationally as a top-25 team in the Associated Press Poll for a total of 51 weeks. In 2007-08, Vanderbilt was ranked in the AP Top-25 for the most consecutive weeks in school history.
Muller's efforts, both on-and-off the court, helped propel the Commodores to the 2012 SEC Tournament Championship, the Commodores' first league tournament title since 1951. In addition, Vanderbilt appeared in six NCAA Tournaments, including five in the last six seasons, and posted two Sweet 16 appearances.
Along with his recruiting, scouting and on-court responsibilities, Muller directed the student-athlete's academic progress. During that time, Vanderbilt collected a 100 percent senior graduation rate and one of the highest APR's in NCAA Division I college basketball.
As a player, Muller guided Illinois State to two regular season and Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championships and four postseason appearances, including trips to the NCAA Tournament in his final two seasons (1997 and 1998).
Muller ranks 11th in career scoring with 1,445 points, while leading the Redbirds to a 91-37 overall record, and he still owns the school record with 128-consecutive starts (every game of his career). Muller was also a two-time MVC Defensive Player of the Year and was named the MVP of the Valley Tournament as a senior. In 2009, he was inducted into the Illinois State Athletics Percy Family Hall of Fame.
Off the court, Muller was just as successful. He was a two-time GTE Academic All-American and a recipient of the NCAA's Post-Graduate Scholarship. He also was named a Bone Scholar, the highest academic honor at ISU, and he is the only men's basketball student-athlete to earn the award.
After playing for the Redbirds, the Lafayette, Ind., native spent two years playing professionally, including a stint with the NBA's Vancouver Grizzlies.
Muller is a 1998 graduate of Illinois State and graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership. He later earned his master's in business administration from Florida in 2003. He is married to Melissa Muller and has one stepson, Sib.
WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT DAN MULLER:
Kevin Stallings, head basketball coach at Vanderbilt
Matt Painter, head basketball coach at Purdue
Roy Williams, head basketball coach at North Carolina
Shaka Smart, head basketball coach at VCU
Buzz Williams, head basketball coach at Marquette