Illinois State-Bradley Game Notes in PDF Format
Jan. 21, 2008
Redbird All-Access members, watch head coach Tim Jankovich talk about Wednesday's Bradley game.
Illinois State Redbirds (14-4, 6-1 MVC) at Bradley Braves (9-10, 2-5 MVC)
Peoria, Ill. Carver Arena
Radio: Redbird Radio Network
Dick Luedke (Play-by-play), Mike Matthews (Color)
Bruce Evans (Sideline)
Flagship WJBC 1230 AM
ABOUT BRADLEY UNIVERSITY
► Bradley University is located in Peoria, Ill., and has an enrollment of 6,127. The Braves are members of NCAA Division I and the Missouri Valley Conference.
► The Braves finished the 2006-07 campaign with a 22-13 record overall and a 10-8 record in The Valley. Bradley finished fourth in the league standings, and was eliminated by No. 11 Southern Illinois in the second round of the State Farm MVC Tournament. The Braves advanced to the Sweet 16 of the MasterCard NIT, giving BU two-consecutive postseason appearances.
► Head coach Jim Les (Bradley `86) is in his sixth year at the helm of the Bradley program. He is assisted by Illinois State graduate and associate head coach Eric Buescher, Alvin Brooks and former Evansville head coach Steve Merfeld.
► Bradley returns five lettermen, including two starters, from the 2006-07 squad. The Braves lost starters Zach Andrews, Will Franklin and J.J. Tauai to graduation. Senior point guard Daniel Ruffin and backcourt mate Jeremy Crouch entered this season as the co-top returning scorers in the Valley. Ruffin has sat out the past seven games due to injury.
SCOUTING THE BRAVES
Bradley enters Wednesday's game in eighth place in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 2-5 league mark. The Braves are coming off Saturday's one-point win (77-76) over visiting Evansville, its second one-point decision in as many games. Bradley leads the Valley in free throw percentage (.764) and three-point field goals made (9.37), is ranked second in assists (16.11) and is third overall in scoring offense (72.2 ppg), steals (7.84) and assist/turnover ratio (1.00).
Senior guard Jeremy Crouch ranks third in the league in scoring, averaging 14.3 points per game. Andrew Warren closely follows with 13.0 points per contest, ranking fourth overall in the MVC. Matt Salley is averaging 6.1 rebounds per game, and Theron Wilson has added 6.0 caroms per contest, while shooting 48.8 percent from the field, the 10th-best mark in the Valley this season. Sam Maniscalco, the MVC Newcomer of the Week, is averaging 3.32 assists per game while filling in for Ruffin.
NEXT UP: REDBIRDS HOST INDIANA STATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON
Illinois State will return home Sunday at 2:05 p.m. to host Missouri Valley Conference foe Indiana State (9-8, 4-3 MVC) in the first game of the home-and-away series. The Sycamores have lost two-straight league road games after starting the Valley slate 4-1. Marico Stinson is Indiana State's leading scorer, contributing 12.8 points per game. The Sycamores are 1-8 on the road this season.
UNFRIENDLY CARVER ARENA
Illinois State will face rival Bradley tonight at Carver Arena in the first of game of the home-and-away regular season series. The Redbirds have not fared well in Peoria as of late, dropping five-straight decisions, and eight-of-10 overall. Bradley has also won five-consecutive games in the series.
LAST SEASON AT CARVER
Bradley did miss nine field goals in the first half, however the bad news for Illinois State was the fact that the Braves attempted 31 shots. It was that type of offensive production on 22-of-31 first-half shooting which secured an 88-67 victory over the Redbirds on Jan. 27, 2007 before a Carver Arena record crowd of 11,444. With the loss, ISU dropped to 11-10 on the season and 3-7 in league play, while Bradley improved to 15-7 and 6-4.
REDBIRDS RECEIVE TWO VOTES IN COACHES POLL
After receiving a total of eight votes in the past two Associated Press Top-25 poll in the last two weeks, Illinois State collected two votes in the updated ESPN/USA Today Top-25 coaches poll, released Monday afternoon. Notably, Drake cracked the top-25 in both the AP and coaches polls.
BENCH CONTINUES TO CHIP IN
Illinois State has played with either a nine or 10-man rotation in every Missouri Valley Conference game this season, and ISU's main reserves have continued to provide solid contributions offensively. The Redbirds' reserves have outscored their opponent in each of the last six games. Levi Dyer, Emmanuel Holloway, Brandon Holtz, Sead Odzic and Brandon Sampay have scored 443 points, 36 percent of ISU's scoring. The Redbirds' bench has outscored its counterpart in 14 games this season.
50 AND COUNTING
Wednesday's game at Bradley will be the 50th career games for Osiris Eldridge, Boo Richardson and Anthony Slack. Eldridge, the 2007 MVC Freshman of the Year, has played in every game of his career. Richardson and Slack were teammates at Coffeyville Community College, and transferred to ISU last season. Richardson has started all 49 games, and Slack has registered 31 starting assignments. Senior guard Dom Johnson missed one contest last year, and Wednesday will mark his 49th career game.
SUPERLATIVES IN DES MOINES
Numerous single-game superlatives were set at Drake Saturday night. The Bulldogs set opponent single-game highs in points (79) and field goals made (27), and tallied opponent game-highs in three-point field goals made (8), three-point field goal attempts (25) and steals (12). Anthony Slack had a single-game best 1.000 field goal percentage on a flawless 8-of-8 effort from the field.
MOVIN' ON UP
Boo Richardson's two assists against Drake moved him into the top-20 in career assists at Illinois State. Richardson, who now ranks 19th all-time, enters Wednesday's game with 221 career assists, an average of 4.5 assists per game. He is eight assists away from tying Rick Ferina (1975-76) for the 18th spot. Richardson ranks sixth all-time in assists per game.
WHAT PRESEASON POLL?!?
When examining the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll through seven conference games, it becomes evident that very few voters had a grasp on what would unfold in the league this season. Three of the top four teams in the poll (Southern Illinois, Bradley and Missouri State) find themselves in the bottom-five of the league, and three of the top-four teams (Drake, Illinois State and Indiana State) were picked ninth, fifth and eighth, respectively.
FILLING THE TURNSTILES
There were a sold-out 7,152 fans in attendance for Saturday's first-place showdown between Illinois State and No. 22/23 Drake Saturday at the Knapp Center. The crowd pushed ISU over 100,000 (104, 213) for total attendance. Illinois State has played in front of 7,000 or more fans five times this season, including three times in road games.
ILLINOIS STATE IS ...
10-1 when leading at halftime
14-1 when leading with 5:00 to play
0-3 when trailing with 5:00 to play
7-0 when the Redbirds out-rebound their opponent
11-3 when committing less than 15 turnovers
12-1 when shooting 40 percent or higher
8-0 when the opposition shoots less than 40 percent
14-1 when out-shooting its opponent
8-2 when attempting more field goals than its opponent
9-3 when attempting more three-pointers than its opponent
4-0 when scoring 80 or more points, 7-1 when scoring 70 or more and 10-2 when scoring 60 or more
10-0 when holding the opposition under 60 points
10-2 when scoring the first points of the game
CAREER RECORDS WATCH
Levi Dyer is 10th all-time in career three-point field goals (129), and is eight treys away from tying Vince Greene (2001-05) for the ninth position ... Osiris Eldridge has 89 made threes, the 15th-best career mark in the ISU annals ... Dom Johnson's 74 made threes ranks 17th all-time, and he trails Chad Altadonna (1991-95) by two three-pointers for the 16th spot ... Dyer has attempted 292 three-pointers in his career, the 13th-best mark in program history ... Johnson's 220 three-point attempts rank 16th, and Osiris Eldridge's 225 attempted threes ranks 15th ... Dyer's 44.2 career three-point percentage ranks third all-time ... Eldridge (39.6) ranks eighth in career three-point field goal percentage, and Johnson (33.6) is 20th all-time ... Boo Richardson's 221 career assists is tied for 19th in the career category ... Anthony Slack has 64 career blocks, good for eighth in ISU history ... Richardson and Johnson are each averaging 31.4 and 31.3 minutes per game in their careers, tied for the fourth and fifth-highest individual marks, respectively, in program history.
The Redbirds are 4-2 on the road season.
ISU is averaging 66.5 points per game on the road, compared to just 61.8 points per contest for its opponents (+4.7 scoring margin).
The Redbirds are shooting nearly 45 percent (.448) in away games.
ISU is out-rebounding its foes by more than two caroms per game (34.7-33.2) on the road.
The Redbirds are averaging three more assists per game than its road opponents (14.2-11.2).
ISU is averaging just 12.7 turnovers per road game.
The Redbirds are averaging more than four (4.2) blocks per game on the road this season.
90.3 percent of ISU's total road attendance has come in the Redbirds' three MVC road games at Creighton, Wichita State and Drake. The other combined 9.7 percent came on the road against Mid-American Conference foes Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green and Ball State.
Holloway is shooting a team-best 46 (.462) percent (6-of-13) from three-point range on the road.
Brandon Sampay has played an average of just 8.0 minutes per game in road contests.
Osiris Eldridge is averaging 8.5 rebounds per road game.
Boo Richardson has snagged 13 steals on the road, an average of 2.2 steals per game.
Three players (Eldridge, Richardson and Dom Johnson) are averaging 30 or more minutes per game on the road this season.
BOO'S RATIO AMONG NATION'S BEST
Boo Richardson's 3.47 assist/turnover through 17 games ranked fourth in the nation in the latest version of the NCAA Individual Statistics (through games Jan. 17, 2008). Richardson, who's average is now 3.23 (after Saturday's game against Drake) trails just Michigan State's Drew Neitzel (4.61), Arkansas State's Ifeanyi Koggu (3.64) and Arizona State's Derek Glasser (3.60) in assist/turnover ratio this season.
PERCENT AND PROBABILITY
So far this season, when Anthony Slack attempts a field goal there is a high probability it is going in. In fact it is so high, that if he stays on this pace it would be the highest single-season field goal percentage in Illinois State history. Slack is making 69.7 percent of his field goals this season, which ranks first overall in the Missouri Valley Conference. The numbers are somewhat skewed when reviewing how Slack matches up against the rest of the nation. The minimum number of converted field goals to appear on the list for the NCAA Statistics is five; and Slack averages 4.2 made field goals per game. In the updated NCAA Statistics (through games of Jan. 17), Slack's current 69.7 field goal percentage would rank second in the NCAA Division I ranks.
OTHER NCAA STATISTICAL NOTABLES
Illinois State had a considerable amount of representation in the updated version of the NCAA Statistics (through games of Jan. 17, 2008). The Redbirds were ranked 10th in scoring defense (56.8 ppg), 17th in field goal percentage defense (38.1), 47th in three-point field goal percentage (38.9), were tied for 39th in assists (16.5), tied for 27th in won-lost percentage (82.4), were tied for 30th in win-loss percentage (81.3) and ranked 24th in assist/turnover ratio (1.25).
DOUBLE-DIGITS BECOMING A FAMILIARITY
Against Drake, sophomore guard Osiris Eldridge scored in double figures for the 14th-straight game and for the 16th time this season. In two games last week, Eldridge averaged 21.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
"O" SO ACTIVE ON THE GLASS
Osiris Eldridge corralled a team-high nine rebounds at Drake Saturday, marking the seventh time this season he has been ISU's rebounding leader. Eldridge leads Illinois State with 78 defensive rebounds this season, and his 107 total rebounds rank second overall on the Redbird roster behind Anthony Slack (111).
PRESERVING A LEAD
Illinois State's second-half strength this season has been well-documented, but one aspect that hasn't been further examined is the Redbirds' ability to put the clamps down on opponents in "winning time." ISU is 14-1 this season when leading with 5:00 remaining in the game. Last season, when the Redbirds were within one possession with 5:00 left (whether winning, losing or tied), ISU was just 4-4.
HOW DO YOU WANT TO WIN?
Illinois State has proven that it can win in many ways through its 14 victories this season. The Redbirds have captured wins when scoring in the 40s (at Wichita State), 50s (Southern Illinois) 60s (Cincinnati, Bowling Green and Ball State), 70s (Missouri-St. Louis, Illinois-Chicago, Evansville and vs. Wichita State), 80s (UNC-Wilmington, Chicago State and Creighton) and 90s (Southeast Missouri State).
Anthony Slack (6.2 rpg), Dinma Odiakosa (5.3) and Osiris Eldridge (5.9) are all averaging more than five rebounds per game through 18 games this season. The last time Illinois State had three players average at least five rebounds per game in a single season was during the 1998-99 campaign, when L. Dee Murdock (6.1 rpg), Sean Riley (5.3) and LeRoy Watkins (5.5) all grabbed more than five caroms per outing.
THESE GUYS CAN SHOOT IT
All five of Illinois State's starters are shooting at better than a 40-percent clip from the field through 18 games this season. Anthony Slack has a 65.9 shooting percentage; Osiris Eldridge is shooting 48.1 percent; Dom Johnson is shooting at a 42.7 percent clip, Levi Dyer is shooting 42.1 percent from the field this season and Dinma Odiakosa is shooting 50.0 percent from the field.
Anthony Slack, the league leader in blocked shots, isn't cutting ISU's opponents any slack so far this season. Through 18 games, Slack has posted a team-best 32 blocked shots. He is averaging 1.8 blocks per game, which would rank as the highest blocked shots average in a single season at ISU. Slack has tallied three or more blocks six times this season, including four swats apiece against UNC-Wilmington, Indiana and Tuesday at Wichita State.
After 18 games, the Redbirds are anything but shy about shooting from beyond the arc. Illinois State has shot significantly more threes than its opponents (366 tries, compared to 299). The Redbirds are also averaging 8.0 made treys per game, which is 3.1 more than their opponents (4.9).