Head coach Dan Muller owned a 7-3 record against Southern Illinois as a player from 1994-98.
WHERE TO WATCH: ISU VS. SIU
Comcast SportsNet Chicago: Comcast Ch. 56/522, DirecTV Ch. 665, Dish Ch. 429, AT&T U-Verse Ch. 1741
ESPN Full Court: DirecTV Ch. 722, Dish Ch. 464
ESPN3: http://es.pn/mbb-SIUvsISU (blacked out in areas where the game is available on CSN Chicago)
LAST MEETING: ISU EARNS VALLEY WIN AT SOUTHERN ILLINOIS
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Tyler Brown scored 18 first-half points, including five three-pointers, to give Illinois State a 26-point halftime lead en route to a 70-56 Missouri Valley Conference win at SIU Arena on Jan. 20. Jackie Carmichael posted his 29th-career double-double and ninth of the season to lift the Redbirds past the Salukis. Illinois State's defense held the Salukis to their largest halftime deficit in SIU Arena history. The Redbirds shot 51.4 percent in the first half, and limited Southern Illinois to 33.3 percent. In the second half, the Salukis outscored ISU, 35-23, and pulled within 11 points at one point, but the Redbirds held off Southern Illinois for their first conference win of the season.
BLAST FROM THE PAST
In honor of Retro Night, the Redbirds will be sporting replica jerseys from a previous season, as a nod to the historic past of Redbird basketball. During halftime, past Illinois State men's basketball players will be recognized on-court dating back to teams from the 1950s. The retro uniforms will not be revealed to the players or crowd until game time.
OFFENSE BACK ON TRACK
Illinois State shot 45.8 percent (22-for-48) from the field and a blistering 54.2 percent (13-fo-24) from beyond the arc in the loss at Bradley Tuesday night. The field-goal percentage matched ISU's highest during the Valley season (ISU shot the same percentage against Northern Iowa on Jan. 5) and the three-point shooting average was the Redbirds' highest of the overall season.
WILKINS STEPS UP
Senior guard/forward John Wilkins made his first start of the season in Illinois State's win at Southern Illinois on Jan. 20. He has started every game since, and is averaging 9.3 points and 4.5 rebounds during the starting-stretch. He has also shot 59.1 percent from the field, 50.0 percent from beyond the arc and 83.3 percent from the free throw line during the last four contests. The Antibes, France, native recorded a season-high 16 points, including a career-best four three pointers, in the loss at Bradley Tuesday night.
THIS IS SPORTSCENTER
ISU was featured again on ESPN's Top Plays list this week. An ally-oop dunk from Johnny Hill to Jackie Carmichael earned the No. 4 spot during the Jan. 29 edition of SportsCenter. Earlier this season, two Tyler Brown dunks from ISU's win over Drexel made the list. No. 5 was an alley-oop dunk from Bryant Allen, and No. 4 was an alley-oop dunk from Kaza Keane. Carmichael made his second Top Plays appearance, after also earning a spot last season for a three-pointer at the buzzer to beat Evansville on Jan. 7, 2012.
Illinois State won three-straight Valley games from Jan. 20-Jan. 26, after dropping its first six to start league play. ISU's defense allowed just 58.7 points per game during the winning streak, compared to 74.0 points allowed in the six-game losing stretch (a difference of 15.3 points). The Redbirds also limited their opponents to an average of 40.0 percent from the field, compared to a 47.5 percent opponent average during ISU's first six conference games.
A TAIL OF TWO HALVES
The Redbirds have statistically played better in the first half this season, compared to the second half. ISU is currently averaging +6.4 more first-half points than its opponents, but -0.3 fewer second-half points. Illinois State has also allowed the opposition to shoot 50 percent or better in the second half seven times this season, including six occurrences during the Valley campaign. Bradley's 64.5 second-half shooting clip and 55 points Tuesday night was the highest total allowed by the Redbirds in any half so far this year. While Illinois State has only lost once when leading by more than 10 points at halftime (the Redbirds had a 14-point halftime advantage in their loss to Wyoming on Dec. 4), he Redbirds have allowed four total double-digit leads slip away in losses this season, including Tuesday night's 16-point lead at Bradley.
Along with Illinois State's improved defense during its three-game winning streak, the Redbirds also drove the ball more and relied less on scoring from beyond the arc. During the three-game winning streak, ISU averaged 27.3 points in the paint compared to 24.0 throughout the six-game skid. The Redbirds also upped their fast-break points from 5.2 to 7.3. Meanwhile, Illinois State's three-point attempts decreased from 23.2 in the losing stretch to 15.3 in the three-straight victories.
Illinois State has been a team of streaks this season. The Redbirds opened the year on a six-game winning streak before later putting together a four-game winning stretch. However, ISU also suffered through a three-game losing streak during the non-conference season, and the Redbirds recently snapped a six-game Valley skid. ISU's ensuing three-game winning streak was ended with a loss at Bradley Tuesday night. Illinois State is 9-3 when coming off of a win and 2-7 when coming off of a loss this season.
GETTING IT DONE AT THE LINE
Illinois State made a season-high 21 free throws in a 21-for-31 (67.7 percent) effort from the charity stripe in the Redbirds' win over Evansville on Jan. 26. The Purple Aces were held to 11 made free throws on 13 attempts. ISU is now 9-1 when the Redbirds shoot more free throws than their opponent.
CARMICHAEL NAMED VALLEY PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Illinois State senior forward Jackie Carmichael is the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week, as announced by the league office Monday, Jan. 28. Carmichael received the honor for the third time this season and the fifth time in his career, after averaging 20.0 points and 11.5 rebounds in wins against Indiana State and Evansville last week. The Manhattan, Kan., native earned his 30th-career double-double and 10th of the season during ISU's victory over Evansville on Jan. 26. Against the Purple Aces, Carmichael was 8-for-10 from the field (80.0 percent) and 8-for-12 at the free throw line (66.7 percent), as he netted a game-high 24 points and 14 rebounds, with three blocked shots and one assist. In Illinois State's win against Indiana State on Jan. 23, Carmichael scored 16 points with nine rebounds, three blocks, two assists and one steal. Carmichael has now netted double figures in 19 out of 21 games this year.
Illinois State is 9-2 overall, and 3-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference, when the Redbirds hold the opposition below 70 points. ISU accomplished this defensive feat during its three-game Valley winning streak (Jan. 20: Illinois State 70, Southern Illinois 56) (Jan. 23: Illinois State 60, Indiana State 58) (Jan. 26: Illinois State 67, Evansville 62). ISU is also 10-4 overall, but 1-4 in the Valley, when the Redbirds score 70 or more points in a game. Illinois State's wins against Indiana State and Evansville marked the first time that ISU has been held below 70 points, and still won.
NON-CONFERENCE VS. VALLEY SEASON
Whereas Illinois State featured one of the top-scoring offenses in the nation during the non-conference schedule, that has not been the case in Missouri Valley Conference play, where the Redbirds have been held 13.5 points below their non-conference average. ISU is averaging 67.5 points per game in the Valley compared to 81.0 points per game versus non-conference opponents. The Redbirds are also allowing an average of 70.3 points per game in league play compared to 67.5 points per game in the non-conference season, a difference of 2.8 points.
With 11 steals recorded during Illinois State's win over Indiana State on Jan. 23, the Redbirds improved to 6-0 this season when they record 10 or more steals in a game. It marked the first time that ISU has collected double-digit steals in a Missouri Valley Conference game this year.
A SHINY QUARTER
In Missouri Valley Conference play, Jackie Carmichael has accounted for more than a quarter of Illinois State's total offense and nearly a third of ISU's rebounds. The senior forward is credited with 26.4 percent of the Redbirds' league points, and 31.3 percent of their conference rebounds. During non-conference play, Carmichael was responsible for 22.5 percent of Illinois State's offense and 22.2 percent of ISU's rebounding, representing a 3.9 percent increase in his offensive contribution and a 9.1 percent increase in rebounding.
Redbird senior forward Jackie Carmichael earned his 30th-career double-double and 10th of the season during Illinois State's victory against Evansville on Jan. 26. He ranks fourth on the Redbird career double-doubles list behind Billy Lewis (31), Jeff Wilkins (42) and Ron DeVries (50).
NO THREES, NO PROBLEM
Illinois State was 0-for-13 from beyond the arc in the Redbirds' win over Indiana State (Jan. 23). It snapped an ISU streak of 417 games with at least one three-pointer. The last time Illinois State did not sink a trey was an 82-43 loss at Creighton, Dec. 12, 1999.
A WIDE MARGIN
After trailing in five out of their first six Valley games at halftime, the Redbirds established a commanding 47-21 (26-point) halftime advantage at Southern Illinois on Jan. 20. The Salukis' discrepancy was their largest at the intermission in SIU Arena history. Southern Illinois' 21 first-half points were the fewest allowed by ISU this season, and the 26-point lead was ISU's second-largest halftime advantage of the year. The Redbirds held the Salukis to 33.3 percent from the field, while Illinois State shot 51.4 percent in the first half. ISU went on to hold Evansville to 22 first-half points on Jan. 26.
CARMICHAEL BLOCKS OFF A SPOT IN THE RECORD BOOK
With a powerful block at the 16:26 mark in the second half of the Jan. 2 game against No. 16 Creighton, Jackie Carmichael broke the Illinois State career-blocked shots record. Carmichael now has 167 blocks, which surpassed the record of 160 set by Greg Dilligard, who played from 2003-07.