Head coach Dan Muller owned a 7-2 record against Drake as a player from 1994-98.
WHERE TO WATCH: ISU AT DRAKE
The game was originally supposed to air on ESPN3, however it no longer will due to technical issues. It can be watched via Drake's pay-per-view stream: https://tkt.xosn.com/liveEvents/liveEvents.dbml?SPSID=71122&SPID=8121&DB_LANG=C&&DB_OEM_ID=15700
LAST MEETING: ISU RALLY FALLS SHORT, FALLS TO DRAKE, 82-77
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State held a nine-point lead at halftime, but Drake used a 25-6 run in the second half to take control of the game, as a late rally by the Redbirds (9-8, 0-5 MVC at the time) fell short, and Drake (7-9, 1-4 MVC at the time) came away with an 82-77 win Jan. 12 on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena. Sophomore Johnny Hill scored all of his career-high 24 points in the second half and added a career-best nine rebounds to lead the way for the Redbirds. Junior Bryant Allen finished with 22 points, on 5-of-9 shooting from three-point range, and senior Jackie Carmichael finished the game with 19 points and 12 rebounds to record his third-straight double-double and his sixth in the last seven games overall. Drake was led by Chris Hines, who scored a career-high 23 points, and Ben Simons, who also added 23 points in the win for the Bulldogs.
THE DIFFERENCE IS DEFENSE
Illinois State has won four out of its last five Missouri Valley Conference games, thanks in large part to improved defense. During ISU's four Valley victories, the Redbirds have held the opposition to 55.8 points per game, compared to the 75.3 points per game averaged during ISU's Valley losses (a difference of 19.5 points). Illinois State has also limited the opposition to 37.8 percent shooting in league wins, contrasted with a 47.4 percent clip allowed in conference losses (a 9.6 percent difference).
OFFENSE BACK ON TRACK
Along with Illinois State's better defense over the last few games, the Redbirds have also increased their offensive output. ISU has recorded its top two Valley shooting percentages over the last two games (45.8 percent versus Bradley and 46.2 percent against Southern Illinois). ISU's blistering 54.2 percent (13-for-24) three-point effort at Bradley was also an overall season high.
With an 83-47 win against Southern Illinois on Saturday evening, the Redbirds completed their first season-sweep of the 2012-13 campaign. ISU played exceptionally well against the Salukis this season, first holding SIU to its largest halftime deficit in SIU Arena history, with a 26-point intermission advantage on Jan. 20, before beating the Salukis Saturday by 36 points, which was the second-largest margin of victory for the Redbirds this season, and the fourth-worst loss in Southern Illinois history.
Illinois State walk-on freshman Matt Stacho made his collegiate debut in the win over Southern Illinois on Saturday afternoon. Stacho checked in at the 3:09 mark following a "We want Stacho!" chant from the Redbird student section. Stacho took advantage of his playing time, stealing the ball and scoring on a fast-break layup with 2:04 to play for his first collegiate points.
WILKINS KEYS SUCCESS
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 9.2 points and 4.4 rebounds during the starting-stretch. He has also shot a team-best 55.6 percent from the field, 50.0 percent from beyond the arc and 90.0 percent from the free throw line during the last five contests. The Antibes, France, native recorded a season-high 16 points, including a career-best four three pointers, in the loss at Bradley on Jan. 29. He followed that effort with nine points and four rebounds in ISU's win over Southern Illinois Saturday.
JACKIE'S BLOCK PARTY
Senior forward Jackie Carmichael had two blocks on Saturday in the win over Southern Illinois to give him 179 for his career - that ranks seventh-best all-time in the MVC. Only two Valley players since 1991 have had more (Grant Stout of UNI-222 from 2003-07; and Randal Falker of SIU-195 from 2004-08.)
CLOSING IN ON COACH
Jackie Carmichael enters the Drake game with 1,417-career points, which ranks 11th overall. The former Redbird who stands between Carmichael and the top-10 is current ISU head coach Dan Muller. As a player from 1994-98, Muller is in 10th place with 1,445 points, which means Carmichael must net 28 points to tie Muller's point-total.
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 25.5 percent of the Redbirds' league points, and 30.6 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 3.0 percent increase in his offensive contribution and a 8.4 percent increase in rebounding.
THIS IS SPORTSCENTER
ISU was featured again on ESPN's Top Plays list last week. A dunk by 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.
Redbird senior forward Jackie Carmichael earned his 31st-career double-double and 11th of the season during Illinois State's victory against Southern Illinois on Feb. 2. He is now tied for third on the career double-doubles list with Billy Lewis (31), and behind Jeff Wilkins (42) and Ron DeVries (50).
Illinois State is 10-2 overall, and 4-1 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 11-4 overall, but 2-4 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.
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 on Jan. 29, before the Redbirds bounced back with a victory against Southern Illinois on Feb. 2. Illinois State is 9-3 when coming off of a win and 3-7 when coming off of a loss this season.
A TALE OF TWO HALVES
Illinois State has 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 Jan. 29 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 the 16-point lead at Bradley on Jan. 29.
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.
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 10-1 when the Redbirds shoot more free throws than their opponent.
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.
CARMICHAEL NAMED VALLEY PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Illinois State senior forward Jackie Carmichael was 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 15-consecutive games, including 21 out of 23 games this year and 67 during his career.
ILLINOIS STATE TO PLAY AT UTAH STATE FOR BRACKETBUSTERS
For the first time since the 2008 National Invitational Tournament (NIT), the Illinois State men's basketball team will play Utah State, as the Redbirds will travel to Logan, Utah for a Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters game on Feb. 23. Tipoff for the non-televised game is scheduled for 8 p.m. CST.
The Aggies advanced to the NCAA Tournament in three of the last four seasons, including eight times since 2000. They have also made it to the NIT four times under the direction of Morrill, including in 2008, when the Redbirds beat Utah State in the first round, 61-57, in Normal, Ill.