The Redbirds are 15-6 against Missouri State at Redbird Arena, with the Bears last winning on Doug Collins Court on Feb. 12, 2011. Head coach Dan Muller owned a 6-4 record against Missouri State as a player from 1994-98.
WHERE TO WATCH: ISU VS. MISSOURI STATE
LAST MEETING: REDBIRDS FALL TO MISSOURI STATE, 62-55
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Jan. 8, 2013) - Jackie Carmichael tallied a team-best 21 points and 12 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season, but Missouri State's Anthony Downing scored a game-high 24 points, and the Redbirds (9-7, 0-4 MVC at the time) fell at Missouri State (5-11, 3-1 MVC), 62-55, Jan. 8, in Missouri Valley Conference play at JQH Arena. Along with Carmichael's effort, Johnny Hill also contributed a career-high 14 points with three rebounds. Carmichael and Hill were the only two Redbirds to reach double-figures, as ISU dropped its fourth-straight game. Illinois State was held to a season-low 55 points in the loss, while the Redbirds shot 40.0 percent from the field, compared to the Bears' 46.8 percent mark.
CONFERENCE CRUNCH TIME
Illinois State has just two regular-season Missouri Valley Conference games remaining, with ISU hosting Missouri State, followed by the regular-season finale at Northern Iowa on Saturday, March 2. ISU (7-9 MVC) is currently tied for sixth place with Bradley. The Redbirds could move into as high as fifth place with a win Wednesday, or as low as seventh place with a loss. ISU currently could finish the season as high as tied for fourth place or as low as ninth place, depending on what happens during the next two league games. The bottom four teams in the final standing must compete in the play-in game next Thursday, and only 25 times in NCAA history has a team won four (or more) games to win its conference post-season tournament title.
HEADING THE RIGHT WAY
ISU started the conference season with an 0-6 mark. No team in league history has started league play at 0-6 and then rebounded to finish .500 or better. A total of 53 teams in the league's 106-year history have started 0-6 or worse. ISU will need to win its final two regular season games to finish 9-9.
Illinois State's four senior men's basketball players, Tyler Brown, Jackie Carmichael, Anthony Cousin and John Wilkins, along with senior manager Trevor Branyik, will be honored beginning at approximately 6:45 p.m., before Wednesday night's game.
- Anthony Cousin is a three-year letter winner who has averaged 4.4 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists during his Redbird career. He is the active career-assists leader, and last year, Cousin was a key contributor during Illinois State's run in the Valley Tournament. He played 59 minutes without committing a single turnover, while helping the Redbirds reach the championship game.
- John Wilkins is also a three-year letter winner, Wilkins has averaged 7.0 points and 3.8 rebounds. Earlier this year, Wilkins was instrumental in helping ISU overcome a 17-point deficit and win at Drake. He scored a season-high 18 points against the Bulldogs to guide ISU to its third-best comeback in program history. Wilkins has also shot a team-high 57.1 percent in ISU's Valley wins this season.
- Tyler Brown transferred to ISU in 2011, and since then, he has started 59 games during two seasons, while maintaining a career-average of 15.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.2 steals. He is Illinois State's active-career leader in three-point and free throw percentage. A member of the 2012 Valley All-Tournament team and a Valley Player of the Week selection this year, Brown is also just 44 points away from joining the 1,000-point club, after becoming the eighth player in the country to log two 35-plus point efforts this season.
- Jackie Carmichael is a four-year starter, and he has a career-average of 12.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. While Carmichael holds ISU's blocked shots record, with 189, he also ranks among the top-10 in career-points, rebounds and double-doubles (see right sidebar). Plus, he leads the Valley and ranks 29th in the nation, with 9.4 rebounds per game. A 2012 Valley All-Tournament selection, Carmichael has earned four Valley Player of the Week honors, he was a Sports Illustrated Future Game Changer, and he is a finalist for the Lou Henson mid-major player of the year award.
TWO 35+ POINT GAMES
ISU senior guard Tyler Brown tallied his second 35-plus point game of the season in ISU's loss at Utah State Saturday night. Brown is the only player in the Missouri Valley Conference, and one of just eight players in the country, to net 35 or more points in two different games this season. He also accomplished the feat with 36 points in ISU's Nov. 24 loss to Northwestern.
Tyler Brown and Jackie Carmichael teamed up for the first ISU multi-player double-double this season in Illinois State's BracketBusters loss at Utah State Saturday night. Brown grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds during his 35-point performance, while Carmichael collected 20 points and 10 rebounds. Two players each recorded double-doubles in the same game on three occasions last year, with it last occurring Jan. 28, 2012, when Carmichael and John Wilkins earned double-doubles against Southern Illinois.
CARMICHAEL A LOU HENSON AWARD FINALIST
ISU senior forward Jackie Carmichael is one of 25 national finalists for the 2013 Lou Henson Award, announced by CollegeInsider.com Monday. The award is presented annually to the top mid-major player in college basketball. Carmichael is currently averaging 17.8 points and a Missouri Valley Conference-best 9.4 rebounds per game, while shooting 52.4 percent from the field and 69.9 percent at the free throw line.
BROWN MOVES TO "ELITE 8" OF DUNK CONTEST
Tyler Brown earned more fan votes than first-round competitor Tydran Beaty of Benedict College, allowing Brown to advance to the "Elite 8" of the "State Farm Dark Horse Dunker Competition" Monday. Fans must now cast their daily votes to help Brown win his way into the contest's Final Four, by voting online at: facebook.com/CollegeSlam. Second round voting ends next Monday, March 4, at noon CST.
Despite dropping its last three games, Illinois State won its first four contests in the month of February. ISU is now tied with Southern Illinois for the third-best record in the league (4-3) during the past month. Missouri State has gone 3-4 during February, while Northern Iowa, has the best record, at 6-1 this month.
REDBIRDS COOL OFF
After recording their top-five Valley shooting percentages during a five-game stretch (Jan. 29-Feb. 13) in which the Redbirds went 4-1 (45.8 percent at Bradley, 46.2 percent against Southern Illinois, 48.3 percent at Drake, 49.2 percent at No. 16 Creighton and 47.4 percent versus Bradley), the Redbirds have cooled off offensively over their last three games against Wichita State (35.4 percent), Evansville (37.1 percent) and Utah State (36.9 percent). ISU averaged a 47.5 percent shooting percentage during the five-game stretch, contrasted with a 36.6 percent average over the last three contests.
THE DIFFERENCE IS DEFENSE
"Defense wins games" might be a cliché, but it is the truth when it comes to the ISU men's basketball team this season. During ISU's seven Valley victories, the Redbirds have held the opposition to 62.9 points per game, compared to the 74.9 points per game averaged during ISU's Valley losses (a difference of 12.0 points). Illinois State has also limited the opposition to 38.8 percent shooting in league wins, contrasted with a 46.3 percent clip allowed in conference losses (a 7.5 percent difference).
Part of Illinois State's recent success can be attributed to success at the foul line. In Illinois State's seven Valley victories, the Redbirds have averaged 19.0 free throws on 25.3 attempts. In contrast, ISU averaged 12.9 free throws (a difference of 6.1) on 17.1 attempts (a difference of 8.2) during the Redbirds' nine conference losses. Illinois State made a season-high 32 charity shots on 36 attempts in the win at Drake on Feb. 6, which was the most by ISU in a game since the Redbirds made 33 versus SIUE on Nov. 14, 2010. ISU then went 30-for-33 at the line in the loss to Wichita State on Feb. 17. The Redbirds' 5-for-7 free throw effort at Evansville last Wednesday night was the second-fewest makes and attempts by ISU this season. ISU is now 12-2 this season when the Redbirds shoot more free throws than their opponent.
With 10 steals recorded during Illinois State's win at Drake on Feb. 6, the Redbirds improved to 7-0 this season when they record 10 or more steals in a game. It marked the second time that ISU has collected double-digit steals in a Missouri Valley Conference game this year.
The Redbirds scored a scorching 94 points, including 54 in the second half, during the win at Drake on Feb. 6. It marked the first time since 2001 that ISU has netted more than 90 points against a Missouri Valley Conference foe. The last time that happened, ISU won at Evansville, 94-87, in double-overtime on Feb. 12, 2001. Illinois State has now scored 90 or more points three times this season, and 80 or more points nine times. ISU is 9-0 when netting 80 or more.
CARMICHAEL 1 OF 12
Jackie Carmichael is one of just 12 players in MVC history with 1,500 career points and 900 career rebounds (the Valley mistakenly reported that he was one of seven last week). He notched both milestones in ISU's game last week at Evansville. Carmichael currently ranks ninth on the Illinois State career-points list, with 1,522 and fourth on the career-rebounding list, with 910. He is chasing Jerry McGreal on the scoring list, who is in eighth place with 1,542 points, while Fred Marberry is in third place, ahead of Carmichael, on the rebounding list, with 933.
PASSING MULLER'S MILESTONE
Jackie Carmichael moved into 10th place on the Illinois State career-scoring list during the Feb. 9 contest at No. 16 Creighton, surpassing head coach Dan Muller. Carmichael is now in ninth place with 1,522-career points, while Muller scored 1,445 in his four-year career. The Manhattan, Kan., native also made his 100th-career start in ISU's win over the Bluejays.
THE 'BIRDS NEED BROWN
Senior guard Tyler Brown, who averaged 17.3 points per game through the non-conference season, cooled off at the beginning of Illinois State's Valley season. During the Redbirds' initial six-game losing streak, Brown was held to 10.4 points per game. However, the Owensboro, Ky., native has been instrumental in Illinois State's recent success. Since snapping the skid, Brown has averaged a team-best 20.9 points per game and 5.4 rebounds. He led ISU with 27 points in the win at No. 16 Creighton, Feb. 9.
Redbird senior forward Jackie Carmichael earned his 33rd-career double-double and 13th of the season during Illinois State's loss at Utah State Saturday night. He is now in third place on the career double-doubles list, behind Jeff Wilkins (42) and Ron DeVries (50). Carmichael is also the Valley's active leader for career double-doubles, followed by Doug McDermott of Creighton (28).
JACKIE'S BLOCK PARTY
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Senior forward Jackie Carmichael had two blocks Saturday at Utah State to give him 189 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).