Head coach Dan Muller owned a 9-0 record against Wichita State as a player from 1994-98.
WHERE TO WATCH: No. 6 ISU VS. No. 2 WICHITA STATE
Comcast SportsNet Chicago: Comcast Ch. 56, DirecTV Ch. 665, Dish Ch. 429, AT&T U-Verse Ch. 741
Fox Sports Midwest (outside of metropolitan St. Louis due to contractual obligations with the St. Louis Blues): Comcast Ch. 57, DirecTV Ch. 671, Dish Ch. 418, AT&T U-Verse Ch. 748
ESPN3.com (outside the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska)
LAST MEETING: LATE COMEBACK HELPS SHOCKERS SLIP PAST REDBIRDS, 68-67
NORMAL, Ill. (Feb. 17, 2013) - Wichita State (22-5, 11-4 MVC at the time) went on an 8-2 run in the final 40 seconds to edge Illinois State (16-11, 8-7 MVC) by a score of 68-67, Feb. 17, on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena. Tyler Brown led four Redbirds in double figures with 17 points to go along with 17 rebounds Jackie Carmichael also had a solid game with 12 points and nine rebounds in the loss to the Shockers. Malcolm Armstead led Wichita State in scoring with 18 points.
DEFENDING THE SHOCKERS
Illinois State limited Wichita State to 20 first-half points in the last meeting between the two teams (Feb. 17), which was a new season-low for a Redbird opponent. ISU's defense held the Shockers to 0-for-9 shooting from the field during a 7:29 stretch in which the Redbirds outscored Wichita State, 17-0.
REFEREES DISCIPLINED AFTER WICHITA STATE GAME
The Missouri Valley Conference disciplined the basketball game officials following the Feb. 17 game for their administration of awarded free throws in the final moments of the Illinois State versus Wichita State game. Following a monitor review with 40 seconds remaining, the officiating crew assessed a Flagrant 1 foul to Illinois State's Jackie Carmichael for kicking Tekele Cotton in the chest while grabbing a defensive rebound. However, the incorrect Wichita State player shot the ensuing free throws. Instead of Cotton (58.6 percent free throw shooter at the time), Cleanthony Early (80.9 percent) attempted, and made, both free throws.
In previous tournaments, Illinois State has won half of its semifinal matchups. The Redbirds hold a 10-10 (.500) record when playing in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
ONE MORE TEAM TO BEAT
With Illinois State's 73-65 quarterfinal victory against Northern Iowa Friday night, the Redbirds have now beaten nine out of the 10 Valley teams at least once this season. Wichita State is the only team that ISU has not earned a win against this year.
SETTING THE STANDARD
Redbird seniors Tyler Brown and Jackie Carmichael played like they did not want their seasons to end during Illinois State's quarterfinal win versus Northern Iowa Friday night. Brown netted a game-high 28 points, which was the highest offensive output by a Redbird in a Valley Tournament game since Rico Hill scored 31 points in 1997. Brown's six three pointers also tied the ISU single-game Valley Tournament record, and Carmichael's five blocked shots tied the Redbirds' tournament record, set by Carmichael in last year's quarterfinal matchup against Northern Iowa.
Senior guard Tyler Brown has stayed hot in St. Louis, after finishing the regular season on a scoring tear. Brown started the Valley season with a modest 9.5 points averaged during the first four games. But, after being held scoreless at Missouri State (Jan. 8), Brown bounced back to more-than double his productivity, averaging 21.7 points during the last 15 contests. During that span, Brown has tallied 10, 20-plus point performances, with 12-consecutive double-figure efforts, dating back to Jan. 26.
IT'S MULLER TIME
The last time the Illinois State men's basketball team won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, Dan Muller was a senior leader on the floor. He hopes to repeat that accomplishment, this time as the head coach. Muller was 8-2 in the Valley Tournament as a player, with Illinois State winning the championship during his junior and senior years, in 1997 and 1998. In his first two seasons, as a freshman and sophomore, the Redbirds won their quarterfinal matchups before falling in the semifinals. So far, Muller is 1-0 in the Valley Tournament as a head coach.
CARMICHAEL'S LAST CHANCE TO DANCE
Senior forward Jackie Carmichael is the only Redbird participating in his fourth Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Carmichael, along with three other seniors, has one last shot at a Valley Tournament title. The Manhattan, Kan., native has started six out of seven tournament games, averaging 12.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. His five blocks and 15 rebounds in ISU's quarterfinal win last year against Northern Iowa (March 2, 2012) both rank No. 1 in their respective Illinois State single-game tournament categories, with Carmichael matching the blocks record in ISU's win against Northern Iowa Friday night. Carmichael averaged a double-double of 15.0 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks during ISU's three-game run in last season's Valley Tournament, for which he was named an All-Tournament Team selection.
CLOSE, BUT NO TITLE
No other team has made it to the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game more times in the past five years than Illinois State. However, in ISU's three championship-game appearances during the five-year span, the Redbirds have not taken home the title. Illinois State has come close, dropping two final games in overtime, including last year's 83-79 loss to Creighton. The Redbirds' last Valley Tournament title came in 1998, with a win against Missouri State.
After starting 0-6 in the Missouri Valley Conference, the Redbirds bounced back to finish in sixth place with an 8-10 league record. Three individuals were also recognized for their efforts this season, including Jackie Carmichael, Tyler Brown and Johnny Hill. Carmichael received first-team and all-defensive team recognition, and Brown garnered second-team accolades. Hill was named a member of the most-improved team. Carmichael and Brown teamed up to become the first all-conference ISU duo since 2010.
JOINING THE 1,000-POINT CLUB
Senior guard Tyler Brown became the 41st member of Illinois State's 1,000-point club, as he finished with a game-high 28 points against the Northern Iowa (March 2). He is also just the third player in program history to reach 1,000 points in his first two seasons as a Redbird, after transferring to ISU from Marshalltown Community College (467 points as a junior and 570 points as a senior). The only other two players to accomplish that feat were Doug Collins (743, 847) and Tarise Bryson (465, 578). Brown joins teammate Jackie Carmichael on the list, who currently ranks eighth in scoring,with 1,558 points.
Redbird senior forward Jackie Carmichael earned his 35th-career double-double and 15th of the season during Illinois State's Valley Tournament quarterfinal victory against Northern Iowa Friday night. He is in third place on the ISU 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.
TWO 35+ POINT GAMES
Tyler Brown tallied his second 35-plus point game of the season, with 35 points in ISU's loss at Utah State (Feb. 23). 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.
OFFENSE EXPLODES AGAINST BEARS
After being held below 40 percent from the field in their previous three games, the Redbirds shot above 50 percent for the first time during the Valley season in the Feb. 27 win over Missouri State, finishing with a 59.2 percent clip. It was ISU's best percentage since shooting 62.1 percent in the season-opener against UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 12). Also, with a 39-point advantage at the 3:52 mark of the second half versus MSU, the Redbirds matched their largest margin of the season.
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 (Feb. 23). 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, when Carmichael and John Wilkins earned double-doubles against Southern Illinois.
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 eight Valley victories, the Redbirds held the opposition to 61.2 points per game, compared to the 75.4 points per game averaged during ISU's Valley losses (a difference of 14.2 points). Illinois State also limited the opposition to 38.7 percent shooting in league wins, contrasted with a 45.6 percent clip allowed in conference losses (a 6.9 percent difference).
Part of Illinois State's recent success can be attributed to success at the foul line. In Illinois State's eight Valley victories, the Redbirds averaged 18.9 free throws on 25.1 attempts. In contrast, ISU averaged 13.3 free throws (a difference of 5.6) on 17.4 attempts (a difference of 7.7) during the Redbirds' 10 conference losses. Illinois State made a season-high 32 charity shots on 36 attempts in the win at Drake 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 Feb. 17. The Redbirds' 5-for-7 free throw effort at Evansville Feb. 20 was the second-fewest makes and attempts by ISU this season. ISU is now 14-2 this season when the Redbirds shoot more free throws than their opponent, which they did Friday against UNI.
With 10 steals recorded during Illinois State's win over Missouri State (Feb. 27), the Redbirds improved to 8-0 this season when they record 10 or more steals in a game. It marked the third time that ISU has collected double-digit steals in a Missouri Valley Conference game this year.
CLIMBING THE HILL
Redbird sophomore guard Johnny Hill is Illinois State's most improved player this season. As a result, he was named to the Valley's Most-Improved Team. Hill has played in 32 games, including 25 starts, after playing in just 28 games with no starts last season. This year, he is averaging 7.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 25.2 minutes per game, compared to 2.0 points, 1.0 rebound and 0.5 assists in 7.4 minutes per game last season (an increase of 5.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 17.8 minutes).
CARMICHAEL 1 OF 12
GoRedbirds.com: Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.
Jackie Carmichael is one of just 12 players in MVC history with 1,500 career points and 900 career rebounds. He notched both milestones in ISU's game at Evansville Feb. 20. Carmichael currently ranks ninth on the Illinois State career-points list, with 1,558, and third on the career-rebounding list with 937. He is chasing Tarise Bryson on the scoring list, who is in seventh place with 1,736 points, while Dave Schertz is in third place, ahead of Carmichael, on the rebounding list, with 978.