Redbirds Continue NIT Run at Stanford
Nic Moore

Nic Moore

March 16, 2012

 Illinois State at Stanford | Stanford, Calif.
 Date  Monday, March 19
 Stanford, Calif.
10:30 p.m. CDT
 Maples Pavilion
 Radio  WJBC 1230 AM, FM 93.7 (Dick Luedke - Play-by-Play)
 Television  ESPN2 - Roxy Bernstein (play-by-play), Mark Adams (analyst)
 Video Stream  ESPN3
 Live Stats  GameTracker
 Game Notes  Illinois State Notes
  • The Redbirds are coming off their first NIT win since March 19, 2008 (61-57 vs. Utah State) and their first road NIT victory since March 18, 1996 (77-62 at Wisconsin).
  • Illinois State is also coming off its best three-point shooting game in school history when posting at least 10 makes. The Redbirds shot a scorching 17-for-23 (73.9 percent) at Ole Miss on March 14.
  • This is Illinois State's first game against Stanford and its second trip to California this season. The Redbirds opened the 2011-12 campaign with a 55-47 loss at Fresno State.
  • Illinois State earned a berth to a postseason tournament for the 18th time and this marks the 12th spot in the National Invitation Tournament field, including NIT berths in four of the last five seasons.
  • Tim Jankovich is the first coach in league history to lead his team to back-to-back Valley (@MVCSports) Tournament title games in his first two seasons. With the trip to the title game this season, Jankovich has led the Redbirds to the Valley title game in three of his five seasons at Illinois State.
  • Jankovich has led Illinois State to four postseason appearances, which ties him with former ISU coach and current Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings for second-best all-time in Redbird history. The duo trail Bob Donewald, who led the Redbirds to six postseason berths.
  • Jankovich owns a 49-17 record (.742) against non-conference opponents during his time with the Redbirds.
  • Illinois State was projected to finish eighth in the Valley's preseason poll, but the Redbirds finished tied for third.
  • Jackie Carmichael and Tyler Brown were each named to the Valley's All-Tournament team.
  • Illinois State and Stanford have two common opponents this season - Fresno State and Bethune-Cookman. The Redbirds lost, 55-47, at Fresno State, while Stanford beat the Bulldogs at Maples Pavilion, 75-59. Both the Redbirds (75-51) and the Cardinal (75-56) downed Bethune-Cookman by similar margins.
  • The Redbirds are 4-8 in true road games this season and own a 5-8 all-time mark in road NIT contests.
  • ISU is in its 42nd season as a NCAA Division I program, and during that time has only had eight losing seasons.


  • Stanford is located in Stanford, Calif., and has an enrollment of 15,319. The Cardinal are members of the Pac-12. The Cardinal were projected to finish sixth in the Pac-12, according to the league's preseason poll, and finished seventh.
  • The Cardinal return four starters from a team that finished 15-16 last season.
  • Josh Owens was named to the All-Pac-12 Team, earning second team honors. Chasson Randle was honored as a member of the league's all-freshman team.
  • Stanford is 31-22 all-time in postseason play, which includes 22 postseason appearances. The Cardinal are 8-5 in their five NIT berths, including winning the title in 1991.

    Seventeen of them to be exact! That was the number of three-point field goals Illinois State knocked down in the first round NIT game at Ole Miss on March 14. The Redbirds' 17 three-point makes tied the school record set on Feb. 14, 1996, at Drake. In addition, the 17 treys are also tied for the 7th most made threes by an NCAA Division team this season. ISU's 17 threes were also the most ever made by a single team at Tad Smith Coliseum on the Ole Miss campus.

    Not only did Illinois State make 17 three-pointers against Ole Miss on March 14, but the Redbirds did that in only 23 attempts. The 73.9 percent effort from three-point range was the best shooting percentage in ISU history from three when making 10 or more treys. The Redbirds shot 73.3 percent (11-for-15) from three against Butler on Feb. 24, 1988, which was the old mark. ISU's three-point field percentage at Ole Miss also marked the fifth-best percentage from three in NCAA Division I basketball this season.

    During the stretch run of the season, the freshman label can almost be dropped from ISU point guard Nic Moore. With back-to-back 20-point scoring efforts, Moore came up big in the final minutes of the first round NIT win at Ole Miss on March 14. After Tyler Brown fouled out, Moore posted a career-best 24 points, including a school-record-tying 6-for-6 effort on threes.

    Illinois State's Tyler Brown and Nic Moore were long-range snipers in the win over Ole Miss on March 14. The Redbird guards combined to shoot 14-for-15 (.933) from three-point range, while collectively scoring 50 of Illinois State's 96 points.

    Sophomore Jon Ekey has elevated his game in Illinois State's last two contests. With back-to-back double-digit scoring efforts, Ekey is averaging 14.0 points per game over the last two contests, while combining for seven assists and only one turnover. He is also shooting 10-for-13 (.769) from the field during that span, with a 5-for-7 (.714) effort on threes.

    With 16 more points, junior Jackie Carmichael will become the 40th member of Illinois State's 1,000-point scoring club. Carmichael enters the game with 984 career tallies and is averaging 13.7 points per game this season.

    Illinois State, which became an NCAA Division I program prior to the 1970-71 season, will enjoy postseason play for the 18th time this season. The Redbirds have qualified for the NCAA Tournament six times (1983, 1984, 1985, 1990, 1997 and 1998) and the NIT 12 times (1977, 1978, 1980, 1987, 1988, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012).

    By making the 2012 National Invitation Tournament (NIT) field, the Redbirds have earned postseason berths in four of last five seasons, all NIT bids. The last time ISU made four postseason bids in five years was in 1994-95 (NIT), 1995-96 (NIT), 1996-97 (NCAA) and 1997-98 (NCAA).

    With Illinois State's 65-64 win over No. 15 Wichita State, the Redbirds posted their 20th victory of the season. With win number 20, Illinois State has now collected four 20-win seasons in the five years under head coach Tim Jankovich. The Redbirds now have 21 wins on the year.

    Also with the win over No. 15 Wichita State, Illinois State advanced to its third State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Championship game in five years. With that accomplishment, head coach Tim Jankovich became the first coach to lead his team to the title game three times in his first five seasons at a Valley school since Nolan Richardson. The former Tulsa head coach led the Golden Hurricane to the Valley title game in 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1985, after coaching in his first tournament in 1981.

    The second round NIT game at Stanford will mark Illinois State's 14th game against the current members of the Pac-12 Conference in school history. The Redbirds have had moderate success against the league by posting a 5-8 mark over the first 13 meetings. ISU has faced nine leauge members - Arizona (0-1), Arizona State (0-1), California (0-1), Colorado (1-1), Oregon (0-1), UCLA (1-0), USC (1-1), Utah (1-0) and Washington State (1-2).

    Illinois State enters the game with at least one made three in 398-straight games. The last time ISU didn't sink a trey was an 82-43 loss at Creighton, Dec. 12, 1999.

    When the Redbird defense is clicking, Illinois State has held 15 opponents this season to under 40 percent shooting, including nine games against Valley opponents, and five teams have shot under 30 percent. In the three 2012 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament games, Illinois State opponents shot a combined 36.7 percent from the field and 32.3 percent on threes.

    Since becoming eligible on Dec. 18, sophomore Bryant Allen has been a key component of the Redbird bench. Seeing action in 22 games, all as a reserve, Allen has posted seven double-digit scoring games this season off the bench. In regular-season Valley games, Allen was ISU's third-leading scorer with 9.9 points per game, in 20.6 minutes per contest. By no surprise, Allen was named to the league's all-bench team.

    With 9.6 rebounds per game, Illinois State's Jackie Carmichael is the top rebounder in the Missouri Valley Conference. With the rebounding title, Carmichael became only the second Redbird to lead the Valley in rebounding, joining Dinma Odiakosa, who averaged 8.7 rebounds during the 2009-10 season.

    Illinois State's Jackie Carmichael enters the game with a 9.6 rebounding average this season, including a 9.6 rebound per game mark in Valley contests. If Carmichael is able to keep his average above 9.0 rebounds per game for the season, he would be the first Redbird to do so in 35 seasons. Jeff Wilkins, the father of current Redbird John Wilkins, averaged 11.1 rebounds per game during the 1976-77 season.

    Jackie Carmichael's career-best 20 rebounds against Drake equaled the most rebounds by a Redbird in the history of Redbird Arena. Carmichael's effort matched Anthony Slack's 20-rebound effort against Creighton on Feb. 27, 2008. Prior to Slack, Illinois State had not had an individual 20-rebound performance since Del Yarbrough grabbed 20 caroms against Northern Illinois, Dec. 22, 1978. Ten days later against Oakland, Carmichael hauled in 19 rebounds to pace the Redbirds.

    Head coach Tim Jankovich posted his 100th victory at Illinois State in the 79-75 win over Oakland. Now with 104 victories, Jankovich is only the second coach in ISU history to post at least 100 wins in five seasons at the helm. Jankovich joins Kevin Stallings, who won 107 games in his first five seasons at ISU.

    In 23 games this season, Jackie Carmichael has scored in double-figures. In those contests, the Redbirds have posted a 16-7 record. Carmichael has also collected 16 double-digit rebound games this season, resulting in a 13-3 Redbird mark. When he posts a double-double, ISU is 12-2 this season.

    Valley All-Freshman Team honoree Nic Moore has dished out at least three assists in 24 games this season. He leads the team with 133 dimes and boasts a 1.80 assist-to-turnover ratio. Moore has dished out five or more assists in a game 12 different times this season, with nine being ISU wins. Moore collected more assists this season, through 19 games, than any Redbird did last season in 31 games.

    This season, Nic Moore became the first Illinois State freshman to post 100 assists in a single season since Victor Williams during the 1998-99 season. Williams finished with 103 assists that season and was named the 1999 Valley Freshman of the Year. Moore has 133 assists, which is the most by an ISU freshman since Ron Jones (212) during the 1976-77 season.

    After Bryant Allen's career-high 29 points against Creighton, ISU now has eight players on the roster who have scored at least 20 points in an NCAA Division I game. The eight Redbird players is the most by any team in the Valley. Jackie Carmichael has nine 20-point efforts in his career, including five this season, while Tyler Brown has seven 20-point games this season. Nic Moore has scored three 20-point games and Anthony Cousin, John Wilkins and Jon Ekey have each posted one. Trey Blue had a 20-point effort while playing at Fordham.

    Junior John Wilkins bears the nickname "Frenchy" from his teammates, being born on French soil. Wilkins is also being called on to be the Redbird stopper this year by the ISU coaching staff. Boasting similar traits used to describe the "French Defence," Wilkins brings solidarity and resilience to the Redbird defensive game plan. Already this season, Wilkins has proven to be a challenge against some of the Valley's best.

    It sounds a little cliché, but for ISU it is a reality. When comparing the Redbirds' stats in wins and losses, the variances on defensive field goal percentage and rebounding margin is astounding. In victory, Illinois State is holding its opponents to 37.3 percent shooting, while losses have had Redbird foes shooting 47.7 percent. In wins, the Redbirds own a +7.1 rebounding margin, but have a -5.5 margin in defeat.

    Valley All-Newcomer Team selection Tyler Brown can hit the outside shot. The junior college transfer paces Illinois State with 74 made three-pointers on the season, which puts him in the No. 7 spot for the most threes made in a season at Illinois State.

    A lot has been made of Jackie Carmichael's rebound numbers this season. His 326 boards currently rank No. 5 on Illinois State's all-time single-season best list, becoming the first Redbird to crack the top-10 in single-season rebounding since the 1976-77 campaign.