Muller to Make Coaching Debut in Opener Against UC Santa Barbara
Dan Muller
Dan Muller

Nov. 8, 2012

 Illinois State vs. UC Santa Barbara | Normal, Ill.
 Date  Monday, November 12
 Normal, Ill.
7:05 p.m. CDT
 Redbird Arena
 Radio  WJBC 1230 AM, FM 93.7 (Dick Luedke - Play-by-Play)
 Video Stream
 Live Stats  GameTracker
 Game Notes  Illinois State Notes | UC Santa Barbara Notes
 Buy Tickets  Illinois State Online Ticket Office

  • Dan Muller is making his head coaching debut at Illinois State. He was an assistant at Vanderbilt since 2001.
  • Muller became the 19th men's basketball coach in ISU history when he was hired May 8, 2012. Muller, a Percy Family Hall of Famer who helped the Redbirds to four-straight postseason appearances and a 91-37 record as a player from 1994-98, replaced Tim Jankovich, who resigned from ISU to accept a position at Southern Methodist.
  • Muller played his final game at Redbird Arena Saturday, Feb. 21, 1998 versus Creighton, with Illinois State winning, 80-67. He scored 15 points, grabbed five rebounds, dished out three assists and blocked two shots.
  • In the NCAA Division I-era (1970-present), first-year Redbird head coaches have gone 5-3 in their openers, with the last three coaches, Tom Richardson, Porter Moser and Tim Jankovich, all winning their first games. Will Robinson and Gene Smithson also won their openers, while Bob Donewald, Bob Bender and Kevin Stallings each lost to begin their Redbird careers.
  • Associate Head Coach Dana Ford is also coaching his first Redbird game since playing at ISU from 2002-06.
  • Since the 1981-82 season, Illinois State's first campaign in the Missouri Valley Conference, the Redbirds have won 19 of their 31 season openers.
  • In the 115-year history of the program, Illinois State has compiled a 76-38 (.667) all-time record in season-opening games.
  • In the NCAA Division I-era (1970-present), the Redbirds are 26-16 (.619) in season-openers.
  • ISU has won seven of its last nine season openers, falling at Fresno State, 55-47, in last year's opener.
  • Illinois State is in its 43rd season as a NCAA Division I program, and during that time, the Redbirds have only had eight losing seasons.
  • Illinois State earned a berth to a postseason tournament for the 18th time last season with a National Invitational Tournament bid, marking the 12th spot in the NIT field, including NIT berths in four of the last five seasons.


  • UC Santa Barbara is located in Santa Barbara, Calif., and has an enrollment of 4,650. The Gauchos compete at the NCAA Division I level and are members of the Big West Conference.
  • The Gauchos return two starters from a team which finished 20-11 last season and earned a tie for second in the Big West. Returning starters for UCSB are sophomore guard T.J. Taylor and sophomore forward Alan Williams. UCSB is one of the three-youngest teams in the nation, with nine freshmen.
  • UCSB (129 votes) was predicted to finish fifth in the Big West Preseason Poll.

    In contrast to UC Santa Barbara's young team, Illinois State features four seniors, three juniors, four sophomores and just two freshmen - with only one true-freshman (Kaza Keane). The Redbirds welcome back four out of their five starters from last year's team and return 84.5 percent of their offense (2,062/2,439), 92.4 percent of their rebounding (1,135/1,229), 100 percent of their shot blocking (118/118) and 69.1 percent of their assists (317/459).

    Even though it does not count, Illinois State built momentum for the 2012-13 season with a 93-64 exhibition win against Quincy Nov. 5. Junior forward Jon Ekey led the Redbirds with 16 points, while Jackie Carmichael tallied a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Ekey, who has scored double-figures in all three of ISU's exhibition wins against Quincy over the past three years, averages 14 points versus Quincy.

    The last time the Illinois State men's basketball team participated in the NCAA Tournament, Dan Muller was the leader on the floor. He hopes to repeat that accomplishment, this time from the sideline, as ISU's head coach. Muller was named the 19th men's basketball coach in school history May 8, 2012. Muller's basketball resume includes over a decade of basketball coaching experience, including the last 12 years as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt under former Illinois State head coach Kevin Stallings. As a player, Muller guided the Redbirds to two regular season and Valley Tournament championships and four postseason appearances, including trips to the NCAA Tournament in his final two seasons (1997 and 1998).

    Illinois State earned its highest Missouri Valley Conference preseason ranking since the 2001-02 season, as the Redbirds are picked to finish second in the league according to the 2012 Valley Preseason Poll. ISU senior forward Jackie Carmichael is also an MVC Preseason All-Conference selection. Creighton is the preseason-favorite, with 38 first-place votes, while ISU earned two first-place votes to rank No. 2.

    Redbird forward Jackie Carmichael has received preseason publicity from numerous national publications. Not only is Carmichael a preseason All-Missouri Valley Conference selection, but he has also been named the eighth best rebounder in the country according to the Top 10 Rebounders list, the 30th best big man in the country according to the Top 50 Big Men list, and the 79th best player in the country according to the Top 100 Player list. Carmichael was the top rebounder in the Valley last year, with 9.7 boards averaged per game. He also led ISU with 13.9 points averaged per game.

    RECORD BOOK, MEET Jackie Carmichael
    As Jackie Carmichael begins his senior season, he is in a position to etch his name near the top of several categories in the Redbird record book. Carmichael is on pace to break the program-blocked shots mark. He begins the season with 132 blocks (tied for fourth place with Joe Galvin), and the record is 160. If he blocks as many shots as he did last season (50), he will surpass the old record, held by Greg Dilligard. He is also on pace to finish among the top-10 scorers, top-three rebounders and top-five free throw shooters.

    Thanks to his 21-point effort at Stanford Mar. 19, 2012, Jackie Carmichael became the 40th member of Illinois State's 1,000-point scoring club. Carmichael now has 1,005 career-points to rank No. 40.

    Sports Illustrated is profiling Jackie Carmichael as a Future Game Changer. A video featuring Carmichael is streaming on, and a story about Carmichael is appearing in the Sports Illustrated College Basketball Preview. Sports Illustrated photographer Bill Frakes was on campus Oct. 29-30 to photograph and film Carmichael at Redbird Arena, the Karin Bone Athletic Study Center, the ISU quad and in front of the Normal Theater. Head coach Dan Muller and athletic trainer John Munn are also featured in the video.

    ISU guard Tyler Brown also earned some national hype by ranking No. 38 on the Top 50 Shooters list. Brown averaged 13.7 points per game to rank second on the team in scoring. However, he saved some of his most significant contributions for late in the season, averaging a team-best 16 points per game at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, and 24.5 points per game during the two games of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) where he shot a combined 13-for-14 from three-point range.

    Transfer guard Geoffrey Allen will be eligible to play during the 2012-13 men's basketball season based on a waiver granted by the NCAA. Allen will not be forced to miss a season of competition, despite transferring from Eastern Washington. The waiver was granted for two reasons. First, he left Eastern Washington following a coaching change. Second, after playing at Eastern Washington as a freshman during the 2010-11 season, he underwent shoulder surgery and did not play in 2011-12. Meanwhile, the NCAA ruled that forward John Jones has two years of playing eligibility remaining. He will redshirt during 2012-13.

    Illinois State, which became an NCAA Division I program prior to the 1970-71 season, enjoyed postseason play for the 18th time last 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 Tyler Brown (23), Jackie Carmichael (21) and Nic Moore (25) each scoring more than 20 points during ISU's season-ending NIT loss at Stanford Mar. 19, 2012, it marked the first time three Redbirds have scored 20-plus points in a game since Derrick Mayes (21), Ron Jones (20) and Del Yarbrough (20) accomplished the feat against Southern Illinois, Dec. 6, 1978.