ISU Hosts Delaware State in South Padre Island Invitational
Johnny Hill
Johnny Hill

Nov. 17, 2012

 Illinois State vs. Delaware State | Normal, Ill.
 Date  Sunday, November 18
 Normal, Ill.
2:05 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
 Buy Tickets  Illinois State Online Ticket Office

  • This game is part of the South Padre Island Invitational. It is the first tournament matchup for both teams. Illinois State faces Fairleigh Dickinson Nov. 20 on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena. ISU then travels to South Padre Island, Texas for a game against UAB Nov. 23, followed by the finale versus either TCU or Northwestern Nov. 24.
  • Illinois State has gone 15-3 at home dating back to last season, and the Redbirds have won seven of their last eight games played on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.
  • ISU earned a rare road-opening victory at Drexel Nov. 15. With the win, the Redbirds have now won three of their last 13 road openers, and they hold a 16-28 record in Division I-era road openers.
  • First-year head coach Dan Muller is 2-0, which is the third-best start for a Redbird head coach in the NCAA Division I-era (1970-present). Former coach Tim Jankovich started 3-0 before his first loss, while Gene Smithson went 6-0, which is the best ISU D-I coaching debut in program history.
  • Muller is coaching his first season at Illinois State. He served as 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 led Illinois State to a, 100-72, season-opening win against UC Santa Barbara Nov. 12, marking the largest offensive output in a Redbird opener since the 1997-98 season, where as a player, Muller helped ISU to a 101-66 season-opening victory against Oakland at Redbird Arena.
  • 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.


  • Delaware State is located in Dover, Del., and has an enrollment of 4,179. The Hornets compete at the NCAA Division I level and are members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
  • The Hornets return four starters from a team which finished 15-14 last season with a 12-4 MEAC record (third place). Returning starters for Delaware State include Tahj Tate (so.; 6-4, 195), the 2011-12 MEAC Rookie-of-the-Year, Casey Walker (jr.; 6-2, 180), Marques Oliver (sr.; 6-7, 235) and Kendall Gray (so.; 6-10, 240).
  • Delaware State was predicted to finish second in the MEAC (one first-place vote).

    Illinois State sophomore guard Johnny Hill averaged just 7.4 minutes with two points and one rebound per game last season. However, this season, Hill is proving to be a critical piece to the Redbird basketball puzzle. Hill has averaged 23.5 minutes over the first two games, and he scored a career-high 13 points in a career-best 28 minutes of play at Drexel Nov. 15. Hill's previous high was 11 versus Lipscomb Nov. 19, 2011. Not only did Hill score five key field goals against the Dragons, but he also made a pressure-packed free throw late in overtime to secure the Redbird road win.

    The Redbirds earned a road victory against one of the highest preseason-rated mid-major programs in the nation Nov. 15, as ISU held off Drexel in overtime. The Dragons won the 2011-12 Colonial Athletic Association title and are favored to win it again this season. Drexel also received five votes in the preseason AP Top 25 Poll, and two points in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Dragons will make the return trip to Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena on Nov. 12, 2013.

    Doug Collins, the most decorated ISU men's basketball player in program history, cheered on the Redbirds from behind their bench at the Nov. 15 game at Drexel in Philadelphia. He has served as the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers since 2010. During his Redbird playing days, he was a consensus All-American in 1973 and the winner of the NCAA Top Five Athletes of 1973. He averaged 29.1 points in three seasons.

    Redbird senior forward Jackie Carmichael and senior guard Tyler Brown are a tall order for the opposing defense. Both players have scored 20-plus points in the first two games of the season against UC Santa Barbara and Drexel, with Carmichael scoring 27 and 21 respectively, and Brown contributing 22 and 20.

    In a balanced scoring effort, five Redbirds tallied double figures during the win over Drexel (Nov. 15). Jackie Carmichael (21), Tyler Brown (20), Johnny Hill (13) and Jon Ekey (10) became the first quintet to accomplish that feat since Dec. 2011. The Dragons also had five players with 10 or more points.

    Two Tyler Brown dunks from ISU's win over Drexel made ESPN's Top Plays list Nov. 15-16. No. 5 was an alley-oop dunk from Bryant Allen, and No. 4 was an alley-oop dunk from Kaza Keane.

    Like Delaware State, Illinois State features an experienced team, including four seniors, three juniors, four sophomores and just two freshmen - with only one true-freshman (Kaza Keane). ISU welcomes back four out of five starters from last year's team and returns 84.5 percent of offense (2,062/2,439), 92.4 percent of rebounding (1,135/1,229), 100 percent of shot blocking (118/118) and 69.1 percent of assists (317/459).

    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.

    The Redbirds rolled to a 100-72 season-opening win against UC Santa Barbara Nov. 12, marking the largest offensive output in an ISU opener since the 1997-98 season, where as a player, Dan Muller helped ISU to a 101-66 season-opening victory against Oakland at Redbird Arena. ISU's 51 second-half points marked the first 50-point half for the Redbirds since scoring 60 versus Missouri State in 2009. Additionally, ISU's 41 field goals signified the first 40-plus field goal game since the Redbirds tallied 44 against Southern Illinois in 1998. In the 115-year history of the program, Illinois State has compiled a 77-38 (.669) all-time record in season-opening games.

    If the Nov. 12 season opener was any indication of what's to come, the 2012-13 Redbirds will maintain a high-energy, fast-paced tempo, which can lead to explosive scoring runs. During the first half against UC Santa Barbara, the game was tied, 6-6, before the Redbirds went on a 21-0 run over five-plus minutes to take a 27-6 advantage. ISU guard Tyler Brown contributed 12 points alone during the scoring stretch.

    Forward Jackie Carmichael did not disappoint in ISU's season-opening win over UC Santa Barbara. The senior netted a career-high 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to record his 22nd career-double-double. Carmichael has now scored double figures in seven-straight games dating back to last season, and 47 total times throughout his career. He also tallied a career-best 13 field goals on 13-for-20 shooting.

    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.