Illinois State Travels to No. 5 Louisville
Tyler Brown

Tyler Brown

Nov. 29, 2012

 Illinois State at No. 5 Louisville | Louisville, Ky.
 Date  Saturday, December 1
 Louisville, Ky.
12:07 p.m. CDT
 KFC Yum! Center
 TV  Comcast SportsNet Chicago (Drew Deener - PBP | Bob Valvano - Analyst)
 Radio  WJBC FM 93.7 (Eric Stock - Play-by-Play | Mike Matthews - Analyst)
 Video Stream
 Live Stats  GameTracker
 Game Notes  Illinois State Notes | Louisville Notes


  • Illinois State is playing a nationally-ranked opponent for the first time since losing to No. 25 Creighton, 83-79 (OT), in the championship game of the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, Mar. 4, 2012.
  • The Redbirds are playing their first non-conference ranked opponent since losing to No. 23 UNLV, 82-51, on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena, Dec. 1, 2010.
  • ISU is playing its first non-conference ranked opponent on the road since losing at No. 7 Illinois, 87-73, at the Assembly Hall in Champaign, Ill., Dec. 18, 2001.
  • Illinois State is 8-45 against Top-25 teams.
  • The highest-ranked team ISU has knocked off is No. 4 (Indiana State in 1978 and UNLV in 1977).
  • The last ranked opponent Illinois State beat was No. 15 Wichita State, 65-54, Mar. 3, 2012, in the MVC semifinal.
  • The last time ISU played a top-5 team was a 80-61 loss at No. 2 Kansas, Nov. 30, 2000.
  • ISU is off to its best start since beginning the 2009-10 season with a 7-0 record before suffering a defeat.
  • First-year head coach Dan Muller is 5-1, which ranks as the second-best start for a Redbird head coach in the NCAA Division I-era (1970-present). Gene Smithson went 6-0 to start the 1975-76 season, which is the best D-I coaching debut in Illinois State history.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • The University of Louisville is located in Louisville, Ky., and has an enrollment of 22,000. The Cardinals compete at the NCAA Division I level and are members of Big East Conference.
  • The Cardinals return three starters (Chane Behanan (F), Gorgui Dieng (C) and Peyton Siva (G)) from a team which finished 30-10 last season with a 10-8 (7th place) Big East record. Louisville won the Big East Tournament and reached the NCAA Final Four.
  • The last and only meeting between Illinois State and Louisville occurred Mar. 4, 1974, at Freedom Hall, with Louisville winning, 117-107.

    Senior guard Tyler Brown and junior guard Bryant Allen each scored 30 or more points in back-to-back games last weekend at the South Padre Island Invitational in South Padre Island, Texas. Allen netted a career-high 30 points, on 9-for-15 shooting (60.0 percent), in Illinois State's win over UAB on Nov. 23. In doing so, he became the first Redbird since 2010 to score 30 points in a game. While it previously took two years between 30-point games, Brown accomplished the feat 24 hours after Allen, against Northwestern. He netted a career-high 36 points on 12-for-20 shooting (60.0 percent), which was the fourth-highest scoring output in the nation this season, and the most points scored by a Redbird since Tarise Bryson tallied 41 against Central Michigan on Dec. 3, 2000.

    While Illinois State's offense is averaging a blistering 85.0 points per game this season, the Redbird defense is simultaneously stifling the competition. Opponents are averaging just 66.5 points per game, a +18.5 scoring margin. Illinois State has not allowed an opponent to shoot better than 50 percent from the field, and ISU has not been outshot by the opposition at any point this season. The Redbirds have also forced 110 turnovers compared to 84 turnovers of their own, a +4.3 margin. In the win over UAB on Nov. 23, ISU forced the Blazers to commit 27 turnovers, which marked the first time that an opponent has been charged with 25 or more turnovers since Missouri-St. Louis had 34 on Nov. 7, 2007.

    The Illinois State bench has outscored opposing benches, 163-88, through the first six games this season. ISU's bench has only been outscored once, 11-8, during the win over UAB, Nov. 23. The Redbirds' most dominating bench performance occurred in the win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Nov. 20, when Illinois State finished with a 42-4 advantage over the Knights' bench.

    Illinois State found itself ranked among some of the top teams in the nation when the NCAA released its first statistics report of the 2012-13 season. The Redbirds are 12th in points (510), 14th in points per game (85.4), 22nd in scoring margin (+18.5), 17th in field goal percentage (50.5) and 41st in three-point field goals per game (8.2). Additionally, ISU forward Jackie Carmichael ranks 31st with 2.5 blocks per game, point guard Kaza Keane ranks 33rd in the country with 5.8 assists per game, and Carmichael is 30th in the country with his two double-doubles this season.

    Junior Bryant Allen proved to be ISU's most useful tool Friday, Nov. 23, in the win over UAB. Allen netted a career-high 30 points and was credited with a career-best six steals. In doing so, he became the first Redbird since Dinma Odiakosa to score 30 points in a game. Odiakosa accomplished the feat Feb. 17, 2010, versus Missouri State. Allen also recorded the first five-plus steal effort since Anthony Cousin had five steals at Bradley, Feb. 26, 2011.

    In the spirit of the holiday season, Illinois State is spreading the scoring cheer with a 110-to-84 (1.3) assist to turnover ratio through the first five games. ISU has teamed up for two 20-plus assists games this year, and freshman Kaza Keane amassed a Redbird season-high nine assists against Fairleigh Dickinson on Nov. 20, and versus Northwestern on Nov. 24.

    By beating Fairleigh Dickinson, 91-58, Nov. 20, Illinois State tallied its fourth-straight 80-plus point performance this season, a feat that had not been done since the 1977-78 season, when the Redbirds opened up 4-0, scoring 80 or more points in all four of those contests. ISU had not scored 80-plus points in four consecutive games at any point during a season since a four-game stretch from Dec. 17 - Dec. 31, 2000. The Redbirds are now averaging 85.0 points per game and shooting 50.5 percent.

    At least three Redbirds have netted double-figures in each of five of ISU's games this season. Four reached double-figures in the opener versus UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 12), five scored double-figures at Drexel, (Nov. 15), three tallied double-figures against Delaware State, (Nov. 18), four reached double-figures versus Fairleigh Dickinson, (Nov. 20), and three scored double-figures against UAB, (Nov. 23).

    If the first six games are 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 (Nov. 12), 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. Against Delaware State (Nov. 18), ISU out-scored the Hornets 27-4 off the fast-break, and the Redbirds went on a 27-4 run in the final 6:30 of the first half. Versus Fairleigh Dickinson (Nov. 20), ISU started the second half with a 20-1 run to establish a 71-38 advantage. Against UAB (Nov. 23), Illinois State used a 13-2 run to take its first lead after falling behind early in the first half.

    With a season-best five blocked shots performance in the win over UAB Nov. 23, ISU senior forward Jackie Carmichael moved into second place on the career blocked shots list, with 145. He surpassed LeRoy Watkins, who had 143. With two blocks against Northwestern Nov. 24, Carmichael now has 147 blocks, which puts him 13 blocks away from tying the record of 160 set by Greg Dilligard, who played from 2003-07. Carmichael already has 15 blocks through the first six games.

    True-freshman guard Kaza Keane has started all six games at point guard for Illinois State this season, helping the Redbirds to a 5-1 record. During last week's three games, Keane helped guide ISU to a 2-1 mark, with a team-best 22 assists (7.3 per game), plus 10 rebounds, five steals and 11 points. He is now averaging a team-high 5.9 assists per game, plus 4.5 points and 2.7 rebounds per contest. Keane currently possesses a 35-to-15 assist-to-turnover ratio.