Redbirds Complete Homestand Against UNCW

Dec. 2, 2011

 UNC-Wilmington (0-5) at Illinois State (5-2) | Normal, Ill.
 Date  Saturday, Dec. 3
 Normal, Ill.
 7:05 p.m. CT
 Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena
 Stadium Capacity
 Watch Live  Redbird All-Access
 Radio  WJBC 1230 AM, FM 93.7 (Dick Luedke - Play-by-Play | Ted Schmitz - Analyst)
 Live Stats  GameTracker
 Game Notes  Illinois State | UNC Wilmington


  • Junior Tyler Brown has been on fire beyond the arc this season. He enters the game shooting 51.4 percent from three and over the last two games, Brown has shot 10-for-15 (.667) on treys.
  • Over the last four games, Illinois State has shot 43-for-94 (.457) on three-point field goals.
  • Illinois State has sank 10 or more threes in three of the last four games.
  • Over the last two games, ISU has combined for 44 assists while freshman Nic Moore has accounted for 14 of those with seven dishes in each of the last two contests.
  • Sophomore Jon Ekey enters the game riding a six-game, double-digit scoring streak - the longest of his career.
  • Tyler Brown (19), Jon Ekey (14) and Nic Moore (12) each have 10 or more made threes on the season, while eight of the 11 players who have seen action this season have at least one made triple.
  • The Redbird Ambassador program continues this game, as the most-decorated Illinois State football player in school history and former NFL player Boomer Grigsby returns to campus.
  • ISU enters the game against UNC Wilmington with five-straight home wins over non-conference opponents. The last non-conference team to knock off ISU in Redbird Arena was Ohio, which topped ISU, 67-65, on Dec. 8, 2010.
  • Dating back to last season, Illinois State has won five-straight games on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.
  • Illinois State is in its 42nd season as a NCAA Division I program, and during that time, the Redbirds have only had eight losing seasons.
  • 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.
  • The Redbirds have made 17 postseason appearances, including NIT berths in three of the last four seasons.
  • Head coach Tim Jankovich owns a 44-16 record (.733) against non-conference opponents during his time with the Redbirds.


  • UNC Wilmington is located in Wilmington, N.C. and has an enrollment of 12,500. The Seahawks compete in the Colonial Athletic Association.
  • The Seahawks return three starters from a team which finished 13-18 last season.
  • In the CAA's preseason poll, UNCW was projected to finish 10th out of 12 teams, as voted by the league's head coaches, media relations directors and media members.
  • Junior Keith Rendleman was selected to the league's all-preseason second team.

ISU's 85-41 win over Chicago State Wednesday night proved to be the largest-margin of victory in Redbird Arena history. The 44-point win topped the 101-58 victory over Indiana State on Jan. 16, 1997, which was the old mark.

The margin of victory wasn't the only standard established in the win over Chicago State. Illinois State tied the Redbird Arena record with 14 made three-pointers, which equalled three other times. The Redbirds also tied the building record for most three-point field goal attempts (38) in a game. The 38 three-point tries was also the most by the Redbirds in a single game all-time.

Illinois State's shooting performance against Bethune-Cookman was the greatest team effort by any Redbird squad in the 24-year history of Redbird Arena. ISU shot 27-for-42 from the floor for a 64.3 shooting percentage, which topped its 63.9 percent effort against Missouri State on Jan. 6, 1993. Coincidently, the Bears still own the overall arena mark at 65.8 percent, which Missouri State set on Jan. 15, 2007.

Illinois State closed out another successful month of November with Wednesday's win over Chicago State. The Redbirds posted a 5-2 mark during the month and head coach Tim Jankovich's mark now improves to 27-5 (.844) during the 11th month in his time at Illinois State.

In the last two games, not only has Illinois State combined to have 44 assists, but the Redbirds had multiple players in each game with at list four dimes apiece. Against Bethune-Cookman, ISU had four different players with at least four assists apiece and in the win over Chicago State there were three. Nic Moore led the charge with seven dishes in each game, while Tyler Brown added four in both games.

For the third time this season, and the third time in the last four games, Illinois State dropped in 10 three-point field goals. This feat already tops the Redbirds' number of double-digit three-point games from last season, which was two.

Last season, sophomore Jon Ekey posted two double-digit scoring efforts throughout the whole season. Already this year, Ekey has collected six double-figure performances and is currently riding a six-game streak in which he has scored 10 or more points in each of the games. Over the last three games, Ekey is averaging 15.7 points per game after he averaged 4.6 points per contest last season.

Illinois State enters its 24th season of basketball action on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena. Under head coach Tim Jankovich, the Redbirds are 58-14 (.806) when playing at home. ISU owns a 242-90 (.729) all-time record on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.

John Wilkins hails from France, but he felt right at home in Mexico. After firing in a career-best 21 points in the victory over Rutgers, Wilkins also grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds against the Scarlet Knights and posted his first career double-double. In the two games in Cancun, Wilkins averaged a team-best 15.5 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game.

It's early, but Illinois State has already held opponents to single-game point totals of 38, 41, 51 and 55. As a result, Redbird foes are only averaging 55.4 points scored. If this pace were to continue, it would top the school mark of 59.1 points per game allowed which was set during the 2005-06 season.

The fate of Illinois State's basketball team can pretty much be decided by only 20 minutes of play. In the Tim Jankovich-era, the Redbirds boast a 65-10 (.867) mark when leading at the half. In addition, ISU owns a 79-7 mark (.919) under Jankovich when leading with five minutes remaining in regulation.

Of the six players who have been a part of the starting lineup this season, Jackie Carmichael is averaging the fewest minutes per game at 21.9. However, pro-rated over 40 minutes, Carmichael would lead the team in scoring with 22.0 points per contest and 13.9 rebounds per game.

ISU has five players on the roster who have scored at least 20 points in an NCAA Division I game. Jackie Carmichael has five 20-point efforts in his career, including one this season, while Anthony Cousin, John Wilkins and Jon Ekey have each posted one 20-point game. Trey Blue had a 20-point effort while playing at Fordham.

In the last three games, Illinois State has converted 77 field goals combined and 60 of those were the result of a pass - or 77.9 percent of them. On the season, ISU has recorded assists on 111 of its 156 field goal makes, meaning 71.2 percent of the Redbirds' made baskets are the direct result of a timely pass.

DOWNTOWN Tyler Brown
Junior college transfer Tyler Brown became the first Redbird in over a year to sink five three-pointers in a game, when he posted a 5-for-10 effort from beyond the arc against Lipscomb and finished with 19 points. Brown has made at least two three-pointers in each of the last five games and is leading the team with 19 made threes and a 51.4 shooting percentage from beyond the arc.

Illinois State enters the UNC Wilmington game with at least one made three in 371-straight games. The last time ISU didn't sink a trey was an 82-43 loss at Creighton, Dec. 12, 1999.

The Redbirds got off to a slow start converting 32.5 percent of their three-point tries in the first two games. But over the last five, ISU has made 44.7 percent of its shots from beyond the arc. As a result, the Redbirds are shooting 41.6 percent on the season from three, which if this pace continues would be the fourth-best team effort in school history.

Already this season, Illinois State has gotten double-digit scoring games from seven different players: Jon Ekey (6), Nic Moore (4), John Wilkins (3), Tyler Brown (4), Jackie Carmichael (4), Anthony Cousin (1) and Johnny Hill (1). Also, in seven games, the Redbirds have had four different top scorers.

Illinois State has had six different players account for this season's starting lineup, yet none of them are from the state of Illinois. The Redbirds have started players from Kansas (Jackie Carmichael), Missouri (Jon Ekey), Alaska (Anthony Cousin), Indiana (Nic Moore), Kentucky (Tyler Brown) and France (John Wilkins).

Heading into the Illinois game, junior Anthony Cousin had totaled nine assists and 14 turnoves on the season for a 0.64 assist-to-turnover ratio. However, after an eight assist effort against the Fighting Illini without a single turnover, and four more assists against Bethune-Cookman, again without a turnover - Cousin now sports a 1.53 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Illinois State got a jump on the 2011-12 season with a four-game tour to Canada in August. The Redbirds posted a 2-2 mark, while facing off against collegiate programs in Canada, as well as professional all-star teams. In addition to the four games, the Redbirds were also granted, per NCAA rules, 10 days of practice leading up to the trip.

Last season, Illinois State's Jon Ekey and Jackie Carmichael became the first set of Missouri Valley Conference teammates to finish the regular-season ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in blocked shots since the 1986-87 season. Ekey finished the year with 52 swats (1.7 bpg.), while Carmichael added 36 rejections (1.2 bpg.). Bradley's Donald Powell and Luke Jackson were the last pair of teammates to finish in the top-2 for blocked shots. Ekey also became the second Redbird to lead the Valley in blocked shots, joining Mike VandeGarde, who led the league with 1.52 blocks per game during the 1991-92 season. The duo has combined for 13 blocked shots so far this season.

Even though the Redbirds only return six players from last season's team, they must be the right guys. The six returning players accounted for 52.7 percent of the scoring last season, and five of the players were among the team's top-seven scorers.

Illinois State has a pair of players this season who were runner-up for Mr. Basketball in their respective home state. Junior Anthony Cousin was runner-up for Mr. Basketball in Alaska in 2008, while in 2011, Nic Moore was runner-up for Mr. Basketball in Indiana.

ISU's success during the Tim Jankovich-era has been pretty much based on 70 points. When the Redbirds score 70 or more points, Illinois State owns a 50-10 record (.833) in his five seasons. When ISU opponent's score less than 70 points, the Redbirds are 75-27 (.735) during that span.

North Chicago High School point guard Aaron Simpson and Anthony Beane Jr., a product of Normal Community High School and the son of Illinois State assistant basketball coach Anthony Beane Sr., will continue their collegiate and basketball careers at Illinois State, after each signed National Letters of Intent (NLI) during the NCAA early signing period. Last season, Simpson averaged 22.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game, while sinking 71 three-point field goals. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior also led North Chicago to a fourth-place finish at the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Class 3A State Tournament. Beane, who was named the 2011 Big 12 Conference Player of the Year, started the last two seasons at NCHS and averaged 14.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game last year. He led the Ironmen to a fourth-place finish at the IHSA Class 4A State Tournament.