ISU Travels to Morehead State

Dec. 5, 2011

QUICK HITS ABOUT #REDBIRDHOOPS

Ø Junior Jackie Carmichael is coming off of his seventh career double-double and his second of the season.  Carmichael scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Saturday's loss to UNC Wilmington.

Ø The game at Morehead State is the return game from the SEARS BracketBusters contest that took place on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena on Feb. 20, 2010. The Redbirds won that game, 71-62.

Ø In the nine-year history of the event, the Redbirds boast an 12-4 record in games established by the SEARS BracketBusters concept, which includes the return games.  The 12 victories are the most by any team that has participated in the made-for-TV event.

Ø Illinois State's success this season has been based on 60 points. If the Redbirds reach 60, they win. If not, they lose.  ISU is 5-0 when scoring 60 or more and 0-3 when scoring less.

Ø The Redbirds will play their second road game of the season and the first since Nov. 11.  ISU has not played at Morehead State since Jan. 10, 1972, which was the Eagles' only win in the five-game series (104-94).

Ø Illinois State enters with a six-game road losing streak dating back to last season.  The last road victory for the Redbirds was a 79-70 overtime win at Bradley on Jan. 26, 2011.

Ø Head coach Tim Jankovich owns a 44-17 record (.721) against non-conference opponents during his time with the Redbirds. 

Ø 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.

Ø 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.


 

 

Ø The Redbirds have made 17 postseason appearances, including NIT berths in three of the last four seasons.

ØUnder Jankovich, the Redbirds are 22-31 (.415) in road games.

 

ABOUT THE MOREHEAD STATE EAGLES

< Morehead State is located in Morehead, Ky., and has an enrollment of 10,235.  The Eagles compete in the Ohio Valley Conference.

< The Eagles return three starters from a team which finished 25-10 last season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, including a 62-61 upset over Louisville before falling to Richmond (65-48) in the third round.

< In the OVC's preseason poll, Morehead State was projected to finish fifth out of 11 teams, as voted by the league's head coaches and sports information directors.

 

DOWNING THE OVC

As of late, the Redbirds have been "naughty by nature" when facing members of the Ohio Valley Conference.  Illinois State has won 27-straight games against members of the OVC, while head coach Tim Jankovich is 9-0 against the OVC while at ISU.  Against the current members of the Ohio Valley Conference, the Redbirds own an 94-53 all-time record (.639).

 

HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT           

Five times this season Illinois State has outshot its opponent and all five games have resulted in victories, while the Redbirds' three losses have all come in games when they had a lower shooting percentage.  Under head coach Tim Jankovich, the Redbirds are 68-17 (.800) when outshooting their opponent.

 

FINE WITH HISTORY REPEATING         

The 63-54 home loss to UNC Wilmington last Saturday was disappointing and dropped Illinois State's season record to 5-3.  It marks the second time in head coach Tim Jankovich's tenure that the Redbirds own a 5-3 mark.  The last time ISU was 5-3 was at the start of the 2007-08 season, his first season, which resulted in a 25-10 campaign in which the Redbirds advanced to the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Championship Game and earned a National Invitation Tournament bid.

 

CARMICHAEL CRASHES THE BOARDS

In preparation of the January issue of the Redbird Magazine, junior Jackie Carmichael was asked for his New Year's resolution.  He didn't hesitate on his answer - "average double-digit rebounds." He enters the game with 8.3 boards per game and is knocking on the door. He has already grabbed eight or more rebounds in five games this season and has collected a pair of double-digit boarding totals.

 

DOUBLE TROUBLE

Junior Jackie Carmichael collected his seventh career double-double and his second of the season with 15 points and 13 rebounds in Saturday's loss to UNC Wilmington.  The double-digit scoring output marked the 27th of his career and the rebounding performance was his eighth double-digit career effort.

 

WHO WILL BE THE FIRST TO 100?

The Redbirds enter the game with three players with a realistic chance of scoring their 100th point of the season.  Junior Jackie Carmichael has scored 99 points on the season, while Jon Ekey has tossed in 96.  Tyler Brown is third on the team with 86 points. 

 

DOUBLE TRIPLE

For the third time this season, and the third time in the last five games, Illinois State dropped in 10 three-point field goals after making 14 treys against Chicago State. This feat already tops the Redbirds' number of double-digit three-point games from last season, which was two.

 

JUST THE HALF OF IT

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.

 

EKEY DOUBLES DOWN

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 which included a six-game streak in which he has scored 10 or more points in each of the games.

 

NO POINTS ALLOWED

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 56.4 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.

 

MAKING THE MOST OF IT

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 23.1. However, pro-rated over 40 minutes, Carmichael would lead the team in scoring with 21.4 points per contest and 14.3 rebounds per game.

 

TWENTY SOMETHING

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.

 

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 six games and is leading the team with 21 made threes and a 48.8 shooting percentage from beyond the arc.

 

372-STRAIGHT GAMES WITH A TREY

Illinois State enters the Morehead State game with at least one made three in 372-straight games. The last time ISU didn’t sink a trey was an 82-43 loss at Creighton, Dec. 12, 1999.

 

DRAINING THE THREE

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 six, ISU has made 40.6 percent of its shots from beyond the arc. As a result, the

Redbirds are shooting 38.8 percent on the season from three, which if this pace continues would be the fourth-best team effort in school history.

 

SCORING FROM SEVEN

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 (5), Anthony Cousin (1)

and Johnny Hill (1). Also, in eight games, the Redbirds have had four different top scorers.

 

DON'T LET THE NAME FOOL YOU

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).

 

COUSIN CIRCLES

Heading into the Illinois game, junior Anthony Cousin had totaled nine assists and 14 turnovers 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, Cousin has come full circle and has 19 assists over the last four games with only three turnovers, or a 6.33 assist-to-turnover ratio during that span.

 

THE GREAT WHITE NORTH

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.

 

THE SWAT TEAM

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 15 blocked shots so far this season.

 

THE RIGHT HALF IS BACK

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.

 

THE NEXT BEST THING

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.

 

THAT 70’s SHOW

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 75-28 (.728) during that span.

 

TWO GUARDS SIGN FOR 2012-13 SEASON

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.