This is the sixth meeting between Illinois State and Dayton, with the Flyers leading the all-time series, 4-1. The last matchup between ISU and UD was Mar. 17, 2010 in the NIT, with Dayton winning, 63-42. The Redbirds lone victory against the Flyers came on Dec. 6, 1993 at Redbird Arena, with ISU winning, 75-62.
Senior forward Jackie Carmichael's career-high 30-point performance in Illinois State's win over Morgan State Sunday afternoon marked the third time a Redbird has scored 30 or more points in a single game so far this season. The other 30-plus point efforts were from Bryant Allen (30 points versus UAB on Nov. 23) and Tyler Brown (36 points versus Northwestern on Nov. 24). Illinois State is the only program in the country which has had three different players score 30 or more points this season.
DEFENDING THE NEST
With Illinois State's 87-68 win against Morgan State Sunday afternoon, the Redbirds are now 5-1 at home this season and 20-4 over their last 24 games played on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena. This year, ISU is out-scoring its opponents at home, 517-to-390, a +21.2 scoring margin. ISU is averaging a blistering 86.2 points per game at Redbird Arena, compared to 65.0 averaged by the visiting opposition.
THE MAGIC NUMBER IS 70
Illinois State's success this season has been based on 70 points. If the Redbirds reach 70, they win. If not, they lose. ISU is 7-0 when scoring 70 or more and 0-3 when scoring less than 70.86.2 points per game at Redbird Arena, compared to 65.0 averaged by the visiting opposition.
KING OF THE HILL
Sophomore guard Johnny Hill, who averaged just 7.4 minutes per game last season, has been a vital part of ISU's success this year. After point guard Kaza Keane was sidelined with an ankle injury, Hill stepped up to make his first three career starts, and over the last four games, he has led ISU with 26 assists (6.5 per game), seven steals (1.8 per game) and an average of 7.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest.
FORCE TURNOVERS, WIN GAMES
The Redbirds are 7-0 this season when they force more turnovers than their opposition, and 0-3 when they commit more turnovers. This stat held true Sunday, as Illinois State forced 24 turnovers while committing 16 in Sunday's win over Morgan State.
FIRST HALF FRENZY
Illinois State has dominated in the first half of nearly every game this season. The Redbirds have led at halftime in nine out of their first 10 games, with the only exception being a 43-37 deficit at Drexel. ISU has outscored its opponents in the first half 401-to-295, which breaks down to a game average of 40.1 ISU first-half points compared to 29.5 opponent first-half points.
CLOSING IN ON THE BLOCKS RECORD
With a career-high six blocked shots in the win over Western Michigan on Dec. 8, ISU senior forward Jackie Carmichael pulled within five blocks of the career blocked shots record. Carmichael, who did not register a block against Morgan State on Sunday, now has 155 blocks, which puts him just five blocks away from tying the record of 160 set by Greg Dilligard, who played from 2003-07. Carmichael already has 23 blocks through the first 10 games.
THE 700 CLUB
ISU forward Jackie Carmichael is one of just 11 Redbirds in program history to collect 700 or more rebounds. Carmichael grabbed his 700th board in the win against Western Michigan on Dec. 8. He now has 709 career rebounds and ranks 10th on the career rebounding list.
Illinois State senior guard Tyler Brown ranks third in the Missouri Valley Conference with 17.5 points averaged per game, and he ranks second in the league with 2.6 three-pointers averaged per contest. Brown has scored double figures in eight out of 10 games this season, with five 20-plus point performances. He was held to an uncharacteristic low total of two points, without a field goal in ISU's win over Morgan State on Sunday afternoon.
THE FRENCH CONNECTION
Illinois State senior forward John Wilkins recorded his two best games of the season in ISU's matchups against Wyoming (Dec. 4) and Western Michigan (Dec. 8). The Antibes, France native netted 12 against Wyoming and 16 on a career-best seven field goals versus Western Michigan. In both contests, Wilkins hit two three-pointers. He also scored seven points in Sunday's win over Morgan State, and Wilkins is averaging 5.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per game this season.
At least three Redbirds have netted double-figures in eight of ISU's 10 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), three scored double-figures against UAB, (Nov. 23), three netted double-figures against Wyoming (Dec. 4), three reached double-figures versus Western Michigan (Dec. 8) and three scored double-figures against Morgan State (Dec. 16). ISU is 7-1 when three or more players score in double-figures, and 0-2 when less than three net double-figures.
THEY SAY IT'S BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE
In the spirit of the holiday season, Illinois State is spreading the scoring cheer with a 179-to-149 (1.2) assist to turnover ratio through the first 10 games. ISU has teamed up for three 20-plus assists games this year, and sophomore Johnny Hill amassed a Redbird season-high 10 assists in the win over Western Michigan on Dec. 4.
After suffering through a three-game losing streak, Illinois State bounced back with an 85-63 win against Western Michigan on Dec. 8, thanks in large part to ISU's dominant defense. The Redbirds teamed up to block 10 WMU shots, which tied ISU's single-game blocked shots record. ISU additionally recorded seven steals versus the Broncos, while Western Michigan was limited to two blocks and two steals.