Illinois State (5-1)
When: Saturday, 1:00pm
Watch: WHAS, BEN, ESPN3
Line: N/A (at time of posting)
What is going on here?
The Illinois State Redbirds come to town, and they took our old Triple A baseball mascot. I always wanted to know what happened to our famed triple a baseball mascot. He flew North West to a little town called Normal, and nothing weird about that. Even kept his red and white colors. Apparently, he took Louisville’s old Missouri valley Conference with him. Louisville won or shared league titles 7 times between 1966-1975. What are they trying to prove by coming up to Yum!, and throwing pieces of our past in our faces. I don’t like it.
They are pretty damn good too. In 2011, they were 21-14 last year that ended in the 2nd round of the NIT (in OT) to Stanford 92-88. Grabbing strong wins against (recent Cards opponent) UNI, Morehead State, Rutgers, and Mississippi. So far in 2012, they are off to a 5-1 start. Top wins Drexel and UAB, with a narrow loss to the Big 10’s Northwestern in OT, 72-69.
So why should Cards Fans care?
The MVC has talented teams, Cards need to establish a rhythm with Gorgui out, and Illinois State will not be afraid of the competition. Cards couldn’t integrate the wings against Duke. Our wings contribute, Cards win against Duke. Zach and SVT more than covered for lost contribution from Gorgui Dieng. The wings, however, had little to no production. Cards need to get them going against Illinois State in order to handle even stiffer competition heading our way over the next 30 days. Illinois State will be competing for a MVC title this year, so this is a top 100, maybe top 75 RPI opportunity be year’s end.
About Illinois State
ISU will primary lean on an 8 man rotation. Tyler Brown is the man to focus on at 18.8 ppg. Jackie Carmichael and Bryant Allen pitch in 16.2 & 13.0 respectively. Carmichael leads in what appears to be a team effort in rebounding. Pitino wants more rebounds out of his guards, and this team will expose that if not improved. They all go for the rebounds. They will take those rebounds and pitch to the wings to one of their FOUR shooters over 40% from 3 point range. Cards get sleepy on D, ISU will be shooting a 3. Cards Fans are going to see a scrappy team effort out of Illinois State, and they will be throwing themselves around the court. They average 85 ppg, and their opponents averaging 19 ppg less. They will challenge for the MVC title this year, and our Cardinals need to be ready. Coming off a loss, and a 1 week break – I am sure they will be itching to go.
Cards 80 Illinois State 65