Illinois State Men's Basketball 2017 NIT Tournament Capsule


Illinois State Redbirds

MVC (27-6, 17-1)

After an impressive and unexpected 27-6 season that led to a share of the Missouri Valley regular season championship, Illinois State is heading in the right direction. The Redbirds have been more and more competitive in the MVC since Dan Muller arrived in 2012 and they finally made some real noise in his fifth season as head coach.
Big Wins: 12/3 New Mexico (79-74), 1/14 Wichita State (76-62), 2/25 at Northern Iowa (63-42)
Bad Losses: 11/11 at Murray State (70-73), 12/7 at Tulsa (68-70), 12/23 vs San Francisco (58-66)
Coach: Dan Muller
Why They Can Surprise:
Any chance the Redbirds have of winning tournament games begins and ends with their defense. They had the sixth best scoring defense in the nation, allowing opponents to only score 61 points per game. Teams hit a putrid 37.7% of their field goals against Illinois State, including just 41.3% of shots inside the arc, both top ten numbers in the nation.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Illinois State’s only impressive win this season came in January at home against Wichita State. The Redbirds had an uninspired non-conference schedule, with losses to Murray State, San Francisco, Tulsa and TCU. The Redbirds lost by a combined 61 points in their two rematches with Wichita State. They only score 68.8 points per game and have unimpressive offensive stats across the board. Paris Lee and Deontae Hawkins are consistent shooters and they will need to be consistently knocking down shots. With their lack of quality wins and absence of an offensive attack, Illinois State would be tough to trust in a tournament setting.
Probable Starters:
Paris Lee, Senior, Guard, 13.1 ppg, 5.0 apg, 1.9 spg
Tony Wills, Senior, Guard, 6.2 ppg, 1.5 apg
MiKyle McIntosh, Junior, Forward, 12.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg
Phil Fayne, Sophomore, Forward, 9.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.1 bpg
Deontae Hawkins, Junior, Forward, 13.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg
Key Role Players:
D.J. Clayton, Junior, Guard, 6.5 ppg, 1.5 apg, 4.4 rpg
Keyshawn Evans, Sophomore, Guard, 5.7 ppg, 1.9 apg
Daouda Ndiaye, Sophomore, Center, 1.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.7 bpg
Madison Williams, Freshman, Guard, 1.7 ppg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.8 (275th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.0 (6, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.8 (213, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.7 (4, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.2 (100, 3)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.3 (120, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.1 (292, 10)
Rebound Margin: 2.7 (99, 3)
Assists Per Game: 13.5 (167, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.5 (116, 7)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2015    NIT      First Round win over Green Bay
2015    NIT      Second Round loss to Old Dominion
2014    CBI      First Round win over Morehead State
2014    CBI      Quarterfinal win over Texas A&M
2014    CBI      Semifinal loss to Siena
2012    NIT      First Round win over Mississippi
2012    NIT      Second Round loss to Stanford
2010    NIT      First Round loss to Dayton
2009    NIT      First Round loss to Kansas State
2008    NIT      First Round win over Utah State
2008    NIT      Second Round loss to Dayton
2001    NIT      First Round loss to Purdue
1998    NCAA Round of 64 win over Tennessee
1998    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Arizona
*all team stats through 3/5