Hello from center court at JQH Arena as Illinois State opens the MVC season against Missouri State. The Bears were picked to finish fourth in preseason (ISU seventh) and are 10-2. Losses to Louisville and Virginia. Didn't beat anyone of note. Like ISU, the Bears have incorporated lots of newcomers (five) into rotation, but have several capable vets back unlike the Redbirds. Sorry about the glitch in system the last two chats. Hopefully, it won't happen again. Fire away with questions.
Missouri State averaging just over 4,000 fans per game at JQH Arena. The crowd should be small again tonight with students on break. Hardly anyone here with 23 minutes left.
There are people out there. Woo woo! OK. Biggest challenge tonight will be stopping Marcus Marshall. He's probably second best PG in Valley and really makes MSU go, more so with his scoring than passing. Hey Buckeye Girl! Glad OSU playing tomorrow. Coach Muller said it was his decision for the long break. Didn't want to bring team back on X-mas night for game last weekend. The weather is COLD but not as snowy than B-N.
This team is going to be a work in progress all year. Transitioning into MVC play is going to be difficult especially when play these teams second time around. But this team seems to have really bought into the 2-3 zone with three-quarter pressure. It's been a rallying cry almost since Middlebrooks was suspended. I expect Lofton to really go off one night soon with a hot shooting night. He's too talented to shoot 26.7 percent or whatever.
They have worked really hard with Zach. The last couple games I thought he was finally starting to get what they are selling with him. He's really an excellent passer, too. We will see what happens tonight, but I think something good going to happen with him soon.
Really every year one or two guys leave about every program in America. I would think odds of Middlebrooks returning aren't real good, but we'll see when the semester starts I guess. Probably someone else will leave at end of season, too. It just happens.
Agree Buckeye Girl. How bout those Spartans?
Definitely better. I think Bobby Hunter is a very smart player. Paris Lee really knows how to play. He was schooled at Proviso East and you've got to have good bb IQ there.
I'm not really sure. I know they didn't play Syracuse.
Yes and yes. Drake has some really good guards and that's always a key. Bradley, what happened? I think the Braves put so much on game against Illinois they haven't recovered.
No.... they will play the 2-3 zone.
This crowd is going to be pathetic tonight. It's cold outside, but nothing bad. A little snow on the ground. Face it, crowds are pretty apathetic almost everywhere.
Uh, I picked the Chargers. I think they could be most dangerous team in AFC playoffs. Watch out.
Zach Lofton starting tonight in place of Bobby Hunter. That's a good sign. It shows Zach has been practicing well.
Haha.... I don't think they would let that buffoon ref any playoff game.
Lofton making first start since Nov. 30 against San Francisco.
I would say that's correct. This place just seems to have kind of a sterile environment to me. It's very nice, though.
In the paper I said MSU 74-68. I'll stick with that. No Valley league road wins yet ... until WSU beats Salukis
They don't divulge academic records. Privacy issues. ISU has kind of kept them off limits to media this year. I would like to talk to them, but don't think it will happen during season. Hopefully in the spring.
No, I travel alone. I'm working after games when they leaving.
I say Lofton again. If he can start and really show what he's capable of, I think that would be a tremendous boost not only to him but the whole team.
It's about show time, friends. That's for joining. This was good. Good luck, Buckeye Girl, to OSU and the Bungals. You can follow my game accounts on twitter at Pg_Benson. Thanks again. We will do again at 12:30 Sunday before SIU game. Adios.