ISU vs. Bradley -

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ISU vs. Bradley

Chat with Pantagraph sportswriter Jim Benson before the Illinois State men's basketball game. During the game, follow Jim on Twitter (@Pg_Benson).

  • Welcome from center court at Redbird Arena where the Interstate 74 rivalry continues when Bradley and Illinois State hook up at 6:05 p.m. Important game not only for bragging rights, but potential seeding in the MVC Tournament next month in St. Louis. Everyone wants to stay out of the Thursday play-in round and ISU can't afford second loss to the Braves after a 64-45 defeat on Jan. 29. Shoot me your questions, opinions, concerns, etc.
  • hey jim, do see our team as well coached? and by that i mean, does the little things well and continues to progress each game?
  • I've seen better adjustments this season than last year. I think it's the simple fact Dan is a second-year head coach as opposed to first year. There is only so much that can be done with the roster as currently constructed minus two bigs they were counting on. They've adjusted well on the fly. I thought there were a couple games they could have gone to man defense earlier, but if they do that the opponent is going back to its bigger lineup and ISU will have to switch back to the zone. They've really made an effort to get the ball to Reggie in the low post more and more and I like that. Because they use four guards, they are going to play outside-in a lot of times but they're going more inside-out ... until Reggie gets in foul trouble. Can't really do that with Samuel. Really, Dan might finish 2nd in Valley Coach of the Year. Everyone I talk to in the other Valley media is impressed by how competitive ISU is with its roster.
  • the inconsistency from the team over the past years has concerned me from a coaching standpoint. i feel like the really good coaches might lose if they don't have the talent, but you'll get a consistent performance from their teams
  • I will cut them some slack a little bit because this roster in mostly new to Division I. If the inconsistency happens again next year, that would be a trend. Newcomers have more ups and downs than veterans. Next year ISU will be a veteran team. That can't be used as an excuse. We all know there were some issues last season with a new coach taking over, as can be seen when four guys with eligibility transferred out.
  • what are your thoughts on scholarships available next year? Do you think we'll see additional attrition?
  • They definitely are looking to add another big with the one available now. As far as if there will be others, I could see another one opening up. You never know what some players are thinking as far as their playing time in the future. They could definitely use a 6-4 or 6-5 wing. They need the size there (although McIntosh is slotted in that spot) plus a really dependable shooter.
  • That's all. Thanks for participating. Will do again at 6:30 on Tuesday before ISU faces Missouri State at RBA. Have fun watching game!!!!!!!!!!
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