Welcome to Redbird Arena and what should be a special night. Not only is it the 25th anniversary of the first game at RBA, but also the return of ex-ISU coach Porter Moser as he brings Loyola into town. The Ramblers took Creighton's place in the Valley and are 6-9 overall and 1-2 in league. I apologize for all the problems we've had in last couple weeks with chats. Hopefully they have been corrected. Ready for any and all questions.
It appears the Chat problems have been fixed....
Loyola freshman Milton Doyle is the Ramblers' leading scorer with a 14.6 average, but the real concern isn't even a starter. Sophomore guard Devon Turk has some of the deepest range of any player the Redbirds will face this season. He has bombed in 35 3s and scored 30 points in last week's rout over Missouri State.
I noticed Michael Middlebrooks isn't on ISU's roster anymore. I will ask Dan Muller about it after the game, but you can assume Middlebrooks is done forever with the Redbirds. Too bad. He had a lot of talent.
Jamaal Samuel doesn't appear to be a wearing a headband tonight, in case anyone cared.... He only wore it for a couple games. That leaves Zach Lofton as the only Redbird headband guy!
I really think the Redbird fans will give Porter a warm reception. He deserves it. He's a really good guy. I understand he's still his fiery old self on the sidelines. That should be interesting.
The building has really held up remarkably well through the years. I remember most the 1990 MVC Tournament championship game vs. SIU. Man, this place was buzzing. It was without a doubt the best atmosphere in the 25 years of RBA. Would be nice to see that again. Maybe Jan. 22 with an upset of Wichita State, huh?
Back to Porter, I'm sure this game really means a lot to him and winning tonight would be very emotional for him. He told me yesterday he was upset when fired because he wasn't given time to finish the job. The thing in athletics: If the guy who hired you isn't there anymore, your job is not safe. Sheahon Zenger didn't hire Porter and wanted to go in a different direction. That was his right.
McIntosh already is on scholarship right now per NCAA ruling. Hawkins will be on scholarship provided second semester goes good and with Middlebrooks now gone, there is one open scholarship at the moment. Who knows if there will be more.
Bobby Hunter replacing Daishon Knight in starting lineup tonight. Daishon really struggling offensively the last 2.5 games, so this might be a chance for him to relax a little bit.
Just got a Twitter message from Osiris Eldridge. He told me to tell Coach Rob (Daniyal Robinson) what up. Hahaha.
Light crowd but that's OK. Follow my game updates on Pg_Benson and we will do again before game vs. Evansville on Wednesday at RBA. Enjoy the game.