Welcome from Redbird Arena where Illinois State will play Tennessee-Martin. The Skyhawks are 6-2 and own the most road victories (5) in the country. ISU looks to be without Devaughn Akoon-Purcell (broken hand) and Bobby Hunter (concussion). Appears Will Ransom will return after one-game suspension. He was warming up in his uniform. Hunter in regular sweats on bench. So what's on everyone's mind?
Tennessee-Martin will be without Myles Taylor, its 6-8 senior forward who was a preseason all-Ohio Valley Conference first-team pick. Taylor has a knee injury and didn't play in Monday's 81-78 OT win at Illinois-Chicago.
It very well could be a turning point, especially winning on road like that and being shorthanded. They easily could have thrown in the towel and didn't. Daishon Knight really was a warrior and almost refused the rest of the guys to lose. That was great to see.
The only thing I worry about McIntosh is if he puts too many pressure on himself to try and fill Devaughn's shoes. Just be yourself like you have the last 1.5 games. Haven't seen starting lineup yet,but I'm assuming Tony Wills starts just to take some pressure off MiKyle. But with Bobby Hunter also out that's almost 24 points that needs to be taken care of. Teddy Hawkins can get some of those points and Paris Lee, too, although he's not looking to score a lot.
I'm not exactly sure. If Larry Lyons strolls by I will ask him. I would guess somewhere close to 10K.
From what I can gather, they all seem to get along pretty decently. It appears the chemistry on the court has been good.
Not really sure what to make of that situation. Will seems like a decent guy, wants to be a teacher and coach, but apparently something isn't right. He is dressed tonight, so we'll see. You would think one more suspension could be the third strike.
McIntosh definitely has found his comfort zone the last 1.5 games. Lets see if that continues. Akoon-Purcell was really good at that. Guess being injured now is better than in January or February.
The staff is really solid. Torrey Ward will be a head coach in next three years. Heard he got some overtures from Troy about a year ago. Luke Yaklich has great ties to the Chicago area and really a great guy. Dean Oliver has played in the NBA and is a great benefit to guys like Paris Lee. Don't forget Mitch Gilfillan, too, DOB who was assistant at SIU Edwardsville.
I've been telling co-workers the Shockers will lose AT LEAST three Valley games this year. Cleanthony Early was the difference maker with his ability to not only stretch defenses, but makes tough shots at the end. I voted him MVP of league instead of VanVleet last year not because I didn't think VanVleet did a great job, but because I thought Early was the guy who made them a great team.
Because it's his shooting hand, it might be a little longer but you never know. I say don't rush him back, but get him ready for about Jan. 14 at Indiana State.
As co-worker Joe Deacon just said, VanVleet is not an NBA player. Early is.
Each individual case different.
Good veteran crew of Mike Stuart, Winston Smith and Brad Ferrie.
McIntosh is in starting lineup
Not a bad starting front line
My pick to click tonight is Reggie Lynch. I'm thinking a 20-10 game.
Roland Griffin was suspended about two weeks ago for a disciplinary matter, I believe, but came back strong last week with a 22-point effort.
Need to ask Torrey Ward about that.
This will be smallest crowd of year, but that's to be expected with students gone. If you think ISU is the only school that has attendance problems, just watch some games on TV. I bet Oklahoma had 4,000 last night for Oral Roberts and OU is ranked No. 15 in country.
About time to start this show. Thanks for participating. Will do again at 2:30 p.m. Saturday from Murray, KY, where the Redbirds meet Murray State. Have a good one and follow my Twitter updates at Pg_Benson. Adios!