Illinois State (1-0) at Drexel (0-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 15, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Daskalakis Center (2,532) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: NBCSN. Home Record: ISU 1-0, Drexel 0-0. Away Record: ISU 0-0, Drexel 0-1. Neutral Record: ISU 0-0, Drexel 0-0. Conference Record: ISU 0-0, Drexel 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: Drexel head coach Bruiser Flint shoots for his 200th win with the program as he leads the Dragons out on the floor against the Illinois State Redbirds in non-conference action at the Daskalakis Center in Philadelphia.
Flint, who is in his 12th season with the Dragons, has a record of 199-142 with the team and is 285-214 overall in his career, which included a five-year stint at UMass. Drexel had a chance to give the coach his monumental win in the season opener last Friday, but the squad took a tumble in overtime against Kent State on the road, 66-62.
As for the Redbirds, a first-ever opponent for Drexel, they began the 2012-13 campaign on Monday with a 100-72 blowout win over UC Santa Barbara at home. The victory provided a good first step for new ISU head coach Dan Muller.
At Redbird Arena earlier this week, Illinois State shot a blistering 63.3 percent from the floor in the opening half and kept it up after the break in finishing at 62.1 percent, as it cruised to a 28-point win over visiting UCSB. One of four starters to score in double figures, Jackie Carmichael finished with a double-double consisting of a career-high 27 points and a team-best 10 rebounds as he made good on 13-of-20 shot from the floor. He was followed by Tyler Brown with 22 points, while Jon Ekey added 11 points on a perfect shooting night (4-of-4) and Bryant Allen chipped in 10 more for the team as it connected on 10-of-20 three-point tries while also outscoring the visitors in the paint by a huge 54-28 margin. A key figure in the team's success last year as well, Carmichael is the one to keep an eye on because he has the potential to rack up big numbers each time he takes the floor. In 2011-12 Carmichael averaged 13.9 points and 9.7 rebounds per contest.
Against the Golden Flashes, Chris Fouch came off the bench as usual and lit up the scoreboard with a game-high 24 points, shooting 6-of-12 from three-point range and a perfect 6-of-6 at the charity stripe, but he failed to make a single basket from inside the arc (0-of-7). Kazembe Abif and Damion Lee both tallied eight points, while Frantz Massenat finished with a mere six points, to go along with seven assists and six rebounds, although he also accounted for five of the unit's 16 turnovers. Aside from the six triples knocked down by Fouch, the rest of the team combined to make only 1-of-11 out on the perimeter. Massenat was a First-Team All-Colonial Athletic Association selection last season for the Dragons, as he scored in double figures in 30 games and finished off the campaign putting up double digits in 19 straight. Recognized as one of the top sixth men in the CAA, Fouch needs just three three-pointers to reach 200 for his career.
Illinois State demonstrated that it has quite a bit of firepower and unless the Dragons can figure out a way to slow down Carmichael in the paint, coach Flint may have to wait a little longer to secure that milestone victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Illinois State 78, Drexel 66
11/15 10:33:17 ET