From tipping off the season at 2013 NCAA at-large qualifier
Virginia Commonwealth, to ending the nonconference slate by resuming
a longtime rivalry at home with Big East foe DePaul, Illinois
State's 2013-14 schedule is designed to prepare the Redbirds for
their always-competitive Missouri Valley Conference slate.
"First of all, thank you for your patience with our schedule
release. I really like how our schedule finished up," Muller said.
"We have a great mix of games that will challenge our team at home
and on the road, prepare us for conference, and hopefully excite our
fans. As I said when I got here last year, I want to schedule
aggressively for us to be the program that we all want. Now, let's
fill Redbird Arena so we can have the best home court in the
After beginning practice in late September, the Redbirds will
host Quincy in an exhibition game Nov. 3 before officially starting
the season Nov. 8 in Richmond, Va., at VCU. The Rams (27-8, 12-4 in
the Atlantic 10 Conference) advanced to the NCAA tournament Round of
32 last season after making it to the Final Four in 2011. VCU
finished 2012-13 ranked No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, with
an RPI of 26. As a freshman, Muller led ISU to its last victory over
VCU, in 1994.
Going from a team Muller beat as a player to a program he has
defeated as a coach, the Redbirds will tip off their home schedule
with a Nov. 12 matchup against Drexel. Illinois State held off the
Dragons in overtime 86-84 last season in Philadelphia.
The Redbirds will return to the road with a trip to Big Ten foe
and in-state rival Northwestern on Nov. 17. Now under the direction
of head coach Chris Collins, the son of former ISU all-American Doug
Collins, the Wildcats also faced Illinois State last season, coming
from behind to beat the Redbirds 72-69 in overtime at the South
Padre Island (Texas) Invitational.
In a first-ever matchup between the two programs, Illinois State
will host Manhattan out of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference on
Nov. 20. After finishing sixth in the MAAC last season, the Jaspers
won their way into the conference title game, where they narrowly
lost to Iona.
With four games in the books, ISU is scheduled to head to the
four-team, round-robin University of San Francisco Golden Gate
Challenge tournament (originally referred to as the USF Battle in
the Bay) during Thanksgiving break. Along with host San Francisco,
the Redbirds will also face 2013 postseason qualifier Vermont and
Sonoma State. Illinois State will play Nov. 27, 29 and 30. For game
times and other details, see a related
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Following a week in San Francisco, the Redbirds are scheduled to
return home for two straight games on Doug Collins Court at Redbird
Arena, beginning with a Dec. 4 matchup against Chicago State. The
Cougars advanced to the CollegeInsider.com tournament last year
after winning the Great West Conference tournament title for the
first time in program history. ISU leads the all-time series against
Illinois State will then host a return game, as the Redbirds play
Dayton on Dec. 7. Last season, ISU handed the Flyers a 74-73 loss at
Dayton's UD Arena.
The Redbirds will play their final nonconference road game Dec.
16 at Oakland, Mich., in a BracketBusters return from the 2011-12
season. Illinois State won the last meeting 79-75, and Muller was
1-1 against the Golden Grizzlies as a player. Last season, Oakland
advanced to the CollegeInsider.com tournament after finishing
fourth, with a 10-6 record, in the Summit League. Oakland is now a
member of the Horizon League.
ISU is scheduled to face its final two nonconference opponents at
home, beginning with a Dec. 19 matchup versus 2013 postseason
qualifier Tennessee State. The Tigers finished third in the Ohio
Valley Conference with an 11-5 league mark and an 18-15 overall
record. TSU fell by two points in the title round of the OVC
tournament before earning an at-large bid to the CollegeInsider.com
Illinois State will wrap up its nonconference schedule with the
first game of a home-and-home series against in-state rival DePaul
on Dec. 22 at Redbird Arena. The Redbirds have not faced DePaul
since a 75-50 victory over the Blue Demons in St. Louis at the
Missouri Valley Conference/Conference USA Challenge on Dec. 4, 1996.
Muller, who was a junior at the time, scored five points, with four
rebounds, three assists and two steals for the Redbirds. Muller also
faced the Blue Demons on the road as a freshman Jan. 3, 1995, with
DePaul winning. ISU's only previous matchup against DePaul at
Redbird Arena resulted in a narrow 67-66 loss Dec. 9, 1992. ISU and
DePaul met for the first time March 5, 1909, in Normal, with
Illinois State prevailing 44-23.
Game times for the nonconference schedule have yet to be
determined. Upper-bowl season tickets are on sale now by calling the
Redbird Arena ticket office at 309-438-8000 or by visiting
GoRedbirds.com. Every game this season will also be broadcast on the
WJBC Country Financial Illinois State Radio Network and heard on
smart phones via the iHeart Radio app.
View the complete schedule
file received from
Illinois State University]