Senior Quinton Pippen was named to the Preseason All-WAC Second Team by a vote of the league's coaches. He is the nephew of former Chicago Bull Scottie Pippen.
WHERE TO WATCH: ISU VS. CHICAGO STATE
Illinois State is riding its first winning streak of the season after the Redbirds finished 2-1, to tie for first place, at the round-robin University of San Francisco Golden Gate Challenge last week. ISU outscored its opponents in five out of six halves played in San Francisco for a +6.7 scoring margin throughout the three games. ISU also amassed more assists (+8), steals (+13) and blocks (+2) than its opponents.
OFFENSE ON TRACK
In a city where cable car tracks line the streets, ISU's men's basketball team seems to have navigated onto its own offensive track in San Francisco at the Golden Gate Challenge last week. After ISU combined to shoot 35.6 percent through its first four games, the Redbirds exploded with a season-best 50.0 percent (28-for-56) effort from the field against Vermont Wednesday night. Illinois State's 55.2 percent first-half performance against the Catamounts was also a season-best. ISU shot 47.4 percent throughout the three tournament games, helping the Redbirds raise their cumulative season field goal mark to 40.5 percent.
For the first time since 2008, six Redbirds reached double-figures in a single game, as Illinois State beat host-San Francisco Saturday night. Balanced scoring has occurred throughout the entire season, as at least four Redbirds have reached double-figures in five out of Illinois State's first seven games, with Zach Lofton netting double-digits in all seven contests. Daishon Knight has reached double-digits five times.
Junior guard Daishon Knight is the Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the week, as announced by the league office Monday. The Redbirds have earned a newcomer of the week honor in two out of the first four weeks this season. Knight averaged 15.0 points per game on 16-for-31 (51.6 percent) shooting from the field plus 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game to lead Illinois State to a 2-1 finish, tying the Redbirds for first place, at the USF Golden Gate Challenge last week. Knight also shot 7-for-8 (87.5 percent) at the free throw line. He now ranks second on the team with 13.6 points per game. For the record, ISU earned a program-record seven Valley Newcomer of the Week honors during the 2007 season.
ZEISLOFT NOMINATED FOR GOOD WORKS TEAM
Redshirt sophomore guard Nick Zeisloft is one of 75 NCAA Division I men's basketball student-athletes nominated for the 2014 Allstate NABC Good Works Team, as announced by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Tuesday morning. One of Illinois State's two captains, Zeisloft leads by example. Throughout his entire academic career at Illinois State, Zeisloft has excelled in the classroom, earning a 3.74 cumulative grade-point average (GPA) in finance. Along with his classroom success, Zeisloft has also contributed in the community. Throughout his young career, Zeisloft has earned 20 hours of community service, including 10 already this season. The award recipients will be unveiled in February.
Not only do Illinois State's opponents have to prepare for the Redbirds' starting five, but they also must scout ISU's bench. That is because the Redbird bench has outscored its opponent's bench in six out of the first seven games this season, for a total of 216-142 (+74).
ISU sophomore guard Zach Lofton has consistently led the Redbirds' offensive attack in 2013-14. Lofton is the only Redbird to net double-figures in all seven games this year. Lofton currently leads ISU in scoring with a 14.4 points per game average and a career-high of 19 points twice.
A KNIGHT-MARE TO GUARD
Illinois State junior guard Daishon Knight seemed to score at-will in the Redbirds' win over Sonoma State Friday night. The Baltimore, Md., native, shot a blistering 8-for-10 (80.0 percent) from the field, 3-for-4 (75.0 percent) from beyond the arc and 2-for-2 (100 percent) from the free throw line en route to a 21-point effort, which matched his career-high. Knight has netted double-figures in each of the last five games.
HUNTING FOR CONTRIBUTIONS
Reno, Nev., native, and team co-captain Bobby Hunter does whatever he can to help his team win, and Friday's game against Sonoma State was no exception. Playing in front of family and friends who made the 200-mile journey from Reno to San Francisco, Calif., Hunter recorded career-highs in assists (4), steals (4) and rebounds (4). He also managed nine points on 3-for-7 shooting and a 2-for-2 free throw effort. Hunter went on to score a career-high in points (15), with four assists once again, in the win over USF Saturday.
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