ISU returns to action Sunday against Morgan State. (Photo by B Corbin/WJBC)
By Bryan Bloodworth
NORMAL - Illinois State's basketball team will face a big challenge Sunday when it plays host to Morgan State in a 4:30 p.m. non-conference game at Redbird Arena.
"They are really big...the biggest team we've played to this point as far as size," said ISU coach Dan Muller, whose team has a 6-3 record. "They push the ball hard, force a lot of turnovers and offensive rebound like crazy. They are very athletic, so it will be a good challenge for us."
The Redbirds are returning to action for the first time in a week after completing final exams. Morgan State has a 3-3 record, but hasn't played since Dec. 1.
"I can't imagine going that long without a game," added Muller. "We're not sure what to expect because we don't have any new film on them. We know what they did, but they could have put some new stuff in.
"They don't run a ton of plays, but you have to be prepared for anything. At this point in the season, I think we are. I am sure they are anxious to play."
Morgan State, who has yet to play a home game, bring a two-game winning streak into Redbird Arena. The Bears are members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and based in Baltimore. They are coached by Todd Boseman, the former University of California coach, who is in his seventh season at Morgan State.
The Bears, who are playing their seventh straight road game, are led by the trio of Anthony Hubbard, DeWayne Jackson and Justin Black. The 6-foot-5 Hubbard averages 15.5 points and 7.3 rebounds.
Jackson, a 6-8 forward, averages 13.2 points and 5.5 reboubds, while Black carries an 11.8 scoring average and handles 5.3 rebounds. Ian Chiles, a 7-2 center, pulls down 5 rebounds per game.
"They press a little bit and really get after you defensively," said Muller. "They get a lot of deflections because of their length."
Bryan Bloodworth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org