Illinois State University will be unveiling new silver jerseys when the men host UCSB on Monday. (Photo courtesy GoRedbirds.com)
By Bryan Bloodworth
Not only will a new coach and a new court be unveiled Monday night when Illinois State's men's basketball team opens its regular season against California-Santa Barbara at 7 o'clock at Redbird Arena.
So will new never-seen-before silver uniforms.
"They're not in replacement of our red or white uniforms, but I think it's something our students, fans and certainly our players are excited about," said Coach Dan Muller, who will be making his coaching debut, of the silver special occasion uniforms. Nike did a great job and I think everyone will like them.'
Muller is hoping to see a big turnout for the Redbirds' opener.
"A great crowd and an unbelievable home-court advantage would help us start this season off the right way," Muller said. "I definitely sense enthusiam for the team. I hope it leads to people coming to games. The crowd is very important for our program and it's what I want for our players.
"I want the gym full more than anybody in this town for our guys and the atmosphere. I don't want our team to rely on the crowd, but I would love for it to be as good as possible because I know what the experience is like. It can have an effect on the game."
ISU athletics director Gary Friedman echoed Muller's comments.
"We want this place filled," said Friedman, who reported that season ticket sales are up 10 percent. "I couldn't think of a better way to welcome Dan back and this team back, then to have this place full Monday night. The bigger the crowd the more excitement there is in the arena."
Tickets for the game are available at the Redbird Arena ticket office, by calling 309-438-8000 or on-line at GoRedbirds.com.
Bryan Bloodworth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org