Illinois State men’s basketball will continue the “War on I-74” at a later start than normal. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. against Bradley.
Last time the teams met, ISU won 69-49. This time, the team will be without MiKyle McIntosh (meniscus) and possibly Deontae Hawkins. Hawkins left Tuesday’s matchup against Drake in the second half with an ankle sprain.
"He's hopeful,” Muller said in a press conference Friday. “We had an off day yesterday and he won't practice today. There's certainly a little bit of swelling and it's an ankle sprain. But I would probably guess he'll be a gametime decision. I would not call it that (high-ankle sprain)."
Bradley holds the overall matchup-record 63-60, though ISU has won the past six straight. Illinois State is also going in with an 18-game home winning streak.
ISU is tied with Wichita State (12-1 MVC) at the top of the Missouri Valley Conference, while Bradley is in eight place with a 4-9 MVC record.
“I love the rivalry,” Muller said. “We're not 100 percent but we will go out there and compete and see what happens. I hope the late start doesn't affect our crowd. We're trying to fill this place up, we haven't done that in a while. The halftime show will be a lot of fun, of course honoring the '97-98 team. And then a big game. Only three home games left."
The three seniors, Paris Lee, Tony Wills and Deontae Hawkins will only have three games left in their ISU careers on Doug Collins Court.
Illinois State broke a program record for most blocks in one game with 11 Jan. 21 against Drake. ISU is also ranked No. 61 nationally with 4.5 blocks per game.
ISU will use their top-ranked in conference field-goal defense to shut down Bradley, with hopes of winning the War on I-74.
During halftime, fans will be entertained by world-renowned hand balancer, Christian Stoinev, and ISU graduate. He will be joined by his fellow acrobat, and Chihuahua, Scooby.
Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. Saturday on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.