Illinois State Redbirds

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WATCH: Missouri State beats Illinois State in wildest finish of the season

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Jarred Dixon banked in a half-court shot just before the final buzzer to help Missouri State beat Illinois State 66-65 on Sunday.

Leading 65-63 with 7.8 seconds left, Illinois State turned it over on an inbounds play.

The ball changed hands several times, leading to multiple players diving for the loose ball and it finally fell to Dixon, who took one dribble and launched it off the backboard before getting tackled by his teammates.

Here is another angle of the shot:

The Bears moved into a three-way tie with Illinois State and Drake for second, two games behind Loyola-Chicago, in the Missouri Valley Conference standings.

Tulio Da Silva posted 17 points and seven rebounds and Ryan Kreklow had 14 points for Missouri State (13-12, 7-5), which earned its fourth consecutive home victory. Dixon added 13 points. Josh Webster had 11 points for the hosts.

Keandre Cook, who was second on the Bears in scoring entering the contest with 14 points per game, shot only 10 percent for the game (1 of 10).

Phil Fayne had 22 points for the Redbirds (14-11, 7-5). Milik Yarbrough added 17 points and six rebounds. Zach Copeland had 12 points.

Illinois State led by as many as eight points and Fayne’s jumper gave the Redbirds a 58-51 advantage with three minutes to go. Webster grabbed and offensive rebound and scored with 13 seconds left and, after Zach Copeland answered with two free throws, converted a 3-point play to make it 65-63, setting up the final scramble.

2018 College Hoops Year In Review: The 12 best dunks from the last 12 months

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There are been some unbelievable dunks during the 2018 calendar, and some incredible poster dunks that did not make this list.

Having said that, these are unequivocally and without a doubt the 12 best dunks that happened on a college basketball court in the last 12 months.

Here are the 12 most memorable moments from 2018.

And here are the 10 best games from 2018.

12. Vanderbilt’s Joseph Toye on Aric Holman

11. USC’s Chimezie Metu with the “play of the century of the millenium.”

10. Villanova’s Eric Paschall dunks on Sagaba Konate

9. Duke’s Trevon Duval dunks on the Tobacco Road rivalry

8. Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith with a 360 alley-oop

7. Jacksonville State’s Jamall Gregory from the logo

6. Murray State’s Ja Morant flexes on Alabama

5. Arizona’s Rawle Alkins with no regard for human life

4. Texas’ Kerwin Roach does not like North Carolina

3. Illinois State’s Madison Williams deserves to get a tech for this dunk

2. Northern Colorado’s Jordan Davis shows what happens when humans are bred with airplanes

1. Iowa State’s Lindell Wigginton with felonious assault on Khadeem Lattin

Elijah Clarance leaving Illinois State to turn pro

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Illinois State will be short a player for the 2018-19 season, as it was announced Tuesday that 6-foot-4 guard Elijah Clarance has decided to forego his final three seasons of eligibility and turn pro.

A native of Sweden, Clarance’s decision comes on the heels of a very good performance for his nation’s Under-20 team during this summer’s FIBA U20 European Championships. In seven games Clarance averaged 22.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game, leading the tournament in scoring.

Dealing with injuries for a portion of the 2017-18 season, Clarance appeared in 21 games for the Redbirds and averaged 2.7 points and 1.3 assists in 11.1 minutes per game. Losing Clarance gives head coach Dan Muller one less option on the perimeter in 2018-19, but by no means is the cupboard bare.

With Illinois State returning its top four scorers from last year’s 18-win team, including double-figure scorers Milik Yarbrough, Keyshawn Evans and Phil Fayne, the Redbirds are capable of challenging reigning Missouri Valley champion and Final Four participant Loyola this season.

Chris Duhon named Illinois State assistant coach

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NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Former Chicago Bulls point guard Chris Duhon has joined the staff of Illinois State University as an assistant coach.

Illinois State coach Dan Muller announced Duhon’s appointment Monday, saying he brings “a high level of on-the-court experience and success” to the university’s basketball program.

Duhon resigned as an assistant coach at Marshall in January 2017 after his arrest for driving on a revoked license. His driver’s license was revoked for driving under the influence in 2015.

Duhon starred in college at Duke and helped lead the Blue Devils to the 2001 national championship, leading the team in steals and minutes played. He was selected by the Bulls on the second round of the 2004 NBA draft and played four seasons in Chicago.

He retired from the NBA in 2013 after also playing for the Knicks, Magic and Lakers.


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Introducing Cinderella: Loyola-Chicago earns first bid since 1985

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ConferenceMissouri Valley

CoachPorter Moser

Record28-5 (15-3 MVC)

Ratings and Rankings:

– Kenpom: 45
– RPI: 23
– AP/USA Today: Not ranked

Seeding:  With the defections of Creighton and Wichita State, the Missouri Valley is a one-bid league for the foreseeable future, but it’s mostly well-regarded, despite the losses of the powerhouses, and the Ramblers cleared the field by four games. Their December win over Florida in Gainesville goes a ways, too. Right now, it looks like Loyola is headed to a 12, which will likely make them a trendy upset pick in plenty of brackets.

Names you need to knowClayton Custer started his career under Fred Hoiberg at Iowa State, but the Kansas City native transferred out after a freshman season in which he rarely saw the floor. Since then, he blossomed into the MVC player of the year during a senior season in which he averaged 13.7 points, 4.2 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 53.4 percent from the field and 45 percent from 3-point range. Donte Ingram (11.4), Marques Townes (11.4), Aundre Jackson (11.0 and Cameron Krutwig (10.4) give the Ramblers five players averaging in double figures.

Stats you need to knowIf you don’t count CCNY, which dropped to Division III in 1963, Loyola has the fewest-ever NCAA tournament appearances for a program that owns a national championship. The Ramblers won the 1963 NCAA tournament, defeating Duke in the semifinals and Cincinnati in the title game, and made the field in three of the next five years before a 17-year hiatus and their return to the Big Dance in 1985, which was their last appearance.

Big wins, bad lossesThe win on the Gators’ home floor is unquestionably Loyola’s best, and it’s also the only KenPom top-100 win on their resume. Their only top-125 wins were their three against Northern Iowa, which tied for the second-worst record in the MVC. Their worst loss came just 10 days after beating Florida when they lost at Milwaukee, which ranks outside the top-200.

How’d they get here?Since a loss on the last day of January at Bradley, the Ramblers have reeled off 10-straight, including wins over UNI (54-50), Bradley (62-54) and Illinois State (XXXXX).

OutlookWith a veteran team (four of their top five players are upperclassmen) who shoots the lights out (40.1 percent outside the arc and 56.9 percent inside), Loyola has the profile of a team capable of winning a game – or two – should they get the right matchup and catch fire or at least shoot their average. If their opponent allows them to control the tempo, Loyola has a great shot at shortening the game and shooting their way into an upset.

How do I know you?Porter Moser is in his third stint as a head coach and second go-round in the MVC. He started at Arkansas-Little Rock before a four-year run at Illinois State from 2003-07. He then spent four years on the bench alongside Rick Majerus at St. Louis before getting another crack at the MVC with the Ramblers. He’s in his seventh season in Chicago and will be making his first-ever NCAA tournament appearance as a head coach.

Deontae Hawkins commits to Boston College

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Boston College got some much-needed help up front on Monday night.

According to Jon Rothstein, former Illinois State forward Deontae Hawkins will transfer to Boston College. The 6-foot-8 Hawkins is a graduate transfer, meaning he is eligible to play next season for the Eagles.

Hawkins led the Redbirds, one of the top teams that did not reach the NCAA Tournament, in scoring and rebounding averaging 14.0 points and 6.5 boards per game.

This is the second season in a row Jim Christian has tapped into the transfer market to fill his frontline. Mo Jeffers (Delaware) and Connar Tava (Western Michigan), the team’s two top rebounders during the 2016-17 season both elected to use their final seasons of eligibility at Chestnut Hill.

Hawkins began his career at Illinois State. He was part of the program for four seasons but only played three after he was ruled a non-qualifier by the NCAA as a freshman.

He’ll be the focal point of the frontline while Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman make up a quality backcourt for the Eagles.

Boston College has finished last in the ACC standings in each of Christian’s two seasons at the helm.