Wichita State Shockers (15-3 SU, 7-7-1 ATS, 11-4 O/U) vs. Illinois State Redbirds (13-4 SU, 10-6 ATS, 6-9-1 O/U)
NCAAB: Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. EST
The Line: Wichita State Shockers -2.5. Total: 139
Both the Wichita State Shockers and the Illinois State Redbirds have won six games in a row heading into a showdown at Redbird Arena on Saturday night. The Shockers most recently extended their winning streak by beating Loyola-Chicago on Wednesday. Illinois State is coming off a victory over Southern Illinois earlier this week.
Newcomer of the Week
Wichita State guard Landry Shamet was named the Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week for games played between Jan. 2 and Jan. 8. Shamet, a 6-foot-4 freshman, averaged a team-high 14.0 points and totaled four steals and eight assists with just one turnover to lead Wichita State to a 2-0 week with wins over Northern Iowa and Drake. The Kansas City native went 5-of-8 from three and finished with a game-high 17 points in last Sunday’s 80-66 defeat of NIU before contributing 11 points, five assists, and a pair of steals in Wednesday’s 90-65 rout of Drake.
Shamet is off to a blistering start to Missouri Valley competition, averaging more than 13 points and four assists through five games. He has a better than 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio–one of just three Division I freshmen to enjoy such a mark. Shamet most recently turned in 11 points, five rebounds, three assists, one block, and one steal as Illinois State beat Loyola-Chicago 87-75.
Illinois State has not been alone in first place in the Missouri Valley Conference since 1998, when the program captured its last regular-season title. The Redbirds and the Shockers currently share the league’s top spot with 5-0 records, two games ahead of the rest of the pack. Thus the winner will be in sole possession of first place at the end of Saturday.
“The statement we can make is I feel this team can play with anybody in the country, Wichita State being one of the top teams in the country,” Illinois State senior Paris Lee said when asked if this was a statement game. “If we win this game, it will let them know there’s another top team in the Valley.”
The Redbirds have won 14 straight games at Redbird Arena, tied for the second-longest streak since the building opened in 1989.
“We take pride in our home court like anyone takes pride in their home,” said MiKyle McIntosh. “You don’t let anyone come in your house and try to take your stuff or do anything to your stuff. We treat it like it’s our house.”
The Wichita State Shockers are:
- 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight overall
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven games following a win
- 1-4 ATS in their last five games against teams with winning records
The Illinois State Redbirds are:
- 5-1 ATS in their last six overall
- 4-1 ATS in their last five games against the Missouri Valley Conference
- 4-1 ATS in their last five games against teams with winning records
Illinois State may not be invincible at home (it needed overtime to slip past Missouri State last Wednesday), but perfect is perfect. This is simply a different team when it plays at Redbird Arena, although as of late it has been good regardless of location. Wichita State is 2-5-1 ATS in its last eight overall, 2-5 ATS in its last seven following a win, 1-4 ATS in its last five against winning opponents, and 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings between the two teams. The Redbirds are 5-1 ATS in their last six overall, 4-1 ATS in their last five against the Missouri Valley Conference, 4-1 ATS in their last five against winning opponents, and 4-1 ATS in their last five following a win. Look for those trends to continue.