Photo: flickr Writer: Eric Daniel
Illinois State played well in their last outing at home getting past Saint Joe’s by a final of 81-72. Illinois State brings back some of the best players in the MVC this season and as a result the Redbirds are one of the favorites to win the Missouri Valley this season behind Wichita State. All of Illinois State’s defeats have come on the road this season and it’ll be interesting to see if the Redbirds can break that streak today after opening the year 0-3 on the road. Illinois State brings in a tough zone defense and the Redbirds rank 110th in the nation in total defense and 162nd in scoring average. The Redbirds are led by Paris lee who’s averaging 15.7 points per game.
The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors are in a near complete rebuild after losing all of their starters from last year’s NCAA tournament team. Hawaii remains a work in progress, but this group has at least been building off of their defense which ranks 64th in the nation in points allowed compared to their offense which ranks 297th in production. Hawaii stands 4-5 overall coming off a 62-75 defeat in their last outing against a solid Princeton squad. Hawaii can be tough to beat out on the Islands and the Warriors should have an edge here given the later start time for Illinois State. Hawaii has been led by Noah Allen who’s averaging 14.8 points per game.
Hawaii has been testing themselves thus far in the nonconference and this should be another great challenge for the Rainbow Warriors going against one of the best MVC squads. Illinois State has been competitive in their road defeats and we expect this to be another close contest for the Redbirds. In what should be a tight game we’ll side with the home team and the points.
Hawaii +5 -105