Bradley (9-4, 1-0) at Southern Illinois (7-5, 0-1)
Jan. 2, 2013 – 7:05 p.m. (CST)
Carbondale, Ill. – SIU Arena (8,339)
TV: WSIU/WAOE – Scott Warmann (pbp) and Darren Kinnard (analyst)
Radio: 1470 WMBD - Dave Snell (pbp), Chad Kleine (analyst) and Dan DiOrio (pregame)
Twitter: @BPtheBrave - #BRADvSIU
Tickets: $13, $15, $18, $22 based on location | SIU Arena Box Office (877) 725-8547 or online at siusalukis.com
• Bradley will hit The Valley road for the first time this year and will be seeking a 2-0 start to league play for the first time since 2008-09 (4-0) when the Braves visit in-state rival Southern Illinois Wednesday night at SIU Arena.
• Bradley already has won two more games than all of last season and the Braves will be trying to prevent Southern Illinois from matching its 2011-12 (8-23) season win total.
• The Braves were 2-1 in true road games during the non-conference portion of the season, but are in search of second-year head coach Geno Ford’s first-ever Valley road win.
• Though the Braves own a 42-40 lead in the all-time series against Southern Illinois, the Salukis have won 19 of the 26 meetings since the start of the 2001-02 season, including 10-of-11 at SIU Arena.
• Bradley will be without starting center Will Egolf, who is not making the trip to Carbondale.
Last Time Out
at Bradley 67, Drake 57 | Dec. 29, 2012 | Carver Arena
• Bradley’s backcourt combo of Walt Lemon, Jr. (23 points) and Dyricus Simms-Edwards (20) combined for 43 points and suffocating defense, leading the Braves to 67-57 win against Drake in the Missouri Valley Conference opener for both teams Saturday night at Carver Arena.
• While harassaing Drake scoring leader Ben Simons into 4-for-18 shooting, Simms-Edwards made off with eight steals, the most by any Valley player in a game since 2006.
• Drake entered the game second nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (.435) and fourth in 3-pointers per game (9.5), but the Bulldogs made just 5-of-27 (.185) attempts.
• The Braves used 13 steals to force 18 Drake turnovers and create a 23-6 edge in points off turnovers.
• After enduring a 6-year downward spiral, Bradley is guaranteed of finishing this year with an improved record for the first time since 2006.
83rd Meeting | Bradley leads 42-40
• Though Bradley owns a 42-40 lead in the all-time series versus Southern Illinois, the in-state rival Salukis have had the upper hand of late.
• Southern Illinois swept the 2011-12 season series and the Salukis have won 19 of the 26 meetings since the start of the 2001-02 season.
• The Salukis are 22-15 all-time in Carbondale against the Braves and have won 10 of the last 11 home games against Bradley.
Back In The
• Southern Illinois is under the first-year direction of Valley coaching veteran Barry Hinson.
• Hinson was the head coach at Missouri State for nine seasons from 1999-2008.
• Hinson produced a 169-117 record at Missouri State, which included an 11-7 record against Bradley.
• Hinson was 8-1 all-time at home against Bradley during his Missouri State tenure and enters Wednesday’s game riding a 6-game home winning streak against the Braves.
• Bradley has limited each of its last five opponents to fewer than 60 points in regulation.
• Bradley had not held as many as four straight opponents to fewer than 60 points in regulation since a 6-game streak from Nov. 29, 1997-Jan. 3, 1998.
• Bradley currently is allowing 61.3 points per game on 39.3 percent opponent shooting.
• During last year’s 7-25 season, the Braves surrendered 70.5 points per game on 45.4 percent field goal shooting.
• The defensive scoring average is Bradley’s best since allowing 61.2 ppg in 1998-99.
• Through Monday’s play, Bradley ranked third nationally by averaging 11.46 steals per game.
• By valuing the ball on the offensive end with just 11.7 turnovers per game, the Braves rank second nationally with 0.98 steals per turnover.
• Bradley has made off with at least 12 steals in each of the last four games, averaging 14.0 spg during those four games.
• The Braves are on pace to finish the year with 366 steals, 63 more than the school record (303 in 1986 and 1982) and 21 more than the MVC record (345 by Tulsa in 1984).
• Bradley is allowing the opposition only 22.5 ppg in the paint and opponents are shooting just 42.9 percent (197-459) from inside the arc.
• Bradley’s 35-point margin of victory Dec. 19 versus Mississippi Valley State was the team’s widest since an 88-49 (+39) win over Wright State Dec. 5, 1996.
• The Braves now have won six games by at least 17 points and enjoy an overall +9.6 points-per-game scoring margin for the season.
• Bradley had not won as many as six games in a season by at least 17 points since also earning six such wide-margined victories in 2006-07.
• Bradley has not won as many as seven games by at least 17 points since 2005-06 (8).
That 70’s Show
• Bradley has scored at least 72 points in seven of its first nine wins and is averaging 70.9 ppg through the first 13 games of the season.
• The Braves, which are 10-1 the last two years when scoring at least 70 points, reached that plateau just four times during all of 2011-12.
It’s Warm Inside
• Bradley is shooting 50.3 percent (281-559) from inside the arc and the Braves are averaging 36.5 points per game in the paint.
• The Braves have outscored their opponents in the paint in each of their nine wins and boast an overall 475-292 scoring advantage in the paint.
• Bradley is averaging a +14.1 points-per-game scoring advantage in the paint.
• Bradley boasts six players who average at better than 7.5 points per game.
• With Walt Lemon, Jr. leading the team in scoring at 13.2 ppg, only a 5.5-points-per-game scoring average separates Lemon from Bradley’s sixth-leading scorer (Jake Eastman, 7.7 ppg).
• Not since the re-instatement of Bradley Athletics in 1945 has such a small gap separated Bradley’s leading scorer from its sixth-leading scorer.
• While Bradley’s defense has been turning over the opposition with success, the Braves are tied for 36th nationally by averaging just 11.69 turnovers per game.
• Through games of Dec. 31, Bradley ranked second nationally with a 0.98 steals/turnover ratio (VCU was first at 1.06).
• Bradley ranked 289th last season with a 0.79 assists-to-turnover ratio, but the Braves have improved that ratio to 1.20 this year, which was tied for 56th nationally through games of Dec. 31.
• Bradley has committed fewer than 10 turnovers five times this season, including just eight in Saturday’s Valley opener versus Drake.
• Senior guard Dyricus Simms-Edwards is Bradley’s active career scoring leader with 966 career points.
• Averaging 10.9 points per game this year, Simms-Edwards currently is on pace to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau Jan. 12 at UNI.
• Junior guard Walt Lemon, Jr. enters Wednesday’s game with 773 career points.
• Currently averaging a team-best 13.2 ppg, Lemon is on pace to join the 1,000-Point Club in the regular-season finale March 2 at Missouri State.
• Senior guard Dyricus Simms-Edwards shares the national lead with 44 total steals and ranks second nationally by averaging 3.38 steals per game.
• Many of Simms-Edwards’ 44 steals to date have happened by simply ripping the ball away from the player he has been guarding, a play described as an “hombre play” by head coach Geno Ford.
• Simms-Edwards currently is on pace for 108 steals this season, which would shatter the school record (83) and make him the first-ever Valley player to eclipse the century mark.
• Simms-Edwards has committed only 20 turnovers during his 33.2 mpg.
• Not only does Dyricus Simms-Edwards lead the nation with 44 steals, but he also ranks fourth nationally by averaging 2.20 steals per turnover.
• Simms-Edwards boasts 44 steals against just 20 turnovers while playing 33.2 minutes per game, easily the best ratio among Bradley players since steal and turnover records were routinely kept starting in 1980-81.
• Senior forward Jake Eastman also makes the list of best steals-to-turnover ratio at 1.50 through this season’s first 13 games.
• The last Brave to play at least 10 minutes per game with more steals than turnovers was Chris Roberts in 2009-10 (47 steals, 44 turnovers).
• Dave Snell is in his 34th season as the radio Voice of the Braves and has participated in 1,028 Bradley Basketball game broadcasts, all in succession, on 1470 WMBD since taking over play-by-play duties for the 1979-80 season.
• Peoria Journal Star beat writer Dave Reynolds has covered 691 consecutive Bradley games since taking over the beat for the start of the 1990-91 season.
• In addition, public address announcer Paul Herzog has announced 533 Bradley Basketball home games.
• Bradley will return home to host defending league champion Wichita State Sunday in a 4:30 p.m. game to be televised nationally on ESPNU.
• The first 2,000 in attendance Jan. 6 will receive free State Farm fan scrolls, Josh Horton the Juggler will perform at halftime and a quartet of Braves - Jake Eastman, Anthony Fields, Walt Lemon, Jr. and Nate Wells - will be available for postgame autographs.
• Following Sunday’s game against Wichita State, the Braves will play four of their next six games on the road, beginning Jan. 9 at Indiana State.