Basketball (M)

Bradley Basketball Game Notes: Wichita State
Release: Tuesday 01/04/2013 

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Wichita State (13-1, 2-0) at Bradley (10-4, 2-0)
Jan. 6, 2013 – 4:30 p.m. (CST)
Peoria, Ill. – Carver Arena (11,168)
TV:  ESPNU – Jim Barbar (pbp) and Mark Adams (analyst)
Radio:  1470 WMBD - Dave Snell (pbp), Chad Kleine (analyst) and Dan DiOrio (pregame)
Twitter:  @BPtheBrave - #BRADvWSU
Tickets:  $8, $14 and $20 based on location | Bradley Box Office (309) 677-2625, Carver Arena Box Office or online at
Promotions:  Halftime performance by Josh Horton the Juggler, free State Farm fan scrolls for the first 2,000 in attendance and postgame autographs with Jake Eastman, Anthony Fields, Walt Lemon and Nate Wells.


   Two of The Valley’s four undefeated teams in league play will clash Sunday evening.
   Bradley is the early-season surprise in The Valley, having already won three more games than all of last season and matching its 2011-12 MVC victory total.
   Though Wichita State has turned over its roster from last year’s MVC regular-season championship, the Shockers have matched their best start in the last 59 seasons by winning 13 of their first 14 games.
   The Braves have won 10 of their first 14 games for the first time since the 2006-07 squad also started 10-4 and Bradley will try to move to 11-4 overall for the first time since 1995-96.
   Sunday’s game features the top two defensive teams in The Valley - Wichita State and Bradley are first and second in points allowed, field goal percentage defense and steals.
   Sunday’s game is Bradley’s only home game in a 4-game stretch that started with Wednesday’s win at Southern Illinois and will continue with visits to Indiana State and UNI.


Last Time Out
Bradley 66, at Southern Illinois 60 | Jan. 2, 2013 | SIU Arena
   Bradley junior guard Walt Lemon, Jr. scored a game-high 20 points and took over down the stretch, leading the Braves to their first MVC road win since 2011.
   Though Bradley led most of the game, the Braves faced a 56-53 deficit following a Desmar Jackson basket with 3:33 remaining.
   Lemon answered with the next two baskets to give the Braves the lead for good and he either scored or assisted Bradley’s final five field goals.
   Lemon finished 8-for-11 shooting with five steals, four rebounds and three assists.
   The Braves overcame 17 turnovers and the absence of starting center Will Egolf for the first time this year.


Upward Trend
   After enduring a 6-year downward spiral, Bradley is guaranteed of finishing this year with an improved record for the first time since 2006.


Quick to 10
   Bradley earned its 10th win of the season Jan. 2 at Southern Illinois.
   The Braves earned their 10th victory by the first game of January for just the third time in the last 45 years.
Season   10th W    W-L  Final
1967-68  Jan. 4   10-3  19-9
1985-86  Dec. 29  10-1  32-3
2006-07  Dec. 30  10-4  22-13
2012-13  Jan. 2   10-4  TBD


Series History
128th Meeting | Bradley leads 71-56
   Though Bradley owns a 71-56 lead in the all-time series against Wichita State, the Shockers have had the upper hand of late.
   The Shockers have won five straight against Bradley, matching Wichita State’s longest winning streak in the 127-game series history.
   Wichita State previously won five straight against the Braves from Feb. 1, 1975-Feb. 17, 1977.
   Each of the last five meetings have been blowouts as Wichita State has won the last five games by an average of 25.2 points and by no fewer than 14 points.
   Bradley is 49-17 all-time at home against Wichita State and will be trying to avoid its first-ever 3-game home slide against the Shockers.


Defensive Tussle?
   Wichita State and Bradley own the league’s top two spots in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense and steals.
   In addtion to steals, Bradley leads The Valley in turnover margin.
   Wichita State also leads in blocked shots, rebound margin and defensive rebound pct.


For Comparison’s Sake
   It is not difficult to identify the reasons behind Bradley’s improved play through the first 14 games of this season compared to last year:
Stat Category         2012-13     2011-12
Record              10-4, 2-0  7-25, 2-16
Points Per Game          70.6        61.1
Scoring Defense          61.2        70.5
Field Goal %             .448        .401
Field Goal % Defense     .395        .454
Rebounds Per Game        35.4        32.9
Rebound Margin           -1.0        -4.2
Assists Per Game         13.8        10.8
Turnovers Per Game       12.1        13.7
Turnover Margin          +5.4        -0.7
Steals Per Game          11.4         6.4
Paint Points Per Game    36.2        25.6
Paint Points Allowed     23.0        30.9
Points off Turnovers     18.9        13.2
Points Allowed off TO’s  11.6        15.1
Bench Scoring Margin     +3.0        -4.2


Getting Defensive
   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.


Record Steals Pace
   Through Thursday’s action, Bradley ranked fourth nationally by averaging 11.36 steals per game.
   Bradley has made off with at least 10 steals in each of the last five games, averaging 13.2 spg during those five games.
   The Braves are on pace to finish the year with 363 steals, 60 more than the school record (303 in 1986 and 1982) and 18 more than the MVC record (345 by Tulsa in 1984).
MVC Steals in a Season
1.  345  Tulsa              1983-84
2.  337  Drake              1993-94
3.  322  Southern Illinois  2004-05
4.  321  Drake              2003-04
5.  303  Bradley            1985-86
    303  Bradley            1981-82


Ball Control
   While Bradley’s defense has been turning over the opposition with success, the Braves rank 51st  nationally by averaging just 12.07 turnovers per game.
   Through games of Jan. 3, Bradley was tied for second nationally with a 0.94 steals/turnover ratio (VCU was first at 1.05).
   Bradley ranked 289th last season with a 0.79 assists-to-turnover ratio, but the Braves have improved that ratio to 1.14 this year, which was tied for 74th nationally through games of Jan. 3.
   Bradley has committed fewer than 10 turnovers five times this season, including just eight in the Dec. 29 Valley opener versus Drake.
National Steals-To-Turnover Ratio
Rk.  School     Ratio  Steals  TO’s
1.   VCU         1.05   186    177
2.   Bradley     0.94   159    169
     Louisville  0.94   160    171
4.   Arkansas    0.86   116    135
5.   Wisconsin   0.85   106    124


Defending the Paint
   Bradley is allowing the opposition only 23.0 ppg in the paint and opponents are shooting just 43.2 percent (216-500) from inside the arc.


Wide Margins
   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 +9.4 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 10 wins and is averaging 70.6 ppg through the first 14 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 50.7 percent (301-594) from inside the arc and the Braves are averaging 36.2 points per game in the paint.
   The Braves have outscored their opponents in the paint in each of their 10 wins and boast an overall 507-322 scoring advantage in the paint.
   Bradley is averaging a +13.2 points-per-game scoring advantage in the paint.


Spreading the Wealth
   Bradley boasts six players who average at better than 7.5 points per game.
   With Walt Lemon, Jr. leading the team in scoring at 13.7 ppg, only a 5.9-points-per-game scoring average separates Lemon from Bradley’s sixth-leading scorer (Jake Eastman, 7.8 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.


1,000-Point Pace
   Senior guard Dyricus Simms-Edwards is Bradley’s active career scoring leader with 977 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.
   Simms-Edwards has scored at least 23 points in a game, though, three times in his career.
   Junior guard Walt Lemon, Jr. enters Wednesday’s game with 793 career points.
   Currently averaging a team-best 13.7 ppg, Lemon is on pace to join the 1,000-Point Club in the home finale Feb. 27 versus Creighton.


El Hombre
   Senior guard Dyricus Simms-Edwards ranks third nationally by averaging 3.21 steals per game.
   Many of Simms-Edwards’ 45 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 103 steals this season, which would shatter the school record (83) and make him the first-ever Valley player to eclipse the century mark.


   Not only does Dyricus Simms-Edwards rank second nationally with 45 steals, but he also ranks fourth nationally by averaging 2.14 steals per turnover.
   Simms-Edwards boasts 45 steals against just 21 turnovers while playing 33.5 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 1.35 through this season’s first 14 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).


Big Media Numbers
   Dave Snell is in his 34th season as the radio Voice of the Braves and has participated in 1,029 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 692 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.


Looking Ahead
•   Following Sunday’s game against Wichita State, Bradley will play four of its next six games on the road.
•   The Braves will visit Indiana State Wednesday night, followed by a Saturday afternoon trip to Northern Iowa.
•   Both games will be televised:  Wednesday’s game in the Peoria area on WAOE (My 59) and Saturday’s game on the MVC-TV Network (FS Midwest, Comcast SportsNet Chicago).
•   The Braves will return home to host Southern Illinois Jan. 15 and Missouri State Jan. 19.


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