PREVIEW: WashU Hosts No. 21 Ill. Wesleyan in Top-25 Matchup

PREVIEW: WashU Hosts No. 21 Ill. Wesleyan in Top-25 Matchup

No. 21 Illinois Wesleyan (6-2) at No. 17 WashU (6-2)
Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016 • 7 p.m. (CT) • St. Louis, Mo.

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Download the complete WASHU game notes by clicking HERE (PDF).

BEAR HEADLINES – The No. 17-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team returns home to host No. 21 Illinois Wesleyan University (6-2) on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. The Bears are coming off an 84-80 loss at Central College (Iowa).

SCOUTING ILLINOIS WESLEYAN – The Titans were picked second in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) Preseason Coaches Poll. Junior guard Brady Rose (13.8 ppg), senior forward Trevor Seibring (13.3 ppg), senior guard Andy Stempel (12.9 ppg) and sophomore guard Colin Bonnett (10.1) score in double figures for IWU.

Illinois Wesleyan leads the conference in scoring defense (66.9), scoring margin (+15.5),  field goal defense (.409), three-point field goal defense (.307) and three-pointers made (10.1). Head coach Ron Rose has a 195-97 (.668) record in 11 seasons at his alma mater.

SERIES WITH IWU – Illinois Wesleyan leads the all-time series with WashU 21-16, and the Titans posted a 67-57 victory on Dec. 5, 2015, in Bloomington, Ill.

BEAR TRACKS – Junior guard Jake Knupp had a career-high six steals in the 84-80 loss at Central, second most in a single game in school history.

– Junior forward Andrew Sanders (14.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg), junior guard Kevin Kucera (12.3 ppg, 5.7 apg) average double figures for the Bears.

– Sanders has scored in double figures seven times this season, and exceeded 500 points for his career in the 84-80 loss at Central. 

– WashU leads the UAA in three categories: assists (20.5), fewest turnovers (12.1) and fewest personal fouls (16.1).

– Senior forward Clinton Hooks connected on 6-of-9 three-pointers in two games last week, and is 29 threes made shy of 100 for his career. Hooks is also 54 point shy of 500 for his career (446 points, 70 games, 6.4 ppg).

TAKING CARE OF THE ROCK –Junior guard Jake Knupp has 26 assists and just three turnovers in sevens games this season. Knupp leads the University Athletic Association (UAA) and ranks second in NCAA Division III in assist-turnover-ratio (8.67).

102ND SEASON OF BASKETBALL – WashU has compiled an all-time record of 1,246-925 (.574) in 102 seasons of basketball on the Danforth Campus. The Bears have won 13 University Athletic Association (UAA) titles and made 22 postseason appearances.

EDWARDS APPROACHING TOP-10 – Head coach Mark Edwards is in his 36th season on the Danforth Campus, and is 12th on the all-time NCAA Division III wins list with a 648-285 (.695) mark.

8. Dennie Bridges - Illinois Wesleyan - 666-320 (.675)
9. Randy Lambert - Maryville (Tenn.) - 666-304 (.687)
10. Glenn Van Wieren - Hope - 660-219 (.751)
11. Dick Reynolds - Otterbein - 653-426 (.605)
12. Mark Edwards - WashU - 648-285 (.695) 

JABBARI ADDED TO STAFF – 2007 Loyola graduate Jason Jabbari was added to the Bears' coaching staff for the 2016-17 season. Jabbari is a graduate student working on his PHD in education at WashU. A St. Louis native, he served as a graduate assistant with the Harvard men's basketball team.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE – Edwards has put together another tough schedule for WashU in 2016-17, with five games against top-25 schools. Sorted on cumulative opposition, the Bears have the eighth toughest schedule (0.654) this year out of 426 NCAA Division III schools.

UP NEXT – WashU has 11 days off before returning to action on Thursday-Friday, Dec. 29-30, at the 54th Annual E.M. "Mose" Hole/Kiwanis Classic in Wooster, Ohio. The Bears take on Ohio Wesleyan University Thursday at 5 p.m. (ET), followed by a matchup with host Wooster Friday at 7 p.m.