Men's Basketball Preview - at Illinois College

Photo by Brad Glidewell
Photo by Brad Glidewell

St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 6, 2019 – The No. 7-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team begins its 105th season by traveling to Illinois College in its 2019-20 season opener on Sunday, Nov. 10. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. in Jacksonville, Ill. The Bears are coming off a 76-59 loss in its lone exhibition game at NCAA Division I Missouri State University on Oct. 30.

at Illinois College – Sunday, Nov. 10 – 3 p.m. (CT) – Sherman Gymnasium – Jacksonville, Ill.
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Download the complete WASHU game notes by clicking HERE (PDF).

SCOUTING ILLINOIS COLLEGE – The Blueboys were picked seventh in the Midwest Conference (MWC) Preseason Coaches Poll. Illinois College won five of its last seven games a year ago to finish with a 9-16 overall record. The Blueboys return one full-time starter from a year ago, which has a roster of 14 newcomers. Senior guard Riley Mehrens averaged 10.7 points a year ago and shot 39.2 percent from three-point range.

THE SERIES – WashU has a 18-3 advantage with Illinois College in a series that dates back to the 1946-47 season. WashU defeated IC 91-62 in the last meeting on Nov. 10, 2018 in St. Louis.

MISSOURI STATE RECAP – Missouri State stretched a two-point halftime lead by throwing the ball inside in the second half in a 76-59 win over WashU Oct. 30 at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. Sophomore forward Justin Hardy led the Bears with 17 points and seven rebounds, while junior guard Jack Nolan had 12 points on four three-pointers. Senior guard Jonathan Arenas had a game-high 11 rebounds.

A LOOK BACK AT 2018-19 – WashU returns all five starters and 13 letterwinners from last year's squad, which won 10 of its last 12 games to finish with a 17-8 overall record. The Bears finished in second place in the University Athletic Association (UAA) standings, and secured its 35th-straight winning season.

HARDY NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN – Sophomore forward Justin Hardy was named to the 2019-20 Street & Smith's Preseason All-America Team. Hardy started all 25 games and was second on the squad averaging 14.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game a year ago. He was named to the 2019 DIII News All-Freshman Team, and picked up UAA Rookie of the Year honors.

BEAR TRACKS – Junior guard Jack Nolan is 70-of-74 (94.59 percent) in his two-year career from the free-throw line. Nolan's mark would be tops in NCAA history at any level, but does not qualify. (Minimum 250 free throws made). Blake Ahearn of Missouri State holds the record at 94.56% (435-of-460). Nolan is chasing his uncle Gene (1992-96), WashU's all-time leader in free-throw percentage, at 85.7 (281-328).

– The Bears led the conference a year ago in field-goal percentage (.485), rebounding defense (31.4) and home attendance (534 per game).

– WashU has won its last 13 season openers.

UP NEXT – WashU heads North to play a pair of road contests at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (Nov. 15) and University of Wisconsin-Platteville (Nov. 16).