ISU hosts No. 16 Creighton in MVC Championship rematch

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ISU hosts No. 16 Creighton in MVC Championship rematch

The last time ISU and Creighton faced off, the Redbirds took the nationally-ranked Bluejays into overtime in the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference tournament championship.

But so much has changed for ISU since then.

In that Mar. 4 matchup, point guard Nic Moore led the Redbirds with 20 points. He has since transferred to SMU where he joined Tim Jankovich, ISU's coach from 2007-12.

Jankovich racked up 105 wins in his five seasons, earning four bids in the NIT tournament, but falling short of the NCAA tournament. ISU lost in the conference championship three times in Jankovich's tenure, including his first two seasons as head coach.

Dan Muller took over for Jankovich prior to the 2012-13 season in an attempt to rekindle the magic from his playing days. Muller headlined the last ISU team to make the NCAA tournament in 1998, earning the MVC Tournament Most Outstanding Player and leading the Redbirds to a first-round win over Tennessee before losing to Arizona in the second round.

Muller, who has the Redbirds out to a 9-4 start to the campaign, never lost to Creighton in his playing days. But CU has had ISU's number the past few seasons, winning 21 of the last 31 matchups between the two teams.

Doug McDermott, the 2011-12 Valley Player of the Year, headlines a Creighton attack with his 23.5 points per game. The 6-foot-8 junior poured in 33 points in the MVC Championship game last season and has the Bluejays off to a hot start this season with a 12-1 record and No. 16 ranking in the country.

Creighton marks the second nationally-ranked team ISU has faced this season, following a 69-66 loss at No. 5 Louisville Dec. 1.

ISU legend and Chicago native Osiris Eldridge will act as the Redbird Ambassador for Wednesday's matchup.

Osiris Eldridge @Osiris_Eldridge ISU 2Mrrw!!!! for the creighton game! Can't wait to see my Redbird family! 1 Jan 13 Reply Retweet Favorite
Eldridge, who made the All-Valley team three straight seasons from 2008-10, is ISU's career leader in three-pointers and ranks fifth in scoring in the program's history. In 2009, he was named MVC Tournament Most Outstanding Player, just the second time a player from the losing team took home the award.

Wednesday's matchup can be seen on CSN where available. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

DePaul basketball program on the rise after landing 5-star recruit Tyger Campbell

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AP

DePaul basketball program on the rise after landing 5-star recruit Tyger Campbell

DePaul hoops received a huge boost this week as five-star recruit Tyger Campbell committed to the university.

The elite point guard recruit out of La Lumiere, will join the Class of 2018, choosing DePaul over schools like Michigan State, Illinois and Memphis.

"I like DePaul and honestly my coach (Shane Heirman) just went there and we have a great connection and he's always had my back," Campbell told Scout.com. "I like [DePaul] coach Dave Leitao, too. I like his program and he's an intelligent guy.

"Mainly what I like about the school is I want to help bring it back. I love Chicago; it's a great city. I want to bring the city a college back to cheer for."

Campbell also said the Blue Demons' new Wintrust Arena at McCormick Place Event Center, which is slated to open this fall, is a big draw for him.

The Blue Demons are a combined 18-45 the last two seasons and hasven't had a winning season since 2006-07 when they went 20-14 and made the NIT Quarterfinals.

The program last made the NCAA Tournament in 2003-04 during Leitao's first stint as the team's head coach.

Northern Illinois adds running back Fotis Kokosioulis

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USA TODAY

Northern Illinois adds running back Fotis Kokosioulis

Northern Illinois University added it's fourth known verbal commitment today in its growing Class of 2018.

Maine South junior running back Fotis Kokosioulis (5-foot-8, 165 pounds) added an offer from the Huskies on Tuesday after making a spring practice visit, and today he gave head coach Rod Carey his verbal commitment.

"I chose NIU because it's been a school that I've liked for awhile now," Kokosioulis said moments ago. "I like the facilities at NIU, the stadium and everything else they have to offer. I also really like all the coaches at NIU. I felt that even if I got more offers I would've still chose NIU over other schools. I know that there are bigger school and programs but I feel that I just fit in well at NIU, so I committed."

Kokosioulis, who was an All-State performer for the Class 8A state champion Maine South Hawks in 2016, is now the fourth known in-state verbal commitment for Rod Carey and the Huskies and the fifth known commitment overall. Kokosioulis joins Andrew defensive end Mike DeHaan, Plainfield East defensive end Jack Sullivan and Danville tight end Julian Pearl in the NIU Huskies in-state Class of 2018.