Western Begins Summit League Tournament Play with South Dakota
Courtesy: Western Illinois Athletics  
Release: Monday 03/08/2013
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After facing South Dakota last Saturday in the their regular season finale, the No. 2 Fighting Leathernecks will open The Summit League tournament against the seventh-seeded Coyotes for a third time this season Saturday evening in Sioux Falls, S.D. at 8:35 p.m.

- To view highlights from the season so far, click HERE.



WHO: No. 7 South Dakota Coyotes (10-19) vs. No. 2 Western Illinois Leathernecks (21-7)
Sioux Falls, S.D.
•  Sioux Falls Arena (6,300)
Saturday, March 9 at 8:35 p.m.
Western leads South Dakota 4-2


*Summit League Tournament Central*

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WIU Athletics

Preseason Information:
2012-13 Preseason Information Guide
2012-13 Quick Facts

2012-13 Schedule
2012-13 Outlook
2012-13 Season Preview
2011-12 Highlights

THE SUMMIT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT: Western Illinois will be the No. 2 seed and face the seventh-seeded South Dakota Coyotes...A complete schedule of the men's quarterfinals is below:

Saturday, March 9:

Game #1: No. 1 South Dakota State vs. No. 8 IUPUI - 6:05 p.m
Game #2: No. 2 Western Illinois vs. No. 7 South Dakota - 8:35 p.m.

Sunday, March 10:

Game #1: No. 4 Oakland vs. No. 5 Fort Wayne - 6:05 p.m
Game #2: No. 3 North Dakota State vs. No. 6 Kansas City - 8:35 p.m.

DIVISION I OVERALL RECORD: The Leathernecks have earned more wins than any other Leathernecks team in the program’s Division I era.
The Division I Top 3 list is below:
1. 21-7 (.750) -     2012-13
T2. 20-8 (.714) -     1994-95
T2. 20-11 (.645) -     1982-83

DIVISION I CONFERENCE RECORD: The Leathernecks finished the 2012-13 season with 13 league wins, tying the most ever earned during a season in Western Illinois’ Division I era, and their win percentage stands alone as the program’s best-ever...Western finished 7-1 at home in conference play, and 6-2 on the road in league action...Western kicked-off the season 6-0 in league play.
The Division I Top 3 list is below:
T1. 13-3 (.812) -     2012-13
T1. 13-5 (.722) -     1994-95
2. 12-6 (.667) -     1995-96

WESTERN HALL: Western lost only two games at home this season, owners of a 12-2 mark inside Western Hall...The Leathernecks are 7-1 at home in conference games, and 5-1 at home in nonconference action...Western’s .857 win-percentage is tied for the program’s best-ever in conference action in Division I history.
The Division I Top 3 list is below:
1. 13-4 (.765) -     1982-83
T2. 12-2 (.857) -     2012-13
T2. 12-2 (.857) -     1994-95
T2. 12-3 (.800) -    1989-90
T2. 12-4 (.667) -     1987-88

MID-MAJOR TOP 25: The Leathernecks are #20 in the latest in the CollegeInsider Top 25 poll.
Previous appearances in the poll:
Jan. 7 -     #22
Jan. 14 -     #18
Jan. 21 -       #20
Jan. 28 -    #21
Feb. 4 -     #20
Feb. 11 -     #19
Feb. 18 -     #19
Feb. 25 -    #21
March 4 -     #20

NCAA RPI: The Leathernecks are 124th on the NCAA’s most recent RPI ratings.
Previous appearances in the RPI:
Jan. 7 -    163rd
Jan. 14 -     158th
Jan. 21 -     146th
Jan. 28 -     133rd
Feb. 4 -     134th
Feb. 11 -     135th
Feb. 18 -     102nd
Feb. 25 -    120th
March 4 -     124th

CLARK EARNS SECOND LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONOR: Ceola Clark III collects his fourth career honor and second of the season after leading Western Illinois to a share of its first Summit League title in 30 years...In the clinching victory over South Dakota, Clark tied his career-high with 27 points, connecting on 10-of-15 field goals and 6-of-11 three-point attempts, to go along with five rebounds, four assists and three steals...Clark tied a school record by knocking down six consecutive treys in the contest...Earlier in the week in a win over Kansas City, Clark scored 13 points, dished out six assists and recorded four steals...Clark averaged 20 points, five assists and 3.5 steals per game while shooting 56.5 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from beyond the arc...Clark was also named Summit League Men’s Basketball Player of the Week on December 3rd.

The Western Illinois men’s basketball team had its best attendance since 1987 last Saturday versus South Dakota, as 5,089 fans packed Western Hall...This season has also averaged 2,454 which ranks eighth in the program’s NCAA Division I era.

Terell Parks has earned 11 double-doubles this season, which ranks first in the Summit League...Parks also ranks first in 10-rebound games with 12.

A win would mark the 1,224th victory in program history...A win would mark head coach Jim Molinari’s 69th victory at Western, and his 292nd victory all-time as a head coach...A win would be Western’s fifth-ever over South Dakota, and third this season...A win would give the Leathernecks a five game winning streak versis South Dakota.

CONFERENCE ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS: Ceola Clark III ranks in the top five of The Summit League’s active leaders in points and assists...He ranks second in assists (459) and fourth in scoring (1,442)...Terell Parks ranks fifth in rebounds (550).

CAREER GAMES PLAYED: Ceola Clark III sits first in career games played at Western with 122.

1. 122 Ceola Clark III    2009-pr
T2. 117 Joe Dykstra    1978-83
T2. 117 Cory Fosdyck    1997-02
4. 115 Todd Hutcheson    1980-84

1,000 POINT CLUB: Ceola Clark III ranks 11th overall in points scored in program history with 1,442 career points.

POINTS    Year

9. 1,448 Gardy McCollum    1957-60
10. 1,442 Ceola Clark III    2009-pr
11. 1,431 David Jackson    2004-08

#CC3: After connecting on his 217th and 218th career three-pointers at home versus North Dakota State (Jan. 19) earlier this season, Ceola Clark III sits first in career triples made at Western...Clark passed Bill Heisler who connected on 216 during his playing career at Western.

1. 243 Ceola Clark III    2009-pr
2. 216 Bill Heisler    1997-01
3. 181 Brandon Creason    1995-99

Ceola Clark III became the Western Illinois career steals leader last season, picking up his 168th swipe at Kansas City on January 19th, 2012...Clark passed Bill Heisler who finished his playing career with 167 steals.

1. 235 Ceola Clark III    2009-pr
2. 167 Bill Heisler    1997-01
3. 138 Andre Humphrey    1993-95

Ceola Clark III makes everyone else on the court around him better because of his ability to make great passes and ranks second in assists all-time in program history (1. Dwayne Banks - 506).


1. 506 Dwayne Banks    1977-80
2. 459 Ceola Clark III    2009-pr
3. 361 Daryl Reed    1982-86

SWAT TEAM: In his second season at Western, Terell Parks is tied for second in blocks in program history.

BLOCKS    Year

1. 149 Shelby Thurmond    1992-93, 1994-95
2. 111 Terell Parks    2011-pr
3. 102 Janthony Joseph    1995-97

SINGLE-SEASON: Terell Parks has tallied the fourth most blocks in a single-season in Western Illinois history.

BLOCKS    Year
1. 83 Shelby Thurmond    1992-93
2. 75 James Granstra    2009-10
3. 66 Shelby Thurmond    1994-95
4. 65 Terell Parks    2011-pr

GLASS CLEANER: Terell Parks also ranks in the top 15 in career rebounds at Western.

13. 630 Paul Reuschel    1966-68
14. 586 Garrick Vicks    1993-96
15. 550 Terell Parks    2011-pr

The men’s basketball team played four regular season games on national television during the 2012-13 season, and The Summit League Tournament is also scheduled to be televised play nationally...All four of the games aired live on Fox College Sports...A complete list of those games follows:


November 29     at South Dakota     W, 73-71
January 26     at Oakland     L, 60-67
February 2     at IUPUI     W, 68-59
February 16    at South Dakota State    L, 55-64

TWO DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Last season Terell Parks and Ceola Clark III both a had a double-double in the same game (vs. IPFW - 2/2/12), and this season Parks and Jack Houpt did it at Oakland (Jan. 26)...Parks tallied 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Houpt recorded 12 points and 11 rebounds.

STREAKING: Earlier this season Western had earned 11 consecutive wins, a winning streak that started with a win on November 29th at South Dakota, and ended at home versus South Dakota State on Jan. 17...The Leathernecks had never earned 11 or more straight wins in a season during its Division I history, and the last time they did so in the program’s history was during the 1957-58 season when they put together 27 consecutive wins.

UNDEFEATED DECEMBER: The Leathernecks finished the month of December with a 6-0 record...It was the first time Western finished the month of December undefeated in its Division I history, and the first time since the Leathernecks went 8-0 in December during the 1957-58 season.

PARKS NAMED SUMMIT LEAGUE’S MALE ATHLETE OF THE MONTH: The Summit League selected Western Illinois men’s basketball student-athlete Terell Parks (Beloit, Wis./Beloit Memorial) as its Male Athlete of the Month for December. It marks his first career Athlete of the Month honor. Parks, who was named the league’s men’s basketball Player of the Week on Monday (Jan. 7), helped lead the Fighting Leathernecks to a perfect 6-0 overall record and 3-0 conference mark during December, and averaged a double-double (13.7 points & 10.0 rebounds) in the process. The Leathernecks’ big man also averaged three blocks per game, shot 58.2 percent from the field, dished out eight assists, and tallied six steals.

PARKS TABBED CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK: After helping lead Western Illinois to its eighth and ninth consecutive victories earlier this season, senior forward Terell Parks was named Summit League co-Player of the Week (Jan. 7) as announced by the league office. The honor marked the first of Parks’ career. Parks, who averaged a double-double on the week, helped the Fighting Leathernecks pick up a come-from-behind, nonconference win over Savannah State, 39-35, on Jan. 2, before propelling the Leathernecks to a league victory over IUPUI, 57-53, on Jan. 5. For the week, Parks averaged 11.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 6.0 blocked shots, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Parks shared the weekly honor with Oakland’s Duke Mondy.

COLLEGE SPORTS MADNESS: Western Illinois senior Ceola Clark III was named ‘Mid-Major Player of the Week’ by College Sports Madness on December 3rd after helping lead the Leathernecks to a 2-0 Summit League record on the road in their first Summit League action.

LEATHERNECKS SIGN THREE: Head coach Jim Molinari and the men’s basketball program  signed three players during the early signing period this fall in: Jabari Sandifer (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley), Garret Covington (Edwardsville, Ill./Edwardsville) and Tate Stensgaard (Rapid City, S.D./Stevens).

LEATHERNECK COACHES RANKED IN PRESEASON: Western Illinois head coach Jim Molinari and associate head coach Billy Wright were each rated fourth in their respective positions in RecruitDirt.com’s Summit League coach rankings.

The Western Illinois men’s basketball team was picked to finish fourth in The Summit League’s annual preseason poll of league coaches, SIDs and media after receiving 274 points. The Fighting Leathernecks had a league-high two players selected to Preseason All-League First Team in seniors Ceola Clark III and Terell Parks. The fourth-place prediction is the highest for Western since the 2005-06 season when the Leathernecks were picked to finish fourth.

MORE PRESEASON RECOGNITION: After being tabbed Preseason All-Summit League First Team by the league’s coaches, media and SIDs (Oct. 17), Ceola Clark III and Terell Parks were again honored, this time by College Sports Madness. Both Clark and Parks were named Preseason All-Summit League First Team by the staff at College Sports Madness.

AT THE HELM: Jim Molinari took over the Western Illinois program at the start of the 2008-09 season, and during his fourth season at the helm of the Leatherneck men’s basketball program, Molinari put Western Illinois basketball back on the map...He was tabbed Summit League ‘Coach of the Year’ by CollegeInsider.com after leading the Leathernecks to a 18-15 overall record, a fourth-place finish in the The Summit League with a 9-9 league record, and the programs first-ever Division I postseason berth (2012 College Basketball Invitational).

GRANTED A SIXTH YEAR: Senior guard Ceola Clark III was granted a 6th year of eligibility in April, 2012, by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)...Clark had this to say about another year at Western, “It feels great,” said Clark. “Getting the opportunity to play the game I love for another year. I’m coming back with more determination than ever. Being able to play with a group of guys that took the men’s basketball program to where it hasn’t been in years, and being so close to making the NCAA Tournament, I’m excited to get one more shot with my team.”

Led by Ceola Clark III who enters his sixth year at Western Illinois, the Leathernecks have four total seniors this year...Jack Houpt is in his third year at Western, while Terell Parks and Don McAvoy III are each in their second season as Leathernecks.

RETURNERS: This season the Fighting Leathernecks have six returners, seniors Ceola Clark III, Terell Parks, Jack Houpt and Don McAvoy III, junior Billy Molinari and sophomore Remy Roberts-Burnett.

This past offseason coach Molinari and the men’s basketball program brought in seven newcomers including two JUCO transfers in Adam Link and Michael Ochereobia...Western also has five freshmen this season in: Jordan Foster, Jamaal Walker, Jason Hawthorne, Isaiah Duncan and John Schneider.

Western Illinois holds the distinction of being the only non-military institution to officially have its nickname derived from a branch of the military service. The school began use of the Marine Corps’ official nickname, “The Fighting Leathernecks,” in 1927 when then-athletic director and head baseball, basketball and football coach Ray “Rock” Hanson was granted permission by the U.S. Navy, based on his status as a Marine hero, to use the Marine’s official seal, bulldog mascot and nickname.


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