ON TAP: The Fighting Leathernecks (5-3, 2-0) will conclude their eight-game road trip, at Eastern Illinois (3-6) Wednesday evening (Dec. 5). The two teams are slated to tip off at 7:00 p.m.
WHO: Western Illinois Leathernecks (5-3, 2-0) at Eastern Illinois (3-6)
WHERE: Charleston, Ill. • Lantz Arena (5,300)
WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m.
SERIES HISTORY: Eastern Illinois leads 77-73
LAST SEASON: Western Illinois won 64-48 in Macomb
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Classic 103 (102.7 FM)
Talent: Beau Spencer (play-by-play) & Josh Gleason (color)
EIU broadcast: Listen live on WEIU
A LOOK AT THE PANTHERS: Eastern Illinois enters Wednesday’s non conference game with a 3-6 overall record...The Panthers are a member of the Ohio Valley...The Panthers most recently lost on the road to Stony Brook, 66-52...The loss was their second in a row...The have played one other Summit League member so far this season, downing Fort Wayne in the Eastern Michigan Ice Man Classic, 68-67...Through nine games, EIU is led by Josh Piper who is averaging 12.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.
COACHING EASTERN ILLINOIS: The Panthers are coached by Jay Spoonhour (Pittsburg State ‘94) who is in his first season at the helm.
THE SERIES: Western owns a 73-77 overall record against Eastern Illinois...The two teams played in Macomb last season on December 10 and the Leathernecks won, 64-48.
LAST TIME OUT: Behind Ceola Clark III’s career-high tying night in points and Terell Parks’ 11th career double-double, Western Illinois left Kansas City Saturday evening (Dec. 1) with its second straight win, 68-63. The Leathernecks (5-3, 2-0) jumped out to an early 14-3 advantage and never surrendered their lead throughout the game, but the Kangaroos (3-4, 1-1) were able to climb back within one point late before Western held off the ‘Roos for the win. Clark led all scorers with 27, tying his career-high, and had four assists, no turnovers, two rebounds, and a steal. The only other time Clark recorded 27 points in a game was his freshman season (2008-09) at home versus Fort Wayne. Parks finished the evening with his second double-double of the season, and 11th of his career, tallying 15 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. He also finished with a career-best five blocks on the night, had two assists, and two steals. Both Clark (6-for-6) and Parks (5-for-5) went perfect from the free throw line. Jack Houpt was the only other Leatherneck to finish with more than 10 points, recording 11 on 4-of-7 shooting. He also attempted and made his first free throw of the season. Remy Roberts-Burnett returned to action after suffering an injury in the preseason. He played eight minutes, scored two points, dished out an assist, and grabbed a rebound. Western shot better than 40% for the seventh time this season (45.8%) compared to UMKC’s 40%. Both teams scored a lot of points in the paint, with Western edging the Roos, 24-20. All but three of Western points scored came from its starters, while 37 of UMKC’s 63 points were scored off of the bench. UMKC was led by Thomas Staton who had 15 points, three assists, a steal and a rebound.
WHAT’S IN A WESTERN WIN?: A win would mark the 1,208th victory in program history...A win would mark head coach Jim Molinari’s 53rd victory at Western, and his 276th victory all-time as a head coach...A win would be Western’s 74th-ever over Eastern Illinois..A win would mark the Leathernecks’ third straight.
SUMMIT LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Western Illinois senior guard Ceola Clark III was named Summit League Men’s Basketball Player of the Week Monday (Dec. 3), helping guide the Fighting Leathernecks (5-3 overall, 2-0 Summit League) to a perfect start to their Summit League schedule. Western went 2-0 on the week to kick off conference action, and both victories came on the road, first at South Dakota (73-71) and then at Kansas City (68-63). Throughout the week, Clark averaged 23.5 points, 4.0 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game, and committed only one turnover in 72 minutes played. He made 16 of his 26 total shot attempts (61.5%), connected on 9-of-16 triples (56.3%), and sank all six of his free throws attempts.
COLLEGE SPORTS MADNESS: Western Illinois senior Ceola Clark III was named ‘Mid-Major Player of the Week’ by College Sports Madness on Monday (Dec. 3) after helping lead the Leathernecks to a 2-0 Summit League record this past week on the road.
IN THE NATION (As of 12/3/12): Western ranks in the top 10 of two national categories...10th in defensive scoring, having held its opponents to 53.5 points per game, and 10th in personal fouls per game, having committed only 13.4 per game...The Leathernecks also rank in the top 100 of three other categories...48th in turnovers per game (11.9), 59th in blocked shots per game (4.8), and 79th in field goal percentage defense (39.4).
CONFERENCE ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS (As of 12/3/12): Ceola Clark III ranks third
amongst active career scoring leaders in The Summit League (1,195 points), fifth in rebounds (385), and second in assists (364).
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 Stensfaard (Rapid City, S.D./Stevens).
TV GAMES: The men’s basketball team will play four games on television during the 2012-13 season, not including The Summit League Tournament...All four of the games will air on Fox College Sports...A complete list of men’s basketball TV games is below:
DATE OPPONENT TELEVISION
- November 29 at South Dakota Fox College Sports Atlantic / Midco Sports Net
- January 26 at Oakland Fox College Sports Atlantic / Fox Sports Detroit
- February 2 at IUPUI Fox College Sports Atlantic / HomeTown Sports
- February 16 at South Dakota State Fox College Sports Pacific / Midco Sports Net
ZERO FROM THREE: Western did not make a three-pointer in its game versus Evansville on November 17, 2012 (0-for-4)...It was the first time a Leatherneck men’s basketball team had not connected on a triple since they went 0-for-5 at Wisconsin-Green Bay on February 2, 1991.
PARKS IN THE FIRST: Terell Parks has had two games this season with 15 or more points in the first half of a game, both of which came in the team’s first two losses...The first came at SIU-E (15 points), and the other was at Evansville (16 points).
1,000 POINT CLUB: Ceola Clark III ranks 14th overall in points scored in program history with 1,214 career points.
ALL-TIME STEALS LEADER: 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...Clark has 200 career steals to date.
PRESEASON POLL: 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.
WHAT IS A LEATHERNECK?: 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.