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Redbirds look to have a rebound season

Written by on October 15, 2020

Photo courtesy Bill Salyer/ISU Athletics

NORMAL, Ill. – Redbird men’s basketball held their first practice of the season Wednesday afternoon at Redbird Arena, but things looked a little different.

Coaches and personnel wore their masks while the majority of the arena seats were pushed in to have space for a makeshift weight room.

Meanwhile, the players on the court are preparing for their first game 42 days from now at Nebraska, and Head Coach Dan Muller said the team has more work to do than in years past.

“First day you know, was sloppy,” said Coach Muller. “Lot of new guys that are learning what it takes, not just what we do but what it takes to be successful in division one basketball…You can see the time that we missed this summer and in the time that we missed this fall you can see that we’re further behind than normal years.”

The Redbirds will have nine new players on their bench, eight of which will be eligible to compete during the 2020-2021 season.

In addition to new faces, one big question coming will be who will replace Zach Copeland, ISU’s leading scorer last season with 14.5 points per game (ppg). For Coach Muller, two players could fulfill that role.

“D.J. and Keith have been our most consistent scorers. We kind of ‘expected’ that but until you see it you don’t want to assume it,” said Coach Muller.

Fisher was the second-leading scorer on the team with 9.6 ppg and Horne was right behind him averaging 8.7 ppg.  They are two of the five veterans for the Redbirds that made up over 48% of their scoring last season.

“The only way I think you can prepare teams for adversity is to put them in adverse situations,” said Coach Muller. “You can’t replace game pressure. You can’t replace game adjustments…I do believe whichever teams handle adversity the best will put themselves in a position to be the most successful.”

Hopefully, the Redbirds will be in a position to make a return to the postseason come March.