Team preview: Illinois State

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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

Sometimes change can be a good thing.

The Redbirds of Illinois State certainly hope that's the case this season.

With a veteran squad, ISU opened last season with a 5-1 record, but lost its way from there and went 4-18 the rest of the year.

Now the program loses seven players from that group, including four starters. And two of the departed -- junior guard Khalif Ford (4.5 ppg, 2.7 apg) and sophomore guard Eric Vianney (3.5 ppg) -- bolted because they wanted a change of scenery.

Losing that many players might rattle some, but fourth-year coach Porter Moser is actually looking forward to the turnover.

In fact, he's upbeat about the future of his program and the five newcomers who join seven returning players to form this season's team.

"We have guys who want to be here," said Moser, citing the players' work ethic in the summer. "It's the kind of attitude you need."

The Redbirds should have the majority of that group for the next two years, too; there are only two seniors on the roster.