WMBD/WYZZ-TV - PEORIA, Ill. - John Jones was looking forward to his first appearance in the I-74 rivalry game between Illinois State and Bradley.
But he won't play in Wednesday's 7:05 pm game at Carver Arena He's out 4-6 weeks with a broken right foot suffered in Saturday's loss at Indiana State.
Nonetheless, 14 players in uniform for the game could be on the floor for the first time in the Missouri Valley Conference rivalry game that dates back to the 1904-05 season.
"(The newcomers) don't rreally know how important it is to the Bradley community or to Illinois State," said Bradley senior Walt Lemon. "So they don't know how important this is. We've got guys that actually know the importance of the game and what it mneans to everybody."
ISU (11-9, 4-4 in MVC) was won eight of the last nine meetings with Bradley (8-13, 3-5 in MVC).
"It's a big rivalry. It 's a war, as the phrase says 'the war on 74.' It's a big battle," said ISU sophomore Nick Zeisloft.