Despite BU, ISU Slumps, Coaches Believing in Their Players

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Bradley has lost three in a row, Illinois State has lost four of its last five.

Neither team is happy about their Missouri Valley Conference slumps but coaches at both schools are preaching patience.

“Everyone in (our locker room) just has to believe and keep buying in. I don’t think that’s an issue at all,” Bradley coach Brian Wardle said after Loyola rallied to sink Bradley 65-58 Monday night at Carver Arena.

Bradley (9-7, 3-4 in MVC) had been clicking with wins over Northern Iowa and Evansville before it hit its current three-game skid. The Braves were swept by Loyola at home this week.

“I just think they are frustrated right now because we didn’t see this coming,” Wardle said. “(Losing) the three games in a row after winning three in a row.”

The Braves don’t have a whole lot of time to feel sorry for themselves. They bus to Valparaiso Wednesday for a Thursday game against the Crusaders, who are coming off a weekend sweep at Illinois State.

“This loss hurts but we can’t sulk too much,” junior guard Terry Nolan said Monday. “Basically, we are going to get back to the drawing board and see where we can improve, Be good and capitalize on that.”

ISU’s lone win last week was a 13-point upset of Bradley at Redbird Arena. But the Redbirds were swept by Indiana State and Valpo around that big win over their I-74 rival.

Sunday night, coach Dan Muller wrote on his Twitter page for the first time in five months.

“I know we need to perform better, that’s my job. No one is more disappointed than I am,” Muller tweeted. “But I love these young men and they all have bright days ahead in red and white. I’m blessed to be their coach.”

The coach, was is in his ninth season at ISU, explained his tweet during the Valley weekly coach’s call on Tuesday.

“I don’t read or listen to anything from the outside but I know the players do. And I know people are disappointed about where we are at. I understand that,” Muller said. “So I just wanted to send something out, number one to take responsibility where we are at. And number two, let the fans and the public know, and just as importantly my players know that I absolutely love this group and believe in them.

ISU (5-10, 2-7 in MVC) plays at Valley-leading Drake this weekend.

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