Former Bradley assistant Rob Judson finds himself on the opposite side of the street in the I-74 rivalry.
"It was always a big game. We knew at Bradley that if we could beat Illinois State that that was real good. I’m sure it’s that same way now, although Bradley has had the upper hand the last couple of years. We’re really looking forward to picking our end of the battle up."
Judson is back in the Missouri Valley Conference thanks to a recommendation by Kansas coach Bill Self. Birds’ coach Tim Jankovich, a member of Self's staff at both Kansas and Illinois, turned to his former boss for advice when putting together his ISU coaching staff. Self suggested Judson.
"I wanted someone who was the fabric of Illinois basketball," said Jankovich. "Going back to his dad, the Hebron team that won the state championship, his dad was the coach. Rob played at Illinois and was a high school coach. He coached at Bradley and Illinois and Northern Illinois. You can’t touch that."
Judson comes to ISU after 6 years as the head coach as Northern Illinois. Jankovich was an assistant at Kansas and before that at Illinois. Judson thinks their respective experiences will compliment each other.
"As an assistant you’re much more hands on with the players, you’re much more hands on with recruiting. From my perspective after being a head coach, I’ll try to relieve some of those tasks off his desk so that he can really concentrate on coaching the team."