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Up next for IPFW: Today vs. Omaha

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For more on college basketball, follow Tom Davis via Twitter at www.twitter.com/Tom101010.

Mastodons are one of best shooting teams in country

Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 3:27 am

Up next for IPFW: Today vs. Omaha

When: 7 p.m. (EST)

Where: Gates Sports Center

On the air: ESPN 1380-AM

Records: IPFW (16-6, 4-1 Summit League), Omaha (12-8, 2-3 SL)

Expected starters for the Mastodons: Steve Forbes – 6-9, redshirt junior center; Luis Jacobo – 6-5, senior forward; Michael Kibiloski – 6-7, senior forward; Pierre Bland – 6-2, senior guard; Joe Edwards – 6-4, junior guard.

Update: IPFW continues to make history with each passing victory. The Mastodons are off to their best 22-game start in their NCAA Division I history and are just two victories shy of tying the program mark for most wins at this level. IPFW responded from a disappointing loss at South Dakota with a thrashing of in-state rival IUPUI for the team's sixth victory in its last seven outings. The Mastodons are the ninth-best shooting team in the nation and Forbes leads the nation at a 67.1 percent rate according to ESPN's latest statistics. Only Gonzaga and IPFW currently rank among the nation's top-10 squads in both field-goal percentage and three-point shooting percentage. The Mastodons have spent a good portion of the season ranked in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll and are currently 21st. With the victory over the Jaguars on Saturday, third-year IPFW coach Tony Jasick climbed above the .500 mark and is 43-42 in his career. The Mastodons and Indiana State (16-4) have achieved the most victories among Indiana Division I programs this season. IPFW won its first three meetings with the Mavericks but fell 86-79 in Omaha a year ago in the teams' last contest against each other. IPFW and North Dakota State are tied for first place in the Summit League standings; both are a half-game up on Denver and South Dakota. The Mastodons lead the conference in three-point shooting percentage (40.7 percent) and three-point makes per game (8.3). They rank second in the conference in scoring margin, rebounding margin and field-goal percentage. Bland has the team's second-best scoring output (23 points) in a single game, best rebounding performance (11), best assist total (nine) and best steal production (four). Junior guard Isaiah McCray continues to be "day-to-day" with a foot injury suffered earlier this month. He has missed the past three games.

IPFW senior forward Michael Kibiloski: “It's just the group of guys that we have. We are so close-knit. I'm not saying that the previous years that we didn't get along, but this group will hang out off of the court. We go out to eat together, we'll go to somebody's apartment and play video games, and just hang out. I didn't really have that the first two years that I was here. We did that this summer and it just brought us closer together. When we got on the court, you could just see that we all just clicked together. When all of the new guys got here last year, it took a little bit for them, I don't know how to explain it, but we were all so different. They didn't know much about “Indiana basketball.” It took awhile, but you could see it at the end of last year that we started to click. But the coaches did a great job recruiting them, because obviously they're great players and they've helped us. You can't complain about that.”