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Get To Know A Marquette Basketball Opponent: Chicago State Cougars

Let’s hope the Golden Eagles have an easier time taking down Cougars than Panthers...

Cougar Cubs Celebrate The Holiday Season
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Name: Chicago State University

Location: Chicago, Illinois ... you should know where this is. Yep, we have another one of those schools that just thinks they can add “State” to the city they are located in. This is the second “City State” school that Marquette has played this year after Wichita State in Maui. I am very thankful there is not a Milwaukee State University. In fact, there are not any City State schools in the entire state. I’m not going to research it, but I feel like the majority of US states have a City State school.

Founded: 1867.

Hey, after the history of Eastern Illinois, I’m curious.... Yep, the school founded with the name of Cook County Normal School with the goal of educating and training teachers in the county. CSU is one of over 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in America, and they opened their doors in a leaky railroad freight car in Blue Island, Illinois.

Enrollment: 3,578, with 2,352 undergraduates.

School Colors: Green, Black, and White

Conference: WAC - Western Athletic Conference, since 2013. They were previously in the Great West Conference.

Nickname: Cougars

Why “Cougars”? : No idea. Although, I can tell you the cougar does not have a name and the current mascot is new as of 2011. The school seems to only associate the cougar with their athletic programs. Their university website uses a logo that includes a tree. Although I am no arborist, it appears to be some sort of evergreen.

What their mascot should be: The bear or whatever from the cover of Kanye West’s ‘The College Dropout.’

Is that a cougar? No. Is it 10,000 times more recognizable than their current mascot? Yes. This album was literally named after Kanye dropping out of college from.... drumroll please..... Chicago State University! Kanye’s mother was a teacher in the English Department at CSU. Kanye dropped out from Chicago State at age 20 to pursue a rap career....GOOD CHOICE!

‘The College Dropout’ came out in 2004, and I am dating myself here, but the songs on this album were the soundtrack of my high school senior year and my freshman year of college. Many Milwaukee’s Best (Beast) Lights were drank and plenty of Fleischmann’s vodka shots were taken to the sounds of ‘The College Dropout’. Through The Wire, Slow Jamz, Jesus Walks, The New Workout Plan, All Falls Down...all straight fire.

Is having a mascot associated with dropping out of college the best look for a university...probably not, but a marketing goldmine if you ask me. That mascot could actually save the school...

Wait, save the school? Yes. One year ago, it was unknown if Chicago State athletics would be able to participate in 2017 athletics. The school, which is funded by Illinois tax dollars, is apparently hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and their graduation rate is dipping dangerously close to single digit territory.

Notable Alumni: Kanye wasn’t the only talented musician to attend CSU. Dennis DeYoung, John Panozzo, Chuck Panozzo, and John Curulewski...the founding members of Styx! A lot of politicians come from Chicago State, but the most notable is President Gerald Ford who received an honorary degree from the university. We’re digging a little deep if we’re getting into honorary degrees, huh. They have some athletes, too. Rosalyn Bryant and Willye White competed in the Olympics. Bob Janecyk was a NHL goalie with the Blackhawks and Kings from 1983-89. James “Chico” Hernandez was featured on a box of Wheaties Energy Crunch and is a FIAS World Cup Vice-Champion in Sambo wrestling. Pretty solid list for a smaller school.

Last Season: 6-26, with a 1-13 record in the WAC. They were actually awarded a 7 seed in the WAC tournament due to Grand Canyon’s ineligibility.

Final 2016-2017 KenPom Ranking: #335

This Season: 2-7, neither of their wins came against D-1 schools. They lost by 69 (nice) to Purdue, so that means Marquette should beat them by 54...right?

Current KenPom Ranking: #340...I knew to scroll to the bottom of the rankings to find this.

Stats Leaders

Points: Fred Sims Jr., 15.3 ppg
Assists: Glen Burns, 4.0 apg
Rebounds: Deionte Simmons, 5.3 rpg

Head Coach: Tracy Dildy, in his 8th season. He has a current record of 54-178....not great, Bob!

Scouting Report: Needing overtime to beat Eastern Illinois was bad, but we’ll chalk it up to a Maui hangover. If Marquette struggles to put away Chicago State on Wednesday night, you should panic.

All Time Series: Marquette is 7-0 vs Chicago State, with their last meeting coming in 2015 when MU won 91-74 behind Henry Ellenson’s 19 points and 13 rebounds.