Eldridge has led Redbird revival

Illinois State's Osiris Eldridge was named Missouri Valley First-Team All-Conference for the third straight season after averaging 15.9 points. Alan Look/Icon SMI

Osiris Eldridge was leaning toward leaving Illinois State after coach Porter Moser was fired following his freshman season.

Eldridge even asked for and was granted his release from the program. But when Eldridge sat down and contemplated his next move a few weeks later, he did what few star players do after a coaching change.

He stayed put.

"When coach Moser got fired, I did consider leaving," said Eldridge, who starred at Phillips High School in the Chicago Public League. "It was big. I got my release, but I just sat on it. I didn't have a real reason to leave Illinois State. I didn't want to be a Chicago guy who transfers from school to school. I didn't want to be playing for six years. I always wanted to be different. I wanted to stay at one school."

Three years later, Eldridge is nearing the end of his college basketball career, and he has no regrets. He has remained at one school. He has entertained Redbirds' fans for four seasons with highlight dunks, memorable Missouri Valley Tournament performances, creative hair styles (Mohawks are such a rarity among basketball players) and plenty of scoring (fifth in school history).

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