The men’s basketball team started the season enthused by incoming head coach Dan Muller ’98 and the strength of returning players.

Among them is senior Jackie Carmichael, who has been identified by Sports Illustrated as a Future Game Changer. The magazine profiled Carmichael last fall and posted a video on, noting his ranking as one of the nation’s top college forwards.

A preseason All-Missouri Valley Conference selection, Carmichael started the season as the eighth-best rebounder in the country on the Top 10 Rebounders list. ranked him 30th-best big man in the country on its list of Top 50 Big Men, and the 79th best player in the country.

Carmichael has an athleticism and rebounding that puts him in an elite class.

“He really wants to do what’s best for the team,” Muller said. “You put that together with his physical ability and he’s just been a joy to coach.”

Carmichael credits his mother for his love of the sport. His passion explains his work ethic.

“I am the guy who is going to bring his hard hat and lunch pail every single day and just work hard. I feel like that’s what really gets basketball players to that next level and where they want to be in life,” Carmichael said. “I live by the quote that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

He brings the same attitude to his family and consumer science major. While his goal is to continue playing after graduation, he plans to work with athletes in the apparel industry. He’s already ahead in that game as well, designing the men’s team uniforms introduced this season.