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Looking past a foe they blew out by 39 two weeks ago would be easy for the Bloomington Flex (3-1) during Sunday's 4 p.m. game against the Gateway Steam (1-4) at Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo.

But Coach Carlnel Wiley Jr. is counting on his Flex possessing too much professionalism to let that happen.

"That's what being a pro is — being consistent in everything, you're steady in your procedure and your approach to everything," he said. "It doesn't matter who you play."

Wiley expects to see a different Gateway roster than the one that lost to the Flex, 122-83, on Jan. 11.

"They are going to have a whole new roster," he said.

Gateway's roster on the MPBA website Saturday afternoon included 10 players from the Jan. 11 game, but not Bloomington native D'Mitri Riggs nor Peoria native Mike Gills.

"We understand this is a grown man's league and that you have to work hard for what you want because it won't come without a fight,” said Gateway coach Durrell Robinson, whose team has been outrebounded, 219-168.

The Steam are led by Jake Anderson (13.6 ppg), a 6-foot-2 guard out of Iowa State. Justin Bocot averages a league-leading 28.2 points for the Flex, who have won three straight.

The Flex, who average 107.5 points, are coming off a 93-74 win over the Windy City Groove on Wednesday. It was the lowest output of the year for the Flex. 

"Our guys were really pumped up," Wiley said. "We have a few from Chicago. They were playing in front of family so they got beside themselves for a minute. Once we got settled in, it was good."

Other double-digit scorers for the Flex are Anthony Slack (16.2), Fabyon Harris (14.0), C.J. Hampton (13.8) and Chris Colvin (10.5).

In practice, Wiley has emphasized his defensive principals and playing together.

"We're learning to play with each other within our system and learning to be unselfish on both ends," he said, "helping each other out on defense and looking for each other offensively ... making not just the good play, but the great play." 



Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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