TERRE HAUTE — Saturday should be a fun day at Rose-Hulman.
That’s when the eastside engineering institute will celebrate its 100 years of basketball with a women’s/men’s doubleheader against Defiance College in Hulbert Arena. Tipoffs are slated for 1 and 3 p.m.
Not only do both Rose teams need victories to stay in the hunt for playoff spots in the upcoming Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament, the women’s contest will showcase the team’s “Think Pink” for breast cancer awareness day. Fifteen minutes before opening tipoff, approximately 45 breast cancer survivors from the Wabash Valley will be honored in a ceremony.
The team also has sponsored the sale of “Think Pink” T-shirts on campus. All proceeds from the women’s Saturday gate receipts and T-shirt sales will go toward breast cancer research.
Then at halftime of the men’s game, a substantial number of former men’s and women’s players will be introduced on the court.
The day concludes with the “100th Season of Basketball Celebration” dinner for alumni and guests that will follow the doubleheader.
According to the Rose-Hulman men’s basketball media guide, the first game played by the school occurred in the 1897-98 season. It was a 12-2 loss to the YMCA.
Over the past 100 years, the male Engineers have won 963 games and lost 962. They’ve qualified for the NCAA Division III tournament eight times (1977, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1989, 1996, 1997 and 1999).
Coaching 25 of those years was John Mutchner, who compiled a record of 341-291 from 1963 to 1988.
Now a land developer in Terre Haute, the 73-year-old Mutchner carries plenty of fond memories from his coaching days.
“We had 10 straight winning seasons at one stretch, running from 1974-75 to 1983-84,” Mutchner recalled Thursday. “I’ve always felt that at a place like Rose-Hulman, with all the academic pressure on the student-athletes and no [athletic] scholarships, if you had a winning season, it was a good year. We had a lot of seasons with 20 wins and 17, 18 wins.”
But victory totals aren’t his only basketball memory.
“I’m probably most proud of our players and what they’ve become,” Mutchner said. “Certainly, they didn’t become what they are and who they are because of me or being in the basketball program. But we hope that some place along the line, something rubbed off that helped them be a better citizen, a better employer, a better employee, a better father. You never know when you’re reaching somebody.
“I’m also very proud of the fact that everyone who played for me from 1971 to 1987, if they stayed in the program four years, had a chance to go to Europe. We made five trips to Europe.
“Not only that, we were the first American college or university team to ever play in the Soviet Union. And that was back when the hammer and sickle were still flying over the Kremlin. So it wasn’t easy. I worked on that every day for a year to get it done. I think that was very significant, even though we lost our bags on the trip and had to play in pick-up uniforms when we played in Moscow. That was quite an experience.
“We also played in Hawaii twice, the Bahamas twice. We played in Mexico. We played in Canada … We spent New Year’s Eve in London, I think, three different times.”
Current Rose men’s coach Jim Shaw has continued the traveling tradition over the past 14 seasons.
“It’s really part of Rose’s basketball history,” Mutchner emphasized. “I’m very pleased that Jim has kept that going.”
Mutchner started several other traditions — including use of the cannon, siren and bell — at home games inside the old Shook Fieldhouse, which was demolished to make room for a parking lot and walkway in the summer of 1997.
“When I came there, they were bringing in two or three hundred people a game and maybe not that many,” he said. “It just seemed like it was kind of a blah situation. So I started collecting noise-making devices … and by my second year, we had them going pretty much full blast.
“We had two big bells mounted on rubber-tired wagons. We had two police sirens wired in the ceiling of the fieldhouse. All that would go off and the team would run out on a red carpet [before the start of a game], then we’d shoot the cannon off and we would drop the ’Give ‘Em Hell’ banner from the ceiling. It was about 40 feet long. This became tradition. We did it exactly the same way every time and it was tuned to the school fight song… After a while, the atmosphere changed significantly and we started winning and we started getting better crowds.”
The legendary cannon — which caused me to almost jump out of my seat a few times in the 1990s — made its presence felt in more ways than one.
“One time, I remember distinctly, the thing going off and a guy walking in front of it,” Mutchner said. “He had a Coke in each hand. The thing went off and he just threw both Cokes about six feet in the air.”
Mutchner still enjoys attending home games in Hulbert Arena, located inside Rose’s Sports and Recreation Center, even without the cannon, siren and bell.
“It’s a much nicer building, but the old fieldhouse had a lot of charm,” he noted. “And the day they tore it down, it was still a great place to play basketball.”
One of Mutchner’s most memorable games in Shook Fieldhouse was a 71-57 loss to Wittenberg in front of a huge crowd in 1977.
“We played Wittenberg in the semifinal game of the NCAA [Division III] tournament,” he said. “We got beat and Wittenberg went on to win the national championship. I didn’t feel we played as well as we should have against them.”
Mutchner respectfully declined to name a most memorable player from his 25 years at the helm, saying there were too many outstanding players to name one. He did admit that 1970 graduate Don Ings, the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,083 points, would be high on the list.
“I’m hesitant to say who was the best player we ever had,” Mutchner explained, “although Ings was an exceptional talent.”
More recently, 1999 to be exact, Rose-Hulman’s Bryan Egli was named the NCAA Division III National Men’s Basketball Player of the Year by Columbus Multimedia.
But Egli never hit 12 3-pointers in one game. Rose’s Mike Webster did accomplish that, however, in a 76-72 loss to Eureka on Dec. 13, 1986. At the time, Webster broke the national Division III record.
That performance provided another fond memory for Mutchner, who I’m sure will experience many more Saturday.
• Our pal Al — Former Indiana State football player and assistant coach Alvin Reynolds joined the staff of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons this week.
During the past five seasons, Reynolds coached defensive backs for the Jacksonville Jaguars, which is what he’ll be doing for the Falcons and new head coach Mike Smith.
Reynolds previously coached DBs for the Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens.
Suddenly a New York Giants fan, David Hughes can be reached by phone at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4, or at (812) 231-4224; by e-mail at email@example.com; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.
TERRE HAUTE — Saturday should be a fun day at Rose-Hulman.
Rose’s Stull pitches well in losing cause
Andrew Stull made a strong bid to stay in the Rose-Hulman baseball starting pitching rotation Friday evening, but his lack of support — offensively and defensively — still added up to a 7-0 loss as the Engineers opened the Rose-Hulman Invitational against Concordia Chicago.
Metro Sports: ISU baseball’s winning streak halted at 12
The UNC-Wilmington Seahawks scored on a walk-off single in the ninth inning to end Indiana State’s 12-game winning streak in baseball with a 3-2 victory Friday at Brooks Field.
ISU trio reach NCAA track finals
Indiana State’s Greggmar Swift and Katie Wise both advanced to today’s finals in their respective events on the first day of the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships hosted by the University of New Mexico.
VIDEO: ISU defeats Loyola in MVC women's tournament
Marina Laramie led the Sycamores with nine of her 15 points in the second half. The sophomore from nearby O’Fallon, Mo., had six of those points during a 9-2 ISU run after halftime.
VIDEO: Mahan's 17 rebounds among five best totals in league tournament history
The toughness — both mental and physical — of Marina Laramie and Racheal Mahan — is a big reason the Indiana State women’s basketball team won five games in a row to close the regular season.
The resolve of the Sycamore post duo was put to the test Friday in the MVC Tournament quarterfinals, and Laramie and Mahan were up to the task.
ISU men await postseason fate
Indiana State’s men’s basketball team returned to practice on Friday without a team or a tournament to prepare for.
Abrams leads Illini over IU in Big Ten tournament
Now, Indiana waits.
To see if the NIT wants the Hoosiers for an at-large berth.
To see if Noah Vonleh will head to the NBA after one season in Bloomington.
No. 24 Ohio State holds off Purdue 63-61
Purdue men’s basketball coach Matt Painter appreciated his team’s effort Thursday.
He still didn’t like the numbers on the box score — or the scoreboard.
Aaron Craft and LaQuinton Ross combined to score nine points in a late 12-4 run that gave No. 24 Ohio State control and the Buckeyes held on for a 63-61 win — only after Terone Johnson’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer came up short in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.
ISU’s Abdul-Qaadir, Munn All-MVC selections
Senior guards Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir and Anna Munn have both been named to Missouri Valley Conference All-Conference teams, announced by the league on Wednesday. Abdul-Qaadir earned a spot on the first-team while Munn was named honorable mention.
History in making?: Indiana, Purdue need to reverse recent trends to keep offseason hopes alive
The state’s two Big Ten schools could begin the offseason as soon as tonight, depending on how they fare in the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament.
Metro sports: ‘Lucky Lou’ strikes again on golf course
Retired Public Service Indiana employee Lou Mundell, a lifelong resident of Terre Haute, posted the fifth hole-in-one of his life Tuesday afternoon at the Harder Hall Country Club golf course in his winter home of Sebring.
METRO ROUNDUP: ISU softball splits pair in Florida
Pitching dominated Tuesday’s opening day of play in the Rebel Spring Games for the Indiana State softball team, which defeated Bucknell 2-0 before falling 2-0 to Creighton.
“The girls did a great job in the first game getting a couple runs,” ISU coach Shane Bouman said. “We leaned on [sophomore] Yvette Alvarez who pitched really well. We probably got as much as we could out of her and probably should have changed earlier so put that on me. We have a couple little things we can clean up and get a little better and we will be ready to go tomorrow.”
Oh snap: Reed's 18-game hitting streak falls in No. 20 UK's loss at No. 16 IU
No. 16 Indiana mounted two-run rallies in the first and fourth innings and the Hoosiers ended the hitting streak of Terre Haute native A.J. Reed at 18 games to post a 7-2 win over No. 20 Kentucky on Tuesday.
Despite going hitless, Reed remains the NCAA leader in home runs (8) and RBI (28) for a potent Wildcats’ offense.
Kentucky (13-4) dropped its first game with the Hoosiers in the last four meetings, with the meeting marking the first time in modern UK history (2003-present) that the two teams faced off as top-20 foes.
Munn named MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Indiana State leads the Missouri Valley with six of the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards after Anna Munn earned the recognition Tuesday for the 2013-14 season.
Munn joins Kourtney Mennen (2003), Melanie Boeglin (2006), Laura Rudolphi (2007) and Kelsey Luna (2009 and 2010) as winners of the award, which began in 2002.
ISU win streak at 12
Ryan Keaffaber recorded his sixth save in seven opportunities Monday as Indiana State won its 12th straight college baseball game, holding off a rally by visiting Western Illinois for a 7-4 victory on Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium.
Another Rose freshman making big splash
The Rose-Hulman men’s swimming team received a much-needed boost last season when a talented freshman from Ohio entered to set school records, rack up conference titles and qualify for the NCAA Division III championships. So when the Rose women’s swimming team needed a boost this season, what did it do? Yep, the Engineers found another talented freshman from Ohio to do pretty much the same things.
Metro sports: Indiana State's Abdul-Qaadir honored by MVC again
Bilquis Abdul-Qaadir of Indiana State has been named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week for women’s basketball, the league announced Monday.
Guts, sweat, tears: Sycamores fall to perfect Shockers
No one on Indiana State’s men’s basketball needed to say a word about the Sycamores’ 83-69 loss to Wichita State in Sunday’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game.
Todd Golden: Sycamores ran with the best
It’s hard to run with Secretariat. Secretariat, for the uninitiated, won horse racing’s Triple Crown in 1973 and famously stormed to victory in the Belmont Stakes by an unfathomable 31 lengths. Secretariat is widely considered to be the greatest thoroughbred of all time, and his Belmont performance is one of sports’ all-time greatest moments. In Missouri Valley Conference terms, Wichita State is Secretariat.
FROM THE PRESS BOX: Odum rises to WSU challenge
When you’re getting ready to play the No. 2 team in the country — the undefeated No. 2 team in the country and the best Missouri Valley Conference team in a generation — the unwritten rule says you’re not supposed to rile them. That you’re not supposed to poke the hornet’s nest.
Clock problems delay start of Indiana State semifinal game
Time stood still in Scottrade Center on Saturday.
Not by design.
Sycamores advance to Arch Madness title game
No one said advancing to the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball tournament championship game was going to be easy.
ISU women grab share of MVC regular-season title
The preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorite lived up to its expectations, as the Indiana State women’s basketball team grabbed a piece of the regular-season title with an 85-72 triumph over host Northern Iowa on Saturday afternoon inside McLeod Center.
Robinson leads No. 12 Michigan over Indiana
Glenn Robinson scored 20 points, including a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 1:10 to play, and Jordan Morgan had a double-double in his final home game to help No. 12 Michigan finish off its Big Ten championship season with an 84-80 victory over Indiana on Saturday night.
Michigan (23-7 15-3) avenged last year’s defeat in the last game of the regular season. In that game, Morgan’s tap-in rolled off the rim as time expired, giving the Hoosiers the victory and costing the Wolverines a share of the conference title.
ISU headed to MVC title game
Indiana State defeated Southern Illinois 62-59 on Saturday to advance to Arch Madness championship game.
Ramblin’ On: Sycamores use defensive stops to reach Missouri Valley semifinals
It sounds counter-intuitive, but to go forward in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament you must first get stops. In Friday’s MVC Tournament quarterfinal against Loyola, ISU followed that bit of zen to a tee. The Sycamores never let the Ramblers get comfortable offensively and put a hammer-lock on Loyola standout Milton Doyle. ISU rode its defense to an easy 75-62 victory at Scottrade Center.
ISU baseball looking to carry success home
Indiana State had pitching questions coming into the season, having lost its entire starting staff from a year ago.
So far anyway, those questions have been answered. The Sycamores are 9-1 going into their home opener today against Western Illinois.
Metro sports: Rose-Hulman picks up baseball win
A late run in the eighth-inning broke a 4-all tie and proved to be the game winner for Rockford College in a 5-4 decision over the Rose-Hulman baseball team Friday at the Chain of Lakes Complex.
Indiana State women move within one win from MVC title
Senior Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir had 23 points to lead Indiana State to a 73-71 win at Drake on Thursday. The point guard led four Sycamores in double figures in the win.
Anna Munn, Jasmine Grier and Chelsea Small each chipped in 11 points as ISU shot 10-of-21 from 3-point range as a team.
Sycamores rejuvenated heading into MVC Tournament quarterfinals
Indiana State point guard Jake Odum is sick-and-tired of being sick and tired.
He’s tired of hearing about the team’s three-game losing streak. He’s tired of the Sycamores playing below par. He’s tired of the team not fulfilling its potential.
He plans to do something about it this weekend. Second-seeded ISU begins its Missouri Valley Conference Tournament trek at 7:05 p.m. tonight against either No. 10 Loyola.
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