TERRE HAUTE —
The progress Indiana State’s men’s basketball team has made over the last two weeks is considerable.
The Sycamores own three wins over teams that were in the RPI top 50 at the time the teams were beaten. ISU has won four out of its last five, with the only setback a close loss to No. 19 San Diego State in Hawaii.
The reward for ISU is that it’s ranked in the high 20s or low 30s in the RPI, depending on which method is used. Its strength of schedule is even better, ranking near 20th in the nation.
While it’s absurdly early to put much stock in RPI rankings on Jan. 2, on their current path, the Sycamores would be in the conversation for an NCAA Tournament at-large bid.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the Sycamores’ recent success is that they’ve enjoyed it despite the fact that there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
ISU has not always played its best, and yet, has found ways to win. While that’s been an encouraging sign, the Sycamores can ill afford to let anything slip as it heads to Northern Iowa at 8 p.m. tonight for its first MVC road game.
“Oh man, there’s so much room for improvement. I think we’re so far away from our potential. We realize that and that’s why we haven’t been paying too much attention to these last few games,” ISU forward Manny Arop said.
Sometimes teams will ride a collective hot hand to string together a series of wins, but that hasn’t been the case for the Sycamores.
While players like Justin Gant and Devonte Brown have made significant improvements, others, like Dawon Cummings and Khristian Smith, have struggled from the field.
Cummings is 3-for-18 from the field in ISU’s last three games. Smith has averaged three points per game and is 6-for-30 from the field in ISU’s last four games. Both, however, have made their presence felt on the defensive end.
“The nice thing about these guys is they realize they can improve. All of them can get better, coaches included. I don’t think we’ve scratched the surface of how good we can be. The harder we go at it in practice, we’ll get better faster too,” ISU coach Greg Lansing said.
Other regulars have struggled at times too. Jake Odum has admitted after recent games that he could play better. Arop has also forced the issue offensively at times, though both players have been very valuable at other times.
“They’ve talked to me about reading the defenses better. I need to get my feet in the paint and create more. We’re talking about reading and reacting,” Arop said.
Within the Missouri Valley Conference, ISU’s team stats are pedestrian. ISU ranks seventh in scoring (68.4), eighth in scoring defense (66.2) and ninth in scoring margin (+2.2) and shooting (42.1).
Despite being one of the top three RPI teams in the MVC at present, the Sycamores only rate in tje top three in two team statistical categories: rebounding (second at 36.5) and defensive rebounds (second at 26.4).
Northern Iowa, picked to finish third in the MVC, has a veteran team as all five of its starters have significant experience.
With their veteran presence, the Panthers loaded up their nonconference schedule. UNI (7-6, 0-1) went 0-3 at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas and also lost to Iowa and UNLV. The Panthers defeated George Mason and St. Mary’s.
The Panthers opened MVC play at Wichita State on Sunday and struggled badly in a 66-41 loss. At one point, the Shockers led by 30 as the Panthers struggled mightily to score. UNI had just 18 points at halftime.
Despite the heavy loss, UNI coach Ben Jacobson remained high on his team
“I don’t think you can beat a team like St. Mary’s a week ago and have a game like this, then start to wonder how good you are,” said Jacobson after Sunday’s loss, as reported by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls (Iowa) Courier. “I don’t think that’s an issue right now, at all.”
Lansing feels the same way. Much as ISU does, UNI wants to grind games out. UNI also tries to limit possessions, so each trip down the floor has to be valued by the Sycamores. Turnovers, in particular, have to be kept to a minimum.
Though they are prone to offensive lapses, the Panthers are a tough out, despite the fact ISU has won three of the last four in the series.
“We have to be patient and we have to defend for a longer stretch. They’re not a team like Illinois State where they’re looking for transition. They’ll grind us, so we need discipline on defense,” Arop said.
ISU split the series with UNI last season with each team winning on its home floor.
Sycamores looking for 2-0 start in Missouri Valley
TERRE HAUTE —
The progress Indiana State’s men’s basketball team has made over the last two weeks is considerable.
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.
Rose-Hulman seniors lead Engineers into NCAA Division III Tournament
For Rose-Hulman’s six senior men’s basketball players, this weekend will mark the beginning of their third and final appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament.
Having left Terre Haute by bus Thursday, Rose (22-5) will open the Division III four-team regional at Hope College in Holland, Mich., today against Wheaton College (19-8) at the unique time of 5:30 p.m.
Coach Jim Shaw’s Engineers are coming off Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) regular-season and tournament championships for the second consecutive year.
ISU women seek top MVC seed
Defense and rebounding are the staples of Teri Moren’s fourth Indiana State team, a squad that hits the road trying to defend and rebound its way to a regular-season conference title. The Sycamores women’s basketball can clinch the No. 1 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference with wins tonight against Drake and Saturday against Northern Iowa.
Nebraska completes sweep of Indiana
Indiana’s slim hopes of an NCAA Tournament bid are all but done, unless the Hoosiers can win the Big Ten Tournament. Nebraska never trailed Wednesday night, completing a season sweep of the Hoosiers with a 70-60 win. The loss ensures a losing conference record for IU (17-13, 7-10 Big Ten) while boosting the Huskers’ chances at an at-large berth.
ISU reserve Smith earns two MVC honors
Indiana State sophomore Khristian Smith has been named to the Missouri Valley Conference’s All-Bench and Most Improved Teams, according to an announcement by the league office Wednesday.
Two Sycamores with Scott during Saturday incident
A Vigo County’s Sheriff’s case report of Brenton Scott’s arrest last Saturday indicated that Scott, an Indiana State basketball player, tried to pass himself off as his twin brother and that two of his teammates were with him at the time of the incident.
Metro Sports: Sycamores to be represented at NCAA indoors
Three members of the Indiana State track and field team will compete in the 2014 NCAA indoor championships March 14-15 at Albuquerque, N.M. Senior Greggmar Swift will represent the men, while sophomore Katie Wise and senior Mary Theisen will represent the women.
Rose meets Wheaton in NCAA opener
Rose-Hulman will open its third straight trip to the NCAA Division III basketball tournament at 5:30 p.m. Friday when the Engineers play Wheaton in a four-team regional hosted by Hope College.
Metro: No ISU baseball today; home opener now Friday
Indiana State’s baseball home opener that was to be played today has been pushed back, according to Sycamore head coach Mitch Hannahs.
ISU's Scott booked for OWI, possession
Indiana State men's basketball player Brenton Scott was booked into the Vigo County Jail on Saturday for operating while intoxicated, possession of marijuana/hash, possession of paraphenalia and false reporting/informing.
Odum can't get roll on game-winning attempt on Senior Day
The storybook was ready to be opened at Hulman Center on Saturday.
Down two with 4.5 seconds to go, Indiana State rebounded a free throw miss by Northern Iowa’s Seth Tuttle. ISU senior point guard Odum timed his dash perfectly up the floor. He released his shot from just behind the 3-point line at just the right second. The shot was true and online.
TODD GOLDEN: Lansing's belief in his team has not wavered
In the wake of Indiana State’s 71-69 loss to Northern Iowa on Saturday, and the three-game losing streak that comes with it, ISU coach Greg Lansing wanted to get one point across crystal clear in his postgame press conference.
VIDEO: Munn has made her mark on ISU women's program
Anna Munn has been a dependable leader in the Indiana State women’s basketball program. Her leadership has helped coach Teri Moren build to back-to-back 10-or-more win seasons in the Missouri Valley the last two years.
Rose-Hulman wins third straight HCAC tournament crown
Tied with Hanover 26-26 at halftime of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball championship game Saturday night, host Rose-Hulman knew it had a couple of things in its favor.
Rolling along: Third straight victory helps Sycamores tie for second in MVC
Aside from Teri Moren sticking with her pink Chuck Taylor shoes on the sideline for superstitious reasons, Indiana State’s three-game winning streak can be explained by strong play in nearly every aspect of the game.
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- ISU win streak at 12