TERRE HAUTE —
For someone who missed an entire season due to a knee injury, Indiana State center FN Lutz has certainly kept himself visible since then.
Despite his injury — suffered on the last play of the spring game in 2012 — he was a constant presence at football practice. By the end of the season, he was running the scout team. He attended all games and watched from the press box as a quasi-player-coach.
The larger-than-life Lutz was also popular as ever amongst his teammates and on-campus. No more so than when he filmed a basketball promotional spot prior to ISU’s game against Creighton in February.
In an ad that featured ISU’s blimp comically exploding into the Creighton banner inside Hulman Center, he (loudly) implored Sycamore fans to show up for the game. The video became a TV advertisement and it went viral within the ISU community and the Missouri Valley Conference.
It served its intended purpose too as the game drew the largest student turnout during the 2012-13 season by a wide margin.
But the visibility Lutz had did not make up for the time lost when he missed the 2 012 season. Though he was visible, he felt invisible as far as being a contributor to ISU’s success.
“The hardest thing about the rehab was not being out here with the guys. I had to do my own thing during certain periods. In a way, I almost felt like I was letting the guys down by not being out there,” Lutz said.
Lutz will be out there to help the Sycamores in 2013 … and not a moment too soon. Along with veterans Paul Patrick, Adam Masters, Dakota Vermillion and Nick Rice, Lutz gives ISU an offensive line more experienced than expected given the extra year of eligibility he gained for the coming season.
Lutz — who was an All-MVC first team preseason selection last season despite his injury — is re-invigorated. He said there’s no physical side-effects from the ligament damage his suffered in his left knee on the final play of last year’s spring game, when his foot got caught in the Memorial Stadium field turf.
“It’s good to hit somebody. When you go a year without hitting somebody, it gets at you. It’s good to get back into the mentality. It’s not just schemes anymore, I can go out and do it,” Lutz said.
Lutz said that the new offense being implemented by ISU coach Mike Sanford has created some changes. There’s not as many calls as there had been in the past and he said the linemen have more flexibility within pass protection blocking than in the past.
Lutz’s impact on his team goes beyond his blocking. The personable Lafayette Harrison graduate has long been a unifying presence on the Sycamores, and while he was able to serve that role even without playing in 2012, his teammates have greater piece of mind when he’s on the field with them.
“FN is an all-around leader. He does a great job. He’s old, not in health, but he’s old on the field. He’s played these teams for years,” ISU running back Shakir Bell said. “FN is an All-American type of guy. He’s been one of the best assets to that front five since I’ve been here. It was really tough running without him last year, but it’s a blessing to have him back this year.”
Lutz said he learned a lot during his one-year absence from the field and he felt his time off might pay dividends for him this year.
“I got to know a lot of the freshmen on the scout defensive line and I really learned the game from a mental aspect sitting up in the box charting players. It gave me a birdseye view of what goes on,” Lutz said.
Sanford is pleased to have Lutz as an anchor for the offensive line. Lutz’s reputation preceded him … even before Sanford accepted the ISU job.
“I heard about him through the interview process. Ron Prettyman talked about what a good person and leader he is. He came to the press conference when I was hired. I think it set the tone for the kind of guy he is. I’m impressed he’s our center,” Sanford said.
As for Lutz’s career in commercials, he was not asked to appear in another spot after the ISU-Creighton men’s basketball game. He joked that he needed, “… an agent to find out what’s going on?”
“It was fun helping get people to games. It’s important to have that fanbase for our sports,” Lutz said.
n Scrimmage today — ISU will have its second spring football scrimmage at 3:30 p.m. today. Last week’s scrimmage was interspersed into regular practice time, but Sanford said today’s version would go from start-to-finish.
“It’ll be more of a scrimmage the whole way. We’re going to work different situations. We’ll do goal line, coming out [backed up against goal line], we’ll do some normal move-the-ball situations and we’ll concentrate on third downs,” Sanford said. “We’ll do some red zone and overtime situations. We’ll go all-live until the end when we do a two-minute.”
A snow day on March 26 postponed a scheduled practice to this past Monday. ISU will have had four practices by week’s end. It’s about as close in the spring as a team gets to replicating regular season practice time. Sanford wasn’t surprised at what it revealed.
“By design, we wanted to get stronger in the offseason and we didn’t condition. One thing we’ve noticed is we have to get in better condition. We’ve reminded ourselves of that this week. We had a very physical practice on Monday, helmets and shoulder pads on Tuesday and helmets and shorts on Thursday. We got a lot out of it,” Sanford said.
ISU has one week of spring practice left. The Spring Game will be played at 3 p.m. on April 20.
Sycamore football team to scrimmage today
TERRE HAUTE —
For someone who missed an entire season due to a knee injury, Indiana State center FN Lutz has certainly kept himself visible since then.
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.
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.
- More College Headlines
- ISU’s Abdul-Qaadir, Munn All-MVC selections