TERRE HAUTE —
Fear-and-loathing. Weeping and knashing of teeth. Nervous trepidation.
All of the above emotions, and many more, were associated with the emphasis the NCAA rules committee put on officials to call hand-checking and contact fouls entering the season. Coaches and observers alike feared it could change the college game out of all recognition to the way that preceeded it.
In the first month of the season, many of those fears were realized. Teams entered the bonus and double-bonus periods much quicker than before. Free throw attempts sky-rocketed, along with the blood pressure of coaches, players, officials and others who didn’t know where they stood in basketball’s brave new foul-prone world.
Two months later, deep into the heart of conference play for most leagues, are games still being called the same as they were during the cacophony of whistles heard in November?
Missouri Valley Conference coaches didn’t come to a consensus on that topic or whether the still hotly-debated edict was a good idea or not.
Not surprisingly, Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson was most passionate about the issue.
“I’m extremely upset about it. We got a memo this week that it’s changing the game for the better and I absolutely think that’s a complete political spin and a scam,” Hinson said Tuesday during the MVC coaches teleconference.
“I’m not upset at the officials, I’m upset at the inconsistency we have in college officiating. We have officials that tell me night in and night out that they’re confused and don’t know how to call the game. It blows my mind. The consistency we’ve had this year has been awful,” he added.
Hinson didn’t address the frequency of calls, per se, but other coaches did.
“To be honest, they’re not calling it like they were at the beginning of the year. It would be nice if they want back. Foul trouble hasn’t been an issue like it was at the beginning of the season,” said Illinois State coach Dan Muller said.
Bradley coach Geno Ford thinks players have adjusted to the new way fouls are called, and thus, the calls themselves are down.
“The rules committee gave those guys an impossible job. For years, a good official’s goal was to blend in and not be a factor. Now it’s being emphasized to call everything. They were put in a tough spot. I think they’ve really been consistent with hand-checking and I think players have adjusted. I think that’s why you’re seeing less hand-check calls,” Ford said.
But that doesn’t mean everything’s hunky-dory. One call that has caused considerable consternation is when an offensive player dribbles into a defender, and regardless of whether the defender had legal position or not, the call goes against the defender.
“Anytime you give a guy a basketball and he wants to dribble straight into a crowd and throw his arms up in the air, knowing he’s going to get a foul called, I think that’s why the majority of people have gone to zone [defense] because of that,” Hinson said.
Consistency is the hobgoblin that most coaches think has been missing this season. Some games are called loose, others tight. It’s always been that way, but with the emphasis on making more calls, it’s harder than ever to know exactly where you stand, even in the scope of a single game.
“We’ve had games where one half you have seven fouls and another you have 20. I feel for the officials. They’re trying to do what they’re told to do. I don’t know that I’ve noticed a ton of difference [in the frequency of calls],” Indiana State coach Greg Lansing said.
Lansing said he believes the increase in scoring has less to do with freedom of movement and more to do with increased free throw attempts. Hinson agreed.
“It’s supposed to be free-flowing and it's not free-throwing. It’s just a free-throw-a-thon right now. It drives me nuts,” Hinson said.
Ford struck a middle ground. He acknowledged that contact fouls early in the season were generally called against defenders, but he thinks the situation has improved.
“You’re seeing some physicality allowed on the ball. In my opinion? Thank goodness. Whatever we were doing the first month of the season, I can’t imagine that’s what the rules committee hoped they would get. You couldn’t guard anyone. You almost had to sit down Indian-style and let a guy go. Now there’s some ability to defend,” Ford said.
• MVC notes — Drake is 11-0 when it wins the team rebounding battle. … Evansville’s starting five of D.J. Balentine, Egidijus Mockevicius, Blake Simmons, Adam Wing and Duane Gibson have played 73.4 percent of the Aces’ minutes this season. … Loyola’s Jeff White is the only MVC to rank in the MVC top 10 in field goal percentage and free throw percentage. … Northern Iowa’s Matt Bohannon is averaging 12 ppg in MVC play thanks to his 48.2 percent 3-point percentage in league games. … Missouri State’s Dorrian Williams is ranked in the top 10 nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.24. … Wichita State is ranked sixth in the nation in rebound differential (6.7) since Gregg Marshall became coach in 2007.
TERRE HAUTE —
Fear-and-loathing. Weeping and knashing of teeth. Nervous trepidation.
Immense power: A leaner A.J. Reed making play as elite prospect
Reed took his talents to Kentucky and the Southeastern Conference in 2011 and hasn’t looked back in the baseball sense. After a standout career at Terre Haute South — he was Indiana’s Player of the Year in 2011 — area fans had an idea of the wind Kentucky was sowing when it coaxed Reed to Lexington, Ky.
METRO ROUNDUP: Odum shines in Portsmouth Invitational
Former Indiana State guard Jake Odum had a productive first night at the Portsmouth Invitational late Thursday.
The Terre Haute native scored 16 points, had six assists and three steals for the Portsmouth Partnership team in its 88-81 victory over Cherry Bekaert.
ISU falls to Canisius in first of three-game road series
The Indiana State baseball team fell behind early and never could get the lead as host Canisius posted a 3-1 victory in the opener of a three-game series Friday at Demske Sports Complex.
The Sycamores (24-11) and Griffins (21-13) will meet again at 2 p.m. today, but the venue will switch to Dwyer Stadium in Batavia, N.Y. The same two teams also will play Sunday back at Demske Sports Complex in a noon start.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods sweeps doubleheader over Rose-Hulman
Over the years, defeating its crosstown rival has not usually been easy for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods or Rose-Hulman when they’ve met in college softball.
But on Wednesday afternoon at The Woods, the home team made its doubleheader sweep look easy to first-year coach Mark Feller with five-inning decisions of 10-0 and 11-1.
Terre Haute North grad O'Leary to transfer from Loyola
Matt O’Leary is one of three men's basketball players at Loyola recently granted a release from his scholarship from the Missouri Valley Conference school.
The former Terre Haute North standout told the Tribune-Star he doesn’t yet know his next move.
Rose-Hulman, Woods to face off on softball diamond
The Rose-Hulman softball team will visit a familiar foe today when the Engineers take on crosstown rival Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in a nonleague doubleheader.
ISU baseball holds off Eastern Illinois for 24th win
Indiana State freshman left-hander Ryan Keaffaber won his first game as a Sycamore and senior catcher Mike Fitzgerald went 3 for 3 as ISU defeated host Eastern Illinois 6-4 in college baseball Tuesday.
Top returners lead Cream over Crimson in Hoosiers' spring game
The Cream team at Saturday’s Cream and Crimson intrasquad game had Indiana’s top returning rusher and receiver and the Hoosiers’ top-rated passer from last season.
No surprise, then, that Tevin Coleman, Shane Wynn and Tre Roberson guided the Cream to a resounding 24-14 win over the Crimson.
Rose-Hulman baseball gets wild doubleheader sweep
Host Rose-Hulman came back from an early six-run deficit in the first game Saturday and went on to a 13-12, 7-1 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference baseball sweep over Mount St. Joseph.
The wild opener featured a Rose-Hulman comeback from an 8-2 deficit and included 18 hits and two school records for the Engineers.
METRO ROUNDUP: ISU softball earns doubleheader sweep at Missouri State
Yvette Alvarez’s one-hit shutout capped a dominant day of pitching Saturday as Indiana State swept a Missouri Valley Conference softball doubleheader at Missouri State by scores of 6-1 and 4-0.
“We pitched well,” coach Shane Bouman said. “Both Taylor Lockwood in the first game and Yvette Alvarez in the second game threw great. When you pitch good and you play good defense and get some key hits, good things are going to happen.
ISU football set for first spring scrimmage
Thanks to a limited number of available offensive linemen — a group that will at least double in numbers in the fall with the addition of recruits and currently injured players — the Sycamores won’t have a full-scale scrimmage, but will still intersperse scrimmage plays (with officials) among other practice drills.
“We’re thin,” coach Mike Sanford admitted after practice Thursday. “The scrimmage will be part of practice — probably 30 or 40 plays altogether. We only have five to seven healthy offensive linemen, so we can’t go [in a scrimmage format] for long stretches of time.”
METRO ROUNDUP: Waltman's funeral Saturday at Indianapolis
Royce Waltman’s visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at St. Luke’s Methodist Church at 100 E. 86th Street, Indianapolis.
ISU baseball falls to Vanderbilt 6-2
The seventh-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores took control early to defeat the Indiana State Sycamores 6-2
ISU baseball sweeps doubleheader against Wichita State
Indiana State baseball coach Mitch Hannahs finally got what he’s been looking for from the Sycamores’ Friday and Saturday starters ... and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorite Wichita State is in town for a crucial series. With ISU 2-4 in the league, it was vital for the Sycamores to validate their better-than-expected form in nonconference play with MVC success in Saturday’s doubleheader at Bob Warn Field.
METRO ROUNDUP: Rose-Hulman's nine-game winnings streak snapped
Rose-Hulman had its nine-game winning streak snapped with two tightly contested losses at defending Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference champion Manchester on Saturday.
Sycamores get commitment from junior-college point guard
Following Indiana State’s loss to Marquette in the WNIT, coach Teri Moren touched on the future of the program after the loss of Sycamore senior Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir.
Prusator gives ISU a shooter for 2015
Grant Prusator, a native of Rochelle, Ill., has made a verbal commitment to play basketball for Indiana State starting in the 2014-15 season. He will have three years of eligibility with the Sycamores as he played just one year for Highland Community College.
Metro sports: Locks of Love tournament today at Memorial Stadium
The Indiana State Women’s Soccer team will host its annual Locks of Love tournament today. The 4th annual event will begin at 9 a.m. at Memorial Stadium.
Indiana State secondary could be mending into a strength
During Indiana State’s injury-ravaged 2013 season, there wasn’t a unit on either side of the ball that was spared from the carnage.
But if one had to be singled out as hardest hit in the injury department, it would be difficult to out-do the Sycamores’ secondary.
Every player that started in ISU’s season opener at Indiana not only missed at least one game last season, but the entire starting unit was out of action by the end of September.
Reed named Midseason National Player of the Year
Half of the college baseball season is done and one prominent college baseball publication thinks Terre Haute’s A.J. Reed is best player in the land.
Reed, a junior at Kentucky, was named the Midseason National Player of the Year by Perfect Game USA, a website devoted to college baseball.
Laramie to transfer from ISU women's basketball program
Indiana State forward Marina Laramie averaged 9.9 points and started all 32 games as a sophomore for the Sycamores.
But the 6-foot-2 women’s basketball player will continue her career elsewhere.
Metro sports: ISU blanks Austin Peay in 6-plus innings
Indiana State’s baseball team posted another mid-week victory Wednesday night as four pitchers combined to throw a three-hit shutout and lead a 3-0 victory over Austin Peay State at Bob Warn Field.
Chicago guard commits to ISU women's basketball
The Indiana State women’s basketball team picked up a verbal commitment from Chicago guard Kiera Brooks on Tuesday.
The 5-foot-7 junior for North Lawndale College Prep visited ISU’s campus for the first time, met the team and chose her college home. Brooks averaged 18.7 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals for coach Corey Morgan’s 15-11 squad.
METRO ROUNDUP: ISU softball tops IU 7-5
The Indiana State softball team remained a perfect 13-0 when scoring in the first inning as it defeated Indiana (9-24-1) 7-5 Tuesday for its second consecutive victory over a Big Ten opponent.
Dedicated to helping others
It’s not like Marissa Stout is bored out of her mind and lacking for things to do.
Metro sports: ISU’s Stone, Riemenschneider honored by MVC
Indiana State junior Megan Stone and freshman Brooke Riemenschneider each earned Missouri Valley Conference Athlete of the Week honors, according to an announcement from the league office Monday.
ISU baseball shows mental toughness in win over Illinois State
When the pressure’s on, there’s nothing a coach likes more than to see his team double down on their approach and grit out a positive result.
Going the distance: Redbirds ace Savas allows just five hits while shutting down Sycamores
Indiana State’s pitchers weren’t their best in Friday’s series opener against Illinois State, but it seemed the Sycamores might get away with it. Through seven innings, ISU had issued six walks, gave up six hits and hit a batter, but still trailed by just a run. But ISU’s luck with its generosity would give out in the eighth, and even if it hadn’t, Illinois State standout starter Dan Savas had the Sycamores’ bats in a deep freeze anyway. The Redbirds defeated the Sycamores 5-2 at Bob Warn Field.
Woods softball team wins 4th straight
The Saint Mary-of-the-Woods softball team swept Grace College with a pair of wins in its home opener Wednesday.
Devoted brothers: Mahurins relish chance to team up and win NAIA title
It wasn’t a great year for NCAA basketball in the Hoosier state outside of Indiana State’s 23-victory season.
But a team in NAIA Division II with eight Indiana natives — and coached by former Valparaiso point guard Greg Tonagel, an Indiana All-Star for his hometown of LaPorte — brought home a national basketball championship.
Tonagel, the scrappy point guard who played alongside Bryce Drew for that magical Valpo team, created more March hoops memories with the help of Rockville brothers R.J. and Lane Mahurin.
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- Immense power: A leaner A.J. Reed making play as elite prospect