News From Terre Haute, Indiana

College

October 27, 2010

FROM THE PRESS BOX: Don’t get too worked up about preseason polls

ST. LOUIS — The Indiana State men were picked where in the MVC Preseason poll?

The Sycamores tied for fifth last year and have seven players back from a postseason team. Terre Haute is so excited about this team. They had to be picked in the top half of the league, right?

Wait ... they were picked seventh?

Horror!

The women’s team — with a new coach, a new attitude, a lot of returning talent, and a tradition of league success — they should be a lead-pipe cinch to be in the top half of the league. Shouldn’t they?

They were picked eighth? Really? They occupy the worst MVC preseason position for the ISU women since 1997?

Shock!

It would be a surprise if fans of ISU’s basketball programs agreed with league observers as to where they rate in the MVC pecking order. It wouldn’t be a surprise to assume that many ISU fans are going to be disappointed, perhaps even angry, over the perceived lack of respect.

But don’t let it get to you. Certainly, the players don’t waste too much time worrying about it. During Tuesday’s Missouri Valley Conference media day in St. Louis, the ISU men were represented by Jake Kelly and Dwayne Lathan and the women by Kelsie Cooley. None of them were overly concerned about how and where they’re perceived.

“It’s too easy to get caught up in how other people think. We have to focus on how what we do as a team, how we practice, how we approach games. If we do that, things will take care of themselves,” Cooley said.

“It’s nothing we’re not used to, but we want to prove ourselves even more this year because we lost Harry [Marshall], Rashad [Reed] and Josh [Crawford]. We have a new coach, a new system, we have to prove ourselves,” Lathan said.

Their perspective makes sense. Much less so than fans, or even coaches, players have their own jobs to worry about. They ultimately have to put a program’s money where its mouth is. They have their own expectations that the public often doesn’t know about and that sometimes doesn’t jive with even their own fans’ perceptions.

In other words, it would be a waste of a player’s time to spend any time worrying about what other people think about them.

“As a competitor, you think you’re the best. You’re not going to let someone else’s opinion affect you,” ISU guard Jake Kelly said.

Preseason polls are fun. They generate discussion. Nearly all of the league’s observers — coaches, sports information directors, radio play-by-play men and newspaper beat writers comprise the voting pool — take the polls very seriously when they do their voting. I know I’m in a constant state of assessment throughout the off-season before I turn in my poll every year ... and that still doesn’t make it easy when it comes time to put choices down to pen and paper.

If there are agendas amongst the voters — and I don’t think there are among the vast majority of them — there’s nothing to be gained it. Sometimes traditonal powers get the benefit of the doubt versus an emerging program, and that might be biting ISU a bit at present, but that has far more to do with human nature than it does any kind of organized “conspiracy.”

That doesn’t mean the players don’t create a pecking order of their own in private. Focused on their own jobs though they may be, they’re not completely insular. It’s also their job to have at least a cursory knowledge of the teams in the rest of the league, so privately, they play the same game the public and media do when it comes to sizing up the competition.

“There’s teams we’re worried about and there’s teams we’re not worried about. That’s how I think about it. We talk about where we are too and I definitely don’t think we’re seventh,” Lathan said.

“You have to give your own team first, but we do talk about who’s got who back, we compare the teams, but we ignore the fact that people think we’re seventh,” Kelly said.

In the end, preseason polls ultimately mean nothing. The only time a team’s place in the polls is remembered is when they greatly exceed expectations — as Drake did in 2008 when it won the MVC championship — or vice versa.

The beauty of basketball, as opposed to FCS football, is that polls have zero bearing on who makes the postseason. Preseason polls matter a little bit in major college football because it sets the table for the rest of the season. Basketball doesn’t have to worry about that.

And certainly, within the framework of the MVC, the round-robin schedule determines a true champion. The Sycamores will get their chance to prove they’re better than seventh and eighth, respectively, in the fairest way possible ... by playing everyone twice.

So don’t sweat the preseason polls too much. In a couple of weeks, when the real games begin, you’ll have likely forgotten what you were upset about.

Todd Golden is sports editor of the Terre Haute Tribune-Star. He can be reached at (812) 231-4272 or todd.golden@tribstar.com. Check out Golden’s blog at blogs.tribstar.com/downinthevalley.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
College
  • ISU basketball trio earn national academic honors

    A trio of Indiana State basketball student-athletes have been named to the 2013-14 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court as announced by the national organization. Honored from Indiana State were Lucas Eitel, Justin Gant and Jake Kitchell.

    July 23, 2014

  • Metro roundup: Post 346 rallies past Rockville

    Wayne Newton Post 346 scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to get past Rockville 6-3 in an American Legion baseball regional at Terre Haute North on Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Truebytower.jpg Memorable experience in Morocco for ISU soccer team could help team's growth

    Coming off the best season in its history, the Indiana State women’s soccer team figures to have the experience to do even better in the upcoming fall season.
    Or maybe that’s #TheExperience.

    July 23, 2014 11 Photos

  • Metro: Former Miss Softball joins Purdue staff

    Terre Haute North graduate Megan Ciolli Bartlett, the state’s 2001 Miss Softball and a two-time All-American at Notre Dame, is joining the Purdue coaching staff.

    July 21, 2014

  • Metro: ISU graduate Johnson sixth in shot at Monaco

    Indiana State graduate Felisha Johnson competed in her first International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League track and field meeting Friday, placing sixth in a shot put competition that featured six of the top seven throwers in the world for 2014.

    July 18, 2014

  • ReedUK.jpg A.J. Reed makes it 5 for 5 in college baseball awards with Golden Spikes Award

    When it came down to it, college baseball’s electors agreed that there was no award Terre Haute’s A.J. Reed didn’t deserve for his remarkable 2014 season at Kentucky.
    Reed was selected Thursday as the 2014 Golden Spikes Award winner, given annually to the top amateur player in the nation by USA Baseball, making Reed a unanimous pick as the national player of the year.

    July 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • MVC to shift women's basketball tournament to Moline, Ill.

    The Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament will move 90 miles farther from Terre Haute beginning in 2016, the league announced Thursday.

    July 17, 2014

  • Metro: ISU-IU football game to be on ESPNEWS

    Indiana University announced Wednesday that the season opening game between Indiana State and IU will be played at noon on Sept. 30.

    July 16, 2014

  • Riley 10s go 4-1, place second in state tourney

    Riley’s 10-and-under all-star team finished as runner-up over the weekend at the Cal Ripken baseball Central Indiana tournament.

    July 14, 2014

  • Odum heads for Vegas with Kings summer team

    Terre Haute native Jake Odum scored three points in the Indiana Pacers’ 84-74 victory on Thursday over the Miami Heat in the Orlando Summer League.

    July 11, 2014

  • odum.jpg Odum has 5 points for Pacers in summer play

    Former Indiana State standout Jake Odum contributed five points, three assists and a steal in 15 minutes on the court Wednesday for the Indiana Pacers summer league team.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • MVC Tournament staying in St. Louis until 2018

    Missouri Valley Conference men's tournament staying in St. Louis until 2018.

    July 9, 2014

  • mundy.jpg College report: Former Patriot runner Mundy is ‘proud to be a Hoosier’

    After redshirting the indoor and outdoor track and field seasons this year, Chanli Mundy was eager to do one thing recently as she prepared to compete in the USATF Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Eugene, Oregon. “The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is being able to wear an IU uniform,” she said last week prior to making her cross-country trip.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Odum scores 2 points off bench for Pacers

    Three of the top picks in last month’s draft are adjusting to NBA at different speeds at the Orlando Pro Summer League.

    July 7, 2014

  • Terre Haute's A.J. Reed joins Manziel as an SEC Athlete of Year

    University of Kentucky baseball star A.J. Reed of Terre Haute and Florida softball standout Hannah Rogers have been named 2013-14 Roy F. Kramer Southeastern Conference Male and Female Athletes of the Year, according to a voting by the league’s athletics directors.
    “A.J. and Hannah are true examples of outstanding student-athletes,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said Tuesday. “They have competed at the highest level of collegiate athletics, and through their hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence, have been successful in their endeavors. They are fine representatives of their universities and this conference.”

    July 1, 2014

  • SPT063014 loyd .jpg A new era: ‘Bittersweet day’ as Loyd takes over for ailing Shaw as Rose-Hulman men’s basketball coach

    Rose-Hulman President James Conwell couldn’t have been more accurate Monday afternoon when he called it “a bittersweet day” for his school.

    June 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Reed adds two-way award to collection

    Seeking to become the third unanimous national Player of the Year in Southeastern Conference history, Terre Haute’s A.J. Reed has been named winner of the 2014 John Olerud Award, given annually to the nation’s top two-way player, according to an announcement Friday from the College Baseball Hall of Fame.

    June 27, 2014

  • Metro: ISU’s Wise starts out well in USATF championships

    Indiana State sprinter Katie Wise advanced to the semifinals of the women’s 100 meters as she ran 11.42 seconds in the opening heat of the event Thursday evening at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships.

    June 27, 2014

  • SPT021914ISUMBB odum.jpg ISU's Odum talks about agreeing to play for Pacers' summer-league team

    No team selected him in the two-round NBA draft Thursday night, but Terre Haute native and four-year Indiana State basketball standout Jake Odum agreed Friday to play for the Indiana Pacers’ summer-league squad next month.

    June 27, 2014 1 Photo 4 Stories

  • SPT 030914 ODUM FILE.jpg Steady success: ISU continued to climb ladder with one of its best overall seasons ever

    First of all, if you’re an Indiana State fan, stand up and applaud. The Sycamores collectively went where only one Sycamore athletic department went before in 2013-14. ISU finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference All-Sports Trophy standings. ISU recorded a score of 3.538, its highest in school history.

    June 25, 2014 6 Photos

  • Metro roundup: Odum to work out with Lakers

    Terre Haute native and former Indiana State guard Jake Odum will have two more workouts before next Thursday’s NBA Draft. Odum will work out with the Los Angeles Lakers today. Odum will have a second workout with the Orlando Magic next week before the draft.

    June 20, 2014 1 Story

  • Terre Haute’s Reed earns 4th national honor

    Recent University of Kentucky standout A.J. Reed has been named National Player of the Year and first-team All-America, according to an announcement made Wednesday afternoon by the American Baseball Coaches Association.

    June 18, 2014

  • NCAA Championships At_Pear.jpg Swift breaks ISU hurdles record, takes fourth place at NCAAs

    Senior Greggmar Swift broke the school record in the 110 meter hurdles, as Indiana State picked up two All-Americans in the final day of the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Swift’s five points in the event gave the men’s team five points for the meet and a 44th place finish in the nation. The women got 3 points from Mary Theisen in the shot put to place 51st in the nation.

    June 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • A.J. Reed chosen as 28th Dick Howser Trophy recipient

    University of Kentucky junior pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed, who enjoyed possibly the greatest individual season in UK history in 2014, is the 28th recipient of the Dick Howser Trophy, presented by Easton Foundations, as college baseball’s Player of the Year.
    The presentation was made Saturday during a national news conference at TD Ameritrade Park, site of the 2014 College World Series.
     

    June 14, 2014

  • SPT061214 ISUMBB parker.jpg New ISU coach Parker makes first impression

    Indiana State assistant coach Terry Parker hasn’t had too much time to make a first impression.
    Officially hired in late April, but identified as Dave Ragland’s replacement on Greg Lansing’s staff long before that, there haven’t been many team activities for Parker to take part in since he joined ISU’s staff from Utah Valley.

    June 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Greggmar Swift advances to NCAA hurdles final

    Greggmar Swift advanced to the finals of the 110-meter hurdles to highlight Indiana State’s performances during day two of the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field.

    June 13, 2014

  • SPT 112313 NCAA 01MASCARI.jpg Terre Haute's Mascari earns All-American finish in 10,000 meters

    Indiana State sophomore John Mascari finished 11th in the NCAA Championships in the 10,000-meter run Wednesday night at historic Hayward Field.

    June 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Reed signs with Astros

    A.J. Reed’s Wednesday was already pretty good when he was named Baseball America’s College Player of the Year in the morning. In the afternoon, it got even better for the Terre Haute native. The Houston Astros, who drafted Reed with the first pick of the second round in last week’s Major League Baseball draft, announced that they had agreed to a deal with Reed. According to several sources, Reed signed his deal for $1.35 million.

    June 11, 2014

  • Metro sports: Cassell wins Lawrence County title

    Chris Cassell put together two rounds of 4-under-par 68 for a two-shot victory for his first Albright Motors Lawrence County Open championship on Sunday.

    June 9, 2014

  • Pair of Sycamores selected in Major League Baseball draft

    Two Indiana State baseball players were chosen in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft Saturday.
    Senior shortstop Tyler Wampler, a 2010 graduate of West Vigo High School, went to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 17th round (519th overall) and junior catcher Mike Fitzgerald went to the San Diego Padres in the 27th round (807th overall).

    June 7, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel
NDN Video
Facebook Is Officially A Mobile Company 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity