TERRE HAUTE —
There is a significant amount of buzz entering Indiana State’s 2013-14 men’s basketball season.
A less kind way to define buzz is to call it noise.
The noise comes from fans, alumni, the media ... even the Sycamores themselves at times. Some of the noise sings ISU’s praises, some raises doubt, but either way the way noise is ever-present.
In a fascinating 18-15 2013 season, the Sycamores learned that they have to take care of themselves and not worry about the noise.
“We think about that a lot. Coach [Greg Lansing] is always saying that what other people think doesn’t matter and we have to take every game at a time. We want to keep the same routine, we want focus to be an every-day thing instead of looking too far down the road,” guard Dawon Cummings said.
ISU’s players have tried to figure out the lessons of their 2013 season since it ended in the National Invitational Tournament at Iowa in March. For the most part, it was a positive campaign with wins over nationally heralded Mississippi, Miami, Wichita State and Creighton. Unfortunately, ISU’s seven losses in its last nine games kept the Sycamores from reaching their full potential.
“We had good preparation, but we psyched ourselves sometimes thinking that we were too good or that we weren’t good enough. We need to focus on our preparation this year more than anything,” guard Devonte Brown said.
Point guard Jake Odum stressed game-to-game focus. Like many of his teammates, the lesson taken from the high highs and the low lows of 2013 was that the team took its eye off the ball in that department. Odum also believes maintaining an even emotional keel is something that can be learned too.
“We can’t forget about some of the good times we had last year and some of the bad times. Say we go on a streak and win a few games in a row. We can’t forget how the season ended. If we lose a few in a row, we can’t let that bring us down,” Odum said.
ISU — which seeks its fifth straight winning season — has pieces to be excellent and the stars are seemingly aligned in the MVC to help the Sycamores realize lofty goals.
ISU has more players back (nine) than any other MVC team. ISU has scoring threats at all five of its starting positions. Moreover, the departure of Creighton from the MVC cleared the field for a new contender to emerge to challenge Wichita State. No team is better placed than the Sycamores to do it.
“I think we’re as deep and as talented as we’ve been since I’ve been here. We have good upperclassmen, but talented underclassmen,” Lansing said.
Odum (13.6 ppg, 4.6 assists) is back for his final go-around in a Sycamore uniform and he stirs the drink. Odum has always been an excellent distributor as well as a clutch shot-maker. What he strives to do in his senior season is to strike the right balance between when to give and when to take.
“I need to understand when I need to score, when I need to pass, and its tough to find that even with all of the minutes I’ve played,” Odum said. “It might be at a certain four-minute point of the game where I need to shoot or where I need to pass. It’s tough to find that medium and understand the time to take over.”
Some of Odum’s best moments have come in late-game situations — he hit the game-winning shot to beat Miami a year ago — and he wants that mentality to come to the fore at other points of the game.
“The one thing I do know is I want the ball at the end of the game. It’s what I look forward to. It’s what I live for. I want to take the last-minute-of-the-game mentality into early parts of the game,” Odum said.
The rest of ISU’s projected starting lineup all played significant minutes last season. Shooting guard Cummings (6.4), swingman Khristian Smith (5.1) and forward Manny Arop (12 ppg) are all seeking improvement in their second year of ISU action.
Forward Justin Gant (7.5) seeks consistency. It’s no accident that when ISU was at its best in 2013, it was when Gant was locked in.
“Through the first half of conference last year, Justin was at an all-conference level, but he was like a lot of guys where he hadn’t played that many minutes and games and he ran out of gas a little bit,” Lansing said. “Justin has come so far. He’s maturing, getting stronger, getting tougher. He’s a huge key for how good we can be. If he can take it to another level, our team can take it to another level.”
ISU has enviable depth. Sophomore guard Brown (3.8) proved to be a two-tool player off the bench a year ago with his defense and driving ability. Senior guard Lucas Eitel (4.1) is experienced and can get hot from 3-point range. Junior center Jake Kitchell (2.7) had his moments last season and gives ISU bulk in the paint.
Two newcomers in the paint — freshman T.J. Bell and junior college transfer Demetrius Moore — are being counted on to help. Sophomore swingman Brandon Burnett (1.7) should see more action this season and can become a solid scorer if he can get his shot to fall consistently.
True freshmen Brenton Scott and Alex Etherington could be redshirted. If not, both will find playing time hard to come by.
ISU’s schedule will challenge the Sycamores. There are just four home nonconference games with difficult trips to Belmont, Notre Dame and Saint Louis. ISU plays in the Great Alaska Shootout with a solid mid-major field, including Tulsa and Harvard.
ISU men’s schedule
Saturday — Ball State, 1 p.m.
Nov. 14 — at Belmont, 8 p.m.
Nov. 17 — at Notre Dame, Noon
Nov. 22 — Truman State, 7 p.m.
Great Alaska Shootout
Nov. 27 — Tulsa, 11:30 p.m.
Nov. 29 — TCU or Alaska-Anchorage, 4 or 9:30 p.m.
Nov. 30 — TBA, TBA
Dec. 7 — at Eastern Illinois, 3 p.m.
Dec. 14 — at Missouri-Kansas City, 3 p.m.
Dec. 18 — at Saint Louis, 8 p.m.
Dec. 21 — IUPUI, 3:35 p.m.
Dec. 28 — Belmont, 1 p.m.
Jan. 1 — Loyola, 3 p.m.
Jan. 4 — at Evansville, 8 p.m.
Jan. 8 — at Drake, 8 p.m.
Jan. 11 — Bradley, 1 p.m.
Jan. 15 — Missouri State, 7 p.m.
Jan. 18 — at Wichita State, 4 p.m.
Jan. 22 — at Loyola, 8 p.m.
Jan. 25 — Illinois State, 6 p.m.
Jan. 29 — at Southern Illinois, 8 p.m.
Feb. 1 — at Northern Iowa, 8 p.m.
Feb. 5 — Wichita State, 8 p.m.
Feb. 9 — Drake, 3 p.m.
Feb. 12 — at Bradley, 8 p.m.
Feb. 15 — Southern Illinois, 1 p.m.
Feb. 19 — Evansville, 7 p.m.
Feb. 22 — at Missouri State, 1 p.m.
Feb. 26 — at Illinois State, 8 p.m.
March 1 — Northern Iowa, TBA
March 6-9 — MVC Tournament at St. Louis, TBA
ISU men’s basketball roster
0 Jake Kitchell C 6-10 Jr.
1 Alex Etherington G-f 6-5 Fr.
2 Lucas Eitel G 6-3 Sr.
3 Manny Arop G-F 6-5 Sr.
4 Brenton Scott G 6-1 Fr.
5 Justin Gant F 6-9 Jr.
11 Devonte Brown G 6-2 So.
12 Dawon Cummings G 6-3 Sr.
13 Jake Odum G 6-4 Sr.
15 Demetrius Moore F 6-7 Jr.
22 Brandon Burnett G 6-6 So.
30 Mike Samuels C 6-11 Jr.
32 Khristian Smith G-F 6-6 So.
42 T.J. Bell F-C 6-8 Fr.
TERRE HAUTE —
There is a significant amount of buzz entering Indiana State’s 2013-14 men’s basketball season.
ISU falls one step short at MVC women's semis
ISU's women's basketball team falls 66-58 to Drake in MVC women's tournament semifinals.
ISU’s Family Arena struggles continue
Indiana State’s women’s basketball postseason struggles continued Saturday in The Family Arena, site of the seventh neutral-site version of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
- Three All-Americans for ISU track at NCAA indoors
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.
- More College Headlines
- ISU falls one step short at MVC women's semis