News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

College

May 26, 2012

FROM THE PRESS BOX: ISU baseball has pluses, minuses for tourney bid

TERRE HAUTE —

Last Thursday, when Indiana State’s baseball jumped around in a celebratory dogpile after clinching the Missouri Valley Conference regular season championship at Bob Warn Field, no one thought that a little over a week later, the dreaded NCAA Tournament bubble would fly over Terre Haute.

But here the Sycamores are. ISU’s bubble will fly precariously until noon Monday when the NCAA field is unveiled.

Cinderella will have no place at ISU’s table this weekend. The more favorites who win in the conference tournaments, the better for the Sycamores. Any team in the RPI top 50 that advances in the conference tournaments is ISU’s friend.

ISU got no help from its conference brethren. A MVC bid will be stolen by either Southern Illinois or Creighton tonight in the MVC championship game.

With a better Ratings Percentage Index number and longer MVC Tournament run, Missouri State is considered to have a stronger case than ISU does to get a NCAA at-large bid.

Wichita State has a better RPI than ISU too, but the Shockers’ overall record is far weaker and ISU won the season series. Most believe if the MVC gets three bids, ISU would be the third team.

This is in spite of the fact that the Sycamores have lost four in a row and went 0-2 in the MVC Tournament. It’s hard to deny that the Sycamores have thrust themselves into the precarious position they’re in. There’s not much to do but sweat it out.

“We really haven’t done a whole lot. We’re going to practice on [Saturday] morning and scrimmage. Same thing on Sunday. All of us are anxious to find out though. It’s never fun to wait,” said ISU coach Rick Heller, who noted that he’s done “a lot” of scoreboard watching.

Heller, of course, believes the 41-17 Sycamores did enough during the regular season to merit selection to the 64-team NCAA Tournament field.

“I think the strongest case is the fact that we played great all year long. We were really consistent,” Heller said. “The fact that we won the Valley when it was as tough as it was in the last 25 years helps. And we played four out of seven series on the road in the conference. If you win this league with the year it’s had, it has got to get three teams in. I just can’t imagine that with the year the league has had, they’d keep us out.”

Here’s a look at what works in ISU’s favor and what doesn’t.

The case for ISU:

• ISU picked right year to win MVC — The Missouri Valley Conference is on course to have its best RPI season since 1999.

The league is currently sixth and is just percentage points behind Conference USA for fifth place. The upsets in the MVC Tournament have only helped the league’s RPI as all ships have risen with the upset tide.

• History is on ISU’s side — Creighton sports information director Rob Anderson sent me a nugget Friday. The sixth-rated RPI conference has put three teams in the field in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011. In 2008, the Big West Conference got four teams in.

ISU is also over the 40-win mark, which is considered to be an important threshold as far as overall record is concerned.

• Dallas Baptist — Dallas Baptist played a partial MVC schedule in 2011 and 2012 as part of a probationary period installed before it could join the MVC as a baseball-only member. DBU decided instead to join the Western Athletic Conference, but in its tour of the MVC, DBU gave everyone’s schedule a big RPI lift. DBU’s RPI is 24 and it will make the NCAA field.

ISU might have benefited the most. ISU won the series against them and DBU is the major reason ISU has a 5-5 record against RPI top 50 teams.

• Purdue — Yes, ISU was one out away from knocking off Purdue in West Lafayette. It would have been huge and the extra-inning loss was disappointing.

But merely playing the Boilermakers gave ISU a RPI lift. ISU’s RPI is at 45 as of this writing. If ISU hadn’t played Purdue, it’s RPI might on the wrong side of 50.

“I think us playing Purdue, even we lost, was a good thing on our part. I think the committee will like that we scheduled that game when we did,” Heller noted.

The case against ISU:

• Poor finish — ISU lost five of its last six games. Three of the games were to quality opponents (Purdue and Missouri State twice), two were to weaker MVC teams (Evansville and Creighton).

I’ve been told that the season finish doesn’t carry as much as weight in baseball as it does in basketball. Perhaps. But ISU did itself no favors and gave the committee something negative to consider regardless.

• MVC regular season champions have been left out before — Missouri State was left out as an outright conference champion in 2009 and 2010 co-champion Wichita State was also on the outside looking in. It should be noted, however, that the MVC’s conference RPI was far weaker in both of those seasons. The MVC was 17th in 2009 and 15th in 2010.

• Strength of schedule — ISU probably had its best nonconference schedule in several years this season with Notre Dame, Kansas and  Missouri on the slate. But it’s a testament to how hard it is for northern teams to schedule when ISU’s strength of schedule still ended up 140th nationally.

Northern teams usually get a break when it comes to strength of schedule as weight is given to the regional nature of the sport and that inter-sectional games aren’t feasible. But it’s not a certainty.

• MVC’s history with bubble isn’t kind — It has nothing to do with resumes or anything logical, really, but MVC teams in several sports (including MVFC football) over the years have made rational arguments based on RPI, strength of schedule, etc., for inclusion in the NCAA Tournament only to be left at the altar.

Too often in recent years, when a MVC team has been on the bubble, it has popped. Ask Missouri State. Ask Illinois State. Ask seemingly half of the MVFC membership last season.

Woe to those who get too overconfident when all seems assured — including a certain columnist who said ISU was in for sure a week ago.

Todd Golden is sports editor of the Tribune-Star. He can be reached at (812) 231-4272 or todd.golden@tribstar.com. Follow Golden on Twitter @TribStarTodd.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
College
  • 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

  • SPT041113lutz point.jpg Ex-Sycamore Lutz begins NFL journey with Colts

    The end of the journey. Or, really, just the beginning. That's how former Indiana State center FN Lutz described his emotions after signing a free-agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday morning.

    June 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • NCAA Kentucky Kent St_Tayl.jpg Reed a top choice to be taken in MLB draft

    While collegiate honors have poured in — and will likely continue to — for Terre Haute native A.J. Reed, the biggest night for him will likely be tonight.

    June 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Metro roundup: Terre Haute’s Reed is finalist for Golden Spikes Award

    University of Kentucky junior left-handed pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed has been named one of three finalists for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award, according to an announcement Tuesday by USA Baseball.
    Already honored as the Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year and as a first-team All-American, Reed was named one of three finalists for the Golden Spikes Award, which is annually presented by USA Baseball to the nation’s top amateur player for the last 36 seasons. Reed joins Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto and LSU right-hander Aaron Nola as finalists for the award, which is selected from a committee of more than 200 voters.

    June 3, 2014

  • Metro roundup: Rex opener postponed to today

    The Terre Haute Rex grand opening has been pushed back to today due to Monday’s thunderstorms.

    June 2, 2014

  • ISU's list of NCAA track qualifier grows Saturday

    Indiana State added more athletes to its national championship roster in four different events on the final day of the NCAA Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday.

    May 31, 2014

  • Terre Haute native Reed sparks Kentucky’s dramatic rally in elimination game

    Thomas Bernal dropped a two-run double down the left-field line to score the game-tying and go-ahead runs to cap a dramatic 4-2 comeback win for No. 22-ranked Kentucky over Kent State.
    Terre Haute’s A.J. Reed allowed just two runs through nine innings, and finally the Wildcats’ offense came alive. Right-handed changeup artist Nick Jensen-Clagg carried a three-hit shutout into the ninth inning with a 2-0 lead.

    May 31, 2014

  • SPT 053114 LANDON CURRY FLY.jpg ISU baseball can't find lifeline

    Indiana State ends NCAA regional with 0-2 mark as its season ends.

    May 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT 053114 MITCH HANNAHS.jpg FROM THE PRESS BOX: Hannahs strikes pitch perfect no-excuse, no-apology tone

    ISU coach Mitch Hannahs strikes pitch perfect no-excuse, no-apology tone.

    May 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT 053014 KEAFFABER THROW.jpg Despite loss, ISU's Keaffaber draws praise

    Indiana State pitcher Ryan Keaffaber lost to Stanford in NCAA regional, but his effort was lauded.

    May 30, 2014 2 Photos

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Robot Writes Jewish Torah Scroll Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Bull Run Comes to Middle America Raw: Divers, Snorkelers at Undersea 'Concert' Wisconsin Cop Ready to Roll...On Skateboard Space Station Shipment Launched From Virginia Raw: Australia Hosts Annual Beer Can Regatta Giant Whale Vacuumed in New York City Israel Deploys Ground Troops to Gaza Strip Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court Hamburger Champion Downs 26 Burgers Raw: Truck Crash Spills Turkeys on Va. Highway Raw: Stunning Timelapse of WC Final Host City LeBron: Move Back to Cleveland 'Exciting' Diaz and Segel Strip Off for 'Sex Tape' Lightning Kills Two in National Park in Colorado Ana Ortiz on 'Devious Maids' Finale NYC Police to Subway Acrobats: Sit Down Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters Raw: Israel, Gaza Exchange Rocket Fire
NDN Video
Germany Wins The 2014 FIFA World Cup!!! RAW VIDEO: Stampede injures ten at Georgia World Congress Center Cellphone Video Shows Assault Tracy Morgan released from rehab month after crash LeBron: Move Back to Cleveland 'Exciting' Cleveland welcomes home LeBron Houston Killer Collapses in Court When Read Capital Murder Charges for Allegedly Killing Family of Six Worst Valet Ever Wrecks $500K Lamborghini Glee Star Becca Tobin's Boyfriend Matt Bendik Found Dead in Hotel Aerial fish restocking in Utah ScarJo Channels Marilyn Monroe Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration Tiny Hamsters Who Ate Burritos are Back for a Tiny Hedgehog's Party Watch Kelly Ripa Get Soaked! 'Referee' Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Faux Pas in NYC 2014 Emmy Nominees: 8 Snub Shockers Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino 7 Infamous Sports Blowouts Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash
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