News From Terre Haute, Indiana

College

December 14, 2009

From the Press Box: Symbiosis? ISU's Marshall and Lathan have it

TERRE HAUTE — Sometimes, when asking a question as a reporter, confidently using a $50 word puts you at risk of being exposed for having a 50-cent brain.

In the press conference after Indiana State’s 60-54 victory over Oral Roberts on Sunday, I asked Indiana State coach Kevin McKenna how ISU guard Harry Marshall and forward Dwayne Lathan have developed their “symbiosis” which has served the Sycamores so well in multiple games during their 6-3 start.

“I don’t know what symbiosis means,” McKenna said. “But Dwayne and Harry do have a good feel for each other.”

After the press conference, a good-natured poll of the press room at Hulman Center was unanimous — no one else knew what symbiosis was either. Which made me kind of nervous that I stumbled into one of those 50-cent brain moments.

I’m happy to report that symbiosis — two bodies that are dependent on each other — is indeed a real word and that it was used properly, which in my case, just goes to show that the blind squirrel does occasionally find the nut.

Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter whether you’re familiar with the word or not. If you’ve never heard of symbiosis, you can easily illustrate the word’s meaning by observing the way Marshall and Lathan have worked together on the floor this season.

On-court chemistry on the offensive end has been so-so for the Sycamores this season. Sunday’s game was a microcosm of that as the offense was alternately crisp and occasionally bogged down into ugly shots and questionable decision-making. However, when the chips have been down, it’s been the Marshall-Lathan connection that has served the Sycamores best, especially in the last two games, as Marshall and Lathan have accounted for 49 percent of ISU’s scoring against Ball State and ORU.

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