TERRE HAUTE —
Entering her third season as head coach at Indiana State, Teri Moren will be trying to leave two middling seasons as far as win-loss record is concerned in the past.
The Sycamores concluded their sixth day of practice for the 2012-13 season on Wednesday, and Moren — 31-32 in her ISU career thus far — is excited about the possibilities that abound with a young, energetic team and a brand new coaching staff.
“It kind of feels like starting over with some of the young kids,” Moren said before referencing several players that return. “The nice thing with Taylor [Whitley], Anna [Munn], [Jessica] Valley and Andrea [Rademacher] and [sophomores] Racheal [Mahan], Travecia [Franklin] and [Natasha] Zurek we have some experience. I wouldn’t call them all veterans.”
Rademacher, a junior who begins practice in the best shape of her career, said she has the same feeling of starting over.
“We all have high expectations this year. It’s a whole new group, new set of coaches, new girls,” Rademacher said. “We’re all still expecting great things. I know a lot of people are doubting us due to our age and how young the team is. But I think we’re all so driven right now and focused on accomplishing big things that we haven’t done in a while.”
Like many coaches, she sees potential.
”We’ve got a long ways to go. But I think we’re at a good starting point,” Moren said.
So the big question is can the Sycamores get over the hump and have a winning season for the first time since a 17-14 mark in 2009-10? (ISU’s last winning Missouri Valley Conference season was 2008-09 when ISU was 14-16 overall).
If the Sycamores can answer a few of the following questions, they could definitely get where they want to be.
<center>Is point guard Taylor Whitley back to full health?</center>
Whitley played just 23.6 minutes per game and missed 11 games during the Sycamores’ 15-16 campaign last year.
The senior point guard has had multiple knee surgeries, but she’s been looking strong in practice so far, giving her and Moren reasons to believe she could be poised for a career year.
“It’s just one of those unfortunate things. You can’t look back,” Moren said. “[Whitley] was very smart over the summer. She watched herself and tried not to do too much. We’ve watched her in preseason,” Moren continued. “She looks great, she feels great. She’s not pain-free everyday, but she’s as close to 100 percent as she’s been in a long time.”
Last season, Whitley was never the dynamic player that she was in 2010-11 when she made the MVC All-Tournament team thanks to an outstanding three-day run. The Chicago-area native was a big-time playmaker in 2010-11, averaging 4.7 assists. That number was down to 2.8 last year.
“I don’t think I was ever close to 100 percent health, but my knee’s feeling great now. It occasionally gets sore, but it’s 100 times better than last season which is really good news,” Whitley said.
With added athleticism around her, Whitley could be the throttle the Sycamores need to be a surprise in the league this year.
“This is the hardest working team I’ve ever been on, we’re super positive and encouraging of eachother,” Whitley said. “If we stay working this hard and positive all year long, good things will come out of it.”
<center>Who replaces Shannon Thomas in the paint?</center>
The 6-foot-4 Thomas graduated as the Sycamores’ all-time leader in rebounds and blocked shots, and sophomore Racheal Mahan, who averaged 13 minutes as a freshman, is the most experienced option to pick up minutes.
Mahan, whose production peaked during MVC action when she posted 5.1 points and 3.8 rebounds in 15.8 minutes of action, says she’s ready to be a go-to option in the post.
“Sixty percent of our points are gone from last season so we’re going to have to see who’s going to score that 60 percent,” Mahan said. “I’ve worked very hard in the offseason, and I’m going to have to step up big-time.”
The 6-foot-1 but forceful Mahan said she’s worked on all aspects of her game.
“There’s a lot I can do to improve,” she said. “I have to be better at free throws, rebounding and ball-handling.”
The 6-foot-3 Rademacher, who played 7.7 minutes a game last season, is hoping to earn a bigger role this year. The 21-year-old enters her fourth year in the program is hoping to prove to the coaching staff she can contribute.
“I’ve lost quite a bit of weight after last season which I needed to be able to guard faster players,” Rademacher said. “Because in our league I lot of guards in our league play that 4 spot, play in post. I needed to become faster, be a better defender. I feel I’ve improved on that this summer, by gaining speed and losing weight.”
Moren also has freshmen Marina Laramie, a 6-foot-2 post out of O’Fallon, Mo., and Makenzi Reasor, a 6-2 Hoosier out of Mount Vernon, trying to break into the rotation.
“I just think it’s too early to tell. When you look at the fact that, out of our four post players, two of them our freshmen, you would just assume that Rademacher and Rachel would be ready to step in,” Moren said. “Those are some big shoes to fill, replacing Shannon, not only offensively but everything she did for us on the defensive end as well.”
<center>Will Ann Munn have a breakout season?</center>
Yes, Munn has been a solid player for the Sycamores the past two seasons, averaging 10 points last season, good for fourth on the team.
But the junior has the all-around skills to be a first-team performer in the Missouri Valley.
The problem is Munn had offseason shoulder surgery that kept her off the basketball floor the entire off-season. She was cleared by doctors for her first full practice Friday, but she looked ready to go.
Friday “was first day in six months she’s really been in the thick of things,” Moren said. “She’s in fantastic shape. Expectations are always going to be high on a kid like that, that can shoot the ball like she can. She’s the most experienced player from last year’s team, coming back just based on the fact that Taylor was injured.”
Munn shot 38.1 percent from the 3-point arc last year, second only to Deja Mattox. But Mattox and Brittany Schoen, who led the team in 3-pointers made, are gone, meaning Munn should have plenty more looks at the goal.
Munn, also ISU’s leader in assists and second-best rebounder last year, is ready to pick up her production in another big area.
“I think I just need to be more of a vocal leader,” Munn said. “I think last year I let some of the seniors take that role, and I think this year it’s time to just step up and be that vocal leader and exemplify what’s supposed to be going on on and off the court.”
“It’s been a pretty good start. Coach is really just trying to get our fundamentals down and put in a couple plays. Just have to get some more conditioning in. I think we’re going to hit the ground running the next couple weeks coming up.
<center>What do the freshman add to the team?</center>
When Moren talks about the Sycamores being more athletic this season, sophomores Jessica Valley and Travecia Franklin certainly come to mind.
ISU assistants have been impressed by Franklin so far, and Valley returned to the court ahead of schedule after reconstructive knee surgery in February.
Watch the Sycamores practice and freshman Kasey Johnson of Plainfield comes to the forefront of the discussion.
While she’s only 5-8, Johnson is strong, fast and a good leaper.
“Kasey Johnson has really stood out as a freshman,” Moren said. “Valley’s finally back, and she’s about a month ahead of schedule as far as her release. We’re way more athletic than we’ve been in the past on the perimeter, not as deep as we’d like to be on the inside. But we still feel like we have some pieces that we can play different ways.”
Johnson and Valley provide needed versatility.
“It’s neat to have two kids like that, that are so athletic. That’s a luxury you have. Valley can play the 1 through the 4 [positions]. That’s what she did last year, maybe not so much the 4. Then you have a kid like Kasey that can play the 4. She can jump. I’m comfortable playing her at a 4 spot. She would be a headache for a 4 in our league trying to guard her. It’s nice to have an option like that.”
The 6-2 freshmen, 5-7 guard Kalliste Haskins and Johnson make up the freshman class for ISU. Right now, Moren sees Johnson as a definite contributor.
“The nice thing about a kid like Kasey is she has an unbelievable basketball IQ. You can put her in those spots and she can retain and know where she’s supposed to be. I’m excited about her in particular,” Moren said.
Sycamores looking for first winning season of Moren era
TERRE HAUTE —
Entering her third season as head coach at Indiana State, Teri Moren will be trying to leave two middling seasons as far as win-loss record is concerned in the past.
Indiana State women move within one win from MVC title
Senior Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir had 23 points to lead Indiana State to a 73-71 win at Drake on Thursday. The point guard led four Sycamores in double figures in the win.
Anna Munn, Jasmine Grier and Chelsea Small each chipped in 11 points as ISU shot 10-of-21 from 3-point range as a team.
Sycamores rejuvenated heading into MVC Tournament quarterfinals
Indiana State point guard Jake Odum is sick-and-tired of being sick and tired.
He’s tired of hearing about the team’s three-game losing streak. He’s tired of the Sycamores playing below par. He’s tired of the team not fulfilling its potential.
He plans to do something about it this weekend. Second-seeded ISU begins its Missouri Valley Conference Tournament trek at 7:05 p.m. tonight against either No. 10 Loyola.
Rose-Hulman seniors lead Engineers into NCAA Division III Tournament
For Rose-Hulman’s six senior men’s basketball players, this weekend will mark the beginning of their third and final appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament.
Having left Terre Haute by bus Thursday, Rose (22-5) will open the Division III four-team regional at Hope College in Holland, Mich., today against Wheaton College (19-8) at the unique time of 5:30 p.m.
Coach Jim Shaw’s Engineers are coming off Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) regular-season and tournament championships for the second consecutive year.
ISU women seek top MVC seed
Defense and rebounding are the staples of Teri Moren’s fourth Indiana State team, a squad that hits the road trying to defend and rebound its way to a regular-season conference title. The Sycamores women’s basketball can clinch the No. 1 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference with wins tonight against Drake and Saturday against Northern Iowa.
Nebraska completes sweep of Indiana
Indiana’s slim hopes of an NCAA Tournament bid are all but done, unless the Hoosiers can win the Big Ten Tournament. Nebraska never trailed Wednesday night, completing a season sweep of the Hoosiers with a 70-60 win. The loss ensures a losing conference record for IU (17-13, 7-10 Big Ten) while boosting the Huskers’ chances at an at-large berth.
ISU reserve Smith earns two MVC honors
Indiana State sophomore Khristian Smith has been named to the Missouri Valley Conference’s All-Bench and Most Improved Teams, according to an announcement by the league office Wednesday.
Two Sycamores with Scott during Saturday incident
A Vigo County’s Sheriff’s case report of Brenton Scott’s arrest last Saturday indicated that Scott, an Indiana State basketball player, tried to pass himself off as his twin brother and that two of his teammates were with him at the time of the incident.
Metro Sports: Sycamores to be represented at NCAA indoors
Three members of the Indiana State track and field team will compete in the 2014 NCAA indoor championships March 14-15 at Albuquerque, N.M. Senior Greggmar Swift will represent the men, while sophomore Katie Wise and senior Mary Theisen will represent the women.
Rose meets Wheaton in NCAA opener
Rose-Hulman will open its third straight trip to the NCAA Division III basketball tournament at 5:30 p.m. Friday when the Engineers play Wheaton in a four-team regional hosted by Hope College.
Metro: No ISU baseball today; home opener now Friday
Indiana State’s baseball home opener that was to be played today has been pushed back, according to Sycamore head coach Mitch Hannahs.
ISU's Scott booked for OWI, possession
Indiana State men's basketball player Brenton Scott was booked into the Vigo County Jail on Saturday for operating while intoxicated, possession of marijuana/hash, possession of paraphenalia and false reporting/informing.
Odum can't get roll on game-winning attempt on Senior Day
The storybook was ready to be opened at Hulman Center on Saturday.
Down two with 4.5 seconds to go, Indiana State rebounded a free throw miss by Northern Iowa’s Seth Tuttle. ISU senior point guard Odum timed his dash perfectly up the floor. He released his shot from just behind the 3-point line at just the right second. The shot was true and online.
TODD GOLDEN: Lansing's belief in his team has not wavered
In the wake of Indiana State’s 71-69 loss to Northern Iowa on Saturday, and the three-game losing streak that comes with it, ISU coach Greg Lansing wanted to get one point across crystal clear in his postgame press conference.
VIDEO: Munn has made her mark on ISU women's program
Anna Munn has been a dependable leader in the Indiana State women’s basketball program. Her leadership has helped coach Teri Moren build to back-to-back 10-or-more win seasons in the Missouri Valley the last two years.
Rose-Hulman wins third straight HCAC tournament crown
Tied with Hanover 26-26 at halftime of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball championship game Saturday night, host Rose-Hulman knew it had a couple of things in its favor.
Rolling along: Third straight victory helps Sycamores tie for second in MVC
Aside from Teri Moren sticking with her pink Chuck Taylor shoes on the sideline for superstitious reasons, Indiana State’s three-game winning streak can be explained by strong play in nearly every aspect of the game.
Sycamores stay positive in face of adversity
After Indiana State’s 77-59 loss at Illinois State on Wednesday, ISU players had an idea of how the tone of Thursday and Friday’s practices would be prior to today’s regular-season finale against Northern Iowa.
Engineers, Hanover to vie for HCAC title
For the second year in a row, the men’s basketball teams of Rose-Hulman and Hanover will square off for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship in Terre Haute.
Metro: ISU softball win streak reaches 6
Indiana State improved its college softball winning streak to six games Friday by beating Wright State 4-3 and IUPUI 3-2 on the opening day of the Holiday Inn Hilltopper Classic.
Odum's final chapter is here; how will he author the ending?
If you compare a college basketball career to a book, Indiana State point guard Jake Odum has been a page-turner from day one.
Odum has dazzled ISU fans from the time he became a starter during the first weekend of his first season in 2010. The Sycamores have not had a losing season during the Odum era, a run of success unprecedented in ISU’s Division I history.
VIDEO: Indiana State women looking to add to winning streak at home
Indiana State looks to put a three-game winning streak together tonight against Loyola, who topped the Sycamores behind 30 points by senior forward Troy Hambric for one of the Ramblers’ nine wins this season.
The Sycamores’ women’s basketball team stifled Missouri State last Friday and knocked off first-place Wichita State on Sunday for a pair of road wins last weekend. They'll look to build upon that momentum tonight at home.
Sheehey's career-high 30 helps Hoosiers over No. 20 Iowa
Will Sheehey scored 19 of his career-high 30 points in the first half and Stanford Robinson added a career-best 17 to lead Indiana over No. 20 Iowa 93-86 on Thursday night in a game that was postponed last week.
A.J. Reed picks up multiple NCAA baseball honors
Kentucky junior pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed has been named National Hitter of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and a National Player of the Week by NCAA.com, according to separate announcements.
A member of the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Watch List, the Terre Haute native was named National Hitter of the Week by the NCBWA, with VMI right-hander Reed Garrett earning NCBWA Pitcher of the Week.
Redbirds dominate Sycamores 77-59
Indiana State’s men’s basketball team is running out of answers for its recent woes ... and it’s running out of time to fix them. The slumping Sycamores added defensive problems to their offensive slump on Wednesday at Illinois State. The Redbirds made the Sycamores pay dearly for their poor all-around effort out of the gate as the Sycamores fell 77-59.
Rose coach expects wide-open race for HCAC title
Both Rose-Hulman basketball programs hope their teams will still be talked about in the Wabash Valley media after this weekend when they compete in their Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournaments.
No. 16 Michigan rallies past Purdue
Glenn Robinson III got a late bank shot to roll in as time expired Wednesday night, giving No. 16 Michigan a 77-76 overtime victory at Purdue.
Metro roundup: Hutson awarded USA Track and Field grant
Terre Haute native and 2016 Olympic hopeful Kylie Hutson was awarded a $7,000 grant from the USA Track and Field Foundation.
No. 14 Wisconsin beats Indiana 69-58
Sam Dekker scored 16 points and No. 14-ranked Wisconsin shrugged off a slow start to beat Indiana University 69-58 in men’s basketball Tuesday night.
The Hoosiers (15-12, 5-9 Big Ten) held Wisconsin (23-5, 10-5) to its lowest point production in the first half this season, taking a 29-19 lead.
Rose coach still ‘hanging around’
Approaching the start of his 25th season as Rose-Hulman’s baseball coach, Jeff Jenkins remembers some of his 601 victories, most of his teams’ highlights from five NCAA Division III tournament appearances and pretty much all of Art Nehf Field’s significant upgrades. He also can count on one hand how many times that umpires have tossed him from a game — two.
Metro: MVC honors Lockwood, Abdul-Qaadir; national award for A.J.
Indiana State sophomore Taylor Lockwood was named Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week on Monday after pitching one of two ISU softball shutouts Sunday and earning Most Valuable Player honors at Tennessee State’s Tiger Classic.
- More College Headlines
- Indiana State women move within one win from MVC title