TERRE HAUTE —
During his four seasons, Indiana State men’s basketball coach Greg Lansing has compiled a career record of 57-44. Not too shabby.
Lansing locks horns tonight against Belmont head coach Rick Byrd. Byrd’s career record? 664-349. Byrd is one of just 78 coaches in college basketball history who has 600 or more victories at a four-year college.
Byrd is currently tied with former ISU and UCLA boss John Wooden in career wins. Nice company to be in.
So how come Byrd isn’t better known? It’s not for lack of accomplishment, it’s just that much of it was done out of the national spotlight.
Byrd has taken the Bruins from the NAIA ranks to perennial Division I NCAA Tournament participant in his 28 seasons at the Nashville school.
Lansing knows the Sycamores will have to be sharp to take down Byrd’s Bruins when they meet at 8 p.m. tonight at Belmont’s Curb Event Center.
“It’s an honor and a little overwhelming to face a guy that’s won that many games and coached that long. The program he’s established there is unbelievable,” Lansing said.
Belmont’s rise through the Division I ranks under Byrd has been impressive. The Bruins moved from NAIA to Division I in 1996 and have suffered just three losing seasons since the transition.
Belmont joined the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2001 and won or shared six conference titles and advanced to five NCAA Tournaments. Included was a 71-70 loss to Duke in the 2008 Tournament when the Bruins were a No. 15 seed.
Belmont joined the Ohio Valley Conference last season and promptly won the league and conference tournament. It’s one reason why Belmont was mentioned as a potential Missouri Valley Conference expansion candidate last spring after Creighton left the league.
Byrd is the reason for the Bruins’ success. Lansing doesn’t know Byrd, but he sees some reasons for Byrd’s success.
“They play very hard and competitive and they’re disciplined. They’re well-schooled and they have a plan. They carry out that plan and they’re going to make you have to beat them,” Lansing said. “They do a good job of spreading you out. When you close out, they shot-fake and drive. They’re very tough to defend.”
Belmont is 1-1 so far. The Bruins defeated crosstown rival Lipscomb 87-83 and lost 69-61 at Richmond on Monday. Belmont has nine newcomers on its roster, but still boasts three senior starters, including forward Blake Jenkins, who averages 11.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
Belmont’s signature in its first two games is its ability to get to the foul line (44 of 67 in two games) and shaky rebounding. Belmont foes have averaged 40 team rebounds per contest.
“They’re a good team. It’s going to be a good road test and its basically like a conference game since they come back to our place,” ISU swingman Khristian Smith said.
ISU and Belmont have an in-season home-and-home series. The Bruins play at Hulman Center on Dec. 28.
Lansing didn’t think ISU played “particularly well” in its 82-73 victory over Ball State last Saturday, but feels the Sycamores need to do better. It starts with a better defensive effort.
“We weren’t very good at all against Ball State. We had breakdowns in a lot of different areas. We have to be tougher to play against on the defensive end,” Lansing said.
n ISU gets NLI’s from three recruits — All three ISU basketball recruits delivered National Letters of Intent on signing day Wednesday. Lansing is thrilled to have guard Charles “Tre” Bennett, guard Laquarious Paige and center Brandon Murphy in the fold.
Bennett and Paige are from Texas. Bennett played high school ball at both Milby and Yates High Schools in Houston. After finishing up at nationally-ranked Yates, Bennett played at prep school Rise Academy in Philadelphia for a year before he enrolled at Lamar State College, a junior college in Port Arthur, Texas.
The 5-10 point guard averaged 8.8 points and 2.8 assists for the Seahawks last season. He also drained 40.7 percent of his 3-point shots.
“He’s a tremendous get for us. He really knows how to play. He’s averaging over 20 already in his season. With us losing three seniors, including our point and combo guards, he can step right in. We thought it would be hard for a freshman to come in and run the team,” Lansing said.
Paige is a 6-foot-2, 175-pound point guard from Orange, Texas. He plays at West Orange-Stark High School. He averaged 16 points and four assists last season.
“Laquarious is a special kid. He’s self-taught on the guitar and piano. He’s a 3.7 student. We beat Harvard on him, so that tells you the kind of kid he is,” Lansing said. “He’s kind of unknown because he didn’t play on the major AAU circuit, but we look for great things from him down the road.”
Murphy — 6-foot-7, 270 pounds — will give the Sycamores considerable bulk inside. Murphy plays at Carver High School in Montgomery, one of Alabama’s powerhouse programs. Murphy averaged 13 points and 11 rebounds as he helped the Wolverines finish 27-2 last season. Carver won Alabama’s 6A championship in 2012.
“We haven’t had anyone like him since I can recall. He’s a post. That’s what he is. He’s going to patrol that paint and he’s going to compete,” Lansing said.
ISU was tipped about Murphy by a one-time Sycamore — Mississippi State coach Rick Ray — who was an assistant at ISU from 1997-2004. Current assistant coach Marcus Belcher took over from there and helped get Murphy to ISU.
“Rick told us about him. They have two [Carver] players on his team, one that’s there and one that’s coming to them. He said we needed to look at him,” Lansing said. “We looked at him in July, loved him, and tried to keep quiet about it so no one else found about him.”
ISU at Belmont
Tipoff — 7 p.m. today at Curb Event Center, Nashville, Tenn.
Broadcasts — Radio: WIBQ-FM 98.5. Twitter: @TribStarTodd.
Last time out — ISU defeated Ball State 72-63 on Saturday. Belmont lost 69-61 at Richmond on Monday.
Series — ISU is 3-0. The last meeting took place in 1957.
Indiana State Sycamores (1-0) — G Jake Odum (6-4, Sr., 17 ppg, 7 apg), G Dawon Cummings (6-4, Sr., 21 ppg), G-F Manny Arop (6-6, Sr., 14 ppg); F Justin Gant (6-8, Jr., 11 ppg, 5 rpg) and C Jake Kitchell (6-10, Sr., 7 ppg) are possible starters. G Khristian Smith (6-6, So.., 7 ppg, 5.1), F Demetrius Moore (6-7, Jr., 4 ppg), G Devonte Brown (6-3, So.., 4 ppg), G Lucas Eitel (6-2, Sr., 2 ppg), G Brandon Burnett (6-6, So., 0 ppg) and F T.J. Bell (6-8, Fr., 0 ppg) are key reserves.
Coach — Greg Lansing (57-44 at ISU, 4th year).
Belmont Bruins (1-1) — G Reece Chamberlain (6-1, Jr., 11.5), G Craig Bradshaw (6-3, So., 7 ppg), G-F J.J. Mann (6-6, Sr., 12.5, 5 rpg), F Drew Windler (6-9, Sr., 14.5, 5.5 rpg), F Blake Jenkins (6-8, Sr., 11.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg) are the possible starters. F Nick Smith (6-8, Fr., 7 ppg), G-F Evan Bradds (6-6, Fr., 6.5), C Chad Lang (6-11, Jr., 4 ppg) and G-F Holden Mobley (6-3, Jr., 0 ppg) are key reserves.
Coach — Rick Byrd (572-291, 28th year at Belmont, 664-346, 33rd season overall).
Injuries and absences — For ISU, C Mike Samuels (foot) is out.
Next games — ISU plays at Notre Dame and Belmont plays at North Carolina on Sunday.
— Todd Golden
Byrd seeks 665th career victory tonight against ISU
TERRE HAUTE —
During his four seasons, Indiana State men’s basketball coach Greg Lansing has compiled a career record of 57-44. Not too shabby.
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.
Metro sports: Rose-Hulman picks up baseball win
A late run in the eighth-inning broke a 4-all tie and proved to be the game winner for Rockford College in a 5-4 decision over the Rose-Hulman baseball team Friday at the Chain of Lakes Complex.
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.
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- FROM THE PRESS BOX: Odum rises to WSU challenge