News From Terre Haute, Indiana

From the Press Box

November 28, 2010

From The Press Box: Waltman reception highlights ISU reunion

TERRE HAUTE — It seems like every time I’m around Royce Waltman, I have to brace myself.

I braced myself at the end of Waltman’s ISU tenure. I sat there, front row, at a press conference at the Scottrade Center after Waltman lost his final game as ISU coach in the 2007 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in a quarterfinal.

I had already reported that Waltman’s contract would not be renewed, but ISU had not officially announced it, and had no plans to until the following Monday. Another reporter asked Waltman to confirm my report.

I squirmed. I knew my report was 100-percent accurate — unfortunately, it was a poorly kept secret as ISU’s higher-ups at the time talked about it openly and Waltman himself had told me off-the-record he was gone — but the internal agreement was for all parties to keep on the down-low until announced.

Waltman could have stuck with the official party line, but he didn’t. He said the report was “very accurate” and went on to have a press conference that pulled no punches against ISU’s handling of his situation or the state of college basketball in general.

By no means am I trying to imply that Waltman did what he did for my benefit. Waltman is honest and 100 percent genuine. What he said at that press conference was truth, and it wasn’t in his character to evade the truth.

For completely different reasons, I braced myself again on Saturday at Hulman Center. ISU honored its 2000 Missouri Valley Conference championship team and its 2001 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship team during halftime of Saturday’s 58-54 victory over Buffalo.

As ISU’s 2000 and 2001 greats were introduced to enthusiastic cheers from the 3,927 fans at Hulman Center, I wondered what the reception for Waltman would be like.

Time heals a lot of wounds, but had enough time elapsed to ensure that ISU’s fans would give Waltman the warm reception he deserved? Once again, I braced myself, fearing that the losing seasons he had late in his ISU tenure would still be too fresh in some fans’ minds.

I should have had more faith in ISU’s faithful.

Before Waltman took a step on the Hulman Center hardwood, a roar came from the crowd that was as loud or louder than any one of the players received before him — ISU heroes Matt Renn, Michael Menser and Nate Green included.

The standing ovation was well under way as Waltman made his way out to center court to greet players from his greatest teams. Waltman nodded to the crowd and gave kind of a half-wave that seemed to indicate he was as surprised by the out-pouring of support as anyone was.

“I wasn’t thinking much about the reception I might get, but to be honest, I was surprised by how warm it was. It felt really good,” said Waltman, who is currently doing color commentary on Indiana University’s radio broadcasts.

It was a standing ovation Waltman never really got to experience when he was the coach here. ISU has only been to three NCAA Tournaments in its Division I era,  and Waltman was in charge of two of those teams.

I thought the way Waltman’s career ended robbed him, and ISU’s fans, of a chance to thank him for the success he brought to the Sycamores. On Saturday, that oversight was corrected.

“It was long overdue for coach Waltman to have a reception like that. It was great,” Green said.

Waltman greeted fans before and after the ceremony, many of whom he hadn’t seen since his 2007 departure.

“When things go the way my tenure went, you have mixed feelings, but the more time goes by, you tend to dwell on the positives,” Waltman said.

It wasn’t just Waltman who got to bask in the glow. Former players Larry Ashley, Matt Broermann, Terence Avery, Kelyn Block, Menser, Renn and Green, as well as former managers Joe Crowley and Chris Bartlow, were all feted with appreciative cheers from the ISU faithful.

It hasn’t really been that long since these players made Sycamore memories. Many of them had their post-ISU overseas playing careers just recently end, so it was the first time many had a chance to reflect on what they did in an ISU uniform.

“It’s crazy. It doesn’t seem like its been 10 years. It’s surreal coming back to see everybody. It was fun to sit down, relax and relive a lot of those years,” said Block, who is legendary for having lost three teeth in a 2001 NCAA Tournament game against Oklahoma, only to return in overtime to get a steal and a layup to help the Sycamores defeat the Sooners 70-68. Block is an assistant coach at Indianapolis Pike.

For some of the players, being around the ISU program is just a part of their daily routine. With Greg Lansing as head coach — Lansing was an assistant coach from 1995-99, just missing the NCAA Tournament teams — players like Green are fixtures at ISU practices. Renn is a radio color commentator, and Menser is closest of all as he is Lansing’s brother-in-law.

“Coach Lansing coached under coach Waltman. You see a lot of the same philosophies with them.

“They were all a part of getting us here. There’s a lot of us who are still around the community and who are a part of Sycamore basketball,” Menser said.

It was a fun day for ISU fans to remember and appreciate one of the Sycamores’ greatest teams … and the feeling was reciprocated by the former players.

“To have the community embrace us as they did today, it felt like it did 10 years ago to run on the court,” Menser said.

Todd Golden is sports editor of the Tribune-Star. He can be reached at (812) 231-4272 or todd.golden@tribstar.com. Ceck out Golden’s Down In The Valley blog at blogs.tribstar.com/downinthevalley.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
From the Press Box
  • SPT 101406 WALTMAN PRACTIC.jpg TODD GOLDEN: Waltman's integrity helped him rise to the top

    When I began to think about former Indiana State coach Royce Waltman — and I’ve thought about him a lot in recent months as the ravages of a stroke and cancer robbed us of his presence — I thought to myself “what can I print?”
    Waltman was many things. Blunt, plain-spoken, unfiltered? All of the above and more. Every Indiana State fan saw Waltman in action … and I had a front row seat for three years right next to him on press row.

    April 8, 2014 3 Photos 1 Story

  • SPT 040514 COACH HANNAHS.jpg FROM THE PRESS BOX: Missouri Valley is tough — ISU making it tougher

    For those who measure the quality of a conference by their place in the Ratings Percentage Index, it was a tough year for the Missouri Valley Conference and its marquee sport: men’s basketball.
    The MVC was 11th in conference RPI and took all manner of criticism when Wichita State ran the MVC table for a perfect 18-0 season. The fingers that pointed at the league for fielding a weak challenge to the Shockers’ dominance were many.

    April 5, 2014 2 Photos

  • TODD GOLDEN: ISU's no-excuses approach for real

    If you were to ask me what the drawback of covering Indiana State baseball is? I’d be hard-pressed to name very much.

    March 29, 2014

  • SPT 030914 ODUM BAKER.jpg 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.

    March 10, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT 030814 ODUM GRAB.jpg 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.

    March 9, 2014 2 Photos 2 Stories

  • MBBMock_packagephoto.jpg From The Press Box: The nuts and bolts of compiling a Mock Selection for the NCAA Tournament

    Before March Madness comes the March mystery of the run-up to Selection Sunday.

    February 17, 2014 3 Photos 1 Link

  • SPT 020514 ISU FANS STAND.jpg From the Press Box: Loss couldn’t ruin great day for ISU, Terre Haute

    When I write, and when I can, I like to give myself a bit of time to soak in what I’m going to write about. After Indiana State’s 65-58 loss to No. 4 Wichita State on Wednesday, I went home, had a bite to eat and pondered what I thought the night was all about.
    I knew ISU’s disappointment cut deep. Really deep. A cruel reality of sports is that losses linger on in the memory with greater resonance than wins often do. Given the shots that rattled out, fell short and missed the mark in the final five minutes, this is a defeat that will, sadly, dog the Sycamores tonight, tomorrow and 20 years from now.

    February 6, 2014 2 Photos

  • FROM THE PRESS BOX: Little to lose, a lot to gain for Indiana State

    It’s hard not to get excited about today’s Missouri Valley Conference summit meeting between co-leaders Indiana State and Wichita State. Who wouldn’t be?

    January 17, 2014

  • From the Press Box: I’ve seen the enemy … and it’s the double bonus

    I’ve seen the enemy.
    I’ve seen it turn the game of basketball from one of exciting flow into a nonstop parade of tedium. I’ve seen it morph hundreds of what would-be thrilling, last-minute, end-to-end conclusions into foul shooting exhibitions that suck the life out of a gym or arena near you.
    It’s the double bonus. It’s a scourge, one that is often overlooked when ideas on how to make the game more entertaining or to speed the game up are put forth.

    January 3, 2014

  • tsgolden From The Press Box: If ISU figures out defense, look out

    The Great Alaska Shootout is not going to provide the Great RPI Bump that Indiana State’s participation in last year’s Diamond Head Classic provided.

    December 1, 2013 1 Photo

  • From the Press Box: Damage is done for ISU football

    As a parent and a professional, there’s a bit of advice I’ve tried to pass along that I’ve found to be true.
    No matter what you happen to be doing — whether it be job performance or just your own personal behavior — you can do the right thing for a period of time, even the vast majority of the time, but all it takes is one slip and the goodwill you’ve built up can be gone in one fell swoop.
     

    November 24, 2013

  • TODD GOLDEN: Munn, Odum want to make paper accomplishment a real one

    When it comes to Missouri Valley Conference Media Day, it has historically been a kick in the gut for Indiana State's basketball teams.
    But not this year. For the first time since formal MVC preseason polls began in the mid-1980s, the Sycamores rule the MVC roost.

    October 31, 2013

  • tsgolden TODD GOLDEN: Colts fans paid Manning ultimate tribute

    Peyton Manning’s return to Indianapolis was many things — the return of a beloved prodigal son, a battle of Colts’ No. 1-draft-pick quarterbacks and last, but not least, the visit from one of the AFC’s last reminaing undefeated teams — but most of all, it could have been a battle for the Colts’ fans soul.

    October 21, 2013 1 Photo

  • From The Press Box: ISU in top 2 of top-heavy MVC

    Change doesn’t often come to Missouri Valley Conference basketball. Until this season, it had endured with the same 10 members since the mid-1990s. But the reality of conference realignment finally hit the MVC where it lived last spring as Creighton departed for the new Big East Conference. The MVC responded by adding Loyola University.

    October 13, 2013

  • USDvISfb-84468.jpg FROM THE PRESS BOX: Sycamores shocked by 1-5 start to season

    It was a play that not only symbolized Indiana State’s 17-14 loss at South Dakota on Saturday, but perhaps the Sycamores’ entire season.
    Down three with 6:39 left in the fourth quarter, ISU faced third-and-9 from its own 39. ISU ran Shakir Bell to the left and the senior standout had daylight.

    October 12, 2013 1 Photo

  • SPT 091513 GRIMES PICK.jpg From The Press Box: An avoidable loss

    It couldn’t last forever.

    September 15, 2013 3 Photos

  • From The Press Box: Colts dodge bullets ... it's what they do

    Just a few minutes into the second quarter, it seemed Colts fans could kick back and enjoy a Sunday on Easy Street.

    September 9, 2013

  • SPT 090713 SANFORD HAZELL.jpg FROM THE PRESS BOX: Indiana State proves plenty in 20-14 loss at Purdue

    No moral victories?
    Bull. Its always been bull and it will always be bull. The Sycamores proved again that moral victories are very real, and can be very rewarding.
    All they needed to do to prove it was to look at the stunned faces of the Purdue faithful at Ross-Ade Stadium in the Sycamores’ near-miss 20-14 loss to Purdue.

    September 8, 2013 4 Photos

  • From the Press Box: Stipends? No. Off-field income? Oh yeah, bring it on

    The war flags have been raised. The trumpets have sounded.
    With the Johnny Manziel autograph hullabaloo and the ongoing Ed O’Bannon suit against the NCAA for using his likeness as background, many have rallied to the battle standard of stipends as a means of compensating NCAA athletes who are allegedly being exploited for income by their universities.
    This rally cry has a particular resonance among those in my profession, many of whom dislike the current system, and who detest the NCAA with a virulent passion.

    August 15, 2013

  • TODD GOLDEN: Golf ... the beast within?

    Like many sports fans, my interest in professional golf is confined to the four major tournaments. Many prefer the Masters, some like the back-to-roots British Open, but I’ve always liked the U.S. Open the best.

    June 16, 2013

  • McNichols and Swift 1.jpg FROM THE PRESS BOX: Close, but no cigar, theme for ISU sports in 2012-13

    When I covered my first event of Indiana State’s 2012-13 season — ISU’s opening football game at Indiana — I was the first one in the press box at IU’s Memorial Stadium. I’m never the first one in the press box.
    Maybe the prospect of ISU’s season had me so pumped that I decided to get it started close to three hours early? (Or more truthfully, maybe I was over-vigilent about predicted traffic horrors on the Indiana 46 bypass that never came to pass.)

    June 9, 2013 4 Photos

  • TODD GOLDEN: Don't give up on ISU baseball just yet

    If you had to pick one word that would describe the 2013 Indiana State baseball season, it would have to be frustration.

    May 16, 2013

  • FROM THE PRESSBOX: Content McKenna has enjoyed seeing ISU's progress

    It all happened so fast in June 2010.
    One minute, Kevin McKenna was head coach of the Indiana State men’s basketball program. Then — poof! — he was gone.
    McKenna resigned from his head coaching position at ISU on June 13, 2010 to take an assistant coach position on Dana Altman’s then-burgeoning University of Oregon staff.

    March 31, 2013

  • MVC can't wait on Crieghton to move forward

    Will they go or not? That’s been the question that the Missouri Valley Conference and Creighton have been faced with since rumors of the Bluejays’ potential exit went public in December.

    March 15, 2013

  • SPT 020613 ISU 3 JUBI.jpg FROM THE PRESSBOX: Can Sycamores reverse fortunes heading into MVC Tournament?

    Mastery of a basketball season comes in many forms. Mostly, it comes in forms that involve avoidance of turnovers, anemic scoring and poor defense.
    The mechanics of X-and-O success in basketball are obvious, but what’s often overlooked in building a successful campaign is managing the rhythm of the season, which is the hardest thing of all.

    March 6, 2013 1 Photo

  • FROM THE PRESS BOX: Accountability isn't Lansing's alone in ISU's recent struggles

    Taking ownership has always been one of Indiana State men’s basketball coach Greg Lansing’s strengths.
    When ISU has lost games in his three seasons at the helm that it was expected to win, Lansing has always been willing to fall on the sword and take blame for it.

    February 17, 2013

  • tsgolden TODD GOLDEN: Indiana State has far more occasions to rise to

    Rejoice, Indiana State basketball fans. The Sycamores’ 68-55 victory at No. 15 Wichita State on Tuesday is worthy of celebration.

    January 31, 2013 1 Photo

  • SPT012613 ISUMBBmhurin1.jpg TODD GOLDEN: Big plays in last 10 minutes story of the season for Indiana State

    You’d think I’d have learned by now.
    It’s 20 games into Indiana State’s men’s basketball season and I still expect the Sycamores’ offense operate like a well-oiled machine from the opening tip.

    January 27, 2013 4 Photos

  • Sycamores blossom on Hawaii trip

    Quick quiz … what’s the state flower of Hawaii?
    Don’t worry. I can’t just rattle state flowers off the top of my head. I had to look it up too, even though I’ve seen them all over the place in Honolulu.
    I didn’t even know that Indiana’s state flower is the peony, which replaced the apparently unloved zinnia in the 1950s.
    Hawaii’s flower, and they’re ubiquitous in Waikiki tourist shops and in actual flora on Oahu, is the yellow hibiscus.
    The yellow hibiscus is big, bold and bright. I’ve never seen one blossom, but I imagine it has to be a beautiful sight.
    What I have seen blossom — and it’s the only reason flowers would be brought up in my column — is the Indiana State basketball team at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.

    December 25, 2012

  • TODD GOLDEN: ISU needs to have its realignment head on a swivel

    Have you ever driven past a cow pasture during a severe thunderstorm? If it’s really bad, the cows will congregate in a herd to protect themselves from the tumult.

    December 17, 2012

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions Human Antidepressants Making Shrimp Too Calm Swiss Unveil New Solar Plane for Global Flight Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Miley Cyrus Still in Hospital, Cancels 2nd Show NASA Releases Images of "graceful" Solar Flare
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
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