News From Terre Haute, Indiana

From the Press Box

September 5, 2010

From the Press Box: Kudos to ISU men’s hoops coach Lansing for having guts to play ND

TERRE HAUTE — I wasn’t sure Indiana State men’s basketball Greg Lansing would pull the trigger.

I heard about the possibility of Notre Dame being on the men’s basketball schedule a few weeks ago, but heard about it off-the-record, so I couldn’t reveal it.

ISU had its choice of going on the road to play a “buy game” at Notre Dame or it could schedule a home-and-home basketball series. Given the chance, nearly every coach would choose the home game.

Lansing went against the grain. He chose the game that would resonate most with the fanbase. That takes guts and Lansing deserves credit for it.

At the time, I knew Nicholls State was an alternative to playing the Fighting Irish. To me, playing Nicholls State just for the sake of a home game that would be forgotten by 99 percent of the fanbase five minutes after it was over, and for a possible win over a foe that adds nothing RPI-wise, was a waste versus the opportunity to try and take down Notre Dame at the Joyce Center.

To me, it was a no-brainer, and I thought ISU fans would feel the same way, no matter how unbalanced the home-road schedule would be as a result.

What I didn’t know until Friday was that Rhode Island was another possible home-and-home foe. And compared to Nicholls State, that’s an entirely different kettle of fish.

Rhode Island was 26-10 last season and came very close to making the NCAA Tournament. The Rams would’ve come to Terre Haute first with the Sycamores returning to play at Kingston, R.I., next season.

Given that ISU would be bringing a quality foe into the Hulman Center, and given that there would be no RPI hit — far from it in fact — I think the vast majority of coaches would’ve chosen the Rhode Island option over the Notre Dame option no matter how it went down with the fanbase. I couldn’t blame Lansing if that’s the choice he made.

Heck, I think the majority of coaches would’ve taken the Nicholls State option and taken what would likely have been a home win.

But Lansing chose the path of most resistance. Some will see this is as high-risk, high reward, but I’m not as sure.

In fact, I would call it low-risk, high-reward for the Sycamores. If they lose to Notre Dame on the road … big deal. It was worth the try and there won’t be any kind of RPI hit from it. The fans will appreciate the fact that ISU gave it a shot against one of the state’s iconic schools.

But if ISU wins? It’s the kind of victory that energizes a fanbase. Notre Dame did lose five seniors from last year’s 23-12 team, including All-American Luke Harangody, and has just one double-figure scorer back.

This is win-win for the Sycamores.

I think more programs, especially in the Missouri Valley Conference, should give this scheduling tact a try once in a while, especially in special circumstances such as playing an in-state foe.

The Iowa MVC schools are able to do it only because it’s mandated by the state legislature there. Nebraska and Creighton play annually because, frankly, the Jays have long been a better program than the Huskers.

But everyone else in the Valley struggles to schedule in-state foes, so MVC teams should take every chance they get to play them when they can.

If Illinois approaches one of the MVC’s three Land of Lincoln schools and says come play us to fill in a date, they ought to do it. Same thing for Missouri State and Mizzou. That goes triple for Wichita State and Kansas.

I’m probably in the minority on this among MVC observers on this. The feeling among some (many?) in the MVC is that they’re too good for those types of deals.

Bull.

I turn that argument inside-out. If you truly believe your conference and your program is on par and can compete with those types of in-state foes from bigger conferences, why rob yourself of the opportunity to beat them? Give yourself every chance to prove it, whether it be on their court, a neutral court, or if you’re really fortunate, on your own court.

If your program is waiting around for that elusive 2-for-1 deal or the rarest of rare home-and-home series with the in-state big school team out of a sense of pride, you’re robbing your program and your fans of the opportunity to prove how good you really are. An argument can be made that it’s cowardly not to take the chance when it’s given to your program.

That’s why I like this. Most coaches wouldn’t take the chance. Lansing did.

Even though ISU’s home-road split is now totally out-of-whack, and even though ISU will face the daunting task of playing seven of its first eight games away from Hulman Center, Lansing chose to storm the windmill instead of meekly taking the easier route.

It took guts to make this decision. Good for Lansing for having the gumption to pull it off.

Editor’s note: This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared in Golden’s Down In The Valley blog.

Todd Golden is sports editor of the Terre Haute Tribune-Star. He can be reached at (812) 231-4272 or todd.golden@tribstar.com. Check out Golden’s 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
Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Urinator Causes Portland to Flush Reservoir Raw: Pro-Russian Militants Killed on Base Miley Cyrus Still in Hospital, Cancels 2nd Show New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes Today in History for April 17th Pope's Relic on Wheels Departs to Rome Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo Hoax Bomb Raises Anxiety in Boston Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Ex-California City Leader Gets 12 Year Sentence
NDN Video
Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Florida State Ends Top Of the 5th With Bizarre Play vs Jacksonville | ACC Must See Moment Kate Upton Loves Her Body, Every Part Of It Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video Miley Cyrus Hospitalized After Severe Reaction To Medicine Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Toddler climbs into vending machine 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series
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