News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Given to Fly

February 17, 2008

Given to Fly: Wrapping up a crazy week of college hoops around the state

TERRE HAUTE — This past week was definitely a news-filled week in the world of Indiana (particularly in Bloomington) and Wabash Valley basketball.

Consider this column a clearing of my actual notebook in addition to the virtual notebook in my head.

• Here in Terre Haute, the Indiana State women’s basketball team was simply overmatched Friday by Illinois State (20-3, 10-2), a team probably deserving of being in the AP Top 25 even though it has less victories against ranked teams this season than Indiana State (10-12, 4-8 MVC).

The Sycamores were able to beat Vanderbilt (19-6), who is now ranked No. 25 and played Sunday against No. 1 Tennessee. The Commodores were No. 20 when ISU defeated them 77-72 in overtime on Nov. 14, which was 93 days prior to ISU’s 91-56 loss to the Redbirds.

I also asked coach Jim Wiedie if he saw any similarities between his 2005-06 Missouri Valley Conference regular-season champion team and this year’s Illilnois State team.

“Yeah, I think so,” he responded. “They’ve got a lot of depth.”

“We had a lot of depth. They’ve got more kids that can score than we do [now]. Or at least they’ve shown that. When you’ve got such a strong inside-outside game like they have and you’ve got the best point guard in the league, that’s a pretty good combination. If they continue to play the way that they’re playing, there’s no telling how many more games they can win the rest of the season and where they can go in the postseason.”

Another similarity is the lack of a tough non-conference schedule that will spell doom for the Redbirds if they don’t win the MVC Tournament at St. Charles, Mo.

When asked if her team has any weaknesses, Illinois State coach Robin Pingeton admitted it does, but “I’m not telling you what they are,” she said.

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