TERRE HAUTE —
For someone who missed an entire season due to a knee injury, Indiana State center FN Lutz has certainly kept himself visible since then.
Despite his injury — suffered on the last play of the spring game in 2012 — he was a constant presence at football practice. By the end of the season, he was running the scout team. He attended all games and watched from the press box as a quasi-player-coach.
The larger-than-life Lutz was also popular as ever amongst his teammates and on-campus. No more so than when he filmed a basketball promotional spot prior to ISU’s game against Creighton in February.
In an ad that featured ISU’s blimp comically exploding into the Creighton banner inside Hulman Center, he (loudly) implored Sycamore fans to show up for the game. The video became a TV advertisement and it went viral within the ISU community and the Missouri Valley Conference.
It served its intended purpose too as the game drew the largest student turnout during the 2012-13 season by a wide margin.
But the visibility Lutz had did not make up for the time lost when he missed the 2 012 season. Though he was visible, he felt invisible as far as being a contributor to ISU’s success.
“The hardest thing about the rehab was not being out here with the guys. I had to do my own thing during certain periods. In a way, I almost felt like I was letting the guys down by not being out there,” Lutz said.
Lutz will be out there to help the Sycamores in 2013 … and not a moment too soon. Along with veterans Paul Patrick, Adam Masters, Dakota Vermillion and Nick Rice, Lutz gives ISU an offensive line more experienced than expected given the extra year of eligibility he gained for the coming season.
Lutz — who was an All-MVC first team preseason selection last season despite his injury — is re-invigorated. He said there’s no physical side-effects from the ligament damage his suffered in his left knee on the final play of last year’s spring game, when his foot got caught in the Memorial Stadium field turf.
“It’s good to hit somebody. When you go a year without hitting somebody, it gets at you. It’s good to get back into the mentality. It’s not just schemes anymore, I can go out and do it,” Lutz said.
Lutz said that the new offense being implemented by ISU coach Mike Sanford has created some changes. There’s not as many calls as there had been in the past and he said the linemen have more flexibility within pass protection blocking than in the past.
Lutz’s impact on his team goes beyond his blocking. The personable Lafayette Harrison graduate has long been a unifying presence on the Sycamores, and while he was able to serve that role even without playing in 2012, his teammates have greater piece of mind when he’s on the field with them.
“FN is an all-around leader. He does a great job. He’s old, not in health, but he’s old on the field. He’s played these teams for years,” ISU running back Shakir Bell said. “FN is an All-American type of guy. He’s been one of the best assets to that front five since I’ve been here. It was really tough running without him last year, but it’s a blessing to have him back this year.”
Lutz said he learned a lot during his one-year absence from the field and he felt his time off might pay dividends for him this year.
“I got to know a lot of the freshmen on the scout defensive line and I really learned the game from a mental aspect sitting up in the box charting players. It gave me a birdseye view of what goes on,” Lutz said.
Sanford is pleased to have Lutz as an anchor for the offensive line. Lutz’s reputation preceded him … even before Sanford accepted the ISU job.
“I heard about him through the interview process. Ron Prettyman talked about what a good person and leader he is. He came to the press conference when I was hired. I think it set the tone for the kind of guy he is. I’m impressed he’s our center,” Sanford said.
As for Lutz’s career in commercials, he was not asked to appear in another spot after the ISU-Creighton men’s basketball game. He joked that he needed, “… an agent to find out what’s going on?”
“It was fun helping get people to games. It’s important to have that fanbase for our sports,” Lutz said.
n Scrimmage today — ISU will have its second spring football scrimmage at 3:30 p.m. today. Last week’s scrimmage was interspersed into regular practice time, but Sanford said today’s version would go from start-to-finish.
“It’ll be more of a scrimmage the whole way. We’re going to work different situations. We’ll do goal line, coming out [backed up against goal line], we’ll do some normal move-the-ball situations and we’ll concentrate on third downs,” Sanford said. “We’ll do some red zone and overtime situations. We’ll go all-live until the end when we do a two-minute.”
A snow day on March 26 postponed a scheduled practice to this past Monday. ISU will have had four practices by week’s end. It’s about as close in the spring as a team gets to replicating regular season practice time. Sanford wasn’t surprised at what it revealed.
“By design, we wanted to get stronger in the offseason and we didn’t condition. One thing we’ve noticed is we have to get in better condition. We’ve reminded ourselves of that this week. We had a very physical practice on Monday, helmets and shoulder pads on Tuesday and helmets and shorts on Thursday. We got a lot out of it,” Sanford said.
ISU has one week of spring practice left. The Spring Game will be played at 3 p.m. on April 20.
Sycamore football team to scrimmage today
TERRE HAUTE —
For someone who missed an entire season due to a knee injury, Indiana State center FN Lutz has certainly kept himself visible since then.
- Indiana State University
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.
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.
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.
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.
Odum, Smith, Arop recognized by MVC
Indiana State point guard Jake Odum doesn’t play baseball, but he did go 4-for-4 in his Sycamore career.
His 4-for-4 performance came in regards to his All-Missouri Valley Conference selections. Odum has been named to the all-MVC team in each of his four seasons, and for the second time in a year, Odum was named to the MVC’s first team.
Teammate Khristian Smith also received a major individual honor. Smith, a sophomore, earned the MVC’s Sixth Man Award. Senior Manny Arop also was named as an All-MVC honorable-mention selection.
ISU’s Odum earns first-team All-MVC honors
ST. LOUIS —Indiana State guard Jake Odum earned a spot on the 2014 All-Missouri Valley Conference first team, which was announced today as the Sycamores prepare for this week’s MVC men’s basketball tournament.
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.
Senior Day Success
Indiana State shot just 35 percent from the field Sunday in Hulman Center compared with 46 percent for the visiting Bradley women, but that was almost a good thing.
ISU teams sweep titles in indoor track
Indiana State’s track teams swept the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championships on Sunday at Northern Iowa, the men leading all the way and the women surviving a three-way battle.
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.
Red-hot ISU baseball wins eighth straight game
Indiana State broke away from a tight ballgame with four runs in the fifth inning and went on to post their eighth-straight victory of the 2014 campaign with a 10-3 triumph over New Orleans Saturday.
David Stagg (3-0) was the winning pitcher for the Sycamores as he went seven innings. He allowed two runs, scattered nine hits and struck out eight.
ISU men’s track leading in MVC indoor championships
Indiana State’s men’s track and field team took the lead Saturday after the first day of the Missouri Valley Conference indoor championships Saturday at Northern Iowa, while the Sycamore women were second.
Seeking their second straight championship, the Sycamore men have 64 points to 37 for Illinois State. Indiana State’s women are just two points behind Southern Illinois, 50-48.
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.
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.
Mayor Bennett takes students’ questions
Mayor Duke Bennett fielded some tough, thoughtful questions on topics that included potholes, neighborhood safety, abandoned homes and railroads Thursday.
Metro roundup: ISU track ready for MVC indoors
The Indiana State track and field teams will head to Cedar Falls, Iowa, this weekend for the Missouri Valley Conference indoor championships.
The men are defending champions and the women were runners-up a year ago.
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.
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.
Moren praises Jasmine Grier for helping ISU women pull out wins
Indiana State coach Teri Moren has preached to her women’s basketball team that consistent quality results at the defensive end will translate to the offensive end.
For junior Jasmine Grier and the Sycamores, their coach’s message was infallible last weekend.
Sycamores basketball set for Illinois State
It’s no secret that Indiana State’s basketball team hasn’t shot the ball lately. It’s also no secret that tonight’s opponent — Illinois State — uses a 2-3 zone as its base defense and 2-3s have been to the Sycamores as silver bullets are to werewolves.
Even though the Sycamores have struggled to get shots to fall, they’ve also kept teams from making theirs too. Defense has long been the characteristic coach Greg Lansing has wanted his Sycamores to define themselves by, and lately, they’ve been living up to it.
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 Indiana State University Headlines
- Ramblin’ On: Sycamores use defensive stops to reach Missouri Valley semifinals