TERRE HAUTE —
For the first time in its history, the Missouri Valley Conference will have a home in the Second City.
The Chicago Tribune confirmed Saturday via a Loyola University source that the Ramblers will replace Creighton as the MVC’s 10th team. Loyola — a member of the Horizon League — will join the MVC effective July 1.
Indiana State Director of Athletics Ron Prettyman — who was part of the MVC search committee that scouted potential replacements for Creighton — confirmed Sunday that the Ramblers were in the MVC loop.
“It’s a real deal and it’s happening,” Prettyman said.
“The details are being worked out, but Loyola has accepted an invitation to join the Missouri Valley Conference. Most of the members are excited about that,” he said.
“I think they’ll be a good member. It opens us up to the Chicago market. They have a very nice campus. There’s a strong financial commitment to improve their programs,” Prettyman added.
No official announcement has been made. Loyola and the MVC are expected to have a joint announcement later this week.
Prettyman said the MVC presidents voted to approve Loyola on Friday morning. Prettyman was unaware of what the vote breakdown was, but to secure admission to the league, at least seven of the nine MVC schools had to vote for Loyola.
Efforts to reach MVC commissioner Doug Elgin were unsuccessful.
There has been media speculation that Loyola’s Horizon League Chicago cohorts — Illinois-Chicago — could be joining the MVC with the Ramblers.
“I think this is it for ’13-’14. I think there’s some interest in discussing expansion of the conference in the future, but at best, it’s discussion at this point. No decisions have been made on that,” Prettyman said.
At various stages of its 105-year history, the MVC has had teams in cities and states ranging from New Mexico to Houston to Detroit, but it has never included a Chicago-based school.
Loyola is a Jesuit university located in Chicago’s north side on the shore of Lake Michigan.
In a day and age where television markets matter when securing advantageous TV deals, having the third-largest television market in the fold is important, even if Loyola is ranked several notches below Chicago’s professional sports in the Windy City’s sports pecking order.
It is also an attractive factor for ISU, which has always recruited Chicago heavily both in athletic and academic circles.
“The Chicago market is certainly attractive to us with our alumni base there. We recruit there, not just for athletics, but as a university as a whole out of the Chicago basin,” Prettyman said.
In men’s basketball — the MVC’s signature sport — Loyola has a proud history, but an unimpressive recent record. The Ramblers won the 1963 NCAA Championship in an iconic upset over Cincinnati.
But Loyola has had just one 20-win season (21-11 in 2007) in the last 10 years and has had just six winning campaigns since the 64-team NCAA Tournament era began in 1985.
The concerns about Loyola’s lack of on-court success are real, but Prettyman said the university is committed to making the financial investment to bring its programs in line with those in the MVC.
“There’s certainly some concern about their current strength of program, but with the commitment they’ve made financially and with a new, strong administration, I feel confident their programs will improve and they’ll contribute to the strength of the Valley,” said Prettyman, who noted that Loyola shared its five- and 10-year plan with the search committee.
“The [MVC] presidents, after consulting with their AD’s, their FAR’s [faculty athletic representatives] and senior women administrators who were on the visits feel strongly that Loyola is going to step up their program and contribute significantly,” Prettyman added.
Loyola defeated ISU in a 2010 visit. Terre Haute native Matt O’Leary currently plays for the Ramblers.
Loyola doesn’t have a baseball program, a sport that the MVC puts a heavy emphasis on during its spring season.
“They have a beautiful campus, their facilities are decent, but they’re a little bit landlocked. When we talked baseball, they didn’t say, ‘No, we’re not going to do it.’ But they weren’t sure about the logistics of it,” Prettyman said.
Loyola becomes the first team added to the MVC since Evansville joined the conference for the 1994-95 season.
Ramblers to replace Creighton in July
TERRE HAUTE —
For the first time in its history, the Missouri Valley Conference will have a home in the Second City.
- Indiana State University
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.
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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
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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.
TODD GOLDEN: Relax, guys: Play loose, have fun
What seems like an end can really be a beginning for Indiana State’s men’s basketball team.
A shocker on the road
For one day, at least, the Indiana State women’s basketball team found another scoring option.
ISU baseball wins 6th in a row
Indiana State won the unofficial championship of the Mule City Classic in college baseball on Sunday, shutting out Middle Tennessee State 9-0 to sweep the weekend round robin.
- More Indiana State University Headlines
- Sycamores rejuvenated heading into MVC Tournament quarterfinals