Indiana State coach Teri Moren has talked about making step-by-step progress since arriving in Terre Haute four years ago.
After being picked eighth, fifth then seventh, Moren has a team picked to finish at the top. For the first time since Melanie Boeglin led Indiana State to the 2005-06 regular-season crown, the Sycamores are the favorite to claim the regular-season title. The Sycamores received 26 of 40 first-place votes to beat out defending league champion Wichita State as the favorite.
"It says a lot about what we’ve been able to do the last three years," Moren said. "All of this has been a process in the making. We’ve talked about each year just trying to get a little bit better and trying to improve."
ISU finished 18-13 overall in Moren’s third year at Indiana State, tying for fourth in the MVC at 10-8. In addition to preseason All-MVC selection Anna Munn, Racheal Mahan had a breakout sophomore season, posting averages of 13.9 points and 7.9 rebuonds, and Marina Laramie and Kasey Johnson showed flashes of their potential throughout solid freshman seasons.
“With what they have coming back, they have to be the frontrunner,” said Northern Iowa coach Tanya Warren, the longest tenured and most successful active coach in the league. Warren’s Panthers, who have been picked in the top half of the conference for six straight years, was picked third behind Wichita State, which got 13 first-place votes.
“They’re very talented, they’re extremely well-coached, they’re very physical,” Warren said of the Sycamores. “They have some new kids, including a point guard from Memphis that will step in and do some things for them.”
That point guard is Bilquis Abdul-Qaadir, a double-figure scoring transfer from the University of Memphis. She joins the four returning starters led by Munn, who is the unquestioned guiding force for the Sycamores.
“Whether we’re picked last or first, we have to earn what we’re going to get,” Munn said Wednesday inside Gentile Arena at Loyola University.
Munn said she will help keep her team humble and working hard. That won’t be hard based on the effort the seven returning letterwinners put forth last winter.
“The key ingredient about the team last year is they played so hard, they bought in and had tremendous chemistry,” Moren said. “What I’m most proud of is this has been a work in progress.
Kids like Anna Munn, who’s been two-feet in since she came on campus, has really been the leader of this group. Every year we’ve gotten a little bit better and last year obviously you get 18 wins. On paper, you figure we probably should have got 21. You feel good about that, you get to the NIT for the first time in seven years. The culmination of all those things has put us in a position to get respect from the other teams in the conference and the media.”
Add in the seven newcomers who will be eligible by the time conference games begin and Moren could have plenty of options to call upon on her bench.
Kansas State transfer Stephanie Wittman and American University transfer Chelsea Small will be eligible following the first semester, and 6-foot wing Jasmine Grier, 5-10 guard Bobbie Beckwith, 6-0 power forward LaShonda LIttleton have all been productive junior college players for two seasons.
“I think that’s one thing that’s good about this team is that we only have one true freshman in Rhagen Smith,” Munn said. “Everyone else is transfers, they’ve got at least one or two years in college basketball. That will help us tremendously with our depth.”
The Sycamores will try to go 2-for-2 in living up to the external expectations. ISU has won two regular-season MVC titles going back to the inception in 1992; Boeglin and Kourtney Mennen helped coach Jim Wiedie tie for the crown in 2002-03.
“They have all the ingredients for a championship-caliber team. They’re definitely the team to beat,” Warren said.
Drake was picked fourth with Missouri State fifth and first-year league member Loyola was sixth. The Ramblers , who went 17-15 last season in the Horizon League, received one first-place vote.
Women’s basketball legend Sheryl Swoopes, a four-time WNBA champion and an NCAA champion at Texas Tech, said she did not vote her own team to win the title.
But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t think they’re capable.
“Seeing how we are predicted to finish sixth, I love being in an underdog position. It takes a lot of pressure off myself, being a first-time head coach, and my players,” Swoopes said. “We should go out every day and try to get better. I do want to make some noise, I want to be a surprise.”
Wichita State’s Alex Harden was voted the preseason Player of the Year. The Shockers’ junior is an athletic wing player that can make a big impact at both ends of the floor.
“It’s an honor that all the coaches and players respect me, the biggest thing is proving it,” Harden said. “So come to every game, every practice, ready to compete.”
Munn selected to preseason first-team All-MVC
Indiana State coach Teri Moren has talked about making step-by-step progress since arriving in Terre Haute four years ago.
- 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.
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.
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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.
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- Sycamores rejuvenated heading into MVC Tournament quarterfinals