TERRE HAUTE —
How chronic has Indiana State’s football injury problem been this season?
An entire 22-man team could be formed from the players who have missed at least one game or were hurt in a game and had to leave it. So far, 25 Sycamores fit that description.
Considering that a Football Championship Subdivision roster has just 63 scholarships available, that’s a whopping injury hit for a team to take.
Injuries aren’t the sole reason ISU is 1-4 and has its FCS playoff hopes on life support as it travels to South Dakota today, but they sure haven’t helped the Sycamores’ cause.
Just taking into account starting players, the injury list is staggering. When safety Larry King went down with a season-ending knee injury in the first practice in August the injury cascade never stopped.
“It’s rough. We’ll miss guys physically. We’ll miss leadership. It all started when Larry King went down and it just spiraled. But you can’t focus on all of the negatives,” said ISU running back Shakir Bell, who has missed two games and parts of two others with shoulder and toe injuries.
In addition to Bell, starters or projected starters that missed time include cornerback Calvin Burnett (lost for the season), tight end Jamar Brown (lost for the season), wide receiver Chris O’Leary, wide receiver A.J. Johnson, cornerback Alex Stowers, safety Donovan Layne, linebacker Kendall Walker, linebacker T.J. Tuuu, linebacker Jordan Jackson, safety Mark Sewall, safety Phil Wilson, running back George Cheeseborough and defensive tackle Tyler Boyd.
Wide receivers Demory Lawshe and Tanner Riley also were knocked out of games in the first half.
There is no end in sight to ISU’s misery. Walker and Stowers did not pass concussion tests this week and will miss today’s game. As will Lonnell Brown Jr., who’s been an effective passing-down rusher.
Another name could be added to the list as starting right tackle Paul Patrick injured his ankle Wednesday. He was in a boot during Thursday’s practice and ISU coach Mike Sanford said he was a game-time decision to play today.
Football teams try to endure when injuries hit. Nearly every team circles the wagons and brushes off the notion that chronic injuries offer an excuse. The Sycamores are no different.
“We have a no excuses, next-man-up mentality. One of our deals from the beginning has been that if someone goes down, you be the guy that’s prepared. So when everybody looks over and sees who’s in they say, ’Good’ and don’t say, ’Uh-oh.’ We put a premium on everyone preparing,” Sanford said.
But at some point, the mere accumulation of injuries reaches critical mass, and while the brave face is put on, reality hits that no matter how defiant a team tries when adversity comes, the mental drain of trying to do less with more grinds on any team.
“It takes a toll on us emotionally. It’s hard to just go out and grind everyday and keep losing more and more players. As a young team, we need to realize that people have to step up and fill those positions,” said Layne, who missed two games with an ankle injury suffered at Indiana on Aug. 29.
The mass of injuries has a cascading effect on the entire team. If a defensive back is hurt — every starting ISU defensive back has been at some point — that trickles down to the special teams.
Sanford said the injury problem has become so acute that he and his staff haven’t been able to put together a travel squad until the Thursday before games. Most of the time, that determination is made early in the week.
“A lot of our plans for a lot of things are affected — special teams, offense and defense — but even who’s just going to play has been week-to-week. There’s the depth chart. Who’s one? Who’s two? Every day, every week we have to figure that out,” Sanford said.
The coaches and players have no choice but to carry on. ”Next man in” might very well be a cliché, but it’s one that the Sycamores have to believe in. Circumstance leaves no other options and no room for gloom or sentiment.
“I don’t know how it affects the players. We don’t really discuss that or worry about that. It’s the reality, so we’re dealing with it. Day-to-day, week-to-week,” Sanford said.
Bell, who had to leave last week’s game against Youngstown State with a toe injury in the first quarter and is himself questionable for today’s game, said the team can’t dwell on the lengthy injured list.
“Our heart is extended to the guys who are hurt. We can’t focus on that. We have seven games to play. We still want to win the conference. We still want to win the playoffs,” said Bell, who is a game-time decision, according to Sanford, but who insisted he will play.
TERRE HAUTE —
How chronic has Indiana State’s football injury problem been this season?
- Indiana State University
ISU’s Abdul-Qaadir, Munn All-MVC selections
Senior guards Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir and Anna Munn have both been named to Missouri Valley Conference All-Conference teams, announced by the league on Wednesday. Abdul-Qaadir earned a spot on the first-team while Munn was named honorable mention.
Metro sports: ‘Lucky Lou’ strikes again on golf course
Retired Public Service Indiana employee Lou Mundell, a lifelong resident of Terre Haute, posted the fifth hole-in-one of his life Tuesday afternoon at the Harder Hall Country Club golf course in his winter home of Sebring.
ISU win streak at 12
Ryan Keaffaber recorded his sixth save in seven opportunities Monday as Indiana State won its 12th straight college baseball game, holding off a rally by visiting Western Illinois for a 7-4 victory on Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium.
Metro sports: Indiana State's Abdul-Qaadir honored by MVC again
Bilquis Abdul-Qaadir of Indiana State has been named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week for women’s basketball, the league announced Monday.
Guts, sweat, tears: Sycamores fall to perfect Shockers
No one on Indiana State’s men’s basketball needed to say a word about the Sycamores’ 83-69 loss to Wichita State in Sunday’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game.
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.
Reliever leads comeback in ISU's 11th straight win
It could have been just a mop-up role for Josh Dove on Sunday at Bob Warn Field, but the Indiana State relief pitcher wasn’t thinking that way.
ISU fans cheer their team from afar
Indiana State University basketball fans eagerly supported their team Sunday, even from a distance, as they watched the Sycamores battle in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game being played in St. Louis.
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.
Clock problems delay start of Indiana State semifinal game
Time stood still in Scottrade Center on Saturday.
Not by design.
Sycamores advance to Arch Madness title game
No one said advancing to the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball tournament championship game was going to be easy.
ISU women grab share of MVC regular-season title
The preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorite lived up to its expectations, as the Indiana State women’s basketball team grabbed a piece of the regular-season title with an 85-72 triumph over host Northern Iowa on Saturday afternoon inside McLeod Center.
ISU headed to MVC title game
Indiana State defeated Southern Illinois 62-59 on Saturday to advance to Arch Madness championship game.
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.
- More Indiana State University Headlines
- ISU’s Abdul-Qaadir, Munn All-MVC selections