WICHITA, Kan. —
Indiana State fans have come to expect point guard Jake Odum to shine in big games.
Forward Manny Arop has also earned the reputation as a big-game player.
But some of ISU’s finest moments in the 2013 season have come when Devonte Brown has been at his best. Tuesday’s 68-55 victory at No. 15 Wichita State was no exception.
Brown had 10 points for the Sycamores in their important Missouri Valley Conference victory, but his impact was felt well beyond his scoring total.
Brown also had productive games against Miami (nine points, five rebounds) and ISU’s Dec. 30 win over Illinois State (12 points, seven rebounds), but he acknowledged that this was ISU’s biggest win yet.
“This is a big win for us in an atmosphere that’s just crazy. It’s so hard to win here. For us it was a battle – and it was definitely a battle, it was a war zone out there,” Brown said.
Brown was a menace to the Shockers on the defensive end. He made ISU’s rarely-used 2-3 zone work and lived up to his reputation as ISU’s best one-on-one defender when the Sycamores reverted to their familiar man-to-man sets.
“We threw off their pace on the offensive end and changed things up on them,” Brown said.
Brown was the unquestioned ignitor in ISU’s 17-3 first-half run that gave the Sycamores an 11-point halftime lead the Shockers never overcame.
With WSU leading 25-24 with 3:47 left in the half, Brown drove the lane and converted a traditional three-point play to put ISU in front. The redshirt freshman then converted another layup to put ISU up 29-25.
“Devonte was a key in the first half. He was terrific,” ISU coach Greg Lansing said.
“The first two three’s of the game [WSU made] were my fault, so I had to give it back in some way. We broke their press and I was able to get in lanes,” Brown said.
He saved the best for last. He stole a Demetric Williams pass on the next possession. He bided his time in transition, but elected to drive the lane himself. Using a spin move in lane, Brown converted a circus reverse layup to put ISU up six.
The crazy conversion would make ESPN’s SportsCenter’s top 10 plays, but more importantly, it gave the Sycamores what they needed to finish the half on a high.
“It felt good about it. I spun and I thought I was fouled, but I had to keep going through the contact. All I know was that I was coming out if I missed it, so I had tremendous focus on that layup,” Brown said.
• Art of the zone – ISU has practiced a zone all season long. Lansing has often been heard during games asking his coaching staff whether ISU should go zone.
But Lansing never pulled the trigger. On Tuesday, the Sycamores’ unveiling of their 2-3 zone delivered a double-blow to the Shockers. It had the intended effect of forcing WSU into jump shots and slowing tempo … and it also had the element of surprise.
“Every game we’ve gone into we thought we might use it for a few possessions here and there. Lou [Gudino, Associate Head Coach] thought it would be a great idea to switch things up on them,” Lansing said.
Lansing explained that the Sycamores would go into their zone after ISU made shots. That proved to be often as ISU made 60 percent of its first half shots.
“On a miss, we’d be man-to-man. On makes, we were zone. The guys really followed it,” Lansing said.
ISU played little zone in the second half, but the discombobulation of the Shockers had already been achieved.
“They forced us to shoot outside,” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. “They sagged in and really took the inside away. When we got it inside, we couldn’t finish. We were 7-for-31 inside the arc.”
The down side of the zone was that WSU snared 19 offensive rebounds, even though ISU had a 35-34 overall rebounding edge. But ISU’s 53.3 percent shooting and WSU’s 27.1 percent counter-acted the Shockers’ dominance on the offensive glass.
While it hasn’t been seen this season, ISU has used a zone in the past under Lansing to throw teams off. One notable occurrence was on Feb. 9, 2011.
Down eight at Illinois State, ISU zoned the Redbirds and Illinois State failed to score a field goal in the final nine-plus minutes. The Sycamores won 56-46, a win which broke a five-game losing skid and which ultimately set ISU on the path for a NCAA Tournament appearance.
• Cummings shines in front of former teammates – ISU guard Dawon Cummings had perhaps his best all-around game with eight points on a 4-of-5 shooting performance.
What was gratifying to the Kansas City, Mo., native was that the coaching staff from Coffeyville (Kan.) Junior College – Cummings’ former school – were on hand to see it. Coffeyville, located in the southeast corner of Kansas, is about a two-and-a-half hour drive from Wichita.
“It felt good to play in front of my old coaching staff and some friends and family. It feel real good to get a W here,” Cummings said after the game.
Cummings hit one of the most important shots of the second half. His 3-pointer at the 15:50 mark broke a scoreless second-half ISU drought and briefly put the Sycamores up by seven.
“I didn’t know if we’d ever score again,” Lansing said. “Dawon’s got some guts. That was something coming into this game. I talked about guts and intestinal fortitude. Dawon hit a big shot.”
• Shockers at a loss – ISU’s zone threw the Shockers off their game, but WSU had questions beyond the defensive decision ISU surprised them with. The Shockers lamented the Sycamores’ ability to grab loose balls and 50/50 balls, and there were many of them in a physical contest.
“They would seem to make every play, no matter what end it was on. They seemed to get every loose ball tonight which bothered me. That doesn’t happen. It’s not just lucky bounces. I have to figure out why they were quicker to the ball and tougher to retrieve it,” Marshall said.
The most notable silenced Shocker was All-MVC forward Carl Hall. The senior came off the bench and scored just two points. He attempted just two shots and made neither of them.
“It wasn’t frustrating,” Hall insisted. “When teams take you away on the block. All you can do is offensive rebound. That’s what I could do to help my team out.”
Williams gave kudos to the Sycamores, not only for their zone, but for their interior defense. R.J. Mahurin, Justin Gant and Jake Kitchell did a fine job on Hall and big man Cleanthony Early.
“They did a good job taking us out of our rhythm,” Williams said. “They didn’t let us dominate the paint. Their zone made us struggle. They made us be an outside team. We couldn’t get the ball much to Carl because they were double-teaming.”
• National notice – In addition to Brown’s SportsCenter appearance, the Sycamores’ win was a top trending topic Tuesday night on Twitter and grabbed the attention of national observers as well.
“HUGE win for Indiana State. One of the most impactful of the season by anyone, anywhere,” said ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi on Twitter.
“Indiana State has a NCAA-like resume as we enter February with a road win at Wichita State adding to neutral wins over Miami and Ole Miss,” said ESPN’s Andy Katz on Twitter.
The win vaulted the Sycamores back into the top 40 in the Ratings Percentage Index, putting them back in play for a NCAA at-large bid. ISU has defeated three ranked teams – none at home – and has beaten the top teams in the MVC (WSU) and ACC (Miami) along with the second-place team in the SEC (Ole Miss).
ISU broke WSU’s 19-game home-court win streak and won for just the eighth time in 38 tries at Koch Arena. It was ISU’s first win in Wichita since 2004.
INDIANA STATE (68) – Arop 7-11 2-5 17, Gant 2-2 2-2 6, Brown 4-6 2-3 10, Odum 2-7 6-6 10, Mahurin 3-8 1-1 8, Kitchell 1-1 0-0 2, Eitel 0-1 0-0 0, Cummings 4-5 0-0 9, K. Smith 1-4 4-4 6. 24-45 FG, 17-21 FT, 68 TP.
WICHITA STATE (53) – Armstead 2-11 0-0 5, Williams 4-14 4-4 14, Early 3-10 7-10 15, Orupke 0-2 0-1 0, Cotton 3-8 0-0 8, Wiggins 1-4 0-0 2, Hall 0-2 2-2 2, VanVleet 3-5 1-2 9, White 0-3 0-0 0. 16-59 FG, 14-19 FT, 53 TP.
Halftime score – ISU 39-28. 3-point goals – ISU 3-11 (Mahurin 1-4, Arop 1-3, Cummings 1-1, Eitel 0-1), WSU 9-28 (Williams 2-7, Early 2-6, Cotton 2-4, VanVleet 2-3, Armstead 1-8). Rebounds – ISU 35 (Arop 6, Team 6, Gant 4, Mahurin 4, Brown 3, Eitel 3, K. Smith 3, Odum 2, Kitchell 2, Cummings 2), WSU 34 (Early 11, Orupke 6, Hall 6, Armstead 3, Cotton 2, Wiggins 2, White 2, VanVleet 1, Team), Assists – ISU 5 (Odum 4, Kitchell), WSU 10 (Armstead 4, Williams 2, VanVleet 2, Early, Hall), Steals – ISU 7 (Arop 2, Brown 2, Gant, Mahurin, K. Smith), WSU 5 (Armstead 2, Williams, Early, Orupke), Blocks – ISU 3 (Mahruin, Kitchell, K. Smith), WSU 2 (Early, Orupke), Turnovers – ISU 15 (Gant 3, Brown 3, Cummings 3, Kitchell 2, Arop, Odum, Eitel, K. Smith), WSU 11 (Armstead 3, Williams 2, Cotton 2, Orupke, Hall, VanVleet, White), Total fouls – ISU 17, WSU 17. A – 10,216.
Next – ISU (13-6, 7-3) plays at Drake and Wichita State (19-4, 8-2) plays at Northern Iowa on Saturday.
Freshman guard provides spark for Sycamores
WICHITA, Kan. —
Indiana State fans have come to expect point guard Jake Odum to shine in big games.
- Indiana State University
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.
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.
- More Indiana State University Headlines
- FROM THE PRESS BOX: Odum rises to WSU challenge