News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 20, 2011

RAMBLIN' RECK: A long distance relationship

Tom Reck
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Indiana State’s trip out West to play basketball at Boise State brought back memories of one of the trips I made to that city.

It was 1992 and Eastern Illinois and Indiana University were paired to meet at Boise State in a first-round game of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. As many persons noted, two teams about 150 miles or less apart would travel hundreds of miles to play basketball.

The NCAA has attempted to avoid such deals in recent years, but not then.

Anyway, it was basically impossible to get a flight to Idaho on short notice – at least at a reasonable price. So, I went by train and enjoyed the trip out and back.

The Hoosiers won the game 94-55 to set up a second-round contest with LSU and Shaquille O’Neal in what turned out to be his final college game. IU beat LSU with Shaq getting 36 points and going 12 for 12 at the free-throw line.

IU then defeated Florida State 85-74 and No. 1 seed UCLA 106-79 in the regional. That put the Hoosiers in the Final Four at Minneapolis in a game with Duke, coached by former Bob Knight player Mike Krzyewski. The Blue Devils won 81-78 and went on to win a second straight championship.

And so it went.

• Record set – Former Terre Haute resident Connor Coleman is having a good senior season in boys basketball at Waverly-Shell Rock High School in Iowa.

A four-year starter, he recently established a new career mark in assists, breaking the old mark of 263. He had set the single-season record for assists of 139 last season, leading the team to an undefeated regular season before losing by two points in the postseason.

Coleman also has led the Go-Hawks in scoring the past two seasons. In the first five games this year, he was averaging 13.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4 rebounds and 2 steals per game.

He was four steals shy of breaking the school career mark of 118 steals.

• Tom-Cattin’ It -- Bloomington South has finally lost a regular-season game in boys basketball.

Lawrence Central ended the Panthers' 50-game home-court winning streak last week with a 51-50 victory. South rebounded with a 79-39 victory over Scottsburg to start a new streak.

The Panthers earlier had nipped Terre Haute North in overtime at Bloomington.

• Evansville player Jordan Jahr likely is out for the season after breaking his right foot.

• Christmas came early for me when a friend gave me a 1979 World Series baseball program. My Pirates, of course, beat Baltimore in that one.

It was nice to read about and recall memories of a winning Bucs’ team.

• Casey and Marshall, Ill., boys basketball teams will be competing in some special events in the next few weeks.

Both teams will be in the Pizza Hut Classic next week and both will be in a Shootout at Tolono on Jan. 7. Marshall also will be in a four-game event Jan. 14 at Hulman Center, meeting Shakamak.

Casey is unbeaten and has a big game tonight at Teutopolis. That game will be televised for future play and will be aired by WMMC-FM 105.9.

• Larry Bird turned 55 last week.

• Former Terre Haute Gerstmeyer and IU player Bob Leonard remains a member of the radio broadcast team for the Indiana Pacers in spite of suffering a heart attack in the spring. The 79-year-old will do home games only with Austin Croshere doing road games.

• UCLA defeated Illinois 3-1 to win the NCAA volleyball championship, its first since 1991. Illinois competed in its first finals.

• Futsum Zeinasellassie of Indianapolis finished second in the Foot Locker Cross Country Nationals, losing to the winner by a second. He is a three-time state champ.

• Butler ended a losing streak in men’s basketball by beating Purdue last week. The Bulldogs have games at Gonzaga and Stanford this week.

• In last week’s Indiana prep boys statistics, Rhett Smith of Sullivan was fifth in scoring with a 22.6-point average.


Tom Reck may be contacted by telephone at (812) 232-3231, by email at or by mail at 4284 South 5th Street, Apt. 3, Terre Haute, IN 47802.