TERRE HAUTE —
Last week’s success is paying dividends for Indiana State’s men’s basketball team.
The Sycamores are one of three Missouri Valley Conference teams in the RPI Top 50. Wichita State is 15th after beating Creighton. Creighton is 22nd and ISU is 47th. Northern Iowa is next at 86 and Evansville is 105.
Wichita State and Creighton both are in the AP Top 25 list again. Creighton is 17th and the Shockers 20th.
Those AP rankings changed a lot with losses by Louisville and Indiana. Duke is back in the No. 1 slot followed by Michigan, Kansas, Syracuse, Louisville, Arizona and IU in the No. 7 slot. Butler nipped Gonzaga in an ESPN thriller and is up to No. 9 with Gonzaga at No. 10.
ISU was up two spots at 77 in the Sagarin rankings last week following the loss at Southern Illinois and not including last week’s victories. Some other figures: IU 7, Creighton 9, Arizona 10, Miami 14, Mississippi 18, San Diego State 19, Wichita State 26, Butler 32, Illinois 46, Northern Iowa 88, Evansville 93, Illinois State 103, Bradley 140.
Wichita State, with a 6-1 mark, and Creighton at 8-2 have the league’s most Top 100 wins while ISU has wins against Top 50 teams Miami and Ole Miss.
The Sycamores have two more games this week — they’re all tough in the Valley. They are at Illinois State on Wednesday and meet Northern Iowa on Saturday in Hulman Center.
It was good to see that the Redbirds beat Southern Illinois 70-56 on Sunday in a road game. They will not be looking for their first Valley victory against the Sycamores.
• Mills honored — Terre Haute North paid tribute to former player Nate Mills before Saturday’s game with Bedford North Lawrence.
He was on North’s first team, led the Patriots in scoring his senior season and finished his career with 1,643 points.
He also was a top player on North’s baseball team that won the state in 1974 and won the McMillan Award that year.
Mills played basketball at the University of New Orleans and played professional ball overseas for several years.
Tom-Cattin’ It — Vegas bookies have made San Francisco an early 4.5-point favorite in the Super Bowl. That figure may change in the next two weeks.
• More athletes in the area have confirmed or indicated their college plans.
West Vigo baseball ace pitcher Brandon Calleja and Rockville softball standout Brittany Gordon both have signed with Danville Community College in Illinois.
Rockville standout cager Lane Mahurin will be going to Indiana Wesleyan and teammate Gary Ulrich is headed for Wabash.
• The Indiana High School Athletic Association has made changes in cross country competition with 10 individuals not on qualifying teams advancing instead of just the 15 overall.
Sectionals also will be run on Saturday, giving runners one week to get ready for the regional a week later.
• Russ Hesler has been named principal at Greencastle High School. The former coach has been at the school for 35 years and has been serving as interim principal.
• Nate Hawkins has resigned as boys basketball coach at Forest Park High School to spend more time with family. The lay coach had a 64-26 mark and guided the Rangers to four straight Class 2A sectional titles.
• One television commentator called Oscar Robertson the best all-around basketball player of all time. He won’t get many arguments about the former Indianapolis Crispus Attucks and University of Cincinnati player.
Tom Reck may be contacted by telephone at (812) 232-3231, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at 4284 South 5th Street, Apt. 3, Terre Haute, IN, 47802.