TERRE HAUTE —
To no one’s surprise, really, competition should be tough as ever for men’s basketball teams in the Big Ten and Missouri Valley.
Six Big Ten teams are in the Associated Press Top 25 this week; from the MVC, Creighton is 16th and Wichita State 23rd.
Indiana, of course, is No. 1 and has been since the preseason polls were announced. The Hoosiers have a date with Butler at 2 p.m. Saturday in Indy and it could be interesting. The Bulldogs have victories over North Carolina and Northwestern while losing to Illinois in the Maui Invitational.
Illinois is the surprise team of the Big Ten so far at 10-0 including the Maui Invitational championship and thumping ranked Gonzaga on the road last week.
The Illini are operating under new coach John Groce and without big man Meyers Leonard, who is playing in the NBA. His absence makes Illinois a shorter team.
Some college football teams have key dates coming up this week.
Marian University of Indianapolis faces Morningside in the NAIA championship game on Thursday and North Dakota State has a home game with Georgia Southern in the Football Championship Subdivision semifinals with Sam Houston State at Eastern Washington in the other game.
• Vikes at home — West Vigo is off to a 3-1 start in boys basketball and has played all four games on the road, losing to Northview.
The Vikings finally have a home game this week, two of them to be exact, meeting Terre Haute South on Friday and Brown County in a boys/girls, JV/varsity four-game set.
South bested Center Grove to get its first victory last week and has three games this week. The Braves host North Central’s Thunderbirds on Wednesday and go to Evansville Reitz on Saturday in addition to meeting West Vigo.
Terre Haute North got a nice win against Bloomington South and will be on the road for games with Mooresville and Evansville Harrison this weekend.
North’s girls are at Northview tonight, host West Vigo on Thursday and are at Ben Davis on Saturday, while South’s girls entertain Center Grove on Saturday.
Randy Bishop is the new coach of the boys team at Lawrenceville in Illinois but is no stranger to fans in the area. He previously coached at Martinsville and Casey.
He went against one of his former players, Steve Hawkins, last week when the Indians took on red-hot Casey. The Warriors had impressive victories over Marshall and the Indians last week.
• Tom-Cattin’ It — Patrick Mallory is the new football coach at Lawrence North. The former IU offensive lineman coached Knightstown the past two seasons.
n IU’s women’s basketball team had a winnings streak snapped by Belmont —which lost to Indiana State — and the Hoosiers lost to Butler last week, bowing 59-56.
• Players from the area were among the early leaders in Indiana boys basketball stats.
Lane Mahurin of Rockville was first in blocks with 25 while Austin Robertson of Union was tied for seventh with nine. Justin Bumgardner of South Putnam was tied for ninth in rebounds with 36.
• Bill O’Brien of Penn State is the Big Ten football coach of the year.
n Vincennes University is 11-0 in men’s basketball following a 102-58 victory over Sinclair.
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.