News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

February 12, 2013

Bench molds itself into the ISU whole

Sycamores play at Missouri State tonight

TERRE HAUTE — Going into tonight’s game at Missouri State, Indiana State shares first place in the Missouri Valley Conference with Creighton and Wichita State. Of that, there’s no doubt.

But if you try to ascertain from opposing coaches why ISU is in the MVC’s penthouse? Aside from the brilliance of point guard Jake Odum, pinning down the explanation for the Sycamores’ success can be elusive.

“I don’t think there’s anything about Indiana State that jumps out from an offensive or defensive standpoint. They just play basketball the right way,” Missouri State coach Paul Lusk said.

Among the reasons ISU is in first place — with the tiebreaker edge over both the Bluejays and Shockers for the No. 1 seed in the MVC Tournament — is its bench.

The ISU bench is a microcosm of what the Sycamores have done right this season. There are no gaudy statistics to be found. There’s not a defined sixth-man role for Khristian Smith, Jake Kitchell, Dawon Cummings or Lucas Eitel.

But what all four players do is mold themselves into the Sycamores’ whole. They ensure that there’s little drop-off when they enter the game.

“It’s worked good this year because the bench trusts the starters and the starters trust the bench. About everyone has started at some point. We’ve all got confidence. We know our role is to supply that energy. The starters get it going and then we kind of feed into that,” ISU guard Eitel said.

And while each has a particular strength — Smith is a creator, Cummings and Eitel are shooters and Kitchell is a post defender — they also each bring something else to the table which makes them more than just specialty players.

“I think that’s why we’re a really good team; we have guys who can do a bunch of different things. When you sub someone, it’s not like you’re just getting a shooter or a scorer, you’re getting a defender too. We take pride in defense. We take pride in five guys playing defense,” ISU forward Smith said.

Eitel said a big key is team chemistry. ISU struggled with it a year ago, but have had much better inter-team relationships this season.

“It’s pretty rare, but everyone cares about each other. Even if I’m not having the best game, I’m pulling for Dawon or Jake. Even if they’re getting more minutes at the same position I play. And they do the same for me. That’s huge. Nobody’s worried about getting theirs,” Eitel said.

Every one of ISU’s four primary reserves has started at some point this season. ISU coach Greg Lansing said that role doesn’t matter as much as the end result does.

“They could be starting at other places,” Lansing said. “I consider them starters. They’re locked into what our plan is. They’re unselfish at the offensive end and they know their identity is to have an effect on the defensive end.”

Missouri State (7-18, 5-8) lost 79-50 at Wichita State on Saturday, but plays a similar motion offense/man-to-man defense style that can keep a game tight.

ISU’s 68-60 victory over Missouri State on Jan. 16 at Hulman Center was a prime example. The Bears led by four at halftime and pushed the Sycamores into the second half.

ISU was taken by surprise in that game as Missouri State unleashed forward Gavin Thurman for his first significant minutes. He had 18 points and has since added another scoring option for the Bears.

“They knocked us in the mouth,” Smith said. “They had us down four at halftime. Thurman is a good player. He knocked down some shots over me and I haven’t forgotten that. They set a lot of screens, just like Evansville, so we have to be locked in.”

ISU (16-8, 9-4) travels to Missouri State in the MVC pole position for the first time since 2011 and at the latest stage in a season since 2000. For the first time, ISU will be the hunted, not the hunter, and will get the opponent’s best efforts. Is ISU ready for that?

“We’ll find out. I want this program to be about contending for championships. These guys do too. Are we ready? We’ll find out. It’s not going to be easy,” Lansing said.

n ISU receives AP poll consideration – The Sycamores received votes and had five points in the Associated Press Top 25 poll released on Monday.

ISU received a 23rd-place vote from Mark Berman of the Roanoke (Va.) Times and 25th-place votes from Seth Davis of CBS and Terry Hutchens of the Indianapolis Star.

ISU last received poll consideration in 2011 after its win over No. 25 Vanderbilt.

ISU at Missouri State

• Tipoff – 8 p.m. at JQH Arena, Springfield, Mo.

• Broadcasts – TV: Fox Sports Midwest. Radio: WIBQ-FM 98.5. Twitter: @TribStarTodd

• Last time out – ISU defeated Southern Illinois 66-65, and Missouri State lost at Wichita State 79-50 Saturday.

• Series – MSU leads 37-22. ISU defeated MSU 68-60 on Jan. 16. ISU has won two of its four games at JQH Arena.

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SPT041714 WV BB shaffer.jpg

Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Consistent: West Vigo�s Jordan Shaffer gets a hit and on base for the second time in the third inning, having walked his first time at bat. Shaffer reached base in all four at-bats in their game with North Vermillion.

  • West Vigo baseball wins in rout

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    April 18, 2014

  • Colts take another look at Shakir Bell

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    On Wednesday, the Colts took a look at some Indianapolis-area talent, including former Warren Central High School and Indiana State standout Shakir Bell.
     

    April 18, 2014

  • Prep roundup: Vikings get big hits to beat North Vermillion on softball diamond

    The West Vigo softball team improved to 4-3 for the season with an 11-4 victory over North Vermillion on Thursday.
    Leah Morrison busted the game open with a three-run double in the Vikings’ seven-run fourth inning.
    Kenzie Little chipped in with a two-run triple in the sixth and Hannah Harden tossed a complete-game for the pitching win.

    April 18, 2014

  • Prep baseball: Northview beats top-ranked Shakamak

    Damon Bass pitched a three-hit shutout and struck out seven to lead Northview to a 7-0 high school baseball victory over Shakamak.
    The visiting Knights blew open a tight game against Class A’s top-ranked team with a four-run seventh inning.
    Austin Butts and Jake Harden combined for six hits for Northview.

    April 18, 2014

  • PREP ROUNDUP: North girls tennis wins 5-0 at Plainfield

    Terre Haute North’s girls tennis team swept its opening match of the high school season as it defeated Plainfield 5-0 on Wednesday.

    April 16, 2014

  • SPT041614 SMWC jordan.jpg Saint Mary-of-the-Woods sweeps doubleheader over Rose-Hulman

    Over the years, defeating its crosstown rival has not usually been easy for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods or Rose-Hulman when they’ve met in college softball.
    But on Wednesday afternoon at The Woods, the home team made its doubleheader sweep look easy to first-year coach Mark Feller with five-inning decisions of 10-0 and 11-1.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT 041614 ROSSELLI REX.jpg Rex looking to expand fan base in 2014

    Bruce Rosselli, part of the new Terre Haute Rex ownership group as well as the team’s general manager, hopes to build the fan base in the first year.
    The Rex, who have returning sponsorships from Clabber Girl, Union Hospital and Old National Bank, among others, want to appeal to more baseball fans from outside Vigo County.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT 030714 ODUM 02O'LEARY.jpg Terre Haute North grad O'Leary to transfer from Loyola

    Matt O’Leary is one of three men's basketball players at Loyola recently granted a release from his scholarship from the Missouri Valley Conference school.
    The former Terre Haute North standout told the Tribune-Star he doesn’t yet know his next move.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rose-Hulman, Woods to face off on softball diamond

    The Rose-Hulman softball team will visit a familiar foe today when the Engineers take on crosstown rival Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in a nonleague doubleheader.

    April 15, 2014

Local Interest
  • METRO ROUNDUP: Waltman's funeral Saturday at Indianapolis

    Royce Waltman’s visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at St. Luke’s Methodist Church at 100 E. 86th Street, Indianapolis.

    April 10, 2014

  • METRO ROUNDUP: Burnham leads Woods softball to wins

    After dropping a pair of games to Missouri Baptist on Wednesday, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods beat Lindenwood-Belleville 9-7 and 1-0, both games in eight innings, on Thursday afternoon.
    Sarah Burnham’s seventh-inning homer in the first game tied the score 4-4, and the Pomeroys took a 5-4 lead later in the inning on an RBI double by Brooke Jordan before the Lynx tied the score in the bottom of the inning.

    March 21, 2014

  • METRO ROUNDUP: ISU softball splits pair in Florida

    Pitching dominated Tuesday’s opening day of play in the Rebel Spring Games for the Indiana State softball team, which defeated Bucknell 2-0 before falling 2-0 to Creighton.
    “The girls did a great job in the first game getting a couple runs,” ISU coach Shane Bouman said. “We leaned on [sophomore] Yvette Alvarez who pitched really well. We probably got as much as we could out of her and probably should have changed earlier so put that on me. We have a couple little things we can clean up and get a little better and we will be ready to go tomorrow.”

    March 11, 2014

  • Tony Dungy, wife Lauren signing books today in Terre Haute

    Former NFL coach Tony Dungy and his wife, Lauren, are at Sam’s Club in Terre Haute today, Feb. 12, signing books until about 1:30 p.m.

    February 12, 2014

  • Vigo County Jail Log: Feb. 7, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Thursday, based on jail records.

    February 7, 2014

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College
SPT041614 SMWC jordan.jpg

Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis In command: Saint Mary-of-the-Woods pitcher Brooke Jordan delivers a pitch early in the Pomeroy�s sweep of Rose-Hulman Wednesday afternoon on the Pomeroy�s diamond.

  • Saint Mary-of-the-Woods sweeps doubleheader over Rose-Hulman

    Over the years, defeating its crosstown rival has not usually been easy for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods or Rose-Hulman when they’ve met in college softball.
    But on Wednesday afternoon at The Woods, the home team made its doubleheader sweep look easy to first-year coach Mark Feller with five-inning decisions of 10-0 and 11-1.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT 030714 ODUM 02O'LEARY.jpg Terre Haute North grad O'Leary to transfer from Loyola

    Matt O’Leary is one of three men's basketball players at Loyola recently granted a release from his scholarship from the Missouri Valley Conference school.
    The former Terre Haute North standout told the Tribune-Star he doesn’t yet know his next move.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rose-Hulman, Woods to face off on softball diamond

    The Rose-Hulman softball team will visit a familiar foe today when the Engineers take on crosstown rival Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in a nonleague doubleheader.

    April 15, 2014

  • ISU baseball holds off Eastern Illinois for 24th win

    Indiana State freshman left-hander Ryan Keaffaber won his first game as a Sycamore and senior catcher Mike Fitzgerald went 3 for 3 as ISU defeated host Eastern Illinois 6-4 in college baseball Tuesday.

    April 15, 2014

  • Top returners lead Cream over Crimson in Hoosiers' spring game

    The Cream team at Saturday’s Cream and Crimson intrasquad game had Indiana’s top returning rusher and receiver and the Hoosiers’ top-rated passer from last season.
    No surprise, then, that Tevin Coleman, Shane Wynn and Tre Roberson guided the Cream to a resounding 24-14 win over the Crimson.

    April 12, 2014

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Terre Haute Rex
SPT 041614 ROSSELLI REX.jpg

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza Expanding the fan base: Bruce Rosselli, manager of the Terre Haute Rex, displays the team's new slogan, Wabash Valley's Own, during a press conference on Wednesday at Clabber Girl.

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