News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

December 14, 2013

FROM THE PRESS BOX: Indiana State’s men’s basketball team is doing fine ... really

Kansas City, Mo. — Indiana State’s men’s basketball team is doing fine.

Really.

The Sycamores have a funny way of showing it. They keep teams beneath them in ability in games — like Alaska-Anchorage, Missouri-Kansas City ... should I go on? — long past the time they should. But the win-loss record doesn’t lie. The Sycamores are 7-2 and in a good position with three nonconference games left before Missouri Valley Conference play begins.

The Sycamores are fine. Seriously. What? You mean you need convincing?

It’s hard to blame you. I know it can be hard to believe. Sometimes I have a hard time believing it myself.

Especially when I look up at the Kansas City Muncipal Auditorium scoreboard and see a halftime deficit against a Kangaroos team that is several fathoms below ISU in ability.

I don’t know what power you believe in, but I believe in the unseen life force that keeps ISU playing to the ability of its opponent. Forget the Force from Star Wars, I believe in the power of the Play To The Level Of Your Opponent Force.

That force is strong in these Sycamores. Don’t believe it? If you’ve watched this season, I find your lack of faith disturbing.

That force works for ill and for good. It helps ISU against good teams. ISU looked good, sometimes dominant, against Notre Dame (who beat Indiana on Saturday) in Notre Dame’s house on Nov. 17. One game later, ISU can look very average in its own house against Division II Truman State.

The pattern played out Saturday in ISU’s languid first half against the Kangaroos on Saturday that saw the Sycamores trail by two at the break after being down as much as five in the opening half. This after ISU led 13-4 early in the contest.

It drives you nuts. It gives you moments when you say, “No! No! No!” during a game against a lesser foe as you expect the Sycamores to finally go too far with a lapse which careens them headlong into a bad loss.

Except, this year, they usually haven’t let it go that far. That’s why they’re 7-2. They may not be dominant, but they’re surviving and advancing.

Surviving and advancing doesn’t gain style points, it won’t gain huzzahs from the fans, but it gets the job done. Even if avoidance of sharp objects is recommended at times as you watch it unfold.

The good news is that the Sycamores aren’t satisfied merely with surviving and advancing. No one was in “a win is a win” mode after the 74-63 victory over the Kangaroos. ISU got its act together in the second half, but the Sycamores were disappointed it had to come to that.

“We’re definitely not where we want to be. We have spurts, but that’s all they are. We have to put spurts together,” ISU forward Justin Gant said.

“I feel good [about where the team is], but we have to get better. Those lapses we have, as a senior, we have to get ourselves and everyone else going. We can’t have those flat spurts that gets teams going,” ISU guard Dawon Cummings said.

Cummings’ comments feed into one theory Lansing had as to why ISU waxes and wanes.

“Coach Lou [Gudino, associate head coach] says it all of the time: coaching a veteran team of seniors is difficult. They’ve heard us talk so much about the same things. They know they’re a good team and they just play in spurts. We’re not as committed or locked in to each possession as we need to be to beat the rest of the teams on our schedule,” Lansing said.

The rest of the schedule will give ISU plenty of chances to prove itself and reach a level of its own instead of whomever it’s playing. Two of the three remaining nonconference games are against quality teams — Saint Louis (on Wednesday) and Belmont (at home on Dec. 28).

The MVC will richly test ISU’s ability to play above its opponents’ level because ISU is clearly better than all but a few MVC teams. Aside from Wichita State, Missouri State and maybe Northern Iowa (who got a nice win over VCU on Saturday), the rest of the MVC has struggled mightily so far.

There will be plenty of opportunity for ISU to throw off the tag of playing to the level of their opponent.

Until that day comes, just be resigned to the reality that it’s how these Sycamores roll. In the end, I think they’ll be fine. I think this team will figure it out and a special season is still very much in the cards. There’s too much talent in stock for it not to.

But until then? Just be patient and stock up on antacids as you wait for the Sycamores to get there. No one said it was going to be easy.

Todd Golden is sports editor of the Tribune-Star. He can be reached at (812) 208-2643 or todd.golden@tribstar.com. Follow Golden on Twitter @TribStarTodd.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
SPT 102613 UNDER TACKLE.jpg

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza 55 on the stop: Indiana State's Connor Underwood tackles North Dakota State's Sam Ojuri during the Sycamores' loss to the Bison on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Local Interest
SPT 071914 DEFENDING CHAMP.jpg

Tribune-Star/Bob PoynterOuch: Defending Men's City Chamion Tom Jones reacts to a missed putt on the 6th hole at Rea Park Saturday morning. Jones is seeking his 9th Men's title.

High School
College
  • ISU basketball trio earn national academic honors

    A trio of Indiana State basketball student-athletes have been named to the 2013-14 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court as announced by the national organization. Honored from Indiana State were Lucas Eitel, Justin Gant and Jake Kitchell.

    July 23, 2014

  • Metro roundup: Post 346 rallies past Rockville

    Wayne Newton Post 346 scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to get past Rockville 6-3 in an American Legion baseball regional at Terre Haute North on Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Truebytower.jpg Memorable experience in Morocco for ISU soccer team could help team's growth

    Coming off the best season in its history, the Indiana State women’s soccer team figures to have the experience to do even better in the upcoming fall season.
    Or maybe that’s #TheExperience.

    July 23, 2014 11 Photos

  • Metro: Former Miss Softball joins Purdue staff

    Terre Haute North graduate Megan Ciolli Bartlett, the state’s 2001 Miss Softball and a two-time All-American at Notre Dame, is joining the Purdue coaching staff.

    July 21, 2014

  • Metro: ISU graduate Johnson sixth in shot at Monaco

    Indiana State graduate Felisha Johnson competed in her first International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League track and field meeting Friday, placing sixth in a shot put competition that featured six of the top seven throwers in the world for 2014.

    July 18, 2014

Sports Columns
SPT072114sprints crowd.jpg

Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Records: Near perfect weather contributed to record attendance at racetracks around the state, including the Action Track, seen here.

Pro Sports
SPT 072314 PHEGLEY LINE.jpg

It was the Knights' day: Charlotte's Josh Phegley, center, high fives teammates and coaching staff after the Knights defeated the Indianapolis Indians 8-4 on Wednesday in Indianapolis.

Terre Haute Rex
Colts
Auto Racing
AP Auto Racing News
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News