News From Terre Haute, Indiana


February 21, 2014

ISU in zone … not the kind they want

Zone defense becoming obstacle Sycamores must contend with

The canary was Evansville and the coal mine was Hulman Center on Wednesday.

When a team as zone defense-aversive as Evansville — it was estimated after ISU’s 59-54 victory that the Purple Aces have employed a zone perhaps three times all season until Wednesday — uses it to keep the Sycamores’ offense from flowing, it’s a sure sign that ISU can expect to see zones from every opponent through to the end of the season.

ISU’s poor 3-point shooting is reason teams in the Missouri Valley Conference are salivating to throw their 2-3s against the Sycamores. ISU is ninth in MVC-only 3-point shooting at 31.3 percent. It’s a long fall from late December, when ISU was one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country.

Opponents are not only daring ISU to shoot over their zones, but it’s having the double-effect of freezing movement from the Sycamores to bust the zone. ISU’s offense was flowing along nicely in a 16-5 start against the Purple Aces, but once the zone was employed, the Sycamores ground to a halt.

Because ISU is a dyed-in-the-wool man-to-man defensive team, the Sycamores don’t practice against zone defenses very often. That changed on Thursday. ISU spent much of practice working on how to break zones.

ISU point guard Jake Odum stressed that it takes “reps” to get used to attacking the zone. There’s other ways and means the Sycamores need to improve at as well.

“I think we have to loosen up a little bit. We play too tentative. We need to get the ball in the middle and take chances a little bit more. We’re a little bit complacent trying to make the right decision instead of making a quick one,” Odum said.

After the Sycamores went to zone school on Thursday, ideas on how to best deal with it were in abundance.

“You want to attack the gap on the second or third reversal. Or at least look off in the gaps and look to a guy to go into the gaps,” ISU guard Devonte Brown said.

“We’ve seen extended 2-3 and packed-in 2-3 zones. When they’re packed in, you have to swing the ball a couple of times and find the open gap. When they’re extended, you have to attack it early,” Odum said.

Lansing added a few more wrinkles.

“You have to move the defense with your eyes and with pass-fakes. You have to manipulate the defense. You have to make two guys guard you, and the biggest thing, is you can’t let it paralyze you. You can’t just catch it and hold it. That’s a zone’s friend. And you can’t just settle for 3’s,” he said.

ISU has been guilty of both of the latter two sins. The limbo ISU’s shooters have been in is the notion that they make just enough 3-point shots to believe their MVC shooting slump will come to an end and the Sycamores will revert to pre-conference form. But the shooting percentages say otherwise.

“You just have to keep working on it. You have to get up enough shots on your own and our guys do that,” Lansing said. “I want our guys to be loose and free on the offensive end and take shots when they’re open. We have good shooters who can make shots.”

Today’s opponent is Missouri State and the Bears (17-10, 7-8) aren’t known for being a zone team either. But ISU (21-6, 12-3) expects to see zone at JQH Arena today.

They also expect to see a Bears team steeled by adversity. Missouri State has been plagued by injuries all season long and head coach Paul Lusk has done a nice job keeping the Bears in contention for a top-half league spot.

Hard-working swingman Keith Pickens recently returned to action. As did freshman center Tyler McCullough. Forward Jarmar Gulley (15.1) provides the scoring punch.

“They’re like their head coach. They’re tough, hard to play against and they’re smart basketball players. Paul’s done an unbelievable job dealing with what they’re dealing with,” Lansing said.

ISU’s fortunes at Missouri State are famously bad. The Sycamores are 5-25 in Springfield, though two of the wins have come since JQH Arena opened during the 2008-09 season.

If ISU wants to keep alive faint hopes of a NCAA Tournament at-large bid, the scenario is simple. It must win all of its remaining games and make it to the MVC Tournament championship game.

In that event, ISU would be 27-7 overall, but even if that were to occur, the Sycamores are considered a significant long shot to get a bid due to a lack of quality wins and a nonconference schedule that turned out to be more sour than anticipated.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
SPT071114  LL BB team.jpg

Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Team effort: The North Terre Haute Little League All-Starts won the District 4 championship by beating Clinton 4-0 Friday evening.

  • Bradley’s stellar pitching helps TH North win District 4 title

    Jordan Bradley didn’t walk a batter until the sixth inning, scattering three hits in a shutout pitching performance to lead Terre Haute North to the District 4 championship with a 4-0 victory over a tough Clinton team.

    July 11, 2014 3 Photos

  • Andy Amey: Just a small trip to talk about this time

    To paraphrase Carl Spackler, the heavy stuff’s not going to come for quite awhile. So while it’s true that I’m back from a week’s vacation, it’s not time — yet — for the big vacation column. Trips to Noblesville, Brunswick and Reelsville, while providing some nice family time, don’t really have the cachet to fill newspaper space.

    July 11, 2014

  • Pacers sign three free agents

    The Pacers couldn’t keep waiting around for Lance Stephenson to make up his mind. So on Friday, they went to work. The two-time Eastern Conference runner-ups announced they had signed three free agents — backup big man Lavoy Allen, swingman C.J. Miles and Damjan Rudez, a sharp-shooting forward from Europe.

    July 11, 2014

  • Odum heads for Vegas with Kings summer team

    Terre Haute native Jake Odum scored three points in the Indiana Pacers’ 84-74 victory on Thursday over the Miami Heat in the Orlando Summer League.

    July 11, 2014

  • Metro sports: Rosselli, Biechler capture Prospect League honors

    The Terre Haute Rex swept the Prospect League Player of the Week honors this week.

    July 11, 2014

  • Thoroughbreds complete race card at Martinsville

    Thoroughbred races were on Friday’s card to wind up four days of Illinois racing at the Martinsville Agricultural Fair. Horses owned by Bart Baird and Lance and Stacey Holsapple won all six of the thoroughbred races on the card with two other features run for ponies and mules.

    July 11, 2014

  • LeBron James says he’s returning to Cavaliers

    LeBron James is going back to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
    James told Sports Illustrated Friday that he’s decided to go home. It’s a move that would have seemed unfathomable four years ago, after the venomous fallout that followed his decision to leave Cleveland for the Miami Heat.

    July 11, 2014

  • Sports: What’s going on today

    July 11, 2014

  • SPT 071014 RAMER TROPHY.jpg Ramer, Kuppler claim junior city golf titles

    Megan Ramer and Colton Kuppler were two winners in the junior city golf tournament concluded Thursday in sunny, warm conditions at Rea Park.
    Both golfers claimed titles in the 15-17 age division for the first time while Ramer and Andrew Granda were two of the winners in the 2013 tournament.

    July 11, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rex return from All-Star break with a win at Danville

    The Terre Haute Rex returned to action on Thursday in winning fashion as they defeated Danville 4-1.

    July 11, 2014

Local Interest
High School
Sports Columns
Pro Sports
Terre Haute Rex

Auto Racing
AP Auto Racing News
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Raw: Rebel Leader Weds in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Israel, Gaza Exchange Rocket Fire Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court Police: Prostitute Linked to 2nd Death Ana Ortiz on 'Devious Maids' Finale Arizona Mom of Missing Baby Released From Prison WH: LeBron's Move a 'Powerful Statement' Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters Raw: Australia Hosts Annual Beer Can Regatta Death Toll Tops 100 As Israel Offense Continues Diaz and Segel Strip Off for 'Sex Tape' Raw: Protesters, Israeli Security Forces Clash Man Flees Police in World Cup Scalping Scheme More Immigrants Detained Along Rio Grande Chimp-attack Victim Lobbies Congress Argentina to Face Germany in World Cup Final Robot Writes Jewish Torah Scroll Downside of Low Mortgage Rates? Less Selling Children Face Deportation Without Attorneys
NDN Video
Cleveland welcomes home LeBron Houston Killer Collapses in Court When Read Capital Murder Charges for Allegedly Killing Family of Six Worst Valet Ever Wrecks $500K Lamborghini Glee Star Becca Tobin's Boyfriend Matt Bendik Found Dead in Hotel Aerial fish restocking in Utah ScarJo Channels Marilyn Monroe Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration Tiny Hamsters Who Ate Burritos are Back for a Tiny Hedgehog's Party Watch Kelly Ripa Get Soaked! 'Referee' Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Faux Pas in NYC 2014 Emmy Nominees: 8 Snub Shockers Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino 7 Infamous Sports Blowouts Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash Emmy Nominations: What to Watch For 'Game of Thrones' Leads 66th Emmy Awards Nominations Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel

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

Real Estate News