TERRE HAUTE —
Indiana State men’s basketball coach Greg Lansing continues to re-calibrate the Sycamores as they prepare for the 2014-15 season.
Lansing said Thursday that forward Demetrius Moore and center Mike Samuels will not return to the program next season.
Moore averaged 3.4 points and 2.5 rebounds in his lone season at ISU. A Florida native, Moore decided to return closer to his roots.
“Demetrius was fun to be around and was a great teammate. Life takes over basketball. He’s getting married and he’s going to play at a Division II school closer to home,” Lansing said.
Samuels never played a game after he broke his foot during ISU’s Bahamas trip in 2012 and missed the 2012-13 season. The injury didn’t heal and Samuels missed the 2014 season too.
“Big Mike was an important recruit for us back when Creighton had Gregory Echenique and we were thinking about playing some BCS caliber schools and how big Wichita was. You feel bad for him. Its been very unfortunate with the foot injury. He graduates this summer and he gets a fresh start somewhere else,” Lansing said.
Neither move was unexpected as the Sycamores continue to try and re-tool. ISU signed shooting guard Grant Prusator a week ago and the departure of both players leaves an additional scholarship available for the 2014-15 season.
“If we think we can find the right fit, we’ll [fill] it,” Lansing said. “We’re excited about our backcourt and we’re happy at the four-spot with Justin [Gant] and Brandon [Burnett]. If we use the scholarship, it’ll have to be an interior guy, unless it’s a transfer who would sit out next year.”
That doesn’t mean it will be easy to use it. Lansing noted that many players that might be available are being over-recruited due to demand. Fifth-year transfers are also hard to come by as programs at the BCS level tend to snap them up ahead of mid-majors.
“They need to change that rule. I think it can really hurt mid- and low-majors. You put time and money into a kid for three years and then they can go into a higher level? It’s hard for us,” Lansing said. “What you’re going to get happen is mid and low-majors won’t have their guys go to summer school so they can’t graduate ahead of time.”
Lansing also said Thursday that guard Brenton Scott is back in the ISU fold. Scott was arrested on March 1 for operating while intoxicated, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and false informing in Terre Haute.
At the time of his arrest, he claimed to be his twin brother Bryson, who plays at Purdue. Scott was indefinitely suspended at the time and did not take part in ISU practices in March when the team was still active.
“It’s a daily situation. Brenton knows he made a huge mistake. He wronged his family and then he wronged his basketball family,” Lansing said. “We’re working with him. Our bigger job is to make sure he’s turning into a better person off the court. To be a part of this program, you have to carry yourself with a higher degree of behavior.”
ISU also still has an assistant coaching spot open. A successor to Dave Ragland, who left to join Chris Jans’ staff at Bowling Green, has been identified but not announced as he is going through the administrative process at ISU.