Every college basketball season ends at some point, then the coaching staff ramps up preparation for the next season.

Usually, a few players graduate, one or two may quit the team in the offseason and coaches bring in new players from high schools or other colleges to replace those who left. Then the next team begins to form its own personality.

It's a year-by-year cycle that's continued for decades.

Then you've got the 2019-20 Indiana State women's program, coached by Vicki Hall.

Talk about a situation this is not typical.

Hall's Sycamores added 14 new players for the upcoming season and beyond. None — that's zero — are returning from the 2018-19 squad that finished 11-19 overall and 5-13 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Prior to one of the Sycamores' organized summer workouts at the ISU Arena this week, Hall said she prefers it this way.

"It's a brand new team," she told the Tribune-Star. "It's kinda by design. We needed to make some major changes. The goal here at Indiana State is to graduate players, to get student-athletes here who are highly motivated and want to be successful on the court and off the court. So these are the people that we have worked very hard to bring to our program and I'm very pleased with the progress we're making."

None of these 14 players graduated from the same high school as any of the others, so getting to know each other has been important this summer.

Getting to know the community and allowing the community to get to know them also have been priorities, Hall said.

"We've been to The Landing," she mentioned. "We've been out to Chick-fil-A. We've gone to Westminster Village. That's where we helped with a car wash for Alzheimer's [disease]. This summer, we were at the [downtown] Strawberry Festival serving strawberry shortcakes."

"We raked leaves at the Griffin Bike Park," added 5-foot-5 freshman guard Sommer Pitzer of Columbus, Ohio.

"We've done a lot of different things and we will continue to do that because we believe in being in the Terre Haute community," Hall continued. "It's important to us. We want them to know that we support our community and we'd love for them to support us."

The ISU women's basketball program also conducted a summer camp for players of all ages, adding to the new Sycamores' experiences in Terre Haute.

During the summer, the NCAA allows players only four hours of practice and four hours of conditioning per week. So Hall hasn't seen much of her new Sycamores in action, but she likes what she has seen.

"I think we're looking pretty good," she said. "We're setting the foundation to our defense and to our offense. Basically, we're just trying to figure each other out and learn about each other ... find out what our strengths and weaknesses are. I think our players have done a good job of buying in and really working hard this summer."

Attracted to ISU by its coaching staff, Pitzer offered no complaints about transitioning from high school to a completely new college team.

"I actually played AAU ball with another freshman," she noted. "But I didn't know any of the others when I got here. So far, everybody is getting along really well. Everybody naturally clicks."

Pitzer said a group of players recently took in "The Lion King" movie at a Terre Haute theater as part of their bonding.

"When we went to The Landing, we saw how supportive Indiana really is for basketball," she added. "Two ladies came up to me and hugged me. And I had never met them before. You could just tell the love for basketball is here and fans are going to be supportive."

ISU's first game will be Nov. 6 at Kansas. Its first home contest will be Dec. 3 against Marshall as part of a doubleheader with the ISU men's team inside Hulman Center.

ISU women's nonconference schedule

Nov. 6=at Kansas

Nov. 10=at Eastern Illinois

Nov. 14=at Western Illinois

Nov. 19=at Illinois-Chicago

Nov. 26=at Colorado

Nov. 29-30=at Pacific Tournament

Dec. 3=Marshall

Dec. 7=at Murray State

Dec. 16=Northern Kentucky

Dec. 21=Southeast Missouri State

Dec. 30=St. Louis

General reporter/Sports reporter

David is a longtime Tribune-Star sportswriter whose primary duties were switched to the news department in late 2015. A cancer survivor, he enjoys hanging out with his family and staying fit with regular trips to the gym.

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