TERRE HAUTE —
While Wichita State kicked back and enjoyed a victory at Illinois State on Sunday — or got kicked as the case may be — Indiana State was roughing it.
In the wake of a sloppy 80-68 loss at Bradley on Saturday that featured 21 Sycamores’ turnovers, ISU men’s basketball coach Greg Lansing sent the message home loud-and-clear that ISU needed to clean up its act.
The missive to the Sycamores packed potency and urgency given that the first-place Shockers are on the docket for a 7 p.m. game today at Hulman Center.
“We had a long day Sunday. We [practiced] twice, once in the morning before church and once in the afternoon. We also lifted weights. We used our full allotment of hours we can use. The guys also watched the entire game tape of the Bradley game,” Lansing said.
“We’ve been a much different team than we need to be in the last three games to win games. We had to remind them of the things they did to win some of the games we won,” he added.
ISU (16-10, 9-6) was tied for first place in the Missouri Valley Conference one week ago. After losses at Missouri State and Bradley, ISU has fallen two games behind Wichita State and one game behind Creighton for second place.
So what reminders did Sunday’s detailed postmortem bring to the surface?
“I think a lot of it is our effort and enthusiasm. We’ve been playing a little slow, especially on the defensive end. We haven’t been flying around,” said Lansing, who saw other worrying signs too.
“We’ve been a little selfish on both ends of the floor. We’ve worried too much about our man on one end and worried about making mistakes individually on the offensive end. You can’t play aggressively if you’re worried about making mistakes. We want them to play loose, but they need to compete harder,” he said.
On Monday, at least, it seemed the message had been absorbed by the Sycamores.
“We’ve gotten a little soft,” ISU point guard Jake Odum said. “[Sunday] was a toughness day for us. The coaches wanted to push us to our limit. We watched the tape and we realized we haven’t been playing the way we need to play to finish towards the top of the league. Hopefully we got that back the last couple of days.”
“We had a lot of mental stuff to work on,” ISU guard Dawon Cummings said. “There’s been a lot of 50/50 plays the other team’s been getting. The coaches are irritated with it. We’re all irritated with it.”
While ISU was focused on itself, the nation’s eyes turned to Wichita State after a bizarre 68-67 victory over Illinois State late Sunday that helped the Shockers maintain sole possession of first place in the MVC.
The host Redbirds led by five with 51 seconds to go, but the tenor of the game changed when Illinois State’s Jackie Carmichael kicked Wichita State’s Tekele Cotton on an overly rambunctious defensive rebound.
There was no immediate call on the karate-style kick — video evidence showed that Cotton was likely hit in the head and was kicked in the chest. After WSU fouled the Redbirds, a requested review resulted in a flagrant-one foul call on Carmichael.
The teams traded free throws. Unbeknownst to the officiating crew, which apparently confused the flagrant-one with a technical foul, WSU’s Early — an 80.5 percent free throw shooter — made the free throws when the rules for a flagrant foul dictated that Cotton — a 58.6 percent free throw shooter — should have taken the foul shots.
WSU’s Demetric Williams hit a 3-pointer to cut the Shockers’ deficit to two with 28 seconds left, and after Illinois State’s Johnny Hill fumbled the ball out of bounds, WSU had the ball and a chance to take the lead. They did so when Early hit a 3-pointer with :06 left to cap a crazy finish.
Carmichael’s kung fu made national headlines, and the mistake by the officiating crew on the free throw drew an official reprimand from the MVC on Monday.
Concerns about WSU (22-5, 11-4) playing two games in three nights were muted by both Lansing and by WSU coach Gregg Marshall during the Shockers’ practice on Monday at ISU Arena. Marshall said WSU would be prepared in case ISU went to a 2-3 defense, as the Sycamores used to devastating effect in ISU’s 68-55 victory on Jan. 29 at Wichita State.
“We’re ready. They did a good job and we didn’t. We didn’t move the ball. We didn’t move ourselves. We weren’t making shots. Their defense was really good. They picked their poison on who to pressure and who to sag off on really well. They had a little more want-to than us. That’s rare for us,” Marshall said.
ISU plans a White Out promotion for tonight’s game and expects a good crowd.
As far as any threat of a karate match breaking out, signs point to no.
Or do they?
“I’m actually a black belt. I took taekwondo and went through all of the belts. Once upon a time, I was a Karate Kid,” said Odum, in a bit of levity, after he was asked whether anyone on ISU knew karate.
• Tipoff – 7 p.m. at Hulman Center.
• Broadcasts – TV: none over-the-air, streamed on ESPN3. Radio: WIBQ-FM 98.5. Twitter: @TribStarTodd
• Last time out – ISU lost at Bradley 80-68 on Saturday. Wichita State defeated Illinois State 68-67 on Sunday.
• Series – WSU leads 50-29. ISU defeated WSU 68-55 in Wichita, Kan., on Jan. 29. ISU last beat WSU at Hulman Center in 2008.
• Indiana State Sycamores (16-10, 9-6) – G Jake Odum (6-4, Jr., 14.4, 4.4 rpg, 4.5 apg), G Devonte Brown (6-3, Fr., 3.8), F Manny Arop (6-6, Jr., 12.6, 4.9 rpg), F R.J. Mahurin (6-8, Jr., 9.9) and C Justin Gant (6-8, So., 7.7, 4.9 rpg) are possible starters. G Dawon Cummings (6-4, Jr., 6 ppg), G-F Khristian Smith (6-6, Fr., 5.7), G Lucas Eitel (6-2, Jr., 4.5), F Jake Kitchell (6-10, So., 3 ppg), G Brandon Burnett (6-6, Fr., 0.6) and F-C Rhett Smith (6-7, Fr., 0 ppg) are key reserves.
• Coach – Greg Lansing (54-39, 3rd year at ISU).
• Wichita State Shockers (22-5, 11-4) – G Malcolm Armstead (6-0, Sr., 9.4), G Demetric Williams (6-2, Sr., 8.3), G Tekele Cotton (6-2, So., 6 ppg), F Carl Hall (6-8, Sr., 12.3, 7.3 rpg) and C Ehimen Orupke (7-0, Sr., 3.2, 4.8 rpg) are possible starters. F Cleanthony Early (6-8, Jr., 14.4, 5.3 rpg), G Fred Van Vleet (5-11, Fr., 3.9), G Nick Wiggins (6-6, Jr., 5.6), F Jake White (6-8, So., 3.9) and F Chadrack Lufile (6-9, Jr., 1.8) are key reserves.
• Coach – Gregg Marshall (131-66, 6th year at WSU, 325-149 overall, 15th year).
• Injuries – For ISU, C Mike Samuels (foot) is out. For WSU, G Demetric Williams (hip) and G Malcolm Armstead (thigh) are probable.
• Next – ISU plays host to Iona, and Wichita State plays host to Detroit on Saturday.
Missouri Valley Conference-leading Wichita State at Hulman Center tonight
TERRE HAUTE —
While Wichita State kicked back and enjoyed a victory at Illinois State on Sunday — or got kicked as the case may be — Indiana State was roughing it.
- Indiana State University
ISU baseball hoping Manaea can get its MVC Tournament moving in right direction
Indiana State’s baseball team has been waiting all season for its stars to align.
But this is the 2013 Sycamores, after all, and after a season in which seemingly little has gone right, it appears its stars will remain crossed at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
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Think of every championship that Indiana State has won in each of its sports, past and present. Think of every tournament — postseason or regular season — which the Sycamores have claimed as their own.
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Bradley ends 16-game MVC losing streak against ISU
Momentum was the only thing riding on Indiana State’s baseball game against Bradley on Friday. With a five-game winning streak going, ISU wanted to keep the good vibes going into next week’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
ISU couldn’t do it.
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Build it… and they will come. The Missouri Valley Conference and Indiana State University made that famous line from the movie “Fields Of Dreams” reality Thursday.
Behind 16 hits and Manaea's pitching, ISU beats Bradley
Indiana State’s baseball team rode a wild ride of emotion on Thursday.
First came the public announcement that Bob Warn Field would host the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Later, Sean Manaea’s availability to pitch ISU’s series opener against Bradley was in doubt.
TODD GOLDEN: Don't give up on ISU baseball just yet
If you had to pick one word that would describe the 2013 Indiana State baseball season, it would have to be frustration.
ISU baseball team builds on success with 14-2 rout
Indiana State’s baseball victory over Alcorn State on Friday would take on more meaning Saturday if the Sycamores could build momentum and pick up on the good work they did in Friday’s ninth-inning rally.
The Sycamores were aggressive from the opening inning at the plate and starting pitcher Devin Moore gave them eight valuable and effective innings on the mound as ISU defeated Alcorn State 14-2 at Bob Warn Field.
“It was a really good experience for everybody. It felt great to finally come out here and put some things together. It’s also really nice when your offense puts a lot of runs on the board,” Moore said.
Moore’s eight innings of work were as valuable as gold to an ISU team that is short on quality arms due to injury and ineffectiveness. He didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning and one of the two runs he conceded was unearned.
ISU earns badly-needed win
Alcorn State’s baseball team might be ranked in the bottom 10 in RPI and Indiana State might have never lost to a Southwestern Athletic Conference team. So it wouldn’t appear that a quality win was in the offing when Alcorn State visited Bob Warn Field on Friday.
ISU’s Mascari and Hope win MVC track & field titles
Indiana State produced two champions during the opening day of action in the Missouri Valley Conference track and field championships Friday at Drake. Freshman John Mascari, a Terre Haute native, won the men’s 10,000-meter race and Nicole Hope won the women’s pole vault for the second time in three seasons.
ISU pole vault tradition continues with help from its author
Pole vault is track and field for the adrenaline junkie, Indiana State senior Nicole Hope proclaimed during a recent practice at Marks Field.
To catapult oneself about 14 feet into the air with a large $500 fiberglass pole on a daily basis is a risky endeavor.
“We have to be fearless. You can’t be afraid at all,” said Hope, who has also catapulted herself into the NCAA’s elite in the event, ranking 15th in the NCAA with her leap of 13-feet, 9 1/4.
Lansing looking for more home games for next fall
Indiana State’s men’s basketball team is looking for a few good games.
Home games that is.
The Sycamores have filled in most of the blanks in their nonconference schedule, but as ever, ISU coach Greg Lansing would like to visit the friendly confines of Hulman Center a bit more often.
ISU baseball gets back into rhythm with victory
Baseball is a rhythm game. With contests every day or five times a week in the case of many college programs, you have the chance to build on success or wallow in a slump.
Mother Nature took that rhythm away from Indiana State’s team last week. After a 7-1 loss to Indiana on April 24, ISU was supposed to play a three-game series at Tennessee-Martin, but it was wiped out by rain.
So the rhythm was disturbed, but perhaps that wasn’t a bad thing.
ISU was in a five-game losing streak before its unintended vacation and the Sycamores made a move in the right direction Wednesday with a 7-0 win over DePauw at Bob Warn Field.
“It was a disappointing weekend. We went all the way down to Tennessee and didn’t get to play. We sat around in the hotel room. We came here and it was still raining. It was nice to get out and see some live pitching,” ISU center fielder Landon Curry said.
Metro roundup: ISU hands out spring awards
The Indiana State University athletic community, along with family, friends and fans, paused Tuesday night to honor the spring sports teams at the Terre Haute Savings Bank Spring Sports Banquet.
Most of the ISU teams are still in competition with the baseball team having 13 games left of its regular-season schedule before beginning the Missouri Valley Conference tournament May 21, the softball team with just three games left of the docket this coming weekend against Southern Illinois and the track and field program with just one more meet before beginning its postseason events.
The ISU women’s golf team is the team that has ended at this time, with the group recording a sixth-place finish at the MVC championships one week ago.
Indiana State loses 2 in MVC softball
Indiana State aspired to upset Illinois State to get at least a doubleheader split in Missouri Valley Conference softball Thursday at Price Field as the Sycamores opened an eight-game season-ending homestand.
Paige Schreiner hit a two-run blast over the left-field fence in the fifth inning and junior Shelby Wilson delivered a sizzling RBI triple down the right-field line in the sixth as ISU ended the day playing well against the league’s highest-scoring offense.
The result was still a 5-3 loss to the Redbirds (26-18, 11-6 Missouri Valley Conference) as freshman Halle Humphrey gave up four runs in the first two innings. Humphrey, called upon to pitch the opener as well — she’s the only full-time pitcher remaining on the team — gave up six runs and eight hits as the Sycamores dropped a 6-1 game to start the day.
ISU, MVFC brace for change at FCS football level
It seemed so far-fetched.
Internet rumors circulated that Indiana State had been approached by the Sun Belt Conference to bring the Sycamores’ football team into the Sun Belt’s fold.
The Sun Belt is part of the Football Bowl Subdivision. Bowl football. Big boy football … and all it entails.
ISU football in good spirits after healthy Spring Game
Was Saturday afternoon’s weather an omen for Indiana State football as the Sycamores wrapped up spring practice with the annual Blue-White Game at Memorial Stadium? After several practices conducted in less-than-perfect conditions, they’d like to think so.
Loyola ready to take big step
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Lansing excited about Etherington's signing with Sycamores
The spring signing period for men’s basketball is usually a time to use available scholarships to load up on junior college additions and transfers.
To find a diamond-in-the-rough at the high school level who can give you four years? That’s harder to come by.
Creighton sweep puts ISU in thick of things
In a difficult early-season Missouri Valley Conference schedule, Indiana State took its lumps. Unenviable back-to-back trips to contenders Missouri State and Wichita State had ISU reeling with five straight MVC losses eight days ago.
Second City in the Valley: Loyola joins the MVC
For the first time in its history, the Missouri Valley Conference will have a home in the Second City.
The Chicago Tribune confirmed Saturday via a Loyola University source that the Ramblers will replace Creighton as the MVC’s 10th team. Loyola — a member of the Horizon League — will join the MVC effective July 1.
Indiana State Director of Athletics Ron Prettyman — who was part of the MVC search committee that scouted potential replacements for Creighton — confirmed Sunday that the Ramblers were in the MVC loop.
Sycamore baseball holds off Creighton rally
By his own estimation, Indiana State baseball coach Rick Heller has been involved in close to 2,000 baseball games. If anyone has seen it all on the field, he’d be as good a candidate as any.
Devin Moore pitches gem in 6-1 victory over Creighton
A hip injury suffered by Indiana State ace starting pitcher Sean Manaea shuffled the Sycamores’ starting rotation for the second weekend running as it opened a Missouri Valley Conference home series against Creighton on Friday.
Sanford gets 2nd look at Sycamores
In the immediate aftermath of a practice, game, or in Friday’s case for Indiana State, a scrimmage, most football coaches defer to the film to paint a true picture of what was and wasn’t done. ISU coach Mike Sanford is no different. With the flurry of activity on both sides of the ball, it’s hard to get a true evaluation of anything watching it live.
ISU center FN Lutz glad to be back in the middle of things
For someone who missed an entire season due to a knee injury, Indiana State center FN Lutz has certainly kept himself visible since then.
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Indiana State senior Brandon Pounds was the top collegian in the men’s hammer throw and fellow senior Felisha Johnson opened up the Sycamores’ three-day competition at the University of Tennessee’s Sea Ray relays with a second-place finish in the women’s hammer throw.
Stealing records: ISU softball’s offense gaining momentum
The Indiana State softball offense is no juggernaut, but the fog may be clearing on a program that has had a long history of struggles with few signs of consistent winning.
Explosive, dedicated athletes like Morgan Allee and Megan Stone are two reasons to believe this group of Sycamores can spark a turnaround.
The Sycamores are scoring an average of 3.1 runs per game while also ranking in the middle of the Missouri Valley Conference pack in hits and batting average. But the Sycamores are on pace to break the school record for on-base percentage as they lead the MVC in walks, hit-by-pitches, sacrifice bunts and stolen bases.
Allee, with 17 regular-season games to go, broke the school record for stolen bases in a season Tuesday against IUPUI and is among the 10 best in the NCAA. Her total of 30 makes up almost half of ISU’s 74.
“I’m so big [that] they think I won’t go. It works out well,” the stocky shortstop said.
ISU’s QB battle
Quarterback battles come in all shapes and sizes, but one could forgive Indiana State’s Mike Perish, Robert Tonyan Jr. and Trent Lancaster if they feel a bit more beleaguered than your average signal-caller.
Not only is the trio fighting for the right to be named ISU’s starter by the Sycamores’ football opener Aug. 29 at Indiana University, but all three also are trying to learn a new offense, they’re acclimating themselves to new coach Mike Sanford’s different way of running things, and they’re trying to maintain harmony amongst each other, so whoever the ultimate winner is can effectively lead the team without angst.
All of it is playing out during ISU’s spring practice, and so far, none of the quarterback candidates have separated themselves from the pack.
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- ISU baseball hoping Manaea can get its MVC Tournament moving in right direction