The Bottoms Line Non-BCS Watch List: Indiana State Sycamores

The Non-BCS Watch List makes its second stop in the Missouri Valley Conference to see what we can expect from the league’s lone NCAA Tournament representative last season.

Indiana State Sycamores

Looking Back

Coach Greg Lansing’s first year in Terre Haute exceeded expectations with a 20-win season and trip to the Big Dance.  His Sycamores proved to be resilient after withstanding an ugly 1-3 start and later a five-game losing streak that dropped them to 7-6 in The Valley.  They rebounded to win their final five conference games before running the table in the conference tournament and losing to Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Sycamores finished just outside of the overall Top 100 in the Pomeroy Ratings.  Their 64th-rated defense, particularly their ability to limit opponents’ effective field goal percentage and offensive rebounds, helped to offset mediocre offensive numbers.  Overall the team shot poorly (42.9 percent) and struggled to rebound their own misses. Indiana State also had a hard time with turnovers, both committing them and causing them.

dwayne-lathan-indiana-stateIndiana State returns their top three scorers, top four rebounds, and top assist man, with the only significant losses being Jake Kelly and Aaron Carter.  A number of injuries last season provided playing time and valuable experience to guys expected to play larger roles this season.

This Year’s Sycamores

Guard Dwayne Lathan led the team in scoring at 10.9 points per game last season and was the only Sycamore to average in double figures.  An ankle sprain cost him a handful of games in the middle of the season, but he played through a hand injury over the latter part of the year.  Lathan continued his unlucky injury streak by breaking his left arm in April, but he is expected to be at full strength for the season.  Despite his 6-foot-3 size, he finished third on the squad in rebounding with 4.6 per game.  A high turnover rate and relatively poor shooting led to a poor offensive rating, but Lathan brings plenty of positives to the team.  He does a tremendous job drawing fouls (6.1 per 40 minutes) and is particularly effective on the defensive glass.  If Lathan’s shooting percentages can climb back to their 2009-10 levels, he could see a nice uptick in scoring.

Carl Richard plays much bigger than his 6-foot-5 height would suggest.  He led the team with 6.5 rebounds per game and chipped in 9.5 points per contest as well.  Like Lathan, a poor turnover rate and subpar shooting percentages held down his overall efficiency numbers.  However, Richard excels on the offensive glass and can hold his own with defensive rebounding as well.  Given his solid stroke from the free throw line, Richard would be well-served to get there more often as a senior.

Sophomore point guard Jake Odum grew up in ISU’s backyard and contributed immediately as a freshman last year.  He led the team in assists (4.1 per game) and steals (1.8) while finishing third in scoring and fourth in rebounding.  In all, he posted a strong 108.3 offensive rating and was highly-rated nationally in a number of categories.  Odum shot an impressive 53.8 percent from two-point range, ranked 91st in assist rate, and posted a steal rate in the Top 60 nationally.  He did a masterful job of drawing fouls, and his 148 free throw attempts compared to 199 field goal attempts were good for 35th in the nation for free throw rate.  The only chink in Odum’s armor was a high turnover rate, which I expect to improve as a sophomore.  His play in the MVC Tournament was the key reason the Sycamores were dancing in March.

Starting center Myles Walker also returns after posting 6.5 points and 5.3 rebounds in under 24 minutes per game.  A propensity to commit fouls limited his minutes to a certain extent, and he’ll need to avoid foul trouble if Indiana State hopes to get back to the Big Dance. Walker’s biggest contributions are rebounds and blocked shots, but if he can increase his 45.5 percent field goal shooting and 40.0 percent free throw shooting, his scoring will come around.

One guy who doesn’t need to improve his shooting is Jordan Printy, who canned 47.7 percent of his three-pointers last year.  That propelled him to the top offensive rating on the team despite playing fewer than 18 minutes per game and averaging just 6.2 points.  Printy rarely ventured inside the arc, shooting just 28 two-pointers and four free throws compared to 109 attempts from deep.

R.J. Mahurin and Koang Doluony both return to the frontcourt after logging around 10 minutes per game last season.  Mahurin was foul prone but showed some ability to knock down shots and contributed on the defensive glass.  Doluony will also help on the boards and has solid shot-blocking potential.  A high turnover rate could limit his offensive effectiveness.

Steve McWhorter will provide backcourt depth off the bench.  He hit 41.5 percent of his three-pointers last season and posted one of the best offensive ratings on the team.

The top two new players both add size to the roster.  Forward Jake Kitchell redshirted last season but will be ready to contribute this year.  The son of former IU great Ted Kitchell, Jake has been lauded as a good passer from the post and is said to have improved his outside shot.  True freshman and local product Justin Gant was recruited by some Big Ten schools before committing to the Syacmores.  The 6-foot-8 forward has already worked on adding weight and his high motor and basketball IQ will earn him early playing time.

A pair of true freshmen also join the team.  Brandon Burnett brings strength and athleticism to the wing, while 6-foot-3 guard Devonte Brown projects as a solid playmaker on one end and a hard-nosed defender on the other.

2011-12 Outlook

Despite their strong play at the end of last season and the fact that most of their key contributors return, the Sycamores are still picked behind Creighton and Wichita State in most early Missouri Valley projections.  Still, expectations have been raised due to the success of Lansing’s first season.

Indiana State will find out how good they can be fairly early in the season as they compete in the Old Spice Classic.  An opening round matchup with Texas Tech is manageable, but there are some other major conference teams in the field, along with a talented Fairfield squad.  The Sycamores also have a road trip to Vanderbilt to deal with in the non-conference slate.

A stable and talented point guard is critical to any team’s success, and I love what Odum brings to the table in that regard.  Lathan, Richard, and Walker add to a solid nucleus of returnees, but the key guys here are Kitchell and Gant.  If they can contribute consistently and provide frontcourt depth, the Sycamores have a chance to pull of another surprise like they did during Arch Madness last year.

Follow me on Twitter (@andybottoms) for more thoughts on college hoops, and check out the latest edition of the Bottoms Line podcast.

About Andy Bottoms

While Andy was born and raised in Indiana, he would like to point out that he grew up shooting hoops in his driveway and not against the side of a barn like you see in all the March Madness promos or in the middle of a field like Jimmy Chitwood. Andy ranks among the top bracketologists according to the Bracket Matrix and has provided his projections to Fox Sports for the past three seasons. When not compiling excuses for missing work during the NCAA Tournament, Andy enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. He is a proud IU graduate and co-hosts The Assembly Call postgame show following every IU game. Twitter: @AndyBottoms


  1. Occult abilities are just flowers of the Way And the beginning of foolishness. 4. It’s important to not only check the rating, but also the actual objectionable material (e.

  2. Nice blog here! Also your web site loads up very fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  3. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?Here is my blog: train your dog

  4. The place was rather cold, there was not sexy decorations or music to get you inside the mood, no sexy wait staff serving your drinks, the room along with the people inside simply existed. Maybe, Sweden will be the first country to officially outlaw religion in the future, that knows…There you’ve got it folks, the 25 most Atheist nations in the world. After you’ve registered, you will likely be directed with a page having a list of women along with their pictures.

  5. Why viewers still use to read news papers when in this technological globe everything is available on web?

  6. I used to be able to find good advice from your content.

  7. It correlates with the amount of body unwanted fat. Your current various popular weight loss diets by Medifast, that you can make one you enjoy. Kim is proud of the hard work she has put in, and slammed rumors that she got weight-loss surgery or Photoshopped her selfies to look slimmer.

  8. If youu are going for best contents like myself, just pay a visit this web page all the time for the reason that it provides quality contents, thanksMy webpage buy electronics online usa

  9. As I website possessor I believe the content material here is rattling fantastic , appreciate it for your efforts. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck.

  10. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my weblog so i came to “return the favor”.I am attempting to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  11. Incredible! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a totally different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Superb choice of colors!

  12. Although I do not agree on all your points, this is a well written post. Well written, and informative.

  13. Howdy! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when browsing from my iphone4. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to resolve this problem. If you have any recommendations, please share. Appreciate it!

  14. Appreciate you sharing, great blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Really Great.

  15. I’d like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website. I’m hoping to view the same high-grade content by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own site now

  16. Hi it’s me, I am also visiting this website regularly, this web page is in fact pleasant and the viewers are really sharing good thoughts.

  17. Do you have a spam problem on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation; we have created some nice methods and we are looking to swap methods with others, why not shoot me an email if interested.

  18. Very descriptive post, I liked that bit. Will there be a part 2?

  19. Coach Greg Lansing’s first year in Terre Haute exceeded expectations with a 20-win season and trip to the Big Dance.
    togel singapura

  20. I just want to say I am very new to weblog and absolutely enjoyed this blog. Probably I’m going to bookmark your website . You amazingly have amazing articles and reviews. Regards for revealing your web-site.

  21. I just have to reveal to you that I am new to writing and absolutely valued your page. Most likely I am most likely to save your blog post . You literally have fantastic article information. Delight In it for share-out with us your url information

  22. MetroClick specializes in building completely interactive products like Photo Booth for rental or sale, Touch Screen Kiosks, Large Touch Screen Displays , Monitors, Digital Signages and experiences. With our own hardware production facility and in-house software development teams, we are able to achieve the highest level of customization and versatility for Photo Booths, Touch Screen Kiosks, Touch Screen Monitors and Digital Signage. Visit MetroClick at or , 121 Varick St, New York, NY 10013, +1 646-843-0888

  23. As soon as I noticed this internet site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.

  24. I’m really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days..

  25. Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch! “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” by Epictetus.

  26. I enjoy you because of all your valuable labor on this web site. Kate take interest in managing research and it’s really obvious why. Most people know all regarding the lively manner you offer priceless solutions by means of this web site and therefore foster response from visitors on the subject matter and our own princess is truly learning a great deal. Take advantage of the rest of the year. You are conducting a pretty cool job.

  27. Good – I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your web site. I had no trouble navigating through all tabs and related info ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Excellent task.

  28. Wow! This could be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Excellent. I am also an expert in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  29. I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thank you again!

  30. Wonderful goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just extremely fantastic. I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it smart. I can not wait to read far more from you. This is actually a tremendous web site.

  31. Good post and straight to the point. I don’t know if this is really the best place to ask but do you folks have any thoughts on where to employ some professional writers? Thanks in advance :)

  32. Its good as your other posts : D, thanks for putting up. “So, rather than appear foolish afterward, I renounce seeming clever now.” by William of Baskerville.

  33. Thank you, I’ve just been looking for information about this subject for ages and yours is the best I’ve found out till now. But, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you positive concerning the source?

  34. It is in reality a great and helpful piece of information. I’m happy that you simply shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

Speak Your Mind