SETTING THE STAGE
Indiana State continues year three of the Greg Lansing era on Saturday, January 5 when the Sycamores (9-4, 2-0 MVC) put their perfect MVC record on the line at No. 11/16 Creighton (13-1, 2-0 MVC) inside Century Link Center Omaha. Tip-off is set for 3:05 p.m. (ET). The game will be broadcast live locally on WAWV-TV as well as nationally on ESPN3 as a simulcast of Creighton's local television provider with Chase Williams (pbp) and Nick Bahe (analyst) on the call. The game can also be heard on the radio via WIBQ 98.5 FM and along the Nelligan Sports Marketing Radio Network with Brian Fritz (pbp) and Matt Renn (analyst) on the call. GoSycamores.com will have an audio only production of the radio broadcast as well.
THE CREIGHTON SERIES
Creighton owns a 51-24 advantage over Indiana State in the all-time series. The Sycamores are just 7-30 all-time in Omaha and have dropped each of the last 13 meetings against the Bluejays on the road. Indiana State's last victory over Creighton on the road came on January 17, 1999 when the Sycamores earned a 70-69 victory at the Omaha Civic Auditorium. ISU has never won at Century Link Center Omaha, which opened in 2003.
THE HEAD COACHES
INDIANA STATE: Greg Lansing (South Dakota, ‘90)
- at Indiana State: 47-33 (Third Season)
- Overall: 47-33 (Third Season)
- vs. Creighton: 1-3
- vs. MVC: 22-16
Creighton: Greg McDermott (UNI, 1988)
- Overall: 345-218 (19th Season)
- at Creighton: 65-23 (Third Season)
- vs. Indiana State: 11-4
- Indiana State is now 7-1 on the season when holding teams to 63 points or less and is 33-2 when doing so under third-year head coach Greg Lansing.
- Indiana State has earned 42 close victories (five points or less) since 2005. Under Greg Lansing, the Sycamores are 16-5 in close games.
- The Sycamores are 6-1 this season when Jake Odum scores at least 16 points and are 5-1 when committing 12 or fewer turnovers.
- Jake Odum now has 357 career assists which ranks him ninth on the Indiana State Career List. He is one of eight Sycamores to be in ISU Top 10 for both assists and steals in a career.
- Jake Odum is nationally-ranked in four different statistical categories (171st in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.71), 71st in assists per game (4.8), 229th in free throw percentage (77.7) and 247th in points per game (14.7).
- Indiana State is a perfect 7-0 this season when hitting at least 36.4 percent of their 3-pointers.
- Justin Gant posted 18 points and 11 rebounds against Illinois State - his second career double-double. Gant has led the Sycamores in rebounding a total of five games this season.
- Jake Odum tied a career-high with five steals against Northern Iowa on January 2.
- Indiana State is off to a 2-0 start to MVC play for the first time since 2007-08.
An Indiana State Win Over Creighton Would ...
• Snap a 13-game losing skid in Omaha and be the first victory since 1999 for the Sycamores on the road against the Bluejays
• Give the Sycamores a 3-0 start to MVC play, which would be its best since the 2007-08 season when they also started 3-0.
• Be the Sycamores first victory over a nationally-ranked opponent this season in four tries and be the first for Indiana State since last season's road victory over No. 25 Vanderbilt.
The Indiana State Head Coach
Indiana State head coach Greg Lansing (South Dakota, 1990) is 47-33 (.588) overall in his third season as a head coach. He is 22-16 all-time in MVC games, including a 14-5 mark at home and an 8-11 record on the road. During his career, he is 25-8 in all home games, 13-19 on the road, 9-6 in neutral court contests and 16-5 in games decided by five points or less. Lansing is 1-3 all-time against Creighton, and is 0-2 versus the Bluejays inside Century Link Center Omaha. With the Trees, Lansing is 4-3 in overtime games and 33-2 when holding teams to 63 points or less. Saturday's game will be Greg Lansing's 81st as Indiana State head coach. Lansing is the second head coach to lead the Sycamores to the NCAA Tournament in their rookie campaign in the history of the program, with the other being Bill Hodges leading ISU to a 33-1 record and a Final Four appearance in the 1979 NCAA Tournament. Lansing was just the 14th rookie head coach in the history of the MVC to lead his team to 20 victories during their debut season.
The Creighton contest can be seen live locally on WAWV-TV as well as nationally on ESPN3. The telecast is originating with the local institutional broadcast from Creighton and will be simulcast on the internet at WatchESPN.com. To access the broadcast, fans will need a valid internet or television subscription and the ESPN3 is available for free on most college campuses and military bases world wide.
A Little History
Indiana State is currently in its 117th season of college basketball at the school. The Sycamores are 1,394-1,200 all-time on the hardwood. Indiana State's game at Oral Roberts in 2010 was the historic 2,500th game in the history of the program.
Sycamores Off To 2-0 Start To Missouri Valley Play For Just Sixth Time In 36 Seasons Of League Membership
Indiana State is off to its first 2-0 start to Missouri Valley Conference play since the 2007-08 campaign when the Sycamores achieved their last 3-0 burst out of the gate. The Sycamores have downed Illinois State at home in the league opener and earned a road victory over Northern Iowa on January 2. Now in its 36th season of MVC play, the Sycamores have started 2-0 just six times and have begun 3-0 only four times.
Justin Gant Has Scored 18 Points In Both MVC Games So Far
Justin Gant scored a game-best 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as the Sycamores opened MVC play with a 77-75 victory over Illinois State inside Hulman Center. It marked the second double-double of Gant's career as well his second in the last four games. He went on to score 18 points for the second consecutive game as he hit 8-of-12 shots from the field against Northern Iowa. Gant scored eight points as part of an 11-0 run in the first half which helped the Sycamores to an early lead against the Panthers. He hit 8-of-13 shots from the field, including a 3-pointer on the Sycamores' first possession of the contest. He had five offensive rebounds, one assist a blocked shot in 26 minutes of action following a two-day return journey from Hawaii as well as root canal on Thursday following the losing of his top middle front tooth Christmas Day against Miami on national television at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. Gant scored the final six points of an 11-0 Sycamore run in the first half which stakes the Sycamores to a nine-point lead early. He also hit a free throw with just under seven seconds remaining to help secure Indiana State's two-point, league-opening victory.
The Sycamores' Brown-Eyed Guy
Indiana State redshirt freshman Devonte Brown is on a roll for the Sycamores and he posted a career-high 12 points in the MVC opener against Illinois State on December 30. Brown added a career-best seven rebounds to his point total. Brown was 3-of-5 from the field and hit six free throws in the victory to go with two points, one steal and 23 minutes of action off the bench. Brown did most of his damage in the second half as he scored a fast break basket off a long assist from Jake Odum at the 15:29 mark to stretch Indiana State's lead out to 10 points and after hitting a free throw scored again in the paint going coast-to-coast for a basket. Brown scored his final field goal with just under four minutes left to give ISU an 11-point lead and hit a free throw in the final two minutes to help keep the Redbirds at bay.
Sycamores Continue Their Recent Push Higher Up The NCAA RPI Rankings
As part of the Missouri Valley Conference's recent rise to No. 9 in the RPI ratings, is the explosive push upward by Indiana State, which is now No. 28 in the NCAA RPI team rankings, as posted on RealTimeRPI.com. The Sycamores have played the toughest schedule of all 10 MVC teams, according to the RPI, as ISU leads the league with a No. 25 Strength Of Schedule ranking. Nationally-ranked Creighton owns a MVC-best No. 12 RPI while Wichita State checks in at No. 19. The Sycamores have played five Top 50 RPI teams this season and own quality victories against No. 15 Miami, No. 50 Ole Miss and No. 64 Illinois State. The Bluejays (No. 12) is the second-highest ranked team the Sycamores have played this season, just behind No. 9 New Mexico, whom ISU dropped an overtime decision to at home on December 1.
Jake Odum Named To Bob Cousy Award Watchlist
Jake Odum has been named to the 2013 Bob Cousy Award Watch List. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the watch list of candidates for the 2013 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. The annual honor, named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy, recognizes the top point guards in men's college basketball. Over 80 candidates have been nominated for the 2013 Bob Cousy Award. This watch list of candidates will be narrowed down to a final 20 around January 1st, final 10 near February 1st, and final five by approximately March 1st. A premier Selection Committee has been appointed by the Hall of Fame to review the final five candidates in contention for the nation's top collegiate point guard award. These Hall of Fame committees are made up of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, Sports Information Directors and Hall of Famers. The winner of the 2013 Bob Cousy Award will be presented at the Hall of Fame's Class Announcement on Championship Monday in Atlanta as part of NCAA Final Four weekend.
Newcomers Are No Problem For Indiana State
With Jake Odum being the lone Sycamore starter to return in 2012-13, Indiana State has relied on a stable of five newcomers so far this season for a large chunk of its offensive production. Led by Manny Arop, who is a two-time MVC Newcomer Of The Week selection and is currently second on the team with a 12.8 ppg average ISU has seen nearly over four of every 10 points come from someone who was not on the active roster one year ago. For the season, 353 points have come from newcomers, of a total of 886 scored (39.8 percent).
Jake Odum Now One Of Eight Players At ISU To Reach The Career Top 10 Lists For Assists & Steals
Indiana State junior guard Jake Odum has 144 career steals, which ranks him seventh all-time in the Sycamore basketball record book, needing five more to reach sixth place, currently held by Rick Fields (149 from 1981-85). Odum also now has 357 assists for his career which is good enough for ninth place. He needs 12 more to catch Nick Hargrove (369 from 1993 to 1997) for eighth all-time. Odum is the eighth Sycamore in the history of the program to rank in the Indiana State Top 10 for both assists and steals in a career.
Good Starter On The Battery
Indiana State is 6-1 this season when the Sycamore starters outscore their counterparts for the opposition. Under third-year head coach Greg Lansing, the Sycamores are 30-8 when the ISU starting five scores more than their opponent's starters.
63 Is The Magic Number
The Sycamores win by the score of 65-61 on January 2 was ISU's seventh this season in which they held an opponent to 63 points or less and earned the victory. ISU is currently 7-1 on the season when holding an opponent under that total. Under third-year head coach Greg Lansing, the Sycamores are 33-2 when allowing less than 63 points to the opposition (including a 13-0 mark when holding teams to 53 or less).
Manny Arop Earns Second Consecutive MVC Newcomer Of The Week Honor
Indiana State junior Manny Arop has earned his second consecutive MVC Newcomer Of The Week honor after leading the team in scoring over three games at the Diamond Head Classic team with a 17.7 ppg average as the Sycamores won against Ole Miss and Miami to finish third in the eight-team field. Arop hit 18-of-44 shots for the week (40.9 percent), including seven 3-pointers and hit 10-of-11 free throws (90.9 percent). He averaged 4.7 rebounds per game and posted two assists with two steals while averaging 33.7 minutes per game. He was one of two Sycamores to reach double figures scoring in all three games of the tournament. Arop began the tournament by scoring a career-high 27 points in the overtime victory over Ole Miss. He added seven rebounds against the Rebels and hit 9-of-15 shots from the field, including four 3-pointers and was 5-of-6 from the free throw line. He added 13 points against nationally-ranked San Diego State with five rebounds, an assist and steal and concluded the week with 13 points and two rebounds against Miami in the Consolation Championship Game. Arop hit a pair of late free throws to get the Sycamores within a possession of the Hurricanes in regulation in the final game of the tournament. Arop earned the same honor on December 17 following the road victory over IUPUI.
Indiana State Has Won Two In A Row Over The Southeastern Conference
The Indiana State Sycamores downed Ole Miss by the score of 87-85 in overtime in the opener of the 2012 Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. Indiana State has now won each of its last two meetings against the SEC, as they won on the road at No. 25 Vanderbilt in 2011. ISU also earned its first victory since 1986 in Hawaii with the victory over the Rebels. The Sycamores have now won their opener in both the 2011 Old Spice Classic as well as the 2012 Diamond Head Classic.
Sycamore Success Inside Hulman Center Under Greg Lansing
The Sycamores are 25-8 (.758) inside Hulman Center under third-year head coach Greg Lansing. The Sycamores have won 16 of their last 21 home games. Additionally, the Sycamores have won 14 of their last 19 MVC games at home.
Sycamores Win At Ball State For The First Time Since 1986
Indiana State won 68-48 at Ball State on November 20 to end an 11-game road losing skid to the Cardinals. It was their first victory in Muncie since 1986 and their first at Worthen Arena (which opened in 1991) in nine tries. The Sycamores earned their largest margin of victory over Ball State since 1977 and their largest road win against the Cardinals since 1919.
Sycamores In Postseason Play For Third Consecutive Season
With Indiana State's appearance in the 2012 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, the Sycamores have now made three consecutive trips to postseason play. ISU played in the 2010 College Basketball Invitational as well as the 2011 NCAA Tournament in addition to the CIT Tournament in 2012. The last time the Sycamores reached postseason play for three consecutive seasons came in 1977-79 when Indiana State played in the 1977 & 1978 NIT as well as the 1979 NCAA Tournament. The last time Indiana State hosted a postseason game came on March 10, 1978 when the Sycamores hosted Illinois State in the first round of the NIT.
Jake Odum Named To The Preseason All-Missouri Valley Team
Indiana State guard Jake Odum was one of five student-athletes named to the Preseason All-Missouri Valley Conference Team on October 29. Odum finished third in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 4.9 assists per game average. That mark was ranked 61st nationally. Odum recorded a career-high 12 assists against Fairfield as part of the Old Spice Classic, a number which ranked tied for fourth all-time at ISU in a single game. Odum is third in the MVC in steals per game with a 1.8 average, which ranks 81st nationally. Additionally, Odum's 4.5 assists per game average of his career is fifth-best in the history of the program while his 119 steals are ranked ninth-best in the Sycamore record books, while his 1.8 steals per game average ranks third.
Sycamores Picked To Finish 7th In Missouri Valley Conference Race
The Indiana State Sycamores were picked to finish seventh in the Missouri Valley Conference race according to a poll of league head coaches, sports information directors and a media panel. ISU finished eighth last season, with an 8-10 MVC record, just one game out of a large logjam for third place at 9-9.
Indiana State Reaches 17 Regular Season Victories For Third Consecutive Season; First Time Since Larry Bird Era
With its 59-46 victory over Missouri State on February 22, 2012, the Sycamores have now posted at least 17 regular season victories for the third consecutive season, which is the first time three Indiana State teams have reached that mark in succession since the 1976-77, 1977-78 & 1978-79 seasons. The Sycamores won 25 in 76-77, 19 in 77-78 and 26 in 78-79.
Triple-Double For Odum And Tournament Record To Boot
Jake Odum battled a foot injury while playing three games in four days at the 2011 Old Spice Classic. After two solid performances in the first two days of the event, Odum saved his best for last as he posted 10 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists against Fairfield on November 27. That triple-double was the first by a Sycamore since Larry Bird posted one in 1979 versus Drake and the first by a member of the MVC in 14 seasons. Additionally, the 12 assists are an Old Spice Classic single-game record. His 12 assists is the first double digit assist total in his career and the first by a Sycamore since Michael Menser had 11 against Wichita State in 2001.
Indiana State returns to action at home on Wednesday, January 9 when they host Bradley inside Hulman Center. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m. (ET).