Setting The Stage:
Indiana State continues year three of the Kevin McKenna era on Friday, March 5 when the Sycamores take on Illinois State in the quarterfinals of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. Tip-off is slated for 9:35 p.m. (ET). The game will be televised nationally on the MVC-TV package with Dan McLaughlin & Charlie Spoonhour on the call (check page 2 of this release for television clearances). On the radio airwaves, the game will be live on The Crock 92.7 FM as well as online at GoSycamores.com. Brian Fritz & Matt Renn will call the action live on the radio broadcast. Those in the Wabash Valley with Time Warner Cable can find the game on Channel 13.
ABOUT THE COACHES:
Kevin McKenna (Creighton ‘93) is in his third season as the head coach at Indiana State (36-41 at ISU & 126-74 overall). In his first season with the Sycamores, McKenna led the team to its highest win total since the 2000-01 season and an impressive 12-2 record at home in the Hulman Center. Last season, he led the Sycamores to six victories in their final seven regular season games, including three consecutive league road wins in the span of 10 days. McKenna came to Indiana State after spending nine seasons as an assistant coach at Creighton, where he helped the Bluejays advance to four NCAA tournament appearances. From 2001-05, McKenna spent four years as the head coach (89-33) at NCAA Division II Nebraska-Omaha, where he guided the Mavericks to four consecutive 20-win seasons and three appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament. McKenna is one of just two NCAA Division I head men's basketball coaches who have won an NBA World Championship (with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1982). Florida International's Isiah Thomas is the other. He is the only NCAA Division I men's basketball head coach to earn both an NBA and CBA Championship and is the only person in the history of the Missouri Valley Conference to win a MVC Regular Season Title , MVC Tournament Championship, NBA Championship and CBA title. McKenna is 4-2 against Illinois State, facing them in the MVC Tournament for the first time.
Tim Jankovich (Kansas State, 1982) is 172-100 in his ninth season as a head coach, and 69-29 in his third season with the Redbirds. At Illinois State, Jankovich is 38-21 against teams from the Missouri Valley Conference, 31-8 versus non-conference opponents, 44-6 at home, 20-19 on the road, 6-4 on a neutral court and 2-4 against Indiana State.
Missouri State leads the all-time series against Indiana State by a 35-17 count, including a thrilling 99-92 overtime victory over a Sycamores earlier this season at Springfield, Mo. The Sycamores are 13-11 against Missouri State at home. ISU won both contests against the Bears last season, including a 69-52 homecourt victory. The Sycamores two victories over Missouri State broke a six-game losing skid against MSU.
Here are the clearances for Friday night's game against Illinois State. Fox Sports Midwest -- Live at 9:30 p.m. Fox Sports Indiana -- Cannot clear due to contractual obligations to Indiana Pacers, but Fox Sports will permit alternate clearances on Time-Warner Cable in Terre Haute (Channel 13), Time-Warner Newburgh (Channel 23), Avenue-Vincennes (Channel 24), WOW in Evansville (Channel 7) and Insight Media in Evansville (Channel 2). Fox Sports Kansas City -- Live at 9:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet Chicago -- Tape-delay at 3:30 a.m. on March 6. Comcast SportsNet Chicago Plus (alternate channel) - Live at 9:30 p.m. Comcast and Bright House (Channel 81) in Indianapolis, Ind. - Live at 9:30 p.m. Metro Sports -- Live at 9:30 p.m. Central. DirecTV -- Live at 9:30 p.m. on channel 671. Dish Network -- Live at 9:30 p.m. on channel 418. AT&T U-Verse -- Live at 9:30 p.m. on channel 748.
A Little History:
Indiana State is currently in its 114th season of college basketball at the school. The Sycamores are 1,348-1,145 all-time on the hardwood. The Sycamores are seven contests away from playing their historic 2,500th game in the history of the program.
They're Free! Take Em!:
Indiana State has been hitting the freebies so far this season, as the Sycamores are ahead of Drake for top honors in the Missouri Valley Conference and are just behind BYU for the national lead with a 77.4 percentage from the charity stripe. ISU has hit 452-of-584 while the Bulldogs are 418-of-549 (76.1 percent). ISU is currently just shy of BYU for first nationally in free throw percentage, one of three Valley teams to rank in the Top 25 nationally. BYU's 77.6 percent mark leads the nation just in front of the Sycamores. ISU has made 452 free throws this season while the opposition has made just 401. The Sycamores are 13-5 this season in games in which they make more free throws than the opposition.
Marshall Named All-Valley Second Team & MVC All-Defensive:
Indiana State senior Harry Marshall was named an All-Missouri Valley Conference Second Team selection as well as a member of the MVC's All-Defensive squad earlier this week. Marshall capped the regular season portion of his regular season campaign by scoring 21 points and hitting a buzzer-beating 3-pointer against Missouri State that propelled the Sycamores out of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Play-In Contest for the first time since the 2001 campaign. Marshall played in 24 contests this season, starting in 22. He led the league in scoring in MVC games with a 16.2 ppg average. Marshall leads ISU with a 14.0 ppg average in all contests, and has hit 47.3 percent of his shots from the field. The Sycamores are second in the nation in team free throw percentage, and individually, Marshall hit 87-of-103 charity tosses, an 84.5 percent mark. Marshall is the first-ever initial walk-on in the history of the Sycamore basketball to join the Sycamores' elite 1,000-point club. He has tacked on 3.9 rebounds per game and is fourth in the league by averaging 33.6 minutes per game. Marshall leads the Sycamores by scoring in double figures 21 times this seasons He scored a career-high 29 points this season against Wichita State. Marshall is the first Sycamore to earn either first or second team all-conference honors since David Moss did so as a second teamer in 2005-06. Marshall is also the first Sycamore to earn MVC All-Defensive Team honors since Gabe Moore did so in 2007-08. He led ISU with 29 steals this season. His 1.1 steals per game average in league contests, ranks ninth best in The Valley this season.
Thursday Night Is Not Must See For Sycamore Fans!:
Indiana State finished the MVC campaign with an even 9-9 record, tied for fifth place with Bradley. Following completion of the league's tiebreaking procedures, the Braves qualified for the No. 5 seed & ISU got the No. 6 based on Bradley's edge in the power points system that the Valley employs. The Sycamores secured a spot in the league's top 6 and are avoiding the play-in Thursday night portion of the State Farm MVC Tournament following a thrilling overtime victory over Missouri State as Harry Marshall drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Indiana State had appeared in the Thursday night play-in portion of the conference tournament following every season since the 2000-01 campaign when the Sycamores finished fifth with a 10-8 league record and became the lowest seed to ever win "Arch Madness" and advance to the NCAA Tournament. Prior to this season, ISU had appeared on Thursday night at the league tournament for eight consecutive seasons.
Planting The Seeds Of Success:
Indiana State will be trying to reverse the fortunes for past No. 6 seeds at the State Farm MVC Tournament. Only two No. 6 seeds have reached the Valley semifinals (UNI in 2006 & 2008), and none has ever reached the finals. No. 6 seeds are 2-19 at Arch Madness and are 4-33 all-time since 1977 in the Valley Tournament. ISU was last the No. 6 seed in the Valley tournament in 1999, when they fell 79-78 in overtime against Missouri State. All-time ISU is 18-27 in Valley tournament play, including a 2-3 mark in the conference tournament against Friday's opponent, Illinois State. ISU is 0-2 all-time as the league's No. 6 seed (1983 & 1999).
Over The Century Mark Against Six Opponents:
Illinois State is one of just six schools that Indiana State has faced at least 100 times in the 114-year history of the program. Below are the schools that Indiana State has faced at least 100 times throughout the years.
Indiana State Century Club:
1. Evansville 149
2. Ball State 125
3. Butler 122
4. Eastern Illinois 121
5. Southern Illinois 114
6. Illinois State 102
A Senior Day To Remember:
Indiana State's senior class of Josh Crawford, Rashad Reed and Harry Marshall each had key moments for the Sycamores in their 75-72 overtime Senior Day victory over Missouri State. Crawford posted a pair of key second half buckets to help ISU close an eight-point gap against the Bears, scoring four points and tying for the team lead with seven rebounds. Reed hit a 3-pointer late in overtime which gave ISU a late three point advantage of the Bears and finished the game with 12 points, hitting 3-of-8 3-pointers. Marshall had the shot of the day as he beat the overtime buzzer with a deep trey from the left wing to secure the victory and keep ISU out of the play-in game at the conference tournament. Marshall led the team with 21 points, hitting 8-of-16 shots from the field to go with four rebounds, three assists and three steals in 40 minutes of action.
Celebrating Arch Madness Past With Michael Menser's 32 Points Against Creighton In 2001:
Michael Menser's 32-point performance that helped lead Indiana State to a semifinal victory over Creighton in the semifinals of the 2001 State Farm MVC Men's Basketball Championship on March 4, 2001 has been selected as the No. 6 top moment in Arch Madness history by a vote of the league's fans. Menser was 9-of-18 from the field in the 87-74 Sycamore victory over the top-seeded Bluejays. He hit 5-of-11 3-pointers and was a perfect 9-of-9 at the free throw line en route to posting a career-best 32 points. He added seven assists as well in front of 10,708 fans at the then-named Savvis Center. In the 2001 edition of Arch Madness, Indiana State became the lowest seeded team (No. 5) to win the event. It was ISU's second MVC tournament title, with the previous coming at Hulman Center in 1979. ISU's No. 6 seed for this year's tournament is its highest since that magical run through the field in 2001. The Sycamores went on to to down No. 2 Bradley the next day by the score of 69-63 to take the tournament crown. ISU advanced to the NCAA Tournament where they downed No. 4 seed Oklahoma 70-68 in overtime before falling to No. 12 Gonzaga in the second round of the Big Dance.
Marshall's Hits 1,000 Career Points & Milestone Game Against Wichita State:
Indiana State senior Harry Marshall currently has 1,046 career points, and is the 32nd member of the Indiana State 1,000-point club. He is believed to be the first initial walk-on in the history of the program to reach the elite group of Sycamores who have scored at least 1,000 career points. Marshall played his 100th career game against Wichita State and celebrated the milestone by scoring a career-high 29 points to become ISU's first 20-plus point scorer this season.
Reed Moves Into ISU 3-Pointers Made Top 10:
With his trio of 3-point field goals on Senior Day against Missouri State, Rashad Reed now has 114 career treys, which is the tenth most in the history of the program, passing over Matt Broerman's 109 triples he made from 1999 until 2003. Reed needs one to tie David Moss (2002-05) for ninth all-time and is just two behind Travis Inman (116) for eighth. Along those same lines, his 54 3-pointers made this season are eighth best all-time and he needs just two more to catch Michael Menser who hit 56 during the 1997-98 campaign.
Workin' Overtime Against Missouri State & Bradley This Season:
Indiana State's victory over Missouri State broke a three-game overtime skid for the Sycamores this season, with all four contests that reached an extra frame occurring during league play. It marked the first time in the history of the program that ISU has gone to overtime twice during league play against two opponents.
Marshall & Lathan Return To Sycamores:
Both Harry Marshall and Dwayne Lathan missed five games to due to injury, but were able to get back into action at Illinois State. Marshall, who earned a start in his return, scoring 10 points in 19 minutes of action. Lathan posted 12 points in 16 minutes of action off the bench. Lathan was a perfect 2-of-2 for the Sycamores from 3-point range.
Richard On The Boards:
Indiana State sophomore Carl Richard recorded a career-high 14 rebounds at Green Bay, marking the third time this season that he has reached double figures rebounding this season. Richard's 14 rebounds were the most by a Sycamore since Matt Renn posted 15 against Southern Illinois in 2001.
Close Call To Biggest Valley Rally EVER!:
Down 52-28 with 16:20 left at Missouri State, the Indiana State Sycamores faced their biggest deficit of the game and nearly completed the largest comeback in the history of the Missouri Valley Conference. No MVC team has ever come from down by as many as 24 points in a game to earn a victory. ISU fell in overtime, but a 3-pointer by senior Harry Marshall with one second left knotted the score at 83 and completed the 24-point comeback. MSU grabbed the victory in overtime by a 99-92 margin. ISU did complete the third largest comeback in the history of the league on Feb. 19, 2008 by coming back from 21 down to defeat Wichita State 83-73 in overtime.
Leavin' The "AC" On:
Aaron Carter began the week with a season-best 19-point performance against Bradley and then followed it up with 12 more in the annual Bracketbusters contest against Green Bay. Carter hit 10-of-18 shots from the field (55.6 percent), including a mark of 5-of-8 from downtown (62.5 percent) and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line. Carter recorded 6.5 rebounds per game as well in averaging 34 minutes per game. Carter's week began with his 19-point showing against the Braves as he hit 7-of-10 shots from the field, including a 3-of-4 mark long range. Carter added a career-high 10 rebounds as he posted the first double-double of his Indiana State career. Carter hit a key 3-pointer with 11 seconds remaining in regulation which gave the Sycamores a two-point advantage over Bradley and then connected again with 40 seconds left in overtime to put the Sycamores ahead to stay. Versus the Phoenix, Carter was 2-of-4 from downtown and 4-of-4 from the free throw line as he scored 12 points and hauled in three rebounds. Carter hit both of triples as the Sycamores built a second half advantage of double digits at Green Bay.
Six Times Four:
Indiana State junior Aaron Carter has become known as the "King of the 4-Point Play" in the Sycamores circles. For the most part, converting a 4-point play is extremely rare, but for Carter it is becoming old hat. Carter has converted a 4-point play, defined as being fouled in the act of shooting a successful 3-point field goal and then converting the free throw, six times in his three-year Sycamore career. Carter posted a pair last season and has had four this year, including one with 3:42 to play in the first half against Drake this past week. Carter converted two in one game earlier this season at Missouri State as part of a 24-point second half comeback for Indiana State.
When The Starters Are Scoring ... :
When the Indiana State starting five scores more points than the opponents' starting five the Sycamores have put together a perfect 12-0 record this season. In fact in the 12 contests in which ISU's starting five has eclipsed the point total of their starting counterparts, the Sycamores are winning by an average score of 71.1-59.9 - an average margin of victory which equals 11.2 points.
Martin Hits Century Mark For Blocked Shots:
Indiana State junior Isiah Martin now has 107 blocked shots in his career after recording one at Green Bay. His current total of 107 blocks ranks fourth all-time in the history of the program and he needs two more to tie Nate Green for third (109). The Indiana State school record is 168, set by DeCarsta Webster from 1975-78.
Bringin' Out The Brooms:
The Sycamores have swept both Evansville and Drake this season, giving Indiana State a pair of MVC season series sweeps for the second consecutive season. In fact, ISU's sweep of Drake this year is its first since the 1999-00 campaign and gives the Sycamores multiple MVC season series sweeps of a league opponent in consecutive seasons for the first time since the 1998-99 & 1999-00 seasons. Last season, ISU swept both Illinois State and Missouri State.
Three Or More In Double Figures Equals Sycamore Success:
Indiana State has had a least three players reach double digit scoring in 20 contests this season. When the Sycamores are able to accomplish that feat they are 13-7 in such situations. ISU is averaging an 5.6 point margin of victory when the Sycamores post at least three double digit scorers.
Ability To Bounce Back:
ISU is 22-28 under third-year head coach Kevin McKenna in games following a loss. This season, ISU is 8-5 in games which follow a loss by redeeming themselves against Missouri State after falling at Illinois State.
Winnin' By A Whisker:
Indiana State has recorded six victories in close games this season, defined as a game decided by five or fewer points. Winning the close ones has been a staple of third-year head coach Kevin McKenna's career as he has already has 15 "close" wins while at Indiana State. In addition to the six already posted this season, his Sycamores' recorded five in 2008-09 and four more during his first season at the helm, 2007-08. In fact of McKenna's 93 games as head coach of the Sycamores, 23 have been decided by five points or less and ISU is 15-8 in those games, for a .652 winning percentage.
We Don't Need A TO Baby!:
The Sycamores posted the most efficient offensive outing in the history of the program against Drake on February 13 when Indiana State committed an all-time low three turnovers versus the Bulldogs. It was the fewest turnovers for the Sycamores since only having five last season in the finale against Missouri State. Since the 1998-99 season, only on four instances has a Valley team committed just three turnovers in a contest, with one being ISU's 76-66 homecourt victory over Drake.
Indiana State inked three student-athletes to national letters of intent as part of the NCAA Early Signing Period. Steve McWhorter, Myles Walker and Jake Kitchell comprised the Sycamores' 2009 Signing Class.
McWhorter, a 6-2, 185, point guard from Racine, Wis., won a Division 3 state championship last season at Saint Catherines High School as he averaged 10.0 points, 5.0 assists and shot 57.6 percent from the field for coach Bob Letsch. McWhorter took over as the starter at point guard when he was a sophomore. As a junior, he was on a team with nine seniors, and his talent shined in the state tournament. He had 12 points, seven assists and five rebounds in a 48-34 state championship victory against La Crosse Aquinas. In the state semifinals, McWhorter had nine points and nine assists.
Walker is a 6-8, 250, junior college post player from South Plains Junior College who averaged 7.4 points and 4.8 rebounds, while shooting 46.7 percent from the floor and 38.6 percent (32 for 83) from the free-throw line as a freshman last season for coach Steve Green. Walker's best game was a 24-point, 13-rebound performance on Jan. 1. He averaged 1.0 blocks per game with a season-high of five, and he twice had three steals in a game.
At Antonian College Prep in San Antonio, Texas he played for head coach Andre Walker. Myles was named to the all-state team three times and all-district four times. He was once named to the North-South All-Star tournament. As a middle linebacker for the football team Myles earned all-state recognition three times and played in the Army All-American Bowl. He also ran track, boasting a time of 48.07 seconds in the 400 meter dash.
Kitchell is a 6-9, 225, power forward from Union Mills, Ind., and played for coach John Steinhilber at South Central High School. Kitchell averaged 20 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and six blocks per game for a team that finished the 2008-09 season with a record of 17-5. He is expected to be a first team all-state selection later this month in the upcoming edition of the annual Hoosier Basketball Magazine. He was a member of the Indiana Junior All-Stars last spring.