Sycamore Basketball Legends: #4 Michael Menser

Jason Svoboda

The Bird Level
Administrator
From the second Michael Menser stepped foot on the campus of Indiana State University, Sycamore Nation knew it was in good hands. Menser came to Terre Haute as one of the most heralded recruits in program history after finishing up his Batesville High School career as an Indiana All-Star and runner-up to Dekalb's Luke Recker for the State of Indiana's Mr. Basketball honors. Some still say Menser was robbed to this day.

Unlike most freshman that slowly work their way into the lineup, Michael hit the ground running during his freshman season and started 26 games, leading the team in three-pointers and finishing third in scoring at 10.5 ppg. As a sophomore, Menser did more of the same topping the team in free throw shooting (79.5%) and was second in assists (81) and three-pointers (44). Menser showed glimpses of what would Sycamore fans would end up seeing with regularity over the next couple seasons.

Like our #5 Sycamore Basketball Legend Carl Nicks, it was during Menser's junior season when he really took off. As a junior, he started all 32 games, setting school's single-season mark for three-pointers (which he broke a year later) with 91. Menser Scored in double figures 20 times and had a streak of 30 consecutive games with at least one three-point field goal. His consistent play and leadership helped lead the Sycamores to a 22-10 record, a Missouri Valley Conference Championship and it's first NCAA tournament berth since the Larry Bird era.

Not satisfied with just making it to the NCAA tournament as a junior, Menser came back on a mission as a senior. During that senior campaign, Michael led the nation in assist/turnover ratio (184 assists to just 46 turnovers, 4:1) and recorded nine turnover-less games during the season. Menser was named Most Outstanding Player of MVC Tournament after averaging 21.0 points and 6.3 assists over three-game championship run that saw him drop a career-high 32 points against Creighton in semifinal round. With all he accomplished during his senior season, the single defining moment of the season is simply dubbed "The Menser Miracle." On November 29, 2000, with ISU trailing by four points against Indiana University, Menser hit a three-pointer from the top of the key with 8.5 seconds remaining to pull the Sycamores to within one point. Indiana State then fouled Indiana?s Kirk Haston, who made the front end, but missed the second end of the one-and-one opportunity. Sycamore center Djibril Kante grabbed the rebound and fed Menser with the outlet pass. Menser raced up court and canned the game-winning trey with :0.05 seconds remaining.

But Menser's heroics didn't stop there. In first round of NCAA Tournament, Menser led Indiana State to one-point win over Oklahoma by hitting a three-pointer with nine seconds left to pull team within one and then drilling another three-pointer with 0.05 seconds remaining. The Sycamores went on to lose to Gonzaga 85-68 in the next round, but Menser and his team had already cemented itself as one of the best Sycamore clubs in program history. The Sycamores finished with a 22-12 record on the season, winning the Missouri Valley Conference tournament as well as getting an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament where they knocked off the #4 seed Oklahoma Sooners. It was a great exclamation point on a fantastic career for Menser.

Throughout his career, Menser earned quite a few accolades as a Sycamore. He was named to the MVC All-Newcomer Team as a freshman and earned All-MVC Team Honorable Mention as a junior and All-MVC Second Team honors as a senior. He also netted Most Outstanding Player of the 2000 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament after averaging 21.0 points and 6.3 assists over the three-game championship run that was capped off with a 69-63 victory over Bradley. Off the court, Michael was a three-time MVC First Team Scholar Athlete and was named to the CoSIDA District V All-Academic First Team as a senior.

CAREER STATISTICS
<TABLE style="WIDTH: 301pt; BORDER-COLLAPSE: collapse" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=401 border=0 x:str><COLGROUP><COL style="WIDTH: 48pt" span=2 width=64><COL style="WIDTH: 61pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 2962" width=81><COL style="WIDTH: 48pt" span=3 width=64><TBODY><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; WIDTH: 48pt; BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" width=64 height=17>YEAR</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; WIDTH: 48pt; BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" width=64>GP</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; WIDTH: 61pt; BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" width=81>FG-FGA</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; WIDTH: 48pt; BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" width=64>PCT.</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; WIDTH: 48pt; BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" width=64>TP</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; WIDTH: 48pt; BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" width=64>AVG</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17>1997-98</TD><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num>27</TD><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">92-244</TD><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num="0.377">0.377</TD><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num>284</TD><TD class=xl26 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num="10.518518518518519" x:fmla="=E2/B2">10.5</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17>1998-99</TD><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num>23</TD><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">65-192</TD><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num="0.33900000000000002">0.339</TD><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num>205</TD><TD class=xl26 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num="8.9130434782608692" x:fmla="=E3/B3">8.9</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17>1999-00</TD><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num>32</TD><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">118-267</TD><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num="0.442">0.442</TD><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num>355</TD><TD class=xl26 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num="11.09375" x:fmla="=E4/B4">11.1</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl27 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17>2000-01</TD><TD class=xl27 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num>34</TD><TD class=xl27 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">138-345</TD><TD class=xl28 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num>0.400</TD><TD class=xl27 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num>457</TD><TD class=xl29 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: windowtext 0.5pt solid; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num="13.441176470588236" x:fmla="=E5/B5">13.4</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl30 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17>TOTALS</TD><TD class=xl30 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num x:fmla="=SUM(B2:B5)">116</TD><TD class=xl30 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">413-1048</TD><TD class=xl30 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num="0.39400000000000002">0.394</TD><TD class=xl30 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num x:fmla="=SUM(E2:E5)">1301</TD><TD class=xl31 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #ece9d8; BORDER-TOP: #ece9d8; BORDER-LEFT: #ece9d8; BORDER-BOTTOM: #ece9d8; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" x:num="11.21551724137931" x:fmla="=E6/B6">11.2</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
LIFE AFTER BASKETBALL
Despite being invited to, and playing well at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament following his senior season, Menser did not go on to play professionally. Had he wanted, there isn't a doubt in my mind that Menser could have had a successful career over in Europe as he was the prototypical point guard that every coach coveted. Instead, Menser opted to go to work following graduation and went to work as a licensed financial consultant at A.G. Edwards in Terre Haute. He also did color commentary alongside play-by-play commentator Brian Fritz for WSDM-FM 97.7.

In 2006, Menser took on a new challenge, this time as a coach at Riverton Parke. In two seasons as the Panthers Head Coach, Menser guided the team to a 21-26 record and a Sectional Title in 2006. Menser resigned as head coach in 2007 and is now working as a teacher, teaching business at Woodrow Wilson Middle School.
 

Attachments

Proud To Be A Tree

The Varsity Level
Dude.

Do you have any idea of how wasted I was by the time he hit that three against IU? I believe we were at The Terminal before heading to the Bally.
 

Jason Svoboda

The Bird Level
Administrator
Dude.

Do you have any idea of how wasted I was by the time he hit that three against IU? I believe we were at The Terminal before heading to the Bally.
LMAO! Yeah, I was there. My ticket was stolen out of my apartment and it was a sellout. Talk about crazy times. But that was one of the biggest parties we had during my time at State.
 

BallyHooHoo

The Sycamore Level
#4 kind of low for MM

MM really number 4? I would say he is number 2 behind Larry Legend. MM is responsible for the greatest moment in Sycamore history (outside of the Larry vs Magic final)
 

btisu22

The Varsity Level
MM really number 4? I would say he is number 2 behind Larry Legend. MM is responsible for the greatest moment in Sycamore history (outside of the Larry vs Magic final)
There have been other All-Americans and things. Dig deep into the past and there is some great tradition!
I was sitting in the Hulman Center for the shot! What a time!
 
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