Venting: How to fix the mess we call Sycamore Basketball

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The Sycamore Level
This is just my take on what the Sycamores could do to return to relevance, because we have to be relevant in the Missouri Valley before we can think about being prominent.

1) We need a system, a system with interchangeable parts, so that when players graduate we know what we need to replace them with and the machine can continue to roll alone.

2) We need balance, I would prefer to have 4-6 players average 8-12 ppg and have to replace 1-3 double figure scorers each year, by doing so we continue with the theme of interchanging parts.

3) We need an identity as a tough nose team that plays together, plays sound defense, and is proud of the name on their jerseys and does not want to let it down.

4) We need Indiana kids!

5) We need to get the players in out own back yard, we lose talented Indiana players to the likes of Kent State, Miami of Ohio, other small state schools, or you name the directional insert the state name school.

Needs 1,2, & 3 see Xavier. I will not deny I am also an alumni of Xavier and have been a Musketeer fan much longer the a Sycamore fan, but look at how they do it, they have an Administration and Alumni base committed to excellence, a coach leave (Gillen, Prosser, Matta) they replace him and keep winning. They graduate players and they keep winning, David West graduated, the next year Xavier was in the Elite Eight.

Need 4. See Larry Bird, Michael Menser, Matt Renn and numerous other Hoosiers, maybe I am bias but Indiana kids play hard, are fundamentally sound and have great basketball IQ’s there is a reason why Indiana based AAU teams are always considered to be the best in the country, why the ACC (UNC, NC State, Wake, Duke) all have established pipe lines into the Hoosier State, it is why IU and Purdue have been national players for so long.

Need 5. We need to do what the University of Cincinnati does in football, they know they cannot get the kids that Ohio State gets, so they go out and get that group just under OSU’s radar, we need to get the best kids we can get, the kids from the state of Indiana and the Midwest who are just under Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame, Louisville, and Xavier’s radar. Do not let Alex Grimsley get away to Kent State, do not let Colt Ryan get away to Evansville, do not let Larry Stone get away to IUPUI, do not let Julian Magnuva go to Miami, you get the idea. We are INDIANA State University.

We need to follow what I call the Mid Major Success plan, 5 seniors who know each other and their tendencies can beat a team of stud freshman any day, reference ISU beating Oklahoma in Memphis in 2001.

It is not a complicated plan, no out of nowhere offensives or defensive schemes, common sense recruiting and finding kids with high basketball IQ’s who play hard.

I can tolerate football sucking up and down the Wabash, but this is INDIANA, the greatest basketball state in the country, time to act like we are in Indiana and haven’t fell off into Illinois.

March on you fighting Sycamores, march on you statesmen tried and true, march on to the Ballyhoo


The Nicks Level
I like what you say, Hoohoo, and I think you first few points are exactly where KMac is trying to take us. He has been saying for some time that he wants to bring "a bit of Creighton" to ISU. Creighton has that "system" thing that you refer to down cold.

I also like to think that KMac is recruiting Indiana very hard. We've picked up two of the absolute best players in the state this year, RJ Mahurin and Jake Odum. We've got Keenan Barlow, who is a pleasant surprise. We're going after many players in The Region, Indianapolis, and Terre Haute. I'd say KMac is on the right track there.

As much as I hate to say this, because I'm so sick of hearing it, all signs point to the future being bright. All signs, that is, except the W-L record right now. I don't know if we'll dig out of the hole we've dug this year or not. But, barring mass player exodus, we return a good, talented nucleus for next year, and add some serious talent and athletic ability.

The weak point for ISU has always been the commitment from the University. Losing has been accepted for so long that it has become a way of life. I see Ron Prettyman and Dan Bradley as a team that will change that. I am particularly impressed with President Bradley's first few months on the job. He really seems to "get it" when it comes to how the athletic program benefits the University as a whole.

Just remember, it took Dana Altman three or four years to get things rolling at Creighton. KMac is trying to recreate that magic here. We'll see if he gets it done, but I think he's alreday taken your list to heart, and that's a major improvement over the past 20 or so years!


I am so glad to see posts like this after reading some of the panicky responses on here lately. Sure I am disappointed with 1 - 7. However, as I've said in previous posts, with a lot of newcomers on the roster and the schedule we have played, we had to know it was going to be rough. I, too, think McKenna is on the right track. He knows Mid-Major programs, and the programs it takes to be successfull. My problem also lies in the product he has to sell to the recruits. Having gone to school at ISU, and having a father who is an alum and still lives in Terre Haute, I have been coming to TH all of my life (40 years.) When you have the lowest paid coaches, with the smallest athletic budget in the conference, it makes it tough. Then you add in the town itself compared to the other schools in the conference, it makes it even tougher. I am not saying it can't be done. I myself think Terre Haute and ISU can be a great attraction with a few tweaks. Let's all stay positive.