#110 Indiana State Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Indiana State Sycamores
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #110
Conference Rank: #4 Missouri Valley
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Back in the 2010-2011 season, Coach Greg Lansing took over the head coaching job at Indiana State and led his team to the NCAA Tournament. The next three years also resulted in postseason play. And then there were five straight losing seasons. That takes us to last season when the Sycamores finally ended that losing streak and posted an 18-12 overall record and an 11-7 mark in Missouri Valley Conference play. With four starters returning, the expectations are for Indiana State to start a new postseason streak in 2020-2021.
2019-20 Record: 18-12, 11-7
Coach: Greg Lansing
Coach Record: 166-154 at Indiana State, 166-154 overall
Key Departed Players:
Jordan Barnes, Guard, 12.6 ppg
Christian Williams, Guard, 6.9 ppg
Bronson Kessinger, Center, 3.7 ppg
Deā€™Avion Washington, Guard, 1.1 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Tyreke Key, Senior, Guard, 15.6 ppg
Jake LaRavia, Sophomore, Guard/Forward, 9.4 ppg
Tre Williams, Sophomore, Center, 7.2 ppg
Cooper Neese, Junior, Guard, 7.3 ppg
Cam Bacote, Junior, Guard, 2.6 ppg
Cobie Barnes, Sophomore, Guard, 2.1 ppg
Keon Sellers, Sophomore, Guard, 0.4 ppg
Key New Players:
Jared Hankins, RS Freshman, Guard
Nick Hittle, Freshman, Center
T.J. Howard Jr, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Towson
Julian Larry, Freshman, Guard
Sam Mervis, Freshman, Guard
Randy Miller Jr, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from NC Central
Ndongo Ndaw, Junior, Center, JC Transfer
Kailex Stephens, Junior, Forward, JC Transfer
Senior guard Tyreke Key led the team in scoring last season with 15.6 points per game and he should be the top scoring threat again this time around. Key is a quality all-around scorer and a very good three-point shooter. In fact, the entire team shot 37.7 percent from beyond the arc last season, ranking 16th in the nation. Cooper Neese is the other returning shooter, although he brought that team three-point shooting percentage down a little bit. With Jordan Barnes gone, Coach Lansing went out to grab a couple more experienced shooters in T.J. Howard from Towson and Randy Miller from North Carolina Central. Howard is also a good ball handler and that skill will be very important for Indiana State this season. Jake LaRavia is a big 6-8 wing who ranked third on the team in points, first in rebounds and second in blocks as a freshman. Fellow sophomore Tre Williams had a promising freshman campaign as well, averaging 7.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. A couple junior college transfers will provide some frontcourt depth behind LaRavia and Neese and this is a pairing that could be very special sooner or later. If they can avoid sophomore slumps and Key can be a leader on the floor, this is an Indiana State team that should not just reach the postseason, but compete for a conference title as well.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.4 (257th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.8 (107, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.2 (99, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.7 (265, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.0 (207, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.7 (16, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.6 (148, 6)
Rebound Margin: -1.0 (227, 6)
Assists Per Game: 12.6 (224, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.4 (42, 1)