#63 Indiana State Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Indiana State Sycamores

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #63
Conference Rank: #2 Missouri Valley

Indiana State Team Page#63 Indiana State Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Indiana State Basketball Tickets

Indiana State limped to the finish line in 2012-2013. They still made it to the NIT, but the Sycamores lost seven of their final nine games. Their two wins were by just one point apiece and came in the BracketBusters contest and in the MVC tournament. Considering at the end of January the squad was 14-7 overall, 7-3 in conference play and coming off of a huge road win at Wichita State, ending up in the NIT was a bit disappointing. Nine of the top ten scorers are back, so they will give it another serious run. Once again Jake Odum will be leading the way. The senior point guard led Indiana State with 13.6 points, 4.6 assists and 1.5 steals. At 6-4, he was even second on the team in rebounding. Odum is the heart and soul of this team and he is certainly capable of again leading the Sycamores to the NCAA Tournament.

2012-13 Record: 18-15, 9-9
2012-13 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Greg Lansing
Coach Record: 56-44 at Indiana State, 56-44 overall

Who’s Out:
R.J. Mahurin has transferred out of the program after averaging 10.1 points and 4.2 rebounds. He was also the Sycamores most prolific shot blocker, but that is not saying all that much. Little used Rhett Smith is the only other departure and Indiana State should not have much trouble replacing Mahurin even if they are forced to play a bit smaller.

Who’s In:
There will no shortage of options to help replace Mahurin and a few will come from the group of newcomers. T.J. Bell, Demetrius Moore and Mike Samuels all have a bit of experience. Bell redshirted last season, while Moore is coming in from the junior college ranks. Moore is a more traditional power forward than Mahurin, so he will see plenty of action when Indiana State needs to play big. Speaking of big, Mike Samuels, a 6-11, 285 pound junior college transfer might suit up for the Sycamores this year after missing the 2012-2013 campaign with an injury. However, he will likely be out until at least January. Incoming freshmen Alex Etherington and Brenton Scott could be in the mix on the wing.

Who to Watch:
Coach Lansing blames the late slide in part to tired legs. However, he did go nine deep and Odum was the only player who averaged over 30 minutes per game. And there is not a coach in the MVC who could keep a player like Odum off the floor for very long. With seven regular rotation players now slightly more experienced, not to mention the newcomers, Indiana State should feel more comfortable letting anybody who needs a rest get one. Dawon Cummings, Devonte Brown, Khristian Smith and Lucas Eitel will join Odum on the perimeter. Cummings started 16 games as a junior, averaging 6.4 points per game, but his outside shot still lacks consistency. When Cummings was not starting beside Odum, Brown was. He had a promising freshman campaign and should be a fine backup to Odum at the point or a secondary ball handler. Smith is a talented slasher who could be in for a huge sophomore season if he can start knocking down some jumpers. Eitel is the sharpshooter of the bunch. Manny Arop will play at the three and four spot depending on matchups and the developing talent on Indiana State. The 6-6 senior averaged 12.0 points and a team high 5.1 rebounds. He is capable shooter and a matchup nightmare no matter where he plays.

Final Projection:
Center Justin Gant had a breakout sophomore season, averaging 7.5 points and 4.4 rebounds. He is not really a bruiser who can consistently score inside, but his ability to step outside does stretch the defense. Jake Kitchell, a 6-10 junior, will have to do more this time around since Coach Lansing will need his size against most opponents. And Kitchell and the bigger newcomers will need to be productive on the glass and in the scoring department to help free up space for Odum.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Jake Odum, Senior, Guard, 13.6 points per game
Dawon Cummings, Senior, Guard, 6.4 points per game
Kristian Smith, Sophomore, Guard, 5.1 points per game
Manny Arop, Senior, Forward, 12.0 points per game
Justin Gant, Junior, Center, 7.5 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 65.4 (223rd in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.6 (144, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.9 (192, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.5 (112, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.6 (229, 7)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.1 (235, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.7 (131, 7)
Rebound Margin: -0.7 (200, 5)
Assists Per Game: 11.8 (242, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.9 (147, 8)


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