Indiana State Sycamores
Overall Rank: #124
Conference Rank: #8 Missouri Valley
2006-07: 13-18, 5-13, 10th
2006-07 postseason: none
Indiana State needed a change after another disappointing season that ended at the bottom of the conference. And when you want to be like Creighton, you hire a Creighton assistant coach. Coach Kevin McKenna will try his luck leading the Sycamores this year, but expecting too much of an increase in the win column right away is unrealistic. However, the team has some young talent to build around and should be a force in the Missouri Valley Conference next year.
The big loss is forward Trent Wurtz. The 6-8 forward averaged 8.5 points and 4.8 rebounds during his senior campaign, but he is replaceable thanks to some emerging talent behind him on the depth chart. The loss of guards Russell Trudeau and Adam Lottino will cause little problem during the 2007-2008 season.
The Sycamores can go eight deep without any of the newcomers stepping foot on the court. Developing them for the future will be the top priority, but there is some room for a couple of the newcomers to make an impact as freshmen. Point guard Lamar Lee will be groomed for the starting role in 2008-2009 and is a physical player who should fit right in with the Sycamores. Shooting guards Aaron Carter and Jordan Printy both have some talent in front of them, but will be quality shooters off the bench. Not only can Carter knock down the long ball with consistency, he is also a great rebounder for his size. Forward Isiah Martin is not simply a 6-8 bruiser. The Chicago product can also step outside and do some major damage. His best days are still ahead of him and Martin should develop into a consistent scorer before his collegiate career is through.
Who to Watch:
Gabriel Moore is the star of the Sycamores. The senior point guard led the team in scoring, assists, steals and free throw shooting. Moore can hit the outside shot, but it is his aggressiveness that makes him so dangerous. He will get to the basket and either find the open man or take an easy basket himself. The worst case scenario is getting to the charity stripe where Moore shot 80.5 percent on a team high 4.3 attempts per game. A couple of talented sophomores will be on the wings. Marico Stinson and Cole Holmstrom have almost identical numbers across the board. Holmstrom, at 5-10, spends more time on the perimeter, but Stinson is the more efficient shooter from everywhere on the floor.
Jay Tunnell and Adam Arnold developed into an effective frontcourt. The junior duo combined for 15.0 points and 11.6 boards last year. At 6-6 and 6-8, neither is intimidating on the defensive end, but bigger things are expected from the frontcourt duo now that they are upperclassmen. Mick Yelovich and Todd McCoy round out the depth chart in the paint. Yelovich, who only averaged 7.8 minutes in 24 contests last year, has the best size on the team and getting some production out of the 6-10 senior will add some much needed size off the bench. The MVC is down, but not far enough down for Indiana State to find the top. The potential is there for a top five finish in the conference, but building momentum for the future will be the most important thing for Coach McKenna.
Projected Post-season Tournament: none
Projected Starting Five:
Gabriel Moore, Senior, Guard, 11.5 points per game
Cole Holmstrom, Sophomore, Guard, 9.2 points per game
Marico Stinson, Sophomore, Guard, 9.4 points per game
Adam Arnold, Junior, Forward, 6.0 points per game
Jay Tunnell, Junior, Forward, 9.0 points per game