#131 Indiana St: 2010-11 Basketball Preview
Overall Rank: #131
Conference Rank: #7 Missouri Valley Conference
2009-10: 17-15, 9-9
2009-10 postseason: CBI
Coach: Greg Lansing (First year at Indiana State, 0-0 overall)
Indiana State had 11 players average at least a dozen minutes last season. Seven of them are back and a whole slew of newcomers join them to form what should be a very deep and relatively talented team. New coach Greg Lansing will have a lot of choices to make and finding the right team chemistry may end up being the most important factor for the Sycamores.
Key Losses: C Josh Crawford, C Brant Leitnaker, G Harry Marshall, G Rashad Reed
There is a long list of newcomers to sort through, but the key components will likely turn into Jake Odum, Steve McWhorter, R.J. Mahurin and Myles Walker. Odum and McWhorter are not just the point guards of the future, but one of them could be starting right away. Odum, who redshirted last season, is ready to take over the team right now if Coach Lansing opts to go in that direction. McWhorter is a superb defender who can at least play some point off the bench. Mahurin is another player who redshirted last season. The 6-8, 210 pound Rockville, Indiana product has a year in the program and should battle for minutes off the bench. Walker may do more than just battle for minutes. The 6-8, 250 pound junior college transfer could be the big man under the basket this team really needs. Incoming freshman Jake Kitchell is another big guy, but he needs some time to develop. Wings Logan and Lucas Eitel could add even more depth; not that this team needs it.
If Odum is really ready to take over the point guard duties, it leaves a ton of experienced depth on the wings. Jake Kelly is back after injury and Dwayne Lathan, Aaron Carter and Jordan Printy all earned at least a few starts last year. Lathan is the most dynamic scorer of the group and a fine rebounder for a 6-3 guard. Last year he averaged 12.7 points and 5.1 rebounds and only played in 20 games with nine starts. Carter is the senior leader and is almost always a steady shooter off of the bench. Jordan Printy is not the most explosive offensive player, but he is a very effective long range shooter and a fine defender. With Kelly in the mix and Odum a potential starter, it is feasible that Carter and Printy will be relegated to the bench and that would be one talented bench.
On most teams Carl Richard would be a wing, as he is listed on Indiana State’s roster, but on this team he is a 6-5 forward. What allows Richard to be successful as a forward is his ability to hit the glass. He actually led the team in rebounding with 5.4 per game. It is feasible that Coach Lansing could move Richard to the three spot, but that would leave the frontcourt with little depth and the backcourt with a lot of talent sitting on the bench. Most likely Koang Doluony and Isiah Martin will come in off the bench and Walker will move into a starting role. Doluony has plenty of potential, but he is not a true post player. Martin is the experienced option and the true big man on the team beside Walker, but he has never proven that he can be a consistent starter.
Who to Watch:
Kelly, a 6-6 guard, is the player who makes this team so dangerous. The former Iowa Hawkeye only played in 12 games before succumbing to an injury, but he proved to be the most talented player on the roster. Kelly can run the point if Odum is not up for the job and that would also allow Printy or Carter to slide into the starting lineup. Kelly would then take on a bigger role as the team leader, but he may be more effective off the ball. Coach Lansing will have to be the one who figures out that situation, but it is not a bad situation for a first year coach to be in.
This group is relatively young and next year should be better, but Indiana State could be a surprise team in the Missouri Valley Conference if everything comes together as it could. That puts a lot of pressure on Odum and Walker to perform right away and for Kelly to be healthy, but there is potential for this to be a very strong team by March.
Projected Post-season Tournament: none
Projected Starting Five:
Jake Odum, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Jake Kelly, Senior, Guard, 9.0 ppg
Dwayne Lathan, Junior, Guard, 12.7 ppg
Carl Richard, Junior, Guard, 8.0 ppg
Myles Walker, Junior, Center, DNP last season
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