No. 23 Indiana State ranked for first time since 1979 - ESPN
Indiana State's balanced scoring, free-flowing offense and its goggle-wearing big man have the program off to one of its best starts in years.
Now the Sycamores have something that hasn't happened since Larry Bird played in Terre Haute: a spot in the AP Top 25.
Riding a nine-game winning streak, Indiana State debuted at No. 23 in The Associated Press men's college basketball poll Monday, the Sycamores' first ranking since reaching No. 1 in 1978-79.
«It's a group that the community can really wrap their arms around, and I think they have,» Indiana State coach Josh Schertz told reporters recently. «That's just great to see. I know Terre Haute. They love basketball. I know there's a great history and tradition, from Larry Bird to John Wooden to Clarence Walker.»
UConn and Purdue kept the top two spots in the AP Top 25. The defending national champion Huskies received 45 first-place votes from a 61-person media panel and the Boilermakers had 16.
Schertz took over the Indiana State program during the pandemic, inheriting a depleted roster with no chance to get players to visit campus. Schertz cobbled together a team that won 11 games his first season, and the Sycamores improved to 23-13 last season.
Indiana State (22-3) has been on a roll in Schertz's third season, winning all 11 home games while taking a two-game lead over Drake in the Missouri Valley Conference at 11-1.
The Sycamores have five players scoring in double figures, led by dynamic 5-foot-10 guard Isaiah Swope's 17.7 points per game. Big man Robbie Avila has become a fan favorite with his goggles, averaging 16.4 points and 7.4 rebounds.
First-place votes in parentheses
Indiana State is fifth nationally in scoring at 85.6 points per game, ninth in 3-point