College Basketball Nation: Indiana State

Behind the box scores: Saturday's games

February, 12, 2012
A scan of the college basketball box scores each night guarantees all kinds of statistical oddities and standout performances. Here are some we found from Saturday.

Indiana State 78, Southern Illinois 68
Indiana State made all 12 of its 3-point attempts Saturday, the most 3-pointers without a miss in a single game in NCAA history. The previous record for most 3s without a miss was nine, done by Minnesota against Penn State on Jan. 11, 2009.

Lipscomb 99, Stetson 91 (OT)
Lipscomb scored 25 points in the extra session, one shy of the NCAA Division I record for points in an overtime period. The record of 26 was done by Vermont on Jan. 24, 1998, against Hartford.

Duke 73, Maryland 55
Duke’s Miles Plumlee had 22 rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench, the most rebounds by a bench player since Sean May had 24 against Duke on March 6, 2005 (May did not start that game because it was North Carolina’s Senior Day). Plumlee is the first player this season with at least 20 rebounds in fewer than 30 minutes of playing time.

Michigan State 58, Ohio State 48
Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger had 17 points, 16 rebounds and 10 turnovers in the Buckeyes’ loss Saturday. It’s the first "triple-double" using points, rebounds and turnovers in Division I this season. Jerrell Williams of La Salle had the last one on Jan. 19, 2011, against Duquesne.

Kansas 81, Oklahoma State 66
The Jayhawks’ Jeff Withey had 18 points, 20 rebounds and seven blocks in the win. He’s the first player to reach all three of those levels in the same game since VCU’s Larry Sanders put up the exact same line on March 9, 2009, in the CAA championship game against George Mason.

Texas 75, Kansas State 64
Texas attempted 48 free throws to Kansas State’s 12. That free throw differential of 36 is the largest in a game involving a Big Six team this season and the third-largest overall. Texas’ 48 free throw attempts are the second most by a Big Six team on the season (Washington attempted 59 on Jan. 10 against Seattle).

Texas Tech 65, Oklahoma 47
Oklahoma scored just six points in the paint, the fewest points in the paint in a game by a Big Six team this season.

St. Bonaventure 69, Duquesne 48
Florida Atlantic 86, North Texas 81 (2OT)
St. Bonaventure’s Andrew Nicholson scored 21 points and grabbed 23 rebounds in the Bonnies’ win, and North Texas’ Tony Mitchell scored 22 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in the Mean Green’s double-overtime loss. They became just the sixth and seventh players this season to record a 20-20 game. Nicholson’s 23 rebounds are the second most in a game this season, trailing only UAB's Cameron Moore, who had 24 on Dec. 28.

Seattle 100, Longwood 99 (OT)
Seattle’s Chad Rasmussen was 6-for-17 from the field in the Redhawks’ win, with all of his attempts coming from 3-point range. That is the most 3-pointers attempted in a game without attempting a 2-point field goal.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff 64, Southern 58
Trillion of the Night: Jamar Harris of Arkansas-Pine Bluff played 12 minutes without accumulating a single stat in his team’s 64-58 win over Southern.
OK, OK, so "hot new trend" is too much. It's more like "somewhat random occurrence that kind of seems like a good idea, depending on the situation." But it happened again, so I'm calling it a trend. Deal with it.

Of what do I speak? The occasional decision by a small Division I school's head coach to leave his program and join a big-six conference school as an assistant. Last year gave us Holy Cross coach Ralph Willard, who left New England to join longtime friend Rick Pitino at Louisville. This offseason, the latest to go this direction is Indiana State coach Kevin McKenna, who resigned his post to become an assistant Dana Altman's new Oregon staff.

There are some differences in the decisions, of course. As mentioned, Pitino and Willard are best friends. With Pitino under fire last summer for his involvement in the Karen Sypher extortion, some speculated Willard's hire was Pitino's way of grooming an eventual replacement should he decide he's had enough of the watchful eyes in Louisville. That didn't happen in 2009-10, of course, and it seems Pitino will be at Louisville for years to come.

McKenna, on the other hand, went 43-52 in three seasons with Indiana State. He wasn't exactly on the hot seat -- 43-52 isn't good anywhere, but it's not quite firing material at ISU, at least not yet. But there's no question the Sycamores program wasn't showing noticeable improvement in McKenna's tenure. The move to Oregon is handy, then; McKenna can jump to a major program as an assistant, slightly advancing his career -- or at least making a lateral move -- without risking the indignity of eventual dismissal from his current gig.

Why is this interesting? Because, yeah, sure, it's not exactly a trend, but it is unusual to see coaches decide to leave their head coaching spots for assistant roles, even at bigger programs. Typically, a coach works tirelessly to become his own master. Once he gets the honor, he's not likely to renounce it lightly.

Two such coaches at two semi-historic college hoops mid-majors have done as much in the past two years. Trend it is not. But interesting? Sure.

Four on the floor? Try two

January, 29, 2010
Wednesday, much was made over Seattle's decision to foul frequently in the second half of its blowout to Washington, a strategy that caused six Redhawks to foul out, leaving four eligible players on the floor for the final 1:27. Turns out, that's not even remotely the weirdest foul-out-related anomaly in the past 20 years.

On Feb. 24, 1989, Indiana State played Wichita State. A brawl broke out in the first half. Indiana State's bench involved itself, and when the dust cleared, eight ISU players had been ejected, leaving the Sycamores to play the entire second half with just four players. Then, as Kevin Pelton explains, Wichita State adjusted its strategy:

Wichita State coach Eddie Fogler told his team to take it inside instead of settling for jumpers, and while that allowed the Sycamores to hang around–in fact, they got as close as four points–ultimately two players fouled out, leaving two on the floor to try to defend five. (That’s a “2- zone”, or a “line” defense.) The Shockers won the game 84-69.

There you have it, a result even more singular in its unusual nature than finishing a game with four players. That result? Finishing with two. Though I suppose the question begs to be asked: Which is more unlikely? Eight players being ejected for fighting, thereby forcing a team to play with a limited roster? Or a coach actively deciding he wants his players to foul for an entire half, thereby chipping away at his roster by choice? The weirdness gap here is not as wide as it seems.