SYCAMORES START ARCH MADNESS WITH EVANSVILLE FRIDAY
Credit Source: Indiana State University Athletics
SAINT LOUIS – Indiana State opens its 2021 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament with a familiar foe, taking on Evansville for the third time in five games. The Sycamores enter “Arch Madness” having won 10 of their last 12 games, including two over the Purple Aces Feb. 14 and Feb. 17.
KEY NAMED FIRST TEAM FOR SECOND STRAIGHT SEASON
Senior Tyreke Key was named to the All-MVC First Team this week, marking the second consecutive appearance on the conference’s first team for the guard. Key finished the regular season with an average of 17.2 points per game, good for second in the Valley.
The Celina, Tenn. native is one of just three players in program history to be named to the Valley’s All-Conference team for three seasons, joining current assistant coach Jake Odum (2nd – 2011; 1st – 2012; 1st – 2013) and ISU Hall of Famer John Sherman Williams (2nd – 1981; 2nd – 1982; 1st – 1983; 1st – 1984).
LARAVIA EARNS 2ND TEAM HONORS
Sophomore Jake LaRavia earned a spot on the All-Valley Second Team, continuing to show his development after being a member of both the All-Freshman and All-Newcomer teams a season ago. The Indianapolis, Ind. native averaged 12.5 points and tied for the team-high in rebounding at 6.1 boards per game, while averaging 11.8 points and 6.2 rebounds in Valley play.
With Key and LaRavia earning first and second team honors, it marked the first time since the 2000-01 season that Sycamore teammates earned All-Valley first and second team distinctions (Matt Renn – First Team; Michael Menser – Second Team).
WILLIAMS THE DEFENSIVE DISRUPTOR
Sophomore Tre Williams was named to the Valley’s All-Defensive team after leading the league in blocked shots per game (1.4) and total blocks (34). The Reynoldsburg, Ohio native also averaged 9.0 points and 6.1 rebounds on the season, shooting a team-best .528 from the floor.
The sophomore tandem of Jake LaRavia and Tre Williams were also honored for their academic prowess this week, as both were named to the All-MVC Scholar-Athlete Second Team. LaRavia holds a 3.30 grade-point average in Sports Management, while Williams has a 3.79 GPA in the Scott School of Business.
It marked the first time since 2014-15 that Indiana State had two members of the MVC Scholar-Athlete team (Justin Gant – First Team; Jake Kitchell – First TEAM).
10+ VALLEY WINS
When Indiana State defeated Evansville on Senior Night, Feb. 17, it secured its second consecutive 10-win Valley season and fifth in the Greg Lansing era.
AGAINST EVANSVILLE IN THE VALLEY TOURNAMENT
Friday’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament showdown between Indiana State and Evansville will be the sixth time the two have played in the conference tournament. The Purple Aces hold a 3-2 edge over the Sycamores in the postseason, having won each of the last two games. ISU is 2-2 against UE in the postseason in the Greg Lansing era.
THIS SEASON AGAINST EVANSVILLE
Indiana State took both games against the Purple Aces during the 2020-21 regular season. The Sycamores won in Evansville, 76-70 on Feb. 14, and then turned around to win in Hulman Center three days later by a 87-73 final.
100 MISSOURI VALLEY WINS FOR LANSING
When Indiana State defeated Evansville on Feb. 14 it marked the 100th Missouri Valley Conference win of head coach Greg Lansing’s career. He became just the 11th coach in Valley history to reach the century mark, and the second to do it this season (Porter Moser, LUC).
Should the Sycamores defeat Evansville for the third time this season, they will go on to play the winner of No. 1 Loyola and either No. 8 Bradley or No. 9 Southern Illinois. The semi-final is slated for a 1 p.m ET start time Saturday, March 6 and can be seen on CBS Sports Network.