IUS men’s basketball preview


Paul Robey

Jalen Brasher, freshman guard, guards a player in the IUS alumni game on Wednesday, Oct. 14. The Grenadier’s season begins Oct. 24 against Harris-Stowe State College.

Joel Stinnett, Staff Reporter

On the morning of the 1980 NCAA National Championship game University of Louisville basketball player Wiley Brown was missing something very important to him…his thumb.

Brown, who had worn a prosthetic thumb since childhood, had lost the appendage at breakfast that morning.

Luckily for Brown, the thumb was found in a trash can before the game started, and the Cardinals went on to win the university’s first national championship.

Now, Brown, the head men’s basketball coach at IU Southeast, is coming off an 8-16 season and will try to pull the Grenadiers out of a similarly stinky situation.

The Grenadiers return the core of a team that went 5-8 in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and failed to make the NAIA playoffs. Despite last year’s woes, Joe Jackson, sophomore forward, says this team will be different.

“I think this will be a special season,” Jackson said. “We have a great team and there is not one guy on the team that thinks he is better than everyone else.”

Jackson is expected to be a big part of the Grenadier offense this season after averaging 9.3 points per game as a freshman. Another returning player expected to play a larger role this year is sophomore guard Jacob Mills.

Mills had an up and down freshman campaign highlighted by a 20 point performance against rival IU Kokomo. Mills says that while this year’s team is close knit it will be tested by the competition.

“Every game is going to be tough because everybody don’t like us because how we dominated in the past,” Mills said. “I think we will perform well as a team because no matter what we have each other’s back.”

The Grenadiers open the season at Harris-Stowe State College in St. Louis on Oct. 24. The team’s first home game is on Oct. 27 against St. Catharine College.

Jackson and Mills agree that the Grenadiers toughest challenges may come during a four game stretch from mid Nov. to early Dec. that includes NAIA Division I schools Georgetown College and University of the Cumberlands.

“They get a lot of DI transfers,” Mills said. “So they always have a tough team every year.”

The Grenadiers follow up their game against Cumberlands with a trip to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis where they will face Grace College.

That game is on Dec. 11 and will precede the Indiana Pacers vs. Miami Heat game the same night.

Homecoming and senior night will be combined into one game this season against Carlow University on Feb. 20.

Despite the tough schedule, Jackson says the team is ready to wipe the stench off last year’s losing record.

“Every year we play a tougher schedule than the teams in our conference so we can be ready by tournament time,” Jackson said. “There’s a few things we need to work on but I think this will be a great season for us.”