Busting Brackets

Indiana State Basketball: Josh Schertz’s coaching genius making Sycamores a MVC contender

Indiana State Basketball coach Josh Schertz is an offensive mastermind, which is why the Sycamores can win the MVC this season.

2023 Indy Classic - Indiana State v Ball State
2023 Indy Classic - Indiana State v Ball State / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
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 Talented Sycamore Players

Indiana State’s starters are so synchronized they would make the Rockettes blush. The ‘mad scientist’ Schertz has his center (Avila) performing as ‘the hub’ of the offense. The 6’10 Avila (14.9 ppg) has great footwork in the paint, buries threes and is second on the team in helpers.

Leading scorer Isaiah Swope (18.9 points per game) is third nationally averaging 3.64 triples per game and converts .443 of his long-distance attempts. His 27 steals lead the team and he is lightning quick on both ends of the floor. 

While South Florida transfer Ryan Conwell (15.1 ppg) is the Sycamore’s third-leading rebounder (5.3 per game), makes 82% of his free throws, 6’9 forward Jayson Kent leads the squad in rebounds (6.7) and is successful 85% of the time he visits the charity stripe. 

 Just recently point guard Julian Larry took over the Sycamore lead in assists from Avila (56 to 54) and the 6’3 guard (10.2 ppg) is a defensive menace. The fourth-year junior makes better than 53% of his shots and would win a forty-yard-dash race with most NFL cornerbacks. 

Creativity, ‘read & react’, NBA Style are all words people use to describe Schertz’s offensive style. His players swear he is a basketball guru. Kent, who was Avila’s high school teammate says the two Oak Forest grads have a ‘sixth sense’ about each other’s games. 

Kent says the ISU offense is difficult to stop. 

“He is a basketball guru, a basketball genius probably the Einstein in the basketball,” said Kent.  “His thought process of how we want to guard teams, how we want scheme for games. It's just a fantastic system. I feel like it helped me elevate my game overall. We work on reads and Schertz teaches us the game and he's going to tell you, ‘if they do this, you have this option, this option and this option.' You might take one thing away. But with our free lancer style you can’t take away all six options.”