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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 13 Illinois State at Indiana State

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The Indiana State Sycamores men’s basketball team put an exclamation point on what has been a fantastic season on Sunday night, when they beat Murray State 89-77 to win the Missouri Valley regular-season championship. The win sends the Sycamores into the Arch Madness conference tournament with the #1-seed, and a prime chance to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament. 

During Monday’s edition of The Ride With JMV, Sycamores associate head coach Matt Graves joined the show! Coach Graves gave his thoughts about winning Indiana States first MVC title in 24 years and how special the atmosphere was at the game. 

“There’s no question about it. The vibe, and the community support, the atmosphere in the Hullman Center, the energy, it’s been growing. I think that was our fourth or fifth announced sell-out, and you could just see the momentum building, and building, and building.” 

He also spoke about guard Isaiah Swope, and his overall toughness as he continues to play at a high level while struggling with an injury. 

“Isiaha’s as tough a kid as they come. I mean, when you’re playing with a knee that’s got a torn meniscus, and you’re able to lay it on the line to win a championship…The heart that he’s showing to do that is absolutely incredible.” 

Coach Graves also gave some insight into how deeply the Sycamores will go into the bench as they prepare for Arch Madness.  

“It’s certainly going to be situation on-demand. We’re very fortunate in the way we’ve recruited and in the way [head coach] Josh [Schertz] plays our guys, we have so many interchangeable parts that he’s very comfortable right now going 7-deep. Out of that top 7, you’ve got our normal starting 5 and then Xavier Bledson, those six guys are all playing at an extremely high level…Yeah, it is somewhat of a short bench, but at the same time, our guys are in great shape, they play with great pace, and you know what, we’ve been doing it all year. As the need comes, obviously we would love to play a few more guys, but certainly those guys are capable of playing three games in a row in extended minutes.” 

Listen to JMV’s full conversation with Matt Graves and more down below, and tune into The Ride With JMV weekdays from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan! 

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