TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Tobias Howard Junior, Ndongo Ndaw and Randy Miller Junior. Those three will join Kailex Stephens, Nick Hittle, Sam Mervis and Julian Larry as the seven new additions for Indiana State basketball this season.
Tobias is a guard and comes over from Towson. He has four years of college experience and talked about his role on the team. “I’d say my role would just be bringing leadership just because of the experience I have playing four years already of college just being the older guy being mature just making sure everybody is staying locked in making sure everybody stay positive being that leader that I know coach wants me to be,” he said.
Ndongo Ndaw (pronounced Non-go Now) is a 6’8 220 pound center from Senegal. He transferred from Butler Community College but it may be a while before we get to see him play after he had knee surgery this summer. But he’s getting support from all his teammates. “Whenever I need something I can go to Tyreke, Tre Williams or Jake, hey man this, this, this and they’re going to put me in the right plays or tell me the right thing to do,” he said.
In addition every team needs a sharp shooter. Enter Randy Miller Junior a three point expert from North Carolina Central. He says this team has all the components for a special season. “I feel like we’ve got a mixture of guys, guys who can score the ball at every different level so I just feel like we’re a great team and we’ve just go to put everything together and that’s going to come by practice day in and day out,” he said.
Integrating all these new players with the returning stars is the job of head coach Greg Lansing, who’s looking forward to doing just that. “7 new guys you know it is we’re very confident in what we have returning but we haven’t had that many new guys in our tenure here so it’s a challenge but it’s certainly exciting we still got five weeks in the summer with everybody here so it wasn’t completely a loss with Covid all summer but we really like all the new guys and they’re all contributing,” said Lansing.
All the new additions have had the added pressure of dealing with a global pandemic. Tobias says everyone must be willing to sacrifice for the greater good of the team. “Not being able to have that college life I know hurts but I mean it’s for the better of the good I mean we’re here to play basketball and that’s what we want to do so we’re just got to sacrifice and play our part everyday make sure we’re taking care of business,” Howard said.
So it begs the question, how good can they be. We won’t know until we see them play but these Sycamores have lofty goals. “We have everything we need to make it to the NCAA Tournament so if we keep working hard and keep everybody safe you know we’re going to make it because I trust these guys these guys work hard,” Ndaw said.
Added Miller Jr: “We’re trying to win a championship, conference and get into March Madness so that’s our main thing but we’re just going to take it one day at a time,” he said. ISU is slated to begin the season in the Gulf Coast Showcase in Fort Myers, Florida on November 25th. Akron, Vermont, Delaware, Omaha, Fordham and Middle Tennessee State are also scheduled to participate.