Larry Bird Switches Attention to Alma Mater

By Demario Phipps-Smith
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Today, it was announced that NBA Hall of Famer and President of the Indiana Pacers Larry Bird criticized his team for its poor play and lack of aggression.

His analysis is well timed as the Pacers are the No. 1 seed in the east but have lost four of their last five games. In the four losses, the opposing team scored less than 105 points on just one occasion.

This type of move may be the motivation Indiana needs as fuel for its competitive fire come play-off time.

The Indiana State basketball team, Bird’s alma mater, also hit a lull toward the end of its conference schedule. As the Missouri Valley Conference tournament approached, the Sycamores needed something extra to propel them far into tournament season.

Today, Indiana State athletics released footage of a Bird sit-down with WTHI-TV’s Rick Semmler taped before the Valley tourney.

Bird stated that Sycamore senior Jake Odum is a really special player. As a point guard, he has great vision and capable play making ability. Odum’s best asset is his mind. He is able to affect the game beyond the stat sheet because of all the smart plays he makes during a game. He’ll find a way to get to the free throw line or hassle the other team into a turnover.

Bird also speaks glowingly of ISU coach Greg Lansing. Very few teams are blessed with an exceptional coach and player. Lansing and Odum have four straight years of 18 wins or more and have beaten four ranked opponents over their careers. Bird said once Lansing was hired “Sycamore basketball changed.”

The one thing Bird said he was disappointed in was letting Wichita State escape from Terre Haute with a victory.

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