News and Tribune


March 12, 2013

COLLEGE HOOPS: Grenadiers still hurting despite Final 4 run

IU Southeast players reflect on loss

POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. — Indiana University Southeast won a school-record 30 games, reached the Final 4 at the NAIA Division II National Tournament for the first time in its program’s history and enjoyed a stretch of 24 wins in 25 games this season.

But while preparing for their trip home from the Ozarks, it’s what the Grenadiers didn’t do that they couldn’t help going back to while reflecting on their breakthrough season.

“This season was a big accomplishment,” guard Keith Mitchell said following IU Southeast’s 69-56 semifinal loss to Cardinal Stritch on Monday “But at the end of the day, we wanted to win a national championship. That’s what we came here to do. We came up short, so we’ll have to go back to IUS and put in more work to get here again and win it all next year.”

“We made our mark,” guard Kegan Clark said. “But this is not where we wanted to finish.”

“Our whole goal was to play for a national championship,” guard Cameron Mitchell said. “Right now, it hurts.”

Coach Wiley Brown wouldn’t have expected anything less from his team, given the desire to win they showed all season.

“They’re competitors,” Brown said. “I told them in the lockerroom I’m proud of them. We brought a totally new team here that we brought last year and we reached the Final 4. I’m so happy for the young men. They can say they made history as our first team to get to the Final 4.”

IUS beat Valley City State (N.D.), Saint Xavier (Ill.) and host College of the Ozarks on its way to the Final 4. The Grenadiers were 4-9 in their previous 10 national tourney trips and only once made it as far as the quarterfinals.

Cameron Mitchell — a transfer from Walsh (Ohio) — emerged as a leader and finished with a 16.7 scoring average. His brother, Kevin, topped the team with an average of 2.2 assists a night, to go along with a 13.4 scoring average. Jake Simpson ranked among the nation’s leaders with a .504 3-point percentage and averaged 15.5 points a game.

IUS had six players average double-figure scoring.

The Mitchell brothers were reunited after Cameron transferred from Walsh. They’re both juniors.

“It was a blessing playing with him again,” Cameron Mitchell said. “I’m looking forward to our last year together next season and to come back here and finish out strong.”

With everyone but senior forward Terrence Billups due to return and if IUS can stay intact, the Grenadiers figure to be a top-five team in next season’s pre-season NAIA D-II Top 25 Poll.

“I go back to when I played and how my coaches always said they’re not worried about the rankings at the beginning of the season, only at the end of the season,” Brown said when asked about lofty expectations.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
NTSPY Awards Ceremony

Photos from the 2014 NTSPY Awards Ceremony held June 26, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow