Can Indiana State win without Jake Odum at his best? It certainly appears so.
Odum made just two shots from the field Sunday afternoon, but contributed in multiple other ways as Indiana State took out No. 21 ranked Notre Dame, 83-70. The senior guard had seven rebounds and five assists as the rest of Indiana State confounded the Irish at every turn.
It was the supporting cast that really laid the foundation for the win. Justin Gant went 6-for-12 from the field, and made three 3-pointers, including the real dagger to seal the win in the final minutes. He finished with 17 points to lead the Sycamores.
Manny Arop, who gained some notoriety last year after some big performances in some big games, again came through with big shots. He also had a trio of 3-pointers.
And then there was Dawon Cummings who had four huge steals for Indiana State.
The focus is going to be on how this is the Irish's first loss at home in November under Mike Brey. What will be lost is that this is the first big win for an Indiana State team that is attempting to build what it hopes is a nice resume come NCAA Tournament time.
There are still games against Tulsa and Saint Louis, and a rematch with Belmont to avenge its one-point loss to come before conference season. That might not be enough if the Sycamores can't finish in the top three of the Missouri Valley, a conference known for eating its own.
But this is a start, and it is one win that will stick in the minds of those who follow college basketball, because it was one of just two games being played prior to the start of NFL slate Sunday. They had the stage, they went on the road, and they took care of business against a Notre Dame team that outside of the first five minutes of the second half, looked flat.
Indiana State had the shooters, making 11 3-pointers overall. It had a good day on the glass. And it walked away with a win.
This one was a total team effort, in multiple facets of the game. And that might pay off more than this point in the win column as the year continues.