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Indiana State basketball fills head coaching vacancy

Matthew Graves (Provided Photo/Indiana State University Athletics)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WISH) — Indiana State is naming Matthew Graves as the 27th coach of its men’s basketball program, according to reports on Wednesday from Sports Illustrated.

The university confirmed the reports on Thursday. A press conference was scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday.

Graves was the top assistant under former coach Josh Schertz, who left to become the head coach at St. Louis University last week.

Following Schertz’s departure, ISU named Graves the interim head coach. The university decided to remove the interim tag less than a week later.

Graves joined the program as an associate head coach in 2021 when Schertz was hired, a role he held until this promotion.

Graves, 49, was previously the head coach at South Alabama for five seasons (2013-2018).

Over the last three seasons under Schertz, Indiana State has gone 66-40 and is coming off its best season since Larry Bird’s team finished as the national runner-up in 1979.

The Sycamores finished this season with a 32-7 record, falling short in the NIT championship game with a 79-77 heartbreaking loss to Seton Hall.

After winning the Missouri Valley regular season title, ISU lost to Drake in the conference tournament championship game and subsequently missed out on the NCAA Tournament.

An extra motivated Sycamore team proceeded to average over 88 points per game over their five games in the NIT tournament.

Following the championship loss and Schertz’s departure, all five of Indiana State’s starters entered the NCAA transfer portal.

Robbie Avila, Ryan Conwell, Isaiah Swope, Jayson Kent and Julian Larry are all leaving ISU, paving the way for a brand-new roster in Graves’ first season as head coach of the Sycamores.

Prior to his coaching career, Graves was a standout guard for Butler.

Graves played for the Bulldogs from 1993-1998, and was a key contributor to the 1997 team that gave Butler its first NCAA tournament appearance in 35 years.

During his senior year in 1998, Graves was Butler’s team MVP after leading the Bulldogs to their second straight Horizon League title and NCAA tournament appearance. Graves was named to the All-Horizon League Tournament team.

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