To close this past men’s basketball season, there was no hotter team in the Summit League than IPFW.
The Mastodons won six of their past seven games and battled eventual league tournament champion South Dakota State into the second half of their ultimate 72-56 defeat in the conference tournament.
So you can imagine what this program could achieve if only IPFW could have shot the ball well.
The Mastodons finished the year as the seventh (out of nine) best shooting team in the conference, but second-year coach Tony Jasick says those numbers are a bit skewed.
“We may have been seventh in the league,” Jasick explained, “but I would argue that we were significantly better the second half of the league schedule.”
Jasick’s team will more than likely continue that upward trend into the future, as it added another shooter to its arsenal earlier this week.
Gardner-Webb sophomore guard Max Landis announced recently that he would be transferring to IPFW for his final two seasons of eligibility.
“I felt real comfortable with their coaches and I played AAU with (IPFW forward) Joe Reed,” Landis said. “They showed that they really wanted me and I’m real excited about it.”
The Indianapolis native will sit out the 20-13-14 season, but return to action for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
Landis was a key contributor to the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ success over the past two seasons, as the program improved from 12 to 21 victories. Lack of playing time (Landis played in 65 games with 32 starts) wasn’t a concern of Landis’ when he made his decision to leave Gardner-Webb.
“I just couldn’t see myself spending two more seasons there and being happy,” Landis said. “It wasn’t about basketball at all. It’s a one-stoplight town and there was not very much to do there.”
Landis averaged nearly 10 points per game as a freshman, and almost eight per game as a sophomore. The 6-foot-2 Perry Meridian High School graduate sank 104 3-point shots during his time with the program.
“I’m not just a shooter,” Landis said. “I can play the (point) some and put the ball on the floor.”
It’s a long way off still, but for that 2014-15 season, Jasick will return other shooters in Herbert Graham, Joe Edwards, and Will Dunn along with Landis.
New home for the Mastodons
Not only will Landis be playing in a new home, but IPFW will be doing so as well.
Jasick said that beginning next season, the majority of the program’s home games will be played in the renovated 1,875-seat Gates Sports Center, as opposed to the Coliseum.
“It will eliminate the majority of scheduling conflicts,” Jasick said. “It will also help increase our overall campus environment.”