ISU's Schertz semifinalist for national Naismith Coach of the Year

Mar. 15—As Indiana State coach Josh Schertz and his Sycamores await word on whether they'll be in the 68-team NCAA tournament field, Schertz himself is under serious consideration for a separate distinction.

Schertz has been named a semifinalist for the 2024 Werner Ladder Naismith Men's College Coach of the Year, announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

The list contains 10 men's NCAA Division I college basketball coaches. Schertz was announced to the Watch List on Feb. 23, the ISU sports information office reported.

Also on the list are Amir Abdur-Rahim (South Florida), Hubert Davis (North Carolina), Dan Hurley (UConn), T.J. Otzelberger (Iowa State), Matt Painter (Purdue), Lamont Paris (South Carolina), Kelvin Sampson (Houston), Kyle Smith (Washington State) and Danny Sprinkle (Utah State).

The finalists will be announced March 25. Indiana State awaits its postseason future following the announcement of 2024 NCAA March Madness bracket Sunday evening.

ISU earned several individual honors at the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. Schertz won Coach of the Year; Ryan Conwell won Newcomer of the Year; Robbie Avila earned first-team honors; Ryan Conwell, Jayson Kent, and Isaiah Swope earned second-team honors; Julian Larry was named to the third team; Xavier Bledson won Sixth Man of the Year; Jayson Kent and Julian Larry were named to the All-Defensive Team.

Schertz led Indiana State to one of the best seasons since the legendary 1978-79 team. He was named the MVC Coach of the year in just his third season in the league. ISU finished 26-5, 17-3 MVC in the regular season. The 26 wins is the third-most in program history (33, 27 twice), and the 17 league wins is a new program record. For the first time since the '78-'79 season, the Trees found themselves among the top 25 in the nation, ranking No. 23 in the AP Top 25 and No. 24 in the USA Today Sports Coaches poll. ISU also led the mid-major poll for three weeks.

Schertz guided the Sycamores to lead the MVC in four categories in back-to-back seasons: scoring offense (84.4 PPG in 2023-24), field-goal percentage (50.5%), assists (594), and 3-pointers made (373). ISU won the MVC regular-season title for the first time since the 2000-2001 season and finished as the MVC tournament runner-up.

Indiana State finished the regular season leading the MVC in multiple categories: scoring offense (84.4 PPG), scoring margin (+12.41), free-throw percentage (79.7%), field-goal percentage (50.5%), 3-point percentage (38.5%), 3-pointers made (373), 3-pointers per game (10.97), total assists (594) and assists per game (17.5).