Schertz wins one Coach of Year honor, named finalist for three others

Mar. 19—The honors continue for Indiana State coach Josh Schertz and his team as their 28-victory season, so far, rolls on.

The NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches) released its 2023-24 NABC Division I All-District Teams and District Coaches of the Year on Tuesday, according to an ISU sports information news release. The All-District honors are voted on by NABC-member coaches across NCAA Division I.

Schertz was named District 16 Coach of the Year and two Sycamore players, Robbie Avila and Isaiah Swope, were named to its first team.

Also Tuesday, announcements came that Schertz has been named a finalist for the two coach of the year awards: 2023-24 Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year and 2024 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year, announced by College Insider, Inc.

Schertz is among 19 other finalists for the, Hugh Durham award. It is named in honor of the former Florida State, Georgia and Jacksonville head coach. This is awarded to the top mid-major head coach in college basketball.

He also is one of 20 finalists for the Jim Phelan award. The Jim Phelan award is named in honor of a legendary bow-tied coach who spent his entire head coaching career at Mount Saint Mary's University. This is awarded to the top head coach in Division I college basketball.

And, Schertz earlier was named as a finalist for the 2024 Werner Ladder Naismith Men's College Coach of the Year.

Schertz led Indiana State to one of the best seasons since 1978-79. ISU earned a No. 1 seed in the National Invitational Tournament with its 28-6 overall record through the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, where the Sycamores lost the championship 84-80 to Drake.

This marks the Sycamores' third appearance in the NIT since that '78-'79 season. They also made the field in 2013, 2014. Schertz 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 28 wins so far are the second-most in program history, and the 17 league wins is a new program record.

For the first time since the '78-'79 season, the Sycamores 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. Indiana State also led the mid-major poll for three weeks.

Avila, in his sophomore season, was named to the All-MVC First Team and the MVC All-Tournament team in St. Louis. Avila averaged 17.5 points per game throughout the full season, adding on 6.6 rebounds per game and 3.8 assists per game. The 6-foot-10 center finished 54.9% from the floor, 40.5% from deep, and 82.% from the free throw line.

Swope, a junior, was named to the All-MVC Second Team in his first year in the league. The guard averaged 16.5 points per game, 2.9 rebounds per game and 2.2 assists per game in the full season. Swope has been in the top 15 nationally in total 3-pointers made and 3-pointers per game throughout the season. Swope finished the season shooting 43.8% from the floor, 37.5% from deep and 73.7% from the charity stripe.

This season, Swope has made 105 total triples. He recorded one-of-two 30-point games for Indiana State with his career high 30 points at UIC, which drove the Sycamores to the six-point victory. Earlier in the season, Swope made eight 3-pointers against Belmont, one off tying the ISU single-game record.

Indiana State plays as its the No. 1 seed in its bracket of the National Invitational Tournament against SMU (20-12) in Hulman Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday.