Josh Schertz leaves for Saint Louis after leading Indiana State to 32-win season and NIT title game – Metro US

Josh Schertz leaves for Saint Louis after leading Indiana State to 32-win season and NIT title game

NIT Sycamores Run Basketball
FILE – Indiana State head coach Josh Schertz looks on during an NCAA college basketball game against Illinois State, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, in Terre Haute, Ind. In the MVC preseason poll, they were picked fourth. When they were written off after falling into an 18-point, second-half deficit in the MVC title game, the Sycamores valiantly fought back before losing 84-80 to Drake. And when the NCAA selection committee ignored their high NET ranking two weeks ago, Indiana State didn’t fret.(AP Photo/Doug McSchooler, File

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Josh Schertz has been hired as coach at Saint Louis after he led Indiana State to its first 30-win season in 45 years, the Missouri Valley regular-season title and the NIT championship game, the Billikens announced Saturday.

Schertz replaces Travis Ford, who was fired three weeks ago. The Billikens were 13-20 overall and 5-13 in the Atlantic 10 and last played in the NCAA Tournament in 2019.

Indiana State, which lost 79-77 to Seton Hall in the NIT championship game on Thursday, finished 32-7 and was among the first teams left out of the NCAA Tournament.

The Sycamores were the No. 1 seed in the NIT and drew a national following drawn in by the paunchy goggles-wearing leading scorer Robbie Avila, nicknamed “Cream Abdul-Jabbar.”

The 48-year-old Schertz coached Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee to three NCAA Division II Final Fours in 13 years before taking over at Indiana State in 2021. The Sycamores were 11-20 in his first season and 23-13 in his second.

This year, the Sycamores joined the Larry Bird-led 1979 team that reached the NCAA championship game as the only ones in program history to win 30 games. Indiana State was ranked No. 23 the week of Feb. 12, the program’s first appearance in the Top 25 since 1979.

Schertz was Missouri Valley coach of the year and winner of the Hugh Durham Award as the nation’s top mid-major coach.

Saint Louis hasn’t won an Atlantic 10 regular-season championship since winning two straight in 2013 and ’14 under Jim Crews, and it last won the conference tournament in 2019 under Ford.

AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball