My Favorite 17 Indiana State Basketball Photos of the 2016-2017

This past season with the Indiana State basketball team was the first one where I was there from start to finish. There were some very big highs and some lows. It was not the season I thought I was going to see in early December. Sometimes things just don’t work out. This was a fun season to photograph though. This was a hard list to put together not because of a lack of content, but because I had too many moments to show from the year. In the end I just picked some of my favorite photos from the year to share.

17. The countdown starts where the season ended, in St. Louis. I followed the team out onto the floor of the Scottrade Center for their MVC Tournament game against Evansville. I liked this view of Brenton Scott taking the floor. It is the kind of hero shot that I try and make for the players during the season.

16. Head coach Greg Lansing is fun to watch on the sidelines. Here he was perfectly framed for me with the flag in the background. I made this during the first game of the season. During the course of the season I realized that I would have some other good pictures of coach, but this was one that stood out to me.

15. The Butler game was full of great moments. I could probably have filled this countdown up with just shots from that game. I tried to limit that though to spread out some love for the entire season. Here Brenton Scott makes an acrobatic shot when ISU really needed it. I also like how the Hulman Center is shown in the background as well. A good size crowd made me want to shoot a bit wider that game.

14. A nice surprise on the season was the play of freshman Jordan Barnes. This past year the team lost a good point guard in Everett Clemons, but the future at that spot looks great with Jordan leading the team. As a true freshman he really showed the ability to lead this team. 

13. There was a moment early in the season when known shooter Niels Bunschoten started driving to the basket he took over the game. Nobody knew how to stop it. It was a fun moment from the season. On senior day it was fun to see this on his senior gift from the team.

12. Brandon Murphy saw his role change throughout the season. At one point at the beginning of 2017 he had to take on lots of minutes as the situation dictated it. The shot above is one that I feel that I have made a lot. Brandon a head above another big man getting that hook shot in.

11. Early in the year against Northern Illinois was the game I called the TJ Bell game. He had an amazing game, and lifted the Sycamores to victory. Here he reacts after making a basket and getting fouled. The raw emotion was great, and was one of my favorite photos from the game.

10. At times I put my camera on the ground to get a very low look at the action. I like that look here as a free throw is in the air. You get a good look at the Hulman Center as well as the battle for the rebound. It is a simple moment in the game, but looking at it wide makes it look much more epic.

9. During the introductions Laquarious Paige was by far my favorite to photograph throughout the season. He would come through his teammates with the biggest smile every time. This was my favorite of those shots throughout the season.

8. This was the moment that the fans met the players on the court after the Butler upset. It was a great moment for sure. The sheer joy was amazing. I have only been a part of a couple of court stormings over the years. This one was pandemonium. I should have quite here, but I got into the middle of the excitement to get some photos. With no straps on my cameras I really was getting knocked around. I had a fat lip by the end of it, but I came away with some amazing photos. This one when the tides met though was my favorite of those.

7. As the season goes on you try and find new ways to make the same photos. The huddle shot was one that I had done a few ways. This one takes a team knowing you a bit to accomplish. You have to get right in there with them to do it. It is my favorite huddle photo of the year though.

6. Senior Everett Clemons was a fun one to watch this season. He would try and will his team to victory at times. Here against Bradley he takes it hard to the hoop. For some reason I always would end up with great photos of Everett. Some players just look good on camera, and he was one of them. He will show up in this countdown again.

5. Here is another photo of Jordan Barnes driving to the basket. As the MVC Tournament game was winding down it was clear that Indiana State was playing their last game of the season. At that point the future of the team was on the court. Playing in his hometown Jordan took over. He will be fun to watch as he grows as a player.

4. This makes the countdown because it is so different. When you have an overhead remote you usually just see faces looking up. The EIU player on the ground makes this for me. His face as the other players go up for the ball is one of terror. This is also interesting because of the top of the backboard. As I started showing these overhead shots to the people at ISU a story came out. These were the backboards used in Indy during the Final Four that Butler came within an eyelash of winning. When it was all over Indiana State bought them, and they are what is used for every game at the Hulman Center. A new view helped me learn a little more.

3. I love a good jube shot. As Indiana State was winding down a close game Everett Clemons was pumped up. I love the two looks on this photo here. I wish that I could get this at every game.

2. Here is a shot that I like for a couple of reasons. The first is that it is a great moment. After Indiana State won on senior day the freshman came over to the senior for a moment. This was kind of a passing of the torch moment. This in any other year would probably be number one on this list. There is an old school feel to this photo that I like.

  1. This is a photo that will be hard to beat next year. Every year when I come up with these lists I talk about how I have a goal of making better images than all of these the following year. This one will be a hard photo to beat though. That is because of access and availability. After Indiana State won an upset over a very good, ranked Butler squad the crowd stormed the floor of the Hulman Center. I made many images of that including one hero shot of the star of the game Brenton Scott. I knew when I made it that it was the photo of the game. I was in a hurry to get to my computer to get that photo out into the world it was that good. Little did I know that in the scrum on the floor that my focus ring was nudged and the photo was soft. In the tunnel to the media room I walked behind some of the players going into the locker room. I barely made eye contact with the SID Ace, but it was enough to get into the locker room. The pure joy the team showed that night in there is a photo that I will have in my portfolio for a long time. It was a lot of luck to be in the right place at the right time, and I will try very hard to top this next year.

What is next? I have done some countdowns of my favorite images from both the men’s and women’s programs at Purdue and Indiana State. Those are the two schools I saw the most in the 2016-2017 season. Now next week I will look at the images I liked across all of college basketball last season. It is a fun exercise to go back and see what worked and what didn’t during the year.

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About Pinola Photo

I am a sports and lifestyle photographer based in West Lafayette, IN home of Purdue University. I cover sports for Big Ten teams as well as other colleges. You can follow me on twitter @pinolaphoto. You can also view my website at www.davewegielphoto.net

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