Know Thy Opponent: Northwestern State Demons

  • 11/14/2008 9:14 am in

th_23666_knowthyopponent_122_866lo.jpgThe Tom Crean era begins Saturday night with a visit in Assembly Hall from the Northwestern State Demons.

Coach Mike McConathy returns five of his top eight scorers from a team that went 15-18 a season ago and reached the championship game of their conference tournament for the fourth straight season.

The outlook this year is much brighter for Northwestern State — they were picked to finish second in the East division of the Southland Conference behind Stephen L. Austin.

Keith Hancock, a 5-10 senior guard, is the leading returning scorer (8.7 ppg). Another guy to keep an eye on is 6-4 junior guard Damon Jones (6.4 ppg).

“We feel very good about our team,” McConathy told reporters at SLC Media Day. “Even though the numbers may not indicate it, we do have a strong core of experienced players back and we will be blending in some new faces. We have guys who all have played in crunch time.”

Make no mistake about it, the Hoosiers will have their hands full in this match up. As will be the case almost universally, Northwestern State is a more experienced club and they’ll be looking to play spoiler while making a statement for their program come Saturday night.

To learn more about Northwestern State, click here.

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  • HoosierSmitty

    Hopefully the Hoosiers can get off to a solid start this year.

    I'm looking forward to watching some of these guys get after it. Remember, it's a season-long audition for playing time next year.

    Just from watching them hustle like mad in the exhibition games, I think this year's team will be fun to watch – even though it won't always be pretty. I just hope we stay in a lot of games, even if we aren't winning them left and right.

    Can't wait to watch on a real TV without the damn video stream!

  • NC Fat Boy

    This is a key game for the IU Season, a win will build some confidence.

    This could be a tough first game for this young team. The teams size up similarly and NSU definitely has the edge on experience.

    I hope there's a good crowd at Assembly Hall to give them every advantage, they may need it.

  • JerryCT

    Are you a clumber spaniel ?

  • flahoosier

    if this is a tough game then we are going to be lucky to win 5 games and will be lucky to not get blown out in the majority i don't care how experienced they are or whatever, its Northwestern State, they are horrible. i didn't even know Northwestern State existed.

  • B_MD

    I think you're wrong here. This could be exactly the type of team that gives IU trouble this year. Northwestern State is a team with many seniors and juniors, and as stated above they return 5 of their top 8 scorers. Being a lower level D1 team from a smaller conference I'm sure they'll be relishing the fact that they're going to historic Assembly Hall and have a real chance to steal a win.

    I think these senior laden teams with guys that have been through the fire, whether their high major or mid-major, are going to be the teams that give IU trouble.

  • NC Fat Boy

    Why yes I am… when I am excited, I turn my body in a “U” shape and
    turn circles while grabbing your arm.. that is of course after I've
    dropped the stuffed toy I picked up to greet you with and I'm not
    growling at you, I'm just snorting because I'm so happy…..

    My sister raises and shows Clumber Spaniels…. cool dogs….

    How about you?

    John

  • pacino

    EVERY GAME WILL BE A KEY GAME!!! No night will be easy. Go get em boys!

  • flahoosier

    there leading returning scorer was 5-10 and scored 8.7ppg and the guy to keep an eye on averaged 6.4. granted that is more than anyone we have returning but if they are laden with juniors and seniors they must not have played much. I mean they finished 13-17 last year in possibly the weakest conference in the country (granted I don't follow the Southland conference) If they give us trouble then I really don't see IU winning 10 games and not getting blown out in most of our Big 10 games. Believe me I hope I'm wrong

  • woodpecker

    Any other year I would feel the same way …. BUT is this any other year? Has any other school in the nation had to suffer through a complete overhaul? The 08-09 season will require patience from everyone.

  • I think their conference was 22nd last year out of 32 in the RPI, so I wouldn't call it the weakest in the country.

  • JerryCT

    That is Peaches my clumber. Email me at Ward_J_GCS@msn.com and we can chat about these dogs

  • JerryCT

    NWS will be pumped and they have experience we lack. It is going to be very tough for us to beat anybody right now so I hope we can win or lose close.

    For me I will be looking to see:

    1. Does Crean scale back his rotation to fewer players in order to win or contniue to be content with a developmental approach.
    2. If scaled back ,who does he seem to trust in what positions
    3. Who is our designated defensive stopper on their guard, Dumas or Jones or other
    4 Can Pritchard hurt them inside
    5. DO we have any new offensive or defensive looks ( I liked the zone last week )
    6. Is NWS a good enough team to measure our progress against.

  • peaychris

    who cares if we lose?? kentucky has lost 2 season openers in a row!! my kentucky friends cant say anything about this rebuliding year!

  • peaychris

    who cares if we lose?? kentucky has lost 2 season openers in a row!! my kentucky friends cant say anything about this rebuliding year!