What to Expect: North Dakota State

  • 11/12/2012 8:14 am in

After a dominating 97-54 victory against Bryant in its season opener, No. 1 Indiana will host North Dakota State of the Summit League at 7 p.m. Monday night at Assembly Hall. The game is part of the Progressive Legends Classic. The Bison won their season opener and Valley City State, 93-47, on Friday.

The game will not be televised, but will be available to watch on BTN.com for a fee. As always, the IU Radio Network will broadcast the game. 

The Hoosiers faced little resistance against Bryant on Friday night, but North Dakota State will provide a stiffer early-season test. The Bison return their top five scorers from last year’s 17-14 club, and they were picked to finish second in the Summit League by the league’s coaches, SIDs and media. They played in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) postseason tournament last season.

North Dakota State’s regular rotation last season consisted of six sophomores and two freshmen, so their youth held them down in some areas. The Bison struggled with turnovers at times, and they finished near the bottom of the league in rebounding. Those are weaknesses that could play into Indiana’s hands considering its size and athleticism.

The Bison have much more interior depth than Bryant, which could potentially create a problem for the Hoosiers. North Dakota State has five players on its roster that are 6-foot-7 or taller, including the 6-foot-8, 240-pound Marshall Bjorklund. Bjorklund averaged 11.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last season.

Indiana will be without Hanner Mosquera-Perea (suspension), Peter Jurkin (suspension) and Derek Elston (knee injury), so it will be important for Cody Zeller to stay out of foul trouble.

The Bison are led by junior guard Taylor Braun, who had 19 points and eight rebounds in the season opener. At 6-foot-7, Braun is capable of playing inside and on the perimeter, and he’s also a strong rebounder. He averaged 15.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per contest a year ago, including seven games in which he scored 20 or more points. Braun poured in a season-high 30 points on an efficient 9-of-11 shooting against IUPUI.

Braun doesn’t attempt a ton of 3-pointers — he averaged only 2.6 per contest last season — but he is capable of making them (he shot 45 percent last year).

What it comes down to

The Hoosiers will face their first real test with limited interior depth on Monday night. Zeller, Christian Watford and Jeremy Hollowell will have to stay out of foul trouble.

Offensively, Indiana will likely have to make a good percentage of its outside shots. According to associate head coach Steve McClain, North Dakota State regularly packs to middle to force opponents from getting to the basket.

Thoughts on North Dakota State from the team

· Indiana coach Tom Crean on the Bison:

“They are a good program with a lot of experience and will present different challenges than we have faced this year. They are extremely tough and well-coached and they return their top five scorers.”

· McClain:

“More than anything, we have to do a great job of knowing where we are at on the floor defensively – when to pressure them and when to back off. And we have to do a great job on the defensive boards because they do a great job of going to the glass hard.”

“For our fans to watch, they are a team that plays the gaps on defense and they want you to settle for the jump shot. They do not want to give up penetration to the paint. So we have to make sure that we take our time and get the shot that we want.

“Bo Ryan’s (Wisconsin head coach) son is on their staff and they have a Wisconsin flavor to them in how they play offense and defense.”

· Guard Victor Oladipo on improvements that need to be made:

“Making less turnovers and being more consistent and playing at a team, along with playing at a high level. We need to do the little things so that we can get better inside of the game.”

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  • b_side

    I’m as excited as you are about Yogi’s potential, but his size could seriously hinder his impact at the next level. The point guard position keeps getting bigger and players are keeping their speed/athleticism (Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, etc).

    Popularity doesn’t necessarily = winning. Remember, the Pacers smartly drafted Reggie instead of Alford.

    Also, Larry (unfortunately) no longer works for the Pacers.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I miss Las and Kitch on WTTV. Heck even ESPN + on channel 58 was good enough. Oh well at least it is the last time this season. I could rectify all of this by being at the actual game, but a 2 hr one way trip is hard to pull off on a school/work night. I won’t complain and feel blessed to be a Hoosier.

  • Austan Kas

    somewhat limited on offense?!?! We view him in a much better light now that we don’t have to watch his moving screens and missed layups twice a week this winter.

  • achurt

    I think Sheehey is that guy, just a much better overall player.
    I have no backcourt concerns with this team – I think the missing banger is much more important.

  • adam

    amazing website… if u can get past the disturbing pop-ups

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Technically he isn’t but I would think he still would have some pull??

    Alford had many more NBA concerns, and Yogi has blistering speed. Yes popularity does not equal winning but I think these two are more of a sure hit than possible misses.

    Popularity does equal cash. The last time I check the NBA (unfortunately) was still about making money over everything else. At least for a while the excitement of the roster could take Pacers support to the next level. If they also win while buying into that scenario…..well that would be scary and could put the Pacers into the same realm of support that the Colts see throughout the state. There are very very few Pacer fans down here in the southern part of the state and would love to see that change. Aside from winning consistently year in and year out with deep playoff runs, homegrown talent could help expand the fan base because of the connection.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    that’s a good point…. getting Zeller would mean a huge jump in attention to the pacers, and even more pressure on Cody.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    that’s a good point…. getting Zeller would mean a huge jump in attention to the pacers, and even more pressure on Cody.

  • b_side

    Popularity = cash in the short term. But nothing equates to money like sustained winning, regardless of where the players went to college. The excitement will quickly dwindle if the product on the court isn’t competitive. Fans pay to see a winner.

    Believe me, if Herb Simon cared mainly about popularity and only selling tickets short term, he would have told Donnie Walsh as much back in ’87 to draft Alford. Also, if Simon’s only revenue stream was the Pacers, he would be forced to play Moneyball like other small market teams. Thankfully, he’s generally willing to splurge on talent even if Conseco isn’t sold out every night (which it definitely isn’t).

    As a Pacers fan, I don’t want Cody if it means we’re a lottery team this year/next year. If the folks down in Southern Indiana weren’t Pacers fans by the mid 90’s, what more could Simon have done? He threw a bone to Indiana in ’94 drafting Damon Bailey! Bottom line, if they didn’t enjoy last year’s surprise playoff run, it’s a lost cause. Those teams played blue-collar basketball than any fan in Indiana should appreciate. Simon (thankfully) isn’t making his team Hoosier-lite to sell tickets.

    Re: Bird, from everything I’ve heard, he’s fully retired. Full control of the team is in Walsh and Kevin Pritchard’s hands.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    Kyrie Irving is about 6’1″… and I agree, Yogi may not be a sure fire NBA point guard. But if the Pacers wanted to keep winning for awhile, while also bringing in more fans, they’d get Cody Zeller. But I don’t know if they can give up enough, or would give up enough, to move up in the draft in order to get him.

  • HoosurDaddy

    This is driving me CRAZY the #1 team in the nation and we cant get a TV spot! I will have to go out and listen to the game in my car in temps around 30 deg (and I will) and for what Mich, Ohio ST and Iowa to be on BTN?
    This is the #1 team in the country and still we get no respect!

  • Steve Alford’s Hair Cut

    I think we will win a few by pure talent as well.

  • Steve Alford’s Hair Cut

    I think we will win a few by pure talent as well.

  • b_side

    Kyrie is listed at 6’3

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I am not disputing you in the least, just brainstorming. I am just not wanting to quickly write off it would not be a winning situation.

    I thoroughly enjoyed last years run! At one point Indiana held all the cards against Miami.

    There just seems to be a disconnect down here from the Indy area. There is no marketing or mention of the Pacers locally and they get zero run in print down here.

    Damon Bailey might have been a bone, but by your thought process is exactly why not many cared. It didn’t equate to winning so it was quickly forgotten.

    Even if the Pacers were not a lottery team they could position themselves to get Cody but it would seriously mortgage the future drafts. That in turn, yes, would put major pressure on Cody and may not put the tools around him to eventually win. Any addition of quality players would have to be made through free agency. Indy is a tough sell in the NBA free agent market and cash would be the main lure for players. Great city but it isn’t NY, Miami, or Boston.

  • HostileHoosier

    This is dring me CRAZY! The #1 team in the nation and we get no TV time?

  • b_side

    Interesting point you brought up about the marketing and media. It’s a chicken/egg scenario: does Simon spending money on ad dollars increase excitement forcing the media to cover the games because that will increase readership? Or does the media covering the games first increase awareness among locals? I’m guessing the Pacers brass gave it go once upon time, but didn’t see a return on their investment. For 41 home games, how many folks in Southern Indiana are willing to drive 1-2 hours (especially on weeknights)?

    Totally agree about Indy being a tough sell. The Pacers have to build from within and make savvy trades in order to compete.

  • b_side

    Interesting point you brought up about the marketing and media. It’s a chicken/egg scenario: does Simon spending money on ad dollars increase excitement forcing the media to cover the games because that will increase readership? Or does the media covering the games first increase awareness among locals? I’m guessing the Pacers brass gave it go once upon time, but didn’t see a return on their investment. For 41 home games, how many folks in Southern Indiana are willing to drive 1-2 hours (especially on weeknights)?

    Totally agree about Indy being a tough sell. The Pacers have to build from within and make savvy trades in order to compete.

  • Ad Block Pro on Google chrome will take care of most of those ads.

  • DOEMAN

    I can’t find where the stream on BTN.com is. If we subscribe to BigTenNetowrk through cable do we get it on BTN2GO?

  • What really upsets me is that after we pay for the BTN online service, the Bryant game didn’t appear on the website. Not to complain, but if it is on your network, then make it available to the people who paid a premium to see the games!

  • achurt

    The pop ups are pretty ridiculous, but I could manage if the stream were of higher quality.
    Is it just my computer – or is the stream very low res?

  • nice link. porno pop ups scared me. then it requires downloading an exe file, so I googled ‘thefirstrow.eu virus’ and got more concerned. I ended up pulling out an old heavily infected laptop and downloaded thefirstrow program on there. Works great! thanks!

  • nice link. porno pop ups scared me. then it requires downloading an exe file, so I googled ‘thefirstrow.eu virus’ and got more concerned. I ended up pulling out an old heavily infected laptop and downloaded thefirstrow program on there. Works great! thanks!

  • it’s very low quality streaming. then you get ads on the app too, which can’t be blocked by ad block pro or any web based pop up blocker. those popups sometimes cover the entire viewing area, making it pitch black, so you think the video isn’t working. Annoying, but it’s free, so can’t complain too much…

  • achurt

    You don’t actually have to download anything – just click one of the links for the game you want. Then sit patiently. I was too scared to download the “HD desktop program”.

  • A_Schick

    That happened to me when I was still in school in Ohio. I paid for the service to watch an IUFB online since it wasn’t on TV, and after shelling out precious beer money the game didn’t appear on the website so I was out $15