What to Expect: Coppin State

Following a convincing win over North Carolina in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday, the No. 1 Hoosiers return to Assembly Hall on Saturday for a meeting with Coppin State. The Eagles (1-5) are coming off a 67-51 loss to Loyola MD at home and have yet to beat a Division I opponent.

The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network.

If you’re expecting Indiana to get much of a challenge on Saturday night, it may be time to readjust your expectations. Using the Pomeroy Ratings as a barometer, Coppin State is Indiana’s weakest opponent on the schedule.

Their five losses to-date have come by an average of 12 points, but in their two games against major conference opponents, they fell by 14 to Southern Cal and 23 to Texas.

STYLE OF PLAY

If there’s one thing you can point to with Coppin State and say they’ve been effective, it’s forcing turnovers. The Eagles are turning their opponents over on 27.7 percent of their possessions, which was good for 11th nationally through Thursday’s games. Although those turnovers aren’t really leading to much offensively, they’re still on Indiana’s radar heading into the game.

“They start with ball pressure. They’re not always in the full-court, man-to-man type of look, but they do a good job of scrambling and helping,” assistant coach Kenny Johnson said Friday. “They’re in the passing lanes, they’re aggressive. They’re overplaying, so they’re forcing you into unforced turnovers at times. Other times, they’re just always gonna be there. You’re not gonna have any space to operate.”

Beyond their effectiveness in creating turnovers, the rest of the profile for Coppin State is well below average. Offensively, they’ll enter Assembly Hall with an effective field goal percentage of 37.2 percent, which is 344th out of 347 Division I teams. Nearly 43 percent of their field goal attempts are coming from behind the 3-point line, but they’ve been woeful from distance (23.7 percent) through six games.

Despite the obvious shortcomings on paper for Coppin State, the Hoosiers still appear focused on treating this game like any other.

“We just don’t want to play to the level of our competition,” freshman guard Yogi Ferrell said. “We always want to play the best that we can. We played very well against UNC, of course, but like now we’re playing Coppin State, we just can’t play down to their level.”

PERSONNEL

Coppin State has three players averaging double figures in scoring. Freshman guard Patrick Cole is their leading scorer at 15.3 points per game, but has just 12 assists compared to 23 turnovers.

Troy Franklin (pictured), a point guard who transferred from Towson, is coming off the bench and scoring 12.8 points per game. Franklin leads the Eagles with 20 steals.

“They’re a very fast-paced, aggressive basketball team,” Johnson said. “We expect them to come in and pressure us and be in attack mode, and obviously look to shoot the 3 ball.”

Junior forward Michael Murray is the third Eagle in double figures at 10.5 per game and he’s also averaging 10.5 rebounds per game. Murray’s defensive rebounding percentage (27.0) is an impressive mark.

WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO

If Indiana comes out and plays like they’re capable of, this game should be over by the under 12 media timeout of the first half. Pomeroy likes the Hoosiers by 43 and Vegas didn’t even put this game on the board.

As poorly as Coppin State has performed offensively, holding the Eagles to fewer than the 45 points allowed to Sam Houston State certainly seems possible.

QUICK FACTS ON COPPIN STATE

Student Enrollment: 4,000
Established: 1900
Notable basketball alumni: Larry Stewart

All tempo-free stats from KenPom.com.

(Photo credit: Baltimore Sun)

  • http://www.babytown.com/ OceanArcher

    “we just can’t play down to their level”. Ouch. I’m sure Yogi didn’t mean for it to be insulting, but it’s a little harsh. The truth does hurt sometimes though lol.

    On another note, there’s an ESPN vote for who’s the better team, IU or Duke. If it had been a presidential election, IU would have had the biggest win ever lol. IU won 49 states. Even North Carolina was 50/50 at the time of my vote (too close to call haha). Here’s the link:

    http://espn.go.com/espn/fp/flashPollResultsState?sportIndex=ncb&pollId=3354067

  • http://www.babytown.com/ OceanArcher

    “we just can’t play down to their level”. Ouch. I’m sure Yogi didn’t mean for it to be insulting, but it’s a little harsh. The truth does hurt sometimes though lol.

    On another note, there’s an ESPN vote for who’s the better team, IU or Duke. If it had been a presidential election, IU would have had the biggest win ever lol. IU won 49 states. Even North Carolina was 50/50 at the time of my vote (too close to call haha). Here’s the link:

    http://espn.go.com/espn/fp/flashPollResultsState?sportIndex=ncb&pollId=3354067

  • marcusgresham

    Taylor Wayer may log enough minutes to go for double figures in this game.

  • marcusgresham

    Taylor Wayer may log enough minutes to go for double figures in this game.

  • sghoosier

    No sure we over-estimated the quality of the team when we scheduled it or we want such a cupcake of cupcakes to try different sets out?

    Rival teams are playing high level D1 teams to sharpen themselves for the up-coming BIG season but we are playing teams no one has ever heard of, almost intramural like quality.

  • sghoosier

    No sure we over-estimated the quality of the team when we scheduled it or we want such a cupcake of cupcakes to try different sets out?

    Rival teams are playing high level D1 teams to sharpen themselves for the up-coming BIG season but we are playing teams no one has ever heard of, almost intramural like quality.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Fischer/691470077 Steve Fischer

    This was certainly schedule before we knew just how good we are. Still it gives Duke fan’s more ammo in their claim to #1- although their game against the Delaware Hens this weekend is nothing to cackle about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Fischer/691470077 Steve Fischer

    This was certainly schedule before we knew just how good we are. Still it gives Duke fan’s more ammo in their claim to #1- although their game against the Delaware Hens this weekend is nothing to cackle about.

  • http://twitter.com/IUMitchell Deon M

    I wish this team was the revenge team. Non conference opponents like Loyola(md) George Mason, Lipscomb, Northeastern.

  • http://twitter.com/IUMitchell Deon M

    I wish this team was the revenge team. Non conference opponents like Loyola(md) George Mason, Lipscomb, Northeastern.

  • http://twitter.com/IUMitchell Deon M

    I wish this team was the revenge team. Non conference opponents like Loyola(md) George Mason, Lipscomb, Northeastern.

  • Oldguyy

    We can always hope that they’ll lay an egg.

  • Solomon

    Do you see no conflict? The majority of ESPN’s stories regarding the
    matter have shed light favorably upon the Hoosiers, vs. neutral to
    acknowledging the issue for Duke. The poll is held on ESPN’s site. Most
    of sports media consumed is out of ESPN. How else would the poll have
    come out?

    Hopefully they can meet in April undefeated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Fischer/691470077 Steve Fischer

    Thanks for posting that Ocean. I didn’t see where it would let me vote though. In general its great of IU fans to post on other sites-recruits read that and if they see we are a classy program with lots of fans -it makes a difference.

  • SCHoosier

    Would make a good column some day to have Glass and Crean explain how they go about putting a schedule together. Good thing Hostess is out of business..or we might see them next year:)

  • SCHoosier

    Would make a good column some day to have Glass and Crean explain how they go about putting a schedule together. Good thing Hostess is out of business..or we might see them next year:)

  • nate91

    CTC has this team playing with confidence but they are not cocky. We may be labeled as the hunted, but I think we will continue to play as the hunter.

  • Jack Nolan

    can anyone direct me to a source where Crean talks about his philosophy of scheduling? I’m curious why we have teams like this on the schedule at this point of the program “rebuild”.

    Just curious.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregory.spera.3 Gregory Spera

    I know. As an IU fan, this non-conference schedule is kinda embarrassing. Going undefeated isn’t really so important that they can’t take on another real basketball program or two. They should WANT to test themselves.

  • Kreigh_Smiths_Short_Shorts

    I think a spread of 43 is an underlay. Likely going to be at least 50.

  • Kenneth234

    Not a chance that Duke is undefeated in April. They likely will take a loss before conference play. Its just my opinion, but after watching them play Ohio St, another team that I found less than impressive, they simply just are not that good. Sure they have a few guys that can shoot, one guy who plays tough inside, but for the most part their back court is slow, and any team that doesn’t have D. Thomas letting dribblers just blow by them off a ball screen will disrupt Duke’s offense tremendously.

  • Kenneth234

    I am not sure why, but there are often many factors I would think. Sometimes you bring a team in that has a coach that has history with you as a token of good will. But there could be any range of reasons.

    I would prefer to play Indiana schools for the most part in the pre-conference season when we are not playing tougher competition. However, outside of ND, Butler and Purdue, there is only some teams like Indiana St, Ball St, Evansville, and Valpo. But the question is do you want more home games to possibly go see, or do you want more neutral site and away games?

    A balance would be nice but it is just hard to get all the time. Perhaps the Big Ten as a conference should look to organize another conference v. conference challenge series with the Big 12, SEC, or the PAC 12 in order to ensure some more consistency in the schedule from year to year.

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