What to Expect: Florida Atlantic

  • 12/20/2012 2:05 pm in

122012ueIt’s a quick turnaround for Indiana as the Hoosiers return to Branch McCracken Court on Friday night for a meeting with Florida Atlantic. The Owls (5-6) are coming off a 69-68 loss at home to Stetson. Indiana will be looking for its 16th consecutive win at Assembly Hall.

The game will be televised on ESPN2.

The competition doesn’t figure to stiffen much for Indiana until the Big Ten season tips off on Dec. 31, but the Hoosiers will round out the non-conference schedule with a pair of Friday games with Florida Atlantic and Jacksonville.

FAU is up first and the Owls are led by former George Washington and St. John’s coach Mike Jarvis, who produced a winning season and NIT birth in 2011-2012, but has otherwise struggled to gain momentum in Boca Raton. This season doesn’t look promising as Florida Atlantic was picked to finish just fourth in the east division of the Sun Belt.

PERSONNEL

Indiana will once again get the challenge of trying to contain one of the nation’s leading scorers as FAU features senior guard Greg Gantt (pictured), who is averaging 21.5 points. Gantt is shooting an identical percentage on 2-point and 3-point field goal attempts (42.7) and the distribution of his attempts is pretty equal as well (104 2-point attempts vs. 82 3-point attempts).

The only other Owl scoring in double figures is 5-foot-10 guard Stefan Moody, who is averaging 15 points. But the freshman won’t be available on Friday as he was suspended for three games prior to FAU’s loss to Stetson. Cavon Baker, another freshman guard who averages 3.9 points, is also suspended.

The absence of Moody means that Jarvis will need more offensive production from guard Pablo Bertone (7.1 ppg), guard Jackson Trapp (6.5 ppg) and forward Jordan McCoy (5.3 ppg) if the Owls hope to keep things competitive on Friday. Trapp has a solid assist rate (20.2), but is turnover prone (33 in 11 games) and McCoy is the team’s leading rebounder at 6.4 per game.

POMEROY PREVIEW

122012ae
Florida Atlantic’s lack of a post presence becomes apparent quickly with one glance at their profile. Their 3-point shooting is actually respectable (36.2), but they’re shooting just 39.2 percent on 2-point field goals, which ranks 331st nationally.

They’re also getting crushed on the defensive glass as opponents are rebounding nearly 36.2 of their misses.

WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO

This is Indiana’s seventh non-conference opponent (Jacksonville will be the eighth) outside of the top 140 of both the KenPom.com and Sagarin ratings and it’s another opponent that the Hoosiers will completely outclass from a talent perspective.

Gantt figures to provide somewhat of a defensive challenge for Victor Oladipo and the rest of Indiana’s backcourt, but this should be another case where Cody Zeller and Christian Watford will have their way around the basket as the Hoosiers coast to a comfortable win.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

· The status of Hollowell, Jurkin: Neither freshman saw court time in the win over Mount St. Mary’s and a lot of eyes will be on IU’s bench to see if either player sees the floor.

Jurkin has been eligible for the past two games but has not played and Hollowell played a season-low three minutes against Butler.

· Mosquera-Perea, Elston working their way back: How frequently both players are used to start the Big Ten season could be determined by their performance over their next two games.

For Mosquera-Perea, the foot injury that bothered him this fall doesn’t seem to be an issue, but he grabbed just one rebound in 10 minutes on Wednesday. And for Elston, who is back ahead of schedule from a torn meniscus, the next two games provide an opportunity to get into better game shape before Dec. 31’s trip to Iowa City.

“I think I should be OK,” Elston said. “Tim’s [Garl] got me in there [working] constantly. I really don’t get a break, honestly. Whenever I have free time, I like to come back in the gym, but Tim usually forces me back in the gym. As soon as my knee starts to get back to 100 percent, I think my conditioning will be fine.”

HOOSIERS TALK FLORIDA ATLANTIC

· “They can really score. [Greg] Gantt can really score the ball. They move the ball well and they run a ton of screening actions. They utilize them really well, whether they are curling or clearing out to look for a drive or using the 3-point line. Any Mike Jarvis team is going to be a well-coached, disciplined team.” — Tom Crean

· “We have to have good transition defense, they like to get out and run and shoot 3-pointers. They have really good players who can score the ball so we have to focus on that and we can’t have any miscommunication on defense. That is going to be the biggest thing for us.” — Jordan Hulls

QUICK FACTS ON FLORIDA ATLANTIC

Student Enrollment: 29,290
Established: 1961
Former coaches: Sidney Green, Matt Doherty and Rex Walters

All tempo-free stats from KenPom.com.

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  • SCHoosier

    I hope the Hoosiers stay healthy while knocking the hoot out of these owls and go home for Christmas with a good grade report (which I hope is not what’s keeping JH and PJ on the bench)

  • CreamandCrimson

    Very good point…health (mainly in the backcourt) has suddenly become a bit of a concern.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    Mike Jarvis? Hmmm, he has fallen pretty far to be leading a struggling team in the Sun Belt conference. The sky seemed the limit when he was leading George Washington to the tournament and then had St. John’s looking like a legitimate force in the Big East. I guess paying players caught up to him.

  • “The Owls (5-6) are coming off a 69-68 loss at home to Stetson.”
    Wow. Can’t wait for New Year’s Eve and the start of the B1G schedule. Can’t tell if the team is ready, but I sure am.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Wake me up on the 31st.

  • SCHoosier

    Which is why I thought it strange that the best 6th man in college b-ball was still on the floor last night risking injury with a 40 pt lead at the 3:30 mark.

  • Bozick, tired of hearing this cupcake talk from you and others. NOBODY is playing anything but cupcakes right now. That’s traditional this time of year. Who is Duke playing? Learn something or stop writing a column.

  • Go troll on another board.

  • yes, that was stupid, but Crean “has to prove a point” sometimes, apparently. You’d think he’d grow up sometime.

  • Miamihoosier

    I’m glad Jabari Parker went to Duke. Wasn’t looking forward to seeing him multiple times a year, even if he is a one and done. Since both IU and Duke are set for road games, it seems obvious to me we are going to play @ Syracuse next year in the Big Tenn/ACC challenge. Think ESPN will have fun advertising for that one?

  • HoosierMitch

    Nothing is causing you to read his column. Go to another blog sight.

  • stroot

    I’m at the airport in Atlanta (en route to Indy), and I’m sitting right next to the FAU team. Very respectable group of kids – I’ve heard a lot of positive comments about Coach Cream and Will Sheehey (who went to high school in the same county as FAU). They’re very easy to chat with, despite me wearing an IU hat/polo.

    Now I hope IU only beats them by 25 or so.

  • Duke has played the eighth toughest schedule in the country thus far. So if your argument is to ask me to compare who IU is playing to who other teams are playing, using Duke as an example is a poor choice.

  • IUDan

    Man I have to say . . . judging by the comment in the twitter lines to the right . . . this kid doesn’t want to come in and compete? You have to be kidding me! Doesn’t sound like a winner’s mentality to me

  • GaHoosier

    They have played 2 of those teams already! They demolished Ball State (101 – 53) and we all know how the Butler game turned out.

  • GaHoosier

    25 only? Yikes!

    I guess Howard and the rest of the Bench Mob will have to get in the game early to keep it that close!

  • stroot

    Coach Crean*. Silly autocorrect.

  • marcusgresham

    It’s been downhill for him since “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” got cancelled.

  • Tony I disagree- Alex is mostly correct. Dukes SOS according to CBS is #2, Mich #16Kansas #6 , Ill 26,- we are #39 but play a tougher schedule than Syracuse and Arizona. By playing cupcakes we won’t get respect if we win but will suffer derision if we lose. Recruits won’t get to see us this often and fans won’t be talking about us as much.

  • I use Pomeroy for SOS, but my point remains the same.

  • Geoff_85

    Coach Crean has made it clear that Indiana plays teams based on that team’s skills in certain areas, which are typically areas that he wants his team to imporove upon. For instance, perhaps they played Mount St. Mary’s because of their 3 pt shooting and wanted to work on shoring up Indiana’s perimeter defense. Maybe they played them to see how IU would handle their “strictly-go-fo-steals” defense to see how well Indiana could take care of the ball. There is a reason they play the teams on their schedule. They’re not just “off the wall” teams.

  • SCHoosier

    Read Hutch’s “apologist” column in the Star Insider today. He explains it all.

  • SCHoosier

    Just lookin for a cool place to [park his butt for a year until he can collect that NBA paycheck. IU might get to see him in the ACC challenge next year.

  • SCHoosier

    tony..if getting a top 4 seed in the tourney comes down the the teams RPI.(and it shouldn’t).IU will be RIP.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    Winning the toughest conference in college basketball would do nicely to secure a one seed. Regular season champs and get to the championship in the conference tournament? Give me that profile and nobody is looking at RPI, as you said. Here is to hoping its us (not Michigan or Ohio State or anyother legitimate threat).

  • 5_Banners

    Obviously, IU will take care of business in the last two non-conference games. The big test will the opening game of the Big Ten schedule on the road at Iowa. IU has gotten beaten pretty badly the last two years at Iowa. I know Iowa isn’t a great team but they are much improved than last year.

    I’m curious to see how they handle their first TRUE road environment on New Year’s Eve. If IU handles the game and wins by 8-10 points, I think we are in for a good Big Ten season.

  • 5_Banners

    If they lose, it’s not like IU can’t rebound and win the Big Ten but seeing them win a Big Ten road game right away will take the Butler loss away really quick.

  • CreamandCrimson

    That would be a fun game but Duke and IU are both slated to play road games. I wouldn’t be surprised to see IU playing at the Carrier Dome against Syracuse.

  • PDXHoosier

    Our current RPI is 16 despite all the cupcakes. It will only go up as we take care of business in the B1G

  • So we are #39 in SOS? Ad people are whining about it? We can’t be #1 in everything. With the Big 10 schedule we face year in and year out, I will bet dollars to donuts that we have a top-10, if not top-5 SOS by the end of the year. So if it does boil down to RPI we will be more than fine. So there is no RPI argument here. And between Georgia, Georgetown, UNC and Butler, I am perfectly fine with the schedule thus far. Throw in UK matchup this year and it would have been just fine. But everyone seems to forget that collapsed last minute….

    If we play Syracuse, Notre Dame, Louisville/Kansas, and a top flight pre-season tournament next year with a couple games like G-town/Georgia, is that a “cupcake” schedule?

    I just don’t understand all the criticism. It isn’t necessarily strictly Alex with it, but look at where CTC has gotten this program in four years. Criticism is part of the game and life, but I don’t buy into the SOS bite here… Just sayin

  • Pomeroy has our SOS at 256. (CBS ranking must be BCS teams only or already looking at futures games or something.)

    The B1G is loaded. Our end of year SOS will be very high.

  • IMAHO – If he was looking for a cool place I think he’d choose Florida or Stanford. I’ve been to Duke’s campus & Durham. It’s not “cool” at all. The girls are really ugly too. The hoops program, (tiny) Cameron & coach K do have “cool” factor I guess.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see an IU – Duke match up. Glad to see he’s not in the B1G.

  • Southport65

    You know none of you have to watch this game but if your an IU fan you will, if not don’t watch it. Coach Knight played holiday tourneys every year against cupcakes and we still watched those games. So why the big deal now? Duke just played Cornell and Elon whoever that is. I bet their fans watched those games. Plus the ACC has some of the worst cupcakes in there league. Duke should go undefeated into the Tourney but I bet they won’t.

  • b_side

    We were supposed to have another high-profile game. Talk to the schmuck a couple hours south who canceled our game over the summer.

  • marcusgresham

    I get so tired of hearing about how wonderful Cameron is. It’s only wonderful because Duke plays there. If Weber St. or Marist played there it would just be an old gym. The Barn at Minnesota is a cooler place than Cameron.