What to Expect: Texas Southern

  • 11/17/2014 7:33 am in

On a quick turnaround, Indiana is back in Assembly Hall tonight to begin the four-game Hoosiers Showcase. First up is Texas Southern, which is coached by former IU coach Mike Davis. 

The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network at 6 p.m. ET with Chris Denari and Jim Jackson on the call.

First things first: If you haven’t read our expansive Q & A with Davis, I recommend doing so at this link.

As far as Davis returning to Assembly Hall to coach against a program that he once led, it’s an opportunity that he clearly is looking forward to with great enthusiasm. Despite the rocky ending to his tenure in Bloomington, time has likely healed much of the ill will toward Davis and the expectation is that he’ll be welcomed with a friendly ovation when he’s announced on Branch McCracken Court.

The program Davis now leads, Texas Southern, is coming off a trip to the NCAA tournament after winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament last season. Given what the program lost in the offseason, which includes big man Aaric Murray, the likelihood for another run to March Madness aren’t favorable.

PERSONNEL

A pair of talented perimeter players, one who IU fans should have some familiarity with, will lead Texas Southern into Assembly Hall. Nebraska transfer Deverell Biggs, who was dismissed by Tim Miles last season, as well as Marshall transfer Chris Thomas, are the two Tigers to keep an eye on.

Biggs scored 14 points in the team’s season opening 86-62 loss at Eastern Washington on Friday and Thomas, once a four-star recruit, had 15 and is on the NBA radar. Davis has done well with reclamation products — most recently Murray, who averaged 21.6 point last year — and in Biggs and Thomas, he has a pair of talented players who should more than hold their own in conference play.

In our interview with Davis, he explained that two of his starters from last year’s team aren’t currently playing and one of his big men is also out. Senior forward Jose Rodriguez is out for the season and senior guard Madarious Gibbs will be out for three weeks.

That means more opportunity for some of the team’s additions. One of them is 6-foot-9 Long Beach State transfer Nick Shephard. He’s eligible immediately after graduating, but never really showed much for the 49ers. There’s also junior college transfer Tonnie Collier, who scored 23 points off the bench in his first game for the program.

A QUICK TEMPO-FREE GLANCE

There’s not much to be gleaned from tempo-free numbers after one game, but Texas Southern was a poor defensive team last season and the Tigers started out their opener on a poor note in that regard. Eastern Washington hit 15 of its 34 attempts from behind the 3-point arc in its win Friday night and 50 percent from the field.

Davis’ teams at Texas Southern have excelled at keeping teams off of the free throw line and with that being a huge emphasis for Tom Crean, it’ll be interesting to see if the Hoosiers can get to the line with any frequency.

For Indiana, imposing tempo while taking care of the ball better than it did against Mississippi Valley State should be at the top of the list of things to watch for. The Hoosiers should be able to find plenty of open perimeter looks and Texas Southern hasn’t been a team that causes a lot of turnovers under Davis, so this should be an opportunity for Indiana to show improvement in its turnover percentage.

WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO

The KenPom prediction is a comfortable 88-67 win for the Hoosiers and his model gives Texas Southern just a four percent chance of pulling the upset. With several new players and a couple of experienced guys on the sideline, Davis is still very much in the development stages with this group and it showed in the result of the season opener.

Much of the night’s intrigue will lie in the return of Davis and how he’s received by a crowd that experienced plenty of ups and downs under his watch. The basketball feels like its on the back burner, but this is a game Indiana needs to win convincingly and with sharp execution with its first true test awaiting on Thursday in the form of SMU.

QUICK FACTS ON TEXAS SOUTHERN

Location: Houston, Texas
Enrollment: 9,646
Established: 1927

(Photo credit: Associated Press)

Filed to:

  • Here’s hoping for a long and loud ovation for Coach Davis. He deserves it.

  • N71

    I’m neither pro or anti Mike Davis, he just happened to get caught up in a larger situation and tried to make the best of things. Still today we struggle with this “larger situation” with Knight, surely one of the most perplexing figures in all of sports.

  • Dave Carnes

    Mike Davis had us in the National championship Game.Only time in 26 years.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Is Texas Southern a good team? No. Are they better than MVSU? Yes. Is this game meaningful? Yes…they all count now and there’s plenty to look for as we head into a big-time test against SMU.

    We’re all aware of the turnover problem so that will be something to watch. We are also all aware of the potential difficulties this squad could have on the glass so we can watch for how game #2 goes in that department. I’m hoping to see us continuing to rain 3’s and play with tremendous offensive efficiency. Plus, there’s the individual players to look for…
    -Can Max Hoetzel excel again as he gets back to 100% health/fitness?
    -Do Johnson and Blackmon look as natural and comfortable as they did in the opener?
    -I think we’ve all been pleasantly surprised by Collin Hartman, can he keep up his good play off the bench?
    -Can Hanner Perea continue to be effective and stay out of foul trouble?
    -How does Jeremiah April look?

    Go Hoosiers…let’s take care of business.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    So KenPom is predicting that tonight’s game will be closer than Texas Southern’s opener against Eastern Washington? Ouch.

  • GaHoosier

    Alex,
    What time does Coach Crean preview Texas Southern?

  • GaHoosier

    I was thinking the same thing!

  • There won’t be another media availability prior to tonight’s game.

  • GaHoosier

    Thx for the reply. I’m on a 7 hour drive for work and listening to the pregame pressers helps the drive!!

  • ForeverIU

    KenPom predicted we would beat MVS by 28 points. What was the final score? 50+ points difference if I remember correctly? LOL!

  • INUnivHoosier

    Again, I would like to see a turnover number <12. I think that is a real challenge for this team. They will have no problem scoring and should have none rebounding on Texas Southern.

  • SCHoosier

    If nothing else these guys should be athletic and a test for IU’s defense. TSU will want fast pace and the 3’s should be flying ..fun game to watch (assuming IU comes out on top)!

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I think RJ & JBJ will continue to excel through the B1G Season…. Max will improve each week and will become a fixture in the rotation… HMP’s numbers may dip slightly, but he will be exactly what CTC needs, consistent….

  • ForeverIU

    If we go on the hypothetical that our record at the end of the regular season will reflect current rankings (according to Kenpom), then we lose 8 games (two in the pre-season against Georgetown and Louisville, and six in the regular season against Ohio St. twice, Michigan, Michigan St. twice, and Wisconsin). I think our true ranking is higher than Kenpom’s, though, considering that we have a reputation as dragon slayers. I think we lose at most one game in the pre-season and no more than four in the regular season. So I stick to my 26-5 prediction, LOL!

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    We’ll have to see what happens in games where HMP gets in foul trouble. Can a 6’7″ frosh (Holt) hold the line? And can Troy Williams (or Colin Hartman or Max Hoetzel) effectively guard the opposing team’s PF? We have enough outside shooters to mitigate Yogi (or JBJ or RJ or NZ) having an off night from deep, but can those guys stop their opponents from getting into the lane and getting HMP / Holt / Williams / April in foul trouble? And can those same bevy of guards take care of the ball?

    Simply put: 26-5 seems insane.

  • ForeverIU

    Wait a minute? What happened to Stan? See? That’s the kind of team we have; we’re so deep that we’re always forgetting a major contributor in our calculations! We too have players that will draw fouls, Max being the most recent discovery. Edit: And Priller! See, I too leave them out sometimes.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Stan is a very good player, but I don’t think he’ll be a starter and I don’t think he’s going to be an elite outside shooter this season. He’ll have an impact on our games, but he’s not as important to our success as Yogi, JBJ, HMP, or even Holt. Stan’s at a very deep position for our team, which is why I don’t list him as a make-or-break player for our team.

  • ForeverIU

    Stan will draw fouls at a “high level”, lol, with his slashing game.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Yes, but if he doesn’t cut down on the turnovers, his play will be a wash.

    I like Stan’s game (and he’s one of our best defenders), but he’s not as crucial to our success as HMP or Holt because we are unbelievably thin in the front court while Stan is basically one of about 8 guards/wings on our team.

  • HoosierBuddy

    Got a little bit of a inside scoop today here at my work. A guy I work with is friends with a scout for the miami heat. He is going to the SMU game to watch Stan robinson, I couldnt contain that info lol. So Stan nows the time to put your words into action. Lets go Hoosiers!

  • Aiken_Hoosier

    Honest question:

    How do you think the whole Mike Davis thing would have played out if we had WON that national championship game?

    How much longer would he have been in Bloomington? How would that have affected the timing for “other” candidates for our coaching job? (Obviously talking Sampson here) Would Coach Crean be here?

    All clearly hypothetical, but curious to see what others think.

    I always wonder how much different things would be in Bloomington had we added Banner #6 that year.

  • Ole Man

    I picked 3 losses in non-conference: Louis, George, SMU. SMU might be a tossup now; but the other two look tough.

  • Ole Man

    This game has “upset” written all over it. Over-confident IU freshmen who think every game will be like last game. TS kids wanting to win for Coach Davis on his return. Think this game is a lot tighter than the “experts” and fans are expecting.

  • Florida Girl

    Will be at the game tonight! Plan on cheering when the introduce Davis and then hoping that my Hoosiers come out strong!

  • JohnFromBeyond

    Love that enthusiasm!

  • CreamandCrimson

    Yeah, I watched Louisville batter Minnesota and I’d be pretty pleased if we could keep it competitive (within 10-15) against the Cardinals. They are a really good team and Harrell is going to be a very, very tough matchup for everyone, particularly for us.

    I’m pulling out all my coach speak and attempting to just look at “one game at a time”.

  • IUMIKE1

    All things that I’ll be watching as well, but can’t lie I’ll be watching the last 3 more so than the others. With this a game where minutes for players further on down the rotation should be available, and us being so thin at the 4, and even more so at the 5, the last one could very well end being the one that I watch the closest. The team docs will probably have him on a limited number of minutes type thing, but whatever that number is I really hope that Crean sees to it that he gets every one of them.

    And of course everyone is anxiously anticipating if Vanilla Prilla will be trending nationally on twitter at number 5, or higher again ? ! lol

  • Brian Goodman

    Surprised Stan would be getting NBA looks before Troy.

  • Kyl470

    I’m not calling you a liar, but I don’t believe you for one second on that.

  • KmanCRK

    He would’ve gotten an extra year or two. But if the results continued down the path he was on he would’ve still been let go eventually. I think you can make a very similar comparison to Tubby Smith at UK. His title didn’t buy much time.

  • KmanCRK

    Probably wants to see the switch handed shooter in person…I actually think if Stan could shoot 30% from 3 this year, he’d be plastered on NBA scouting boards. The kid is tough as nails on defense and got to the basket at will last year.

  • HoosierBuddy

    I thought the same thing about troy cause I asked if it was troy and He said no it was a guard and he was suspended right now only one guard we have who is suspended. Stan has the talent and ability to step it up this year.

  • ForeverIU

    The voice of reason, lol!

  • ForeverIU

    I listened to you and “paced myself” Ole Man, for 48 hours, LOL!

  • thrawnjan

    Other teams play well, too. Don’t go all in just yet. That’s how we end up with 400 hateful comments after the first loss of the season. Unrealistic expectations.

  • TomJameson

    Interesting question, but man what a load of variables and what-ifs. I don’t even know who all the interested parties were, or the availability list. LOL Not sure I want a crack at that, but would be interested in hearing what some of these more knowledgeable fans have to say.

  • ForeverIU

    Yes, other teams play well, but we are as deep a team as we have ever been under CTC. They are my expectations. To me they are not unrealistic. Haters will be haters; it doesn’t matter what I or anyone says. Plus, most people think I’m crazy, lol, so you don’t have to worry about what I think.

  • ForeverIU

    Our two main freshmen seem like very mature players: Robert and James! I’m not worried about them having false confidence.

  • INUnivHoosier

    That is a bold prediction. You been poppin’ some candy-striped pills?

  • ForeverIU

    Want some?!