IU closes out preseason against Division II power Bellarmine

  • 11/09/2015 9:00 am in

For the first time since 2004, the Bellarmine University Knights will step inside Assembly Hall to take on Indiana at 7 p.m. today in game two of the exhibition season.

IU took care of business last week against the University of Ottawa, winning 82-54, while Bellarmine dropped its first two preseason games against Louisville and Cincinnati, 71-55 and 81-60, respectively.

“(Bellarmine is) one of the better passing teams I’ve seen in a long time,” IU assistant coach Chuck Martin said on Saturday. “We’ve really got to focus in on the weakside defensively, lots of cuts, lots of screens. They do a tremendous job of reversing the ball. They played Louisville really, really tough and had some good moments versus Cincinnati.”

Bellarmine is a more physical team than Ottawa, and is expected to pose more of a threat inside to the Hoosiers. IU coach Tom Crean said he and his staff schedule teams in the preseason that can provide a challenge.

“These are the kind of games our team needs right now,” Crean said. “They’re going to make it very hard on us and give us great preparation for what we will have to face in November and beyond. These kind of games are going to help us get better.”

Bellarmine is currently ranked No. 4 in Division II, and reached the Final Four last season after going 31-4. The No. 1 team in Division II, Augustana, beat Iowa on Friday in an exhibition game.

“Bellarmine will be extremely physical,” Crean said. “They are a great screening team.  It continues to prepare you for the different things you are going to see from a team that is very committed to their half-court offense and defense.”

The Knights are led by junior guard Rusty Troutman, who averaged 11.3 points per game, 5.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game last season. His younger brother Rhett comes off the bench. Junior forward Josh Derksen averaged 11.6 points per game last year, and leads the team so far in the preseason with 15 points per game.

Bellarmine will have a lot more height to match up with freshman Thomas Bryant and senior Max Bielfeldt.

“Bellarmine is similar to Ottawa, only difference is they’re bigger,” Martin said. “Against Louisville they started 6-foot-10, 6-foot-9, 6-foot-10 and 6-foot-5.”

IU will look to play a cleaner game today after turning the ball over 19 times last week. Troy Williams had six of those himself.

“Troy has had a really good preseason,” Martin said. “We want him to be aggressive, we want him to drive the ball to the basket.”

Martin added that with more gameplay, he expects fewer turnovers and believes the Hoosiers will be at the free-throw line more often. The Hoosiers took just nine free throws in the Ottawa game.

Sophomore James Blackmon Jr. led IU with 15 points, and three others got into double figures. Expect minutes of several players to again be limited. IU opens the regular season on Friday versus Eastern Illinois.

“Bellarmine is a model of success as a University and as an athletic program,” Crean said. “Scott Davenport has been my friend for 25 years and I respect him immensely. He has made Bellarmine a national powerhouse.”

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  • And One

    These guys will have a chip on their shoulder for sure. Love to see TB at the free throw line early and often, and bombs away from outside.

  • Zach

    Will be looking to see how well TB handles the size and if he can stay out of foul trouble consistently against it. Other than that, looking forward to just seeing the Hoosiers again live! I’ve got GA tickets again! (I love being a senior)

  • Ms hoosier

    Can anyone tell me how to get IU radio network on my phone. I got to work tonite and would like to listen to the game

  • TomJameson

    The biggest question is (like Zach said) the front court staying out of foul trouble. That starts with TB, but includes Max, Juwan, and OG also.

    The next question is, of course, about the defense. I would like to see IU score more that Louisville, but hold Bellarmine to fewer points.

    After that it’s just the turnovers. Need to start trending that down. With Bellarmine, there is a very slim chance that they can beat IU, especially if we give up 20 or so possessions to them.

  • Ole Man

    There is no way:
    a. the freshmen, J & O.G., stay out of foul trouble if they’re used consistently for long periods in the front line
    b. IU has any major success if the freshmen, J & O.G., play major minutes in the front court.
    Not in the Big Ten and especially this year.
    This is where we’re really gonna miss the 6’8″, 235 Holt this year in my opinion.

  • Ole Man

    Not a big believer in shoulder chips….lol..
    Just curious, who would have one and why?

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    I would like to state at this point that I loathe the BTN!
    I realize they can make more money by playing IU games on Big 10 plus, but the whole thing has gotten to money oriented.
    I hate having to watch IU games this way!
    I blow a big raspberry in their general direction.

  • IUMIKE1

    And at this early point in the season, I’d have to venture a guess that if they weren’t the guy that they’re guarding is scoring. Not a dig or a knock on the freshmen, but it’s just that they’re freshman.

    Ditto on the Holt thing and in a major way.

  • IUMIKE1

    I hear ya, not gonna give any more of my money to an organization that screws IU fans because, unlike some other fan bases, they figure they’re loyal enough to pony up the money It’s going to be aired just a few hours after it’s played and with very limited commercials so I’ll just wait and watch since it’s an exhibition game.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I spent a few minutes trying to figure out what he meant…maybe because these guys are near IU and none of them were recruited by the Hoosiers? Or that they weren’t considered quite good enough to be D-1 players? I have no clue…I’m with you though, I just don’t think that kind of motivation actually has any impact once the ball is tipped.

    I’ve never been a D-II basketball player though so what do I know?

  • PBzeer

    I imagine he’s referring to losing their first two games (Bellarmine).

  • Hoosier Hall

    If you’re referring to the Don Fischer broadcast then just download the Tune In app. Search for Indiana Hoosiers and it should take you right to it. Works flawlessly with Chrome Cast too.

  • Hoosier Hall

    The loss of Emmitt Holt cannot be understated. He was much better as a freshman than I expected him to be so I raised my expectations for him this year. Bummer.

  • And One

    I guess I mean they a coming off a couple games against tough opponents in which they made respectable showing, now coming into AH ready to shock the world. I imagine they probably have some sort of complex when it comes to D1 schools in the first place, and they have something top prove. Maybe “chip on their shoulder” makes it sound too personal. I just mean we’re their last chance at beating big brother and we’ll get their best shot.

  • Ms hoosier

    Thanks!!

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    Yea, but the replay isn’t until 10:30 tomorrow evening.
    Kind of ridiculous!

  • TokyoSteve

    If Tune In doesn’t have it, WQRK in Bedford has it online

  • marcusgresham

    Actually, like most top-tier D-II teams, their roster is littered with former D-I players.

  • TomJameson

    I was just talking about the Bellarmine game. I agree with you (mostly – lol) about the freshmen though. But I think this game is the time to initiate them because these exhibition games are against good competition. What better way to temper steel, than with a hot fire!

    When we get to the high level D1 talented teams in the pre-season, and in the B1G, Juwan and OG will get fewer minutes and the lineup will tighten up a little bit more. At least that’s what I would hope for.

  • Ole Man

    Thanks for explaining. That makes sense.

  • VailliencourtFan93

    This article is a BellarMINE of gold. You deserve twice the amount of pay you’re getting right now.