What to Expect: SIU Edwardsville

  • 12/02/2016 9:29 am in

Indiana returns to action tonight at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall as the Hoosiers host SIU Edwardsville. The Cougars are 4-3 with wins over Grand Canyon, IUPUI and Hawaii, but losses to Arkansas State, Illinois State and Texas State.

The game will be broadcast at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN3 with Jordan Bernfield & Homer Drew on the call:

SIU Edwardsville is the first of two Ohio Valley Conference opponents that will come to Bloomington this weekend as Indiana completes a grueling stretch of four games in eight days.

The Cougars are coached by Jon Harris, who played for Tom Crean at Marquette and was a part of his staff for the program’s Final Four season in 2003. SIU Edwardsville was picked to finish close to the bottom of the west division in the OVC, but owns two road wins already this season against KenPom top 200 teams in Hawaii and Grand Canyon.

Despite the competitiveness that SIU Edwardsville has shown this far, this should be a contest in which Indiana’s younger players get experience with less than four weeks to go until the start of conference play.

MEET THE COUGARS

SIU Edwardsville has four players averaging in double figures with a fifth at 9.9 per game. Leading the way is redshirt sophomore Tre Harris, who played at Kansas State for a season before transferring and sitting out last season.

The 6-foot-3 Harris, who comes off the bench, made 45.5 percent of his 3s in Manhattan as a freshman, including 40 percent in Big 12 games. Through seven games this year, Harris is using 27.6 percent of the team’s possessions while on the floor and is hitting 52.6 percent of his 3s.

Freshman Christian Ellis is the starting point guard and has a solid assist rate (31 percent), but is hitting just 51.2 percent from the foul line despite taking a team-high 41 attempts.

Joining Ellis in the starting backcourt are 6-foot-4 senior Burak Eslik and 6-foot-4 sophomore Carlos Anderson. Eslik, a native of Turkey, is a career 33.5 shooter from behind the 3-point line. Anderson is a low efficiency player, but is playing a team-high 32.1 minutes per game. Anderson has been solid at drawing fouls this season as his free throw rate (FTA/FGA) is currently north of 50 percent.

Justin Benton, a 6-foot-4 freshman, is the other member of the backcourt rotation. Benton isn’t much of an offensive threat as his usage rate of 11.9 is the lowest of any of the team’s regulars.

Jalen Henry, a 6-foot-8 junior and Keenan Simmons, a 6-foot-6 junior, make up SIU Edwardsville’s starting frontcourt. Henry is making just 43.5 percent of his 2s in seven games. Simmons has the team’s highest offensive rating at 129.4 because he rarely turns it over and is a decent finisher (52.8 percent from the field).

Brandon Jackson, a 6-foot-7 freshman, is making 46.7 percent of his 2s off the bench in limited minutes.

TEMPO-FREE PREVIEW

SIU Edwardsville’s offensive profile suggests that it will need to get hot from distance and get to the foul line to keep this game competitive.

Without a post scoring presence, SIU Edwardsville is shooting 41.7 percent on 2s this season. The Cougars have been a very good 3-point shooting team so far at 39.3 percent, which is currently in the top 40 nationally. However, very little of their offense comes from behind the 3-point arc. Just 21.8 percent SIU Edwardsville’s offense is currently coming from distance. They’re also currently in the top 10 nationally at getting to the line with a free throw rate (FTA/FGA) of 52 percent.

Indiana should be able to impose its will in the paint in this game and on the offensive glass if shots aren’t falling from the perimeter. Like many low major teams, SIU Edwardsville simply doesn’t have the size to matchup with a Big Ten frontcourt.

WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO

Ken Pomeroy predicts a 25-point win for the Hoosiers with a 99 percent chance for a victory. Sagarin is even more bullish on IU with his model projecting a 27-point win. The Vegas line opened at 27 and has settled at 25.5 as of Friday morning.

With OG Anunoby sidelined, tonight will mark an opportunity for De’Ron Davis, Zach McRoberts and possibly Freddie McSwain to log more minutes. Tom Crean mentioned on Dan Dakich’s radio show on Thursday afternoon that Robert Johnson is also banged up, so more minutes for Curtis Jones and Devonte Green could also be in the cards.

This is the first of five low major opponents that will come to Bloomington over the next 21 days, so look for Indiana to continue fine tuning things on both ends while getting its less experienced guys more playing time.

(Photo credit: SIU Edwardsville Athletics)

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  • Hardwood83

    If RoJo is hurting I wouldn’t mind seeing him rest too. Enough of the lingering injuries!
    I want everyone (including Hartman hopefully!) back.

  • I’m tempted to take the 27 points for SIU considering injuries and coming off a big win.

  • Yeah, we’ll need everyone healthy we can get for Butler. That’s not going to be an easy game.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Ok…did I miss something? What’s wrong with RJ?

  • vicbert caladipo

    Can anyone help me concerning tonights game? I have to work so I will be unable to catch the online stream and with my lack of tech skills don’t know if an online program can be recorded? I checked my guide and I don’t see any rebroadcasts anywhere. Usually I rely on my trusty DVR, but now I’m fearful I’ll miss this one. Any suggestions?

  • JD

    It should be on ESPN3 and WatchESPN (espn’s app). They let you re watch games.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I looked under replay and they only showed games from yesterday and Wednesday. By tomorrow do you think it will show a replay on espn3 streaming. Not sure how to get or even watch the espn app….do I have to view on my phone? Thank you!!

  • pcantidote

    Is it true that Bob Knight is going to be at this game 😉

  • StudentHoosier

    I love it. Can’t wait. I’m a student here, and a Friday night game against a cupcake is dangerous. Makes for a great pregame when you know you’re going to blow them out.

    I say McRoberts plays 12 minutes, scores 0, dishes out 7 assists, pulls down 3 boards, and has 3 steals. QT racks up a trillion, and Priller has another incredibly unathletic looking putback. Hoosiers by 52.

  • JD

    The replay will show up on WatchESPN after the game airs. WatchESPN can be used on phone, tablet or desktop. nice little plug for ESPN i just gave, huh?

  • Robert Weber

    More minutes for Jones is a VERY good thing. He’s a total stud.

  • vicbert caladipo

    yes…but helping me is more valuable, huh?? haha thanks

  • vicbert caladipo

    We were told not to talk about him.

  • Fifer39

    I appreciate there’s still a lot of development for this group to do, but having seen what we’re capable of with everyone on the floor I think our attitude to injury risk should be extremely averse in these kinds of games. I’d be happy to see RJ, JBJ, TB in particular having limited to zero minutes tonight along with OG obviously definitely out. And I say that even if it means we lose.

    I am prepared for the backlash!

  • Fifer39

    No, I think that’s Austin Peay disguised as Santa Claus.

  • Why you crazy son of a… Seriously, though, yeah… no. They gotta stay sharp and the starters/main rotation players have plenty to work on themselves. This team is still developing and has lots of improvement to make. Also, they need to figure out exactly HOW to play without OG, unless internally they know it’s not going to be long before he returns. Butler looms large in my mind.

  • SCHoosier

    I agree Jones can be a stud..but I agree with coach’s recent assessment “Curtis needs to slow down”. Playing to fast..results in nothing good for a freshman.

  • SCHoosier

    So the coach is an ex-Crean player..that explains the scheduling.

  • Hardwood83

    CTC mentioned RJ was “banged up”. Don’t think it’s serious, but still.

  • MK

    great pregame

  • Robert Weber

    Agreed. He’s young and itching to prove what he is made of. The talent is bursting, though. Minutes in games like these will help him immensely.

  • Fifer39

    Stop sitting on the fence…you agree or not? 🙂

    Fair comment, but injuries killed us at the end of last year and I’ll take everyone healthy and a 5/6 seed over a 2/3 seed and 2 players down. I definitely accept there’s lots still to work on but there’s a great development opportunity for CuJo, FMcS, DG which could be vital down the stretch. Also 4 games in 8 days is quite gruelling and Wednesday was pretty physical. I was cringing every time there was a rugby scrum on the floor.

    Anyway, pretty confident no ones minutes will be excessive tonight and we’ll win relatively comfortably even though it will seem an anticlimax after Wednesday.

  • Agreed that the young players need time, but our injuries don’t seem to be fatigue-related. I mean, heck, OG just came straight down from a dunk and twisted his ankle–freaky stuff like that. So, yes, I’m looking forward to the starters starting and building a comfortable lead, then the younger players getting in and maintaining it.

    And no freaking drama.

  • The replay option is often available right after the game, and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes and definitely less than an hour. That’s been my experience anyway.

  • This all sounds like the pregame started a few hours ago!

  • Point taken, but you would think they would still win even without all the starters.

  • John D Murphy

    I was a freshman for the 87 National Championship year. I sat front row end zone for the game where we beat Northwestern by 55. Can’t win by enough in my opinion. Hope you’re right about the 52.

  • John D Murphy

    I get that. I will disagree. RJ can sit or play 5-10 minutes. JBJ and TB could play 15-20. It is important that our starters understand the new roles w/o OG in case he isn’t back in time for Butler or UL or even B1G play. It doesn’t have to be a ton of minutes but let’s say we go back to our 3 guard line up or do we go big with DD or play FM and JM together.

    Besides, typically (and I know OG is different) there are more injuries associated with practice than games. I hope you aren’t prepared to say starters don’t have to practice.

  • John D Murphy

    If all 5 of the guys starting had gotten hurt two weeks before the KU game: our backups, who would have been the starters, easily win this game. If we just pulled the starters an hour before this game, we lose by double digits. The experience and continuity matter a ton.

  • John D Murphy

    That’s right and if you do, someone will grab and squeeze your jadlows.

  • HAVOC

    Dude, did anyone hear that pregame on the radio with Don Fischer interviewing CTC???.. DF asked CTC about how long CTC thought OG would be out, and I swear CTC SAID: “HE WANTS TO PLAY THIS WEEKEND”… I’m guessing he’s talking about playing on Sunday. I’m NOT making this up! CTC sounded serious as ever. From what I just heard, I don’t think it’s as serious as we thought!

  • Chappy Dan

    That would be excellent news.