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Know Thy Opponent: IUPUI Jaguars

After losing George Hill as an early entry candidate to the NBA Draft, IUPUI is in rebuilding mode.

The Jaguars split their first two games in the 2K Sports Classic, falling 73-60 in the opener to Northeastern while beating Michigan Tech 65-51 in the consolation game. They’re also one of the most inexperienced teams in the country. Sound familiar?

Ron Hunter’s club, picked to finish fourth in the Summit League, will be without its lone senior and top returning scorer, 5-10 Gary Patterson (broken left hand). Patterson had surgery on October 30 and is expected to return by the end of the month.

Without Patterson, just three IUPUI players are upperclassmen. Through the first two games, freshman Alex Young is leading the way with 16.5 ppg and 5.0 rpg.

Beyond Young, Hunter will look to sophomore guard LeRoy Nobles, junior forward Robert Glenn and junior forward Jon Avery to help get through a season that will surely have its ups and downs.

“I think everyone expects us to fall off with George (Hill) being in the NBA,” Hunter said at media day for the Summit League. “We think we’ve got a pretty good team here.”

Video highlights of IU’s 83-65 win

Courtesy of our friends over at the Palestra:



The Morning After: Your 2008-09 Indiana Hoosiers, I think

g12f4ei8.jpgIt goes without saying that the beginning of this Indiana basketball season is unlike those that have come before it. It is the second year in the last three that have seen IU with a brand new basketball coach, but even in Kelvin Sampson’s first year at the helm we had some idea of what was going on. We knew about D.J. White and Rod Wilmont (how I miss Rod and his 30-foot three-pointers) and Earl Calloway and the rest. This year? Not so much.

I’ll admit it: After about five minutes last night, I had to admit something to myself. I didn’t know who was who. It’s sad, I know, but I doubt that I’m alone here, and I hope it’s not too bold of me to admit it. It took me a second to figure out that Verdell Jones was No. 12, that that wasn’t Devan Dumes, that Dumes was the off-guard wearing No. 33, and who is that little dude with the Rip Hamilton facemask on? That’s not Finkelmeier, is it? And oh my God is that Tijan Jobe?! It took me a second to figure it all out, and it required me whipping out the laptop and keeping the roster handy. I’m not afraid to admit it.

Because of that, a lot of stuff blurred together, but plenty stuck out, too. Off we go, then:

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Good, Bad And Ugly: Northwestern State

creanpoints.jpg

The Good:

We won. By all accounts, we’re not going to be able to soak in victory a lot this season, so enjoy this one. And heck, I’d venture as far to say we looked pretty good in that second half. It was but Northwestern State, but a win is a win is a win.

Daniel Moore, though undersized, handled the ball with poise, made good decisions and played with great confidence. It’s yet to be told whether he’ll play as well against better talent, but he’s a solid option when Verdell Jones is on the bench or playing one of the off-guard positions on the floor.

Early on here, it’s apparent Devan Dumes is going to be our scorer. He chipped in 21 points on 6-of-10 shooting and hit 4-of-8 from beyond the arc.

IU’s defense played well, forcing 30 turnovers on the night.

The Bad:

IU’s free throw shooting was a poor 28-of-41. For a team that isn’t going to be able to coast past teams on their talent alone, the Hoosiers absolutely need to improve in this area if they want to have a fighting chance once Big Ten season rolls around.

The Ugly: 

It got sloppy at points. This is to be expected with a young team that is not used to playing together. But 23 turnovers for the game isn’t going to cut it night in and night out.

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Top junior watches Indiana’s opener

Kyrie Irving, the No. 27 player in the 2010 class according to Rivals.com, was in Bloomington for an unofficial visit on Saturday and watched IU’s 83-65 win over Northwestern State.

Irving, a 6-2 guard from St. Patrick’s in New Jersey, holds offers from the Hoosiers, Kansas, Kansas State, Memphis, Rutgers, Notre Dame, Texas A & M and Villanova.

Irving played his first two years of high school at Montclair Kimberley Academy where he averaged 26.5 points and led his team to a New Jersey Prep “B” State title as a sophomore. Irving is described as an explosive scorer and the numbers back it up — he had games of 48 and 47 points last season.

2009 signees Derek Elston and Bobby Capobianco were also in attendance.

Crean era begins with a win, 83-65

It wasn’t pretty, but Indiana opened the Tom Crean era with an 83-65 win over Northwestern State Saturday night in Assembly Hall.

The Hoosiers (1-0) missed 13 free throws, were out-rebounded 52-41, committed 23 turnovers and shot 31 percent from behind the three-point arc and still managed to win comfortably.

Devan Dumes led three players in double figures with 21 points. Verdell Jones added 18 points, five assists, three steals and three blocks.

IU led 38-29 at halftime, but pulled away in the second half and led by as many as 26. The Hoosiers held Northwestern State to 31 percent shooting and forced 30 turnovers.

Two other bright spots for Indiana: Tom Pritchard opened his career with a double-double (13 points and 10 rebounds) and Daniel Moore provided a spark off the bench with six points and three assists before fouling out.

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Game Thread: Northwestern State @ Indiana

crean999424.jpgOpponent: Northwestern State

Date
: Saturday, November 15 | 7 p.m. EST

Arena: Assembly Hall (17, 357) – Bloomington, Indiana

Line: No Line

All-time series: First Meeting

TV: Big Ten Network (Craig Shemon and John Laskowski)

Radio: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Todd Leary and Joe Smith)

Probable Starters
:

  • Northwestern State (0-0): Michael McConathy, Damon Jones, Keith Hancock, William Mosley, Kalem Porterie
  • Indiana (0-0): Verdell Jones, Devan Dumes, Nick Williams, Kyle Taber, Tom Pritchard

Game notes (Adobe Acrobat required to view):

Gameday reading:

You know the drill. Predictions, thoughts and analysis are welcome in the comments. Go Hoosiers.

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