What to Expect: Southern Indiana

  • 10/25/2013 11:25 am in


Indiana will begin its 114th season of basketball on Saturday night when it tips off the 2013-2014 campaign with an exhibition against Division II Southern Indiana. It will be the first ever meeting between the two programs.

The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Digital Network at 7:00 p.m and replayed on Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. on BTN.

Continuing a recent tradition in hosting smaller, in-state programs for exhibition play, Indiana welcomes Division II Southern Indiana to Assembly Hall in what will be our first extended look at the 2013-2014 Hoosiers.

Southern Indiana is coming off of a 23-8 season that ended with a loss to DII power and Great Lakes Valley Conference foe Bellarmine in the NCAA Tournament. The Screaming Eagles return several key contributors, including Orlando Rutledge, a 6-foot-6 forward who averaged 16.4 points and 5.6 rebounds last season.

Rather than our traditional “what to expect” previews that include an in-depth look at the opponent and tempo-free analysis, the exhibition versions will focus on what we’ll be watching for from the Indiana side of things:

· The starting lineup: While it’s doubtful that Indiana will stick with the same starting lineup all season, there’s still interest in seeing who is rewarded for early work in practice with a starting nod in the first exhibition. The Hoosiers have also been hit by a rash of injuries, so the lineup we see on Saturday could also be affected by those setbacks. The three players who are assumed locks to start are Will Sheehey, Yogi Ferrell and Noah Vonleh.

Beyond that, there’s a fairly large group who could contend for the final two spots. Jeremy Hollowell is a player that Tom Crean mentioned as being the leading scorer in early practices. Hanner Mosquera-Perea could be a candidate to start at the five with Luke Fischer’s shoulder issues. Evan Gordon brings experience and some scoring pop to the backcourt rotation. Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson have battled preseason injuries, but have the talent to start if cleared to play. In a game that won’t figure into the season’s final standings, this is a storyline many will be watching especially with so many new faces in Bloomington.

· Ferrell’s floor command: Yogi Ferrell may just be a sophomore, but he’s now one of Indiana’s most experienced players. And Indiana needs him to be an even better leader at the point guard position. Ferrell wasn’t counted on to score much last season, but he’ll likely have far more freedom to score and create as a sophomore. His efficiency is an area to watch as the Park Tudor product didn’t shoot it particularly well in his first season.

With that added freedom comes the responsibility of cutting down on turnovers while also putting teammates in the best position to succeed. Last season, Ferrell was surrounded by veterans who knew Indiana’s system and knew where they needed to be on the floor. That won’t be the case this season, at least early on. As the point guard, Ferrell needs to command the team effectively and that task begins tomorrow night.

· Noah Vonleh’s role: An intriguing storyline as the season gets underway is how Indiana utilizes Noah Vonleh. When he was recruited, Vonleh talked about stepping into the role departed by Christian Watford. But with Luke Fischer sidelined and no clear answer at the five, is there a chance that Vonleh begins the season there? We’ll find out tomorrow night. The guess here is that when the Hoosiers opt to go smaller, Vonleh could log minutes there and that would give the Hoosiers a lineup with five capable ball handlers.

The downside of Vonleh at the five is that it’s not his natural position. At 6-foot-10, he’s a good enough with the ball to play out on the floor and can also make shots from the perimeter. The most likely scenario is a mix of Vonleh at both positions depending on the matchups and the opportunity to make plays like Cody Zeller was afforded in the offense.

· The most improved? Our first extended look at the 2013-2014 affords the opportunity to look at the progress made by many of IU’s returning players. Jeremy Hollowell and Hanner Mosquera-Perea both came to Bloomington as highly rated recruits, but had different levels of impact in their debut seasons.

Hollowell is a player who can make a significant leap forward with his ability to score and distribute, but must become more consistently defensively. And Mosquera-Perea has the physical tools to make an impact, but have his basketball skills and instincts progressed enough in the offseason to carve out a more regular role?

(Photo credit: IU Athletics)

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  • sarge

    Finally basketball season is here!

  • ajlehman

    so pumped to finally get a glimpse of what this season has to offer!
    excited to see the transition some of the freshman have made and the improvement of our young sophomores

  • PDXHoosier

    So nice to focus on the actual team rather than recruits!

  • CreamandCrimson

    I won’t be watching the game until Monday (I’ll be listening live but I refuse to pay for BTN Digital when I already pay for BTN, ridiculous that they don’t show IU basketball exhibitions and a regular season game because they figure Hoosier fans will pony up the $14.99) and here’s what I’m anxious to see…

    1. Do we have enough perimeter shooting to make defenses at least respect us beyond the arc? If not, we’ll see packed in defenses which will make life harder for the slashing of Yogi and Will and any interior play we are going to get.

    2. Can Hanner Mosquera-Perea contribute heavily this season? We will definitely need him to.

    3. Which player(s) is ready to make “the leap” and provide much more than we were expecting/hoping for?

    A team with so many question marks is going to take a while to gel, no doubt about that. As fans, we will need to stay behind this team through any early-season struggles as these guys learn how to play college ball. First and foremost, I’m hoping everyone stays healthy. No matter what, it’s awesome to have actual Hoosier basketball to cheer on again.

  • PDXHoosier

    I agree about HMP. He is a big X factor right now, and whether or not he can be serviceable down low will really change this team.

  • Jeremy Pinnell

    I would think the reason to push it to Monday night is because of Football on Saturday. Other than that, I expect to see Will and Yogi very vocal. I want to see which freshman besides Noah will come in and contribute right away. I would think he is going to have some crazy rotations to see how some guys play together.

  • sarge

    Buy tickets for a little more if you’re in Bloomington.

  • HoosierTrav

    The BTN is a joke. I’ll be listening to Fisch. I’d be willing to bet $14.95 that teh stream is horrible and not worth a.single.penny.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I’ll be making the trip from Noblesville to B-Town a few times this season but an exhibition against USI isn’t one of those times haha. You’re right though, the price to see it live is probably about the same as getting a grainy web feed.

  • HoosierTrav

    I think we will win but I’m nervous. Southern Indiana beat Notre Dame last year and returns EVERYONE.

  • HoosierTrav

    I’ve been saying that same thing lately. “I’m glad the season is starting, so everyone (including myself) can forget about the roller coaster recruiting off season we’ve had.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Just remember that things didn’t look pretty against Indiana Wesleyan last season (Cody struggled and people were asking if it was because the defenders were “too small”), so if IU doesn’t destroy USI by 40 points, don’t start panicking. (If we get beat by 40 then, by all means, panic!)

  • CheesyHoosier

    Final score predictions? I’ll be surprised if we break 90, think we stay south of 80. i expect a 19 point victory, and our leading scorer will be someone we don’t expect. Wasn’t Creek the leading scorer against Wesleyan last year? So excited to see the Hoosiers playing again.

  • Miamihoosier

    I think you are thinking of Notre Dame College. Saw where they played them last Novermber. Didn’t see where they played the University of Notre Dame. That would be a slight difference

  • CreamandCrimson

    My prediction that’s sure to be wrong…it will be sloppy (I kind of expect us to struggle with turnovers most of the season), there will be flashes of very good play, it will be somewhat close at the half and we’ll eventually win 82-60 with the leading scorer being Jeremy Hollowell.

  • HoosierTrav

    Huh…. well i’ll be damned. you’re right….. “big gulps ehh? welp… see ya later.” Thats how i feel at the moment.

  • Ole Man

    Off topic — But I’m constantly amazed at the variety and depth of well-written articles that Alex and his cohorts give us each day.
    How they do two and often three stories a day is beyond me.
    Thanks Alex and crew!
    Your passion and love of IU basketball shows daily.

  • Jason

    Some people seen to forget Southern Indiana is a Division 2 Powerhouse so i dont see a 40 point win more like 10-20

  • sarge

    IU 582 – USI 11


    USI is a ranked DII powerhouse, they shot close to 50%, scored nearly 80 a game, and only lost to the D2 champs by 5 last year.
    This will not be an easy game, in the first or second half. I would guess 6-10 points maybe.

  • jmac

    USI is from my hometown. They could be a challenge for our young team. I don’t see a blow out. IU 84 USI 76

  • GaHoosier

    “Fell off the jetway again!
    Ya, well I lost my job too.
    Man you are one pathetic loser.”

  • “WILL”take charge!

    Agree with all of what you said .

  • SCHoosier

    “Let’s get ready to rummmmmble.” Frankly don’t care what the score is as long as the Hoosiers have the bigger number. Just want to get one under our belt..and get thru the damn game with nobody else getting injured.

  • hoosier1158

    i’m really surprised the B1G is showing the game on Monday night, as more of an incentive to get IU fans pay for the digital feed. I did that last year, I won’t do it again. B1G, are you reading this??

  • hoosier1158

    B1G will show the “live” IU MI soccer game tomorrow night at 7 PM.

  • marcusgresham

    Generally USI will run so there will be opportunities to score. USI is also usually pretty good. They could compete with lower level and mid-major D-1 schools most years so this shouldn’t be an absolute cakewalk like some of the teams you see in exhibition games. IU should still win handily, but it’s good practice.

  • Snookafly

    I’m from Evansville as well, but I’ll be shocked if they keep it under double digits.

  • Jeremy Pinnell

    At least it is an IU defending national champion pushing the game to another night on tv.

  • eglinden

    Thanks for the link! Cool story.

  • MisterSlippery

    Don’t see a blowout? I do. USI is a piece of crap. We should roll.

  • Shawn Congo

    I agree. I will wait til Monday. But, even more ridiculous last year I tried it and tried to cancel my subscription later and it was almost impossible to figure out how to cancel. And I’m the guy everyone comes to when they need computer help. Espn does a similar thing. It’s poor, devious business.

  • hoosier1158

    In the state of Indiana, there is nothing more important than IU hoops. : )


    Couldn’t agree more about refusing to pay the, ” we know this school really loves their bball so we’ll screw them over with an additional fee for a really grainy and choppy feed and show a Northwestern scrimmage game type of thing instead “, fee. I’ll be tuned into what I’ve already paid them for Monday night.