What to Expect: McNeese State

  • 12/11/2015 12:24 pm in

Indiana returns to action on Saturday night in Assembly Hall for a meeting with McNeese State of the Southland Conference. The Cowboys are 1-6 with their lone win coming over Dillard University, an NAIA program.

The game will be broadcast at 6:30 p.m. ET on BTN with Kevin Kugler and Jon Crispin on the call:

IU has just two guarantee games remaining on the schedule and the first matches the Hoosiers up with McNeese State. From a KenPom rating perspective, the Cowboys are the third worst opponent on the IU schedule as they come in ahead of Alcorn State and the final non-conference opponent, Kennesaw State.

This is a game in which we’re unlikely to learn much of anything about Indiana given the discrepancy in talent level. But as IU heads into finals week, which will also include preparation for next Saturday’s tilt in Indianapolis, it’s also worth mentioning that the Hoosiers are entering a stretch that was viewed as favorable entering the season.

IU’s next 10 games: McNeese State, Notre Dame, Kennesaw State, at Rutgers, at Nebraska, Wisconsin, Ohio State, at Minnesota, Illinois and Northwestern. A chance to build momentum is certainly there, but can the Hoosiers seize the opportunity and restore some of the preseason promise?


Look for Indiana to continue with its three-guard starting lineup as McNeese State has very little size on its roster. The Cowboys are led by 6-foot junior point guard Jamaya Burr, who averages a team-best 13.9 points per game. Burr is making just 35.9 percent of his 2s against Division I opponents.

Freshman Jarren Greenwood, another 6-foot guard and 6-foot-6 guard Lance Potier, the team’s second and third leading scorers, also start. Greenwood is just 6-of-20 on 3s against Division I competition and Potier averages 8.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and two assists per game.

Shaun Johnson, a 5-foot-10 senior guard, is likely to see some minutes off the bench. He averages 2.9 points and 1.6 rebounds.

McNeese State doesn’t have a player taller than 6-foot-9 and its main frontcourt pieces are just 6-foot-7.

Senior forward Craig McFerrin has been solid on the glass (11.2 OR% and 18.1 DR%) and has finished close to 57 percent of his 2s against Division I opponents. Junior forward Tevin Jackson starts up front with McFerrin and is an inefficient offensive player (41.7 eFG%).

Sophomore Stephen Ugochukwu uses more possessions while on the floor than any other Cowboy (33.6 percent) and averages seven points and 3.6 rebounds.



This one is likely to get ugly fast. McNeese State has no offensive firepower and also no answers for Indiana’s elite offense.

We’ll likely opine a bit more on IU’s offense at the conclusion of the non-conference slate, but the overall numbers are impressive sans the turnovers. The Hoosiers are the second best shooting team in the country and have the third best offensive efficiency despite ranking 315th at taking care of the ball.

IU is 10th in 3-point shooting (43.5 percent) and fourth in 2-point shooting (61.4) and also ranks in the top 25 nationally in offensive rebounding percentage. If, and it’s a big if, the turnovers slow down, this could end up as the best offense in the country.


The Pomeroy prediction is IU by 26 with a 98 percent chance of victory while Sagarin’s numbers favor the Hoosiers by 28. This one will likely be over by the second media timeout, if not sooner.

If there’s one thing to watch, it’s the turnovers. After three solid games taking care of the ball, Indiana reverted to earlier season form against IPFW with 17 miscues. It’s easy to fall into bad habits when you’re steamrolling a team and can get away with mostly anything, but the Hoosiers are running out of time to sharpen up the execution.

With just three non-conference games left before the start of a Big Ten schedule that starts out favorably and gets difficult in February, it’s no longer early in the season. Will the Hoosiers make a move or continue to exhibit inconsistent play? The next 10 games will likely answer the question.

Filed to:

  • Shaggy_C

    I expect plenty of PRILLER TIME, nothing more, nothing less.

  • Young Hoosier

    They’re ranked 313th on Kenpom.. I expect a few things…
    -A 25+ point win.
    – an over reaction from fans who think we’re on the right track because we beat Mcneese State.
    – An attendance of maybe 10k if lucky.
    – Good and bad Troy.
    – Bryant to play but barely. Though he shouldnt.
    – Won’t be much to take away from this game. Maybe we can hold a team under 50.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I disagree that we can’t learn anything at all from this game. If we hold them under their scoring and rebounding averages then that would indicate a good defensive effort. Also, if we can cut our turnovers in half or even less than 10%, that would also show improvement. One sad note here is that they outrank us in one area listed above… TO%.

  • Ole Man

    Why shouldn’t Bryant play?

  • Young Hoosier

    If there is a possibility he’s actually dealing with some sort of injury then he should sit.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Here’s what we can expect. Stupid turnovers, missed post-up opportunities, terrible defensive fundamentals that are made up for by superior athleticism, fewer than 20 box-outs for the entire game, uninspired OOB plays, no accountability for mistakes or mediocre play, Crean clapping up and down the sidelines, and very few situational teaching moments that we could use for the B1G season.

  • marcusgresham

    I’d like to see the coaches take the opportunity to discourage stupidity & laziness. Given IU’s superior talent, just about anyone on the roster should be able to be successful against McNeese. Therefore, this would be a prime chance to yank guys for idiotic turnovers and lackluster defense…and if he’s yanked, he sits for a loooooong time. I don’t care if they end up with Niego, OG, Priller, and Burton on the floor for extended periods. Send a message.

  • Benhyoung14

    I expect to be disappointed when IU allows more than 60 points to Mcneese state.

  • cooper

    1-6 and only 3rd worst opponent….wooohoooo

    I’d start the 5 worst players we have and let the starters sit til halftime. At the half I’d tell them you now get the privilege to play. The first one of you that doesn’t play hard on defense is out and not going back in. Keep making stupid turnovers your out and not going back in. Keep playing selfish your out and not going back in.

  • bojak

    No matter the lead, Tim won’t see more than 1 1/2 minutes. That is just how Crean coaches. I can’t understand why he can’t give these guys at least 5 minutes of playing time during a blowout. Just another Crean flaw.

  • Lance76

    Very well said. Maybe coach should challenge team to seeing how low the McNeese score can be.

  • Kwang

    I like that.

  • Kwang

    He’s dealing with mental injuries. Pride, place, and purpose. Plus maybe some P****y.

  • Ian Karanovic

    McNeese State…alma mater of Joe Dumars. Too bad they don’t have anyone like him on this year’s team to give Indiana more of a game. Will Joe and Zeke be in the crowd? 😉

  • HoosierHillbilly

    It’s been a long time since I had a history class, but I don’t remember the states Mcneese and Kennesaw on the map? Oh well, that said those two games do serve a purpose as games you set benchmark goals for. As in neither of them should be allowed to score more than 50 pts, need to turn them over 20+ times, they don’t shoot better than 35% and we limit our turnovers to under 10 each game. If any of those are not met than punishment should be given for each offense. That’s how you improve your team when you play inferior competition. So,I won’t hold my breath on any of those happening…..

  • TomJameson

    Hahahaha … you obviously can think of TONS of bad things to say, so why bring up CTC clapping on the sidelines? Something that means absolutely nothing in basketball at all? You might as well complain about his hair, or the way he dresses, or the color of his shoes. Petty, petty, petty. lol

  • TomJameson

    Exactly! This ^^^^^

  • vicbert caladipo

    Don’t forget the killer tan he’s got in the middle of December!

  • TomJameson

    What I would like to see is a score of something in the order of 100+ to less than 55. I want them to take the game seriously and not f**k around just because it’s McNeese St. In other words, no trying for the highlight reels, just play solid.

    Maybe get a couple of the deeper bench players in the game for some minutes. OG and Harrison anyway. I’d like to see Harrison get the green light to shoot. But I would still expect them to play under control like everybody should be expected to do. Benching is the punishment for hot-dogging.

    A good defensive effort. Would be great to keep McNeese under 50. The defensive effort I would probably put at the #1 item on my list.

    I want to see TB both score, rebound, and defend well. 24 points, 16 rebounds, 6 blocks in a relaxed, not forced, game. This means the rest of the team will have to get the ball to him often. This is the perfect time to get TBs confidence a big-time shot in the arm.

    That’s all, a very good defensive effort, and an under control offensive effort, and some bench players quality minutes … all to result in the score I mentioned above.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Scoop, where have you been man?

  • Koko

    I would love to see Niego, OG, Priller and Burton on the floor together for extended minutes. I would include Quentin Taylor to round out that five. Quite frankly at this point it would be refreshing and fun to watch them play. I for one am tired watching the same ole, same ole.

  • Koko

    Sometimes it appears he is clapping for himself and not the team.

  • ScoopGeoff

    on the sidelines, hoping the administration would make a change… but I can’t stay away now that the season is in full swing… Plus I have a two year old boy who wants attention from his daddy whenever I’m home.

  • ScoopGeoff

    I mention it because Tom seems to be happy with all the other garbage that I mentioned in the post. If my team were that sloppy I wouldn’t be clapping and encouraging them.

  • TomJameson

    You wouldn’t encourage your team? I know, you’d bench them. And when you’ve benched your entire squad, would you just forfeit the game because they don’t perform like you would like? Or instead of clapping to encourage them (and get their attention), would you just give them the finger and tell them to do what they want, then sit down and do a crossword puzzle?

    Of course you are discounting anything good at all happening with this team. No great shooting night for yogi, no great rebounding night for TW, no good for anything. So why bother watching a team like that. Why not become a fan of a team that wins a lot, doesn’t matter how they win, they just need to win.

    Like I said, just very petty … Just my opinion of course.

  • TomJameson

    You know of course that there are many coaches who clap like that, CTC isn’t the only one. I think it is very silly to be even having a conversation about the coach clapping along the sidelines.

    I’m sure it’s a matter of getting their attention, and supporting them as well. Probably (obviously) a habit of sorts. I clap when I’m in the stands and I don’t do it for myself. Of course I’m also hoping that I add to the sound volume inside AH. 🙂

  • ScoopGeoff

    Right Tom, because that’s how all the good coaches do it…. They see their team underperforming, being sloppy, ignoring fundamentals, and they just clap no matter what… Yep. I always see Izzo clapping when his team can’t rebound. It’s permanantly burned in my brain the image of K clapping while his guards just play ole defense. Theres no bigger clapper than Sean Miller down in Arizona. That’s where Crean learned it from… watching those guys clap.

    Who cares if there are a few good things happening? It’s all pointless unless they fix all the awful stuff they do. And unfortunately those issues are the same on Crean’s teams year after year, so there’s no reason to think they’ll improve on them relative to their competitions improvement the rest of the year.

    In fact, Crean’s teams usually start out like gang-busters then fade as the year goes along because everyone else get’s better and they don’t. So this year I fear will be worse than normal.

    Your opinion is basically worthless, since you can’t sniff this stuff out on your own.

  • ScoopGeoff

    That’s the problem Tommyboy… Crean is a fan, not a coach. And of course other coaches clap – when things are going well… when a player does something special or unexpected… when a role player makes an impact. But Crean’s answer to everything is to clap. It’s a nervous tic… You apparently don’t read the stuff in the national media that says “Crean makes coffee nervous”… he’s famous for his sideline demeanor… and it’s a running joke.

    Here’s an idea though, TommyBoy… when Crean gets fired here soon, you can hire him to coach your daughter’s (or maybe grandduaghter’s) team. That’s the level of competition that requires constant encouragement and clappy clappy time.

  • TomJameson

    Well, Scoopydoody, that’s just your opinion. To be critical and sarcastic about something so petty.

  • TomJameson

    You are a piece of … work. To say somebody elses opinion is worthless shows how self-centered, and ego-centric you really are. I don’t even know how you can be a fan of any team other than the #1 team. GO HOME!

  • ScoopGeoff

    It’s not petty, those are his actions, not his appearance. Would it be petty to criticize Knight for throwing chairs across the court? His demeanor is part of the problem, so it’s well within the realm of discussion.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Of course I’m self-centered and egocentric… especially when I have to read your nonsense… tough not to think I’m superior. I am home right now.

  • TomJameson

    I’m surprised you can get your ego-inflated head through the door pooperscooper. lol

  • ScoopGeoff

    my door is bigger than yours.