What to expect: Eastern Michigan

  • 11/23/2017 12:01 pm in

With less than 48 hours to prepare, Indiana will host Eastern Michigan on Friday afternoon in the final game of the Hoosier Tipoff Classic. The Eagles are 4-0 with wins over Arkansas State and Howard and two wins over non-Division I competition.

The game will be broadcast at 4:30 p.m. ET on BTN with Greg Amsinger and Shon Morris on the call:

One day turnarounds are a staple of this year’s Big Ten schedule which makes Friday’s matchup with Eastern Michigan at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall an opportunity for Indiana to prepare for what’s coming in league play.

The matchup is especially intriguing because Eastern Michigan is a top 150 team in several computer rankings and plays what Archie Miller calls the “best zone” Indiana will see this season.

Eastern Michigan is the first of seven straight opponents for the Hoosiers currently ranked in the top 152 of the KenPom ratings. It’s a stretch where Indiana will be a significant underdog in four of the seven contests.

MEET THE EAGLES

Eastern Michigan has several new faces following last season’s disappointing 16-17 record. The Eagles have two new assistant coaches and only three scholarship players return. Their 2-3 zone is very similar to that of Syracuse as coach Rob Murphy was an assistant for the Orange from 2004 through 2011.

The headlining returnee for the Eagles is junior James Thompson, a 6-foot-10 forward. Thompson is averaging 16.3 points and 13 rebounds through four games and is shooting 63.2 percent from the field.

He’s joined up front by 6-foot-9 junior Elijah Minnie, a transfer from Robert Morris. Minnie is the team’s leading scorer through four games at 18 points per game. Minnie likes to step out and shoot 3s (6-of-20 this season) and is 20-of-21 from the free throw line.

Tim Bond, a 6-foot-7 forward, also starts and averages 10 points per game. Bond has 13 steals and six blocked shots in four games.

Paul Jackson, a 6-foot-2 guard who transferred from Eastern Kentucky, is Eastern Michigan’s best guard. Jackson is third on the team in scoring at 15.3 points per game, but is just 1-of-11 on 3s through four games.

Terry Harris, who previously played at Houston Baptist, is another transfer making an impact for the Eagles. The 6-foot-6 junior has the length to be effective in the 2-3 zone and is 5-of-13 on 3s.

Two others to watch are 6-foot-7 junior Ty Groce and Kevin McAdoo, a 6-foot-2 freshman. McAdoo could see backup minutes at point guard and Groce has nine steals in four games.

TEMPO-FREE AND MATCHUP THOUGHTS

Indiana torched the zone of Arkansas State for a season-best 1.23 points per possession, but Eastern Michigan will present a much stiffer challenge. The Eagles play an aggressive 2-3 zone and have solid defensive numbers through their first two games against Division I competition.

The key for Indiana will be finding ways to get the ball inside to finish at the rim as Howard and Arkansas State shot a combined 54.8 percent on 2s against Eastern Michigan. With Juwan Morgan and De’Ron Davis both shooting 65 percent on 2s, finding ways to get both players paint touches in the zone will be a key to success.

Defensively, Indiana has to mark Thompson at all times in the paint as he’ll present a significant challenge for De’Ron Davis. A member of the MAC west division preseason team, Thompson has taken 30 free throws in four games. Eastern Michigan is a poor shooting team from the perimeter (31.5 percent) and also has 52 turnovers in four games.

WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO

The Pomeroy projection is Indiana by 7 with a 75 percent chance of victory and Sagarin also likes the Hoosiers by 7.

Indiana has started slow in nearly all of its games, which is a trend that the Hoosiers are going to need to reverse as the competition level ramps up significantly beginning Friday.

If Indiana can take care of the ball – and that’s proven to be a big if so far this season – and also get the ball inside against the zone, the Hoosiers should be able to find some success against an Eastern Michigan team that is still adjusting to plenty of new faces.

Filed to:

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone at Inside the Hall and all posters.

  • Ms hoosier

    And Mich. St I don’t think their guards are that great.

  • Doug Wilson

    Well thank you. It is on Sunday in Perth Australia at the VFW. Fly in if ya feel like a second meal.

  • Missing Moye

    Glad to see yesterday’s cynicism has faded. The B1G is looking pretty weak – Purdue losing again and NW got killed the other day. Even further off topic, did you see Vandy lost to Virginia today by 26? The vindictive part of me can’t help but feel a little happy at their struggles so far this year.

  • Missing Moye

    Yeah, I watched most of that game. If Duke hasn’t brought their refs with them, they might have gotten upset.

  • Lance76

    This is what caught my attention; “Their 2-3 zone is very similar to that of Syracuse ” I am
    very glad Archie is here. IU has done fairly well with JM or JS at top of key in zone.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Thanks for that. Isn’t it summer season for you now?

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    I realize every game is important but this one is really important.

  • HoosierEconomist

    I’m flying in from Chapel Hill to watch my Hoosiers take down dreaded Dook. I’ll do everything I can to contribute

  • HoosierEconomist

    Maybe we’ll finally win in the Kohl Center!

  • Doug Wilson

    Zone? Is Colin Hartman available?

  • TomJameson

    I’m pretty surprised that PeeYoo lost again. It is such a huge advantage to get those practice games early, but an even bigger edge to get that extra actual practice time early. IU next year, and that will be really huge for that team.

  • TomJameson

    I hate that. Protected teams, and protected players. I’m old enough to know that life’s not fair, but sometimes the officiating borders on cheating. I’m such a cynic that I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there weren’t payouts to officials to “control” games. I mean, if shoe companies will fork out big bucks just to get a player to the right school ….. right?

  • Missing Moye

    Tom, unfortunately I have to agree. I think we’d be naive to believe that it never happens.

    I’m thoroughly convinced that it happens in the NFL. If anyone is a skeptic, trying Googling about the Steelers-Chargers game in 2008. That game changed the way I view sports in a lot of ways.

  • cbags05

    Beat me to it. Must win.

  • Doug Wilson

    Yes! Yes it is. Time to fire up the Grill. A little, “Shrimp on the Barbie”, haha! AC/DC, and some good ol’ Kentucky Bourbon, and Budweiser.
    Don Fischer on the call in the morning. Because I have no job for the weekend. So I will be up bright and early to listen, and ESPN Game track. I suppose I sould get back on the Forum. I kinda miss the regulars.

    I just wish I could get some B1G Network through their website in Aussietown. But that is not a package that is available.
    My son has a bunch of other 15 year old friends from his private school. They love their Basketball and most of them follow the NBA. One of the boys met Victor, while in Orlando on an American Vacation. Dude had a good experience. now he follows Victor, even loves his music. My son knew who he was. So that became a easy discussion for them. My son Dane (after Fife) became an IU fan when Watford hit the buzzer beater to defeat Kentucky, and I ran through the house like a goose cheering. Every since then, My son follows all the Hoosiers in the NBA. Can not say enough about Toronto, Indiana, and Houston. And I say, but what about Dallas? They can not get Yogi off the court. Doesn’t matter who they draft. What is the chances that Indiana can get Yogi and Zeller in a few years, he says. I wouldn’t argue. Oladipo got the OKC office looking like idiots trading him away.
    I hate the Lakers. Doesn’t fit in with my love of the Celtics. So what is the deal with Bryant being a project of Magic? So many more of those conversations…
    Alex, if you are reading this, can we get a semi-regular article of Hoosiers in the NBA? Screw google, I need a “One stop shop” for all things IU Basketball.

    Hey, I got the fans of ITH to get me through. Keep posting! I love it! miss ya Indiana. ~Australian Hoosier out. Happy Holidays!

  • marcusgresham

    De’Ron Davis at the high post. He’s a pretty solid passer.

    Oh, and one more thing….the game should be over in plenty of time for you to change the channel afterwards. Tonight’s the night for my Jeopardy! appearance. If you’re in Indianapolis it’s moved from 59 to 59.2 because they’re airing the Christmas tree lighting. It’s regular time/channel in Louisville (7:30 on channel 32.) If you’re in the area come on out to That’s the Ticket in Georgetown for a viewing party with my band playing right after the show. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/57772850f51eddf83ea6d0a9f3cdb02a3bca84ec7c2c0b4da556598c2de67ada.jpg

  • Ms hoosier

    I hope Duke wins today and comes into AH #1 Andy we beat them!!

  • Yeah, I don’t really want to catch Duke coming off of a loss. I’d rather they’re all puffed up after a blowout.

  • RonMlarkey

    Wishful thinking would be an understatement.

  • ChitwoodIN

    Kenpom says this…..Kenpom says that.

    I believe I just witnessed a hot player from 3….get a ‘halftime adjustment”, and rendered to a faint shhhhh.

    I also believe I witnessed a team relentlessly taking it to a 2-3 (Boeheim influenced) defense, and KILLED it!!!

    First time in 9+ yrs I’ve seen coaching like that.

    Oh….who else was screaming and yelling when Juwan went to the floor in the middle of the court with reckless abandon?????