What to Expect: Indiana vs. Miami (OH)
Indiana returns to action on Sunday evening in the first game of the Hoosier Classic. The 3-0 Hoosiers are set to take on Mid-American Conference opponent Miami (OH) at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The RedHawks are 1-3 following a 95-69 home loss to Marshall on Thursday. Sunday’s tip is set for 5:30 p.m. ET on BTN:
Indiana tips off its three-game multi-team exempt event this weekend in the state capitol. Over six days, the Hoosiers will play games against Miami (OH), Little Rock and Jackson State.
None of the three games should be competitive. All three opponents are ranked 287th or worse in the KenPom ratings as of Saturday afternoon.
Sunday’s opponent, Miami (OH), was picked to finish 11th in the preseason in the MAC.
MEET THE REDHAWKS
Miami fired Jack Owens after last season and hired Travis Steele, who coached four seasons at Xavier before his dismissal last spring.
Steele is a Danville, Indiana native who spent time early in his coaching career at IU as the video coordinator. The 41-year-old never reached the NCAA tournament at Xavier.
Through four games at Miami, Steele is 1-3 with home losses to Evansville and Marshall, a road loss at Georgia and a home win over Goshen College, an NAIA program.
In Thursday’s loss to Marshall, the RedHawks shot a horrendous 18.8 percent on 3s and took 32 shots from distance.
Miami’s leading scorer is Evansville Bosse product and fifth-year senior Mekhi Lairy. The 5-foot-8 point guard is averaging 16.5 points but is shooting just 38.5 percent from the field.
Julian Lewis, a 6-foot-6 transfer from William & Mary, shoots 50 percent from the field and is one of two Miami players averaging 12 points per game.
Miami’s second-leading scorer is 6-foot-8 senior Anderson Mirambeaux, who transferred from Cleveland State. Mirambeaux is a native of the Dominican Republic who is averaging 15.8 points and four rebounds over the first four games.
Wofford transfer Morgan Safford scored 12 points in the season opener against Evansville but hasn’t played since after leaving the game with an injury. The Columbus, Ohio native is a 6-foot-5 guard.
A lot of Miami’s rotation is young with freshmen Billy Smith, Ryan Mabrey, Eli Yofan, Jaqual Morris and Mitchell Rylee all logging minutes along with sophomore Bryson Tatum.
Smith has been the most notable of the group through four games. The 6-foot-7 freshman from Indianapolis has started all four games and is averaging 9.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in 31.7 minutes per game. Smith played at Brebeuf.
Mabrey, who played at La Lumiere, has also started the first four games. The freshman guard is averaging 6.8 points on 33.3 percent shooting from the field.
THOUGHTS ON THE REDHAWKS AND THE MATCHUP
Miami has a long road ahead to get back to relevance in the MAC. The RedHawks should be able to get some talent back into the program under Steele. This season, however, is shaping up to be a long year in Oxford.
The RedHawks won’t be shy about pushing the tempo, which should give Indiana a lot of opportunities for fast break points and transition offense. Through three games against Division I competition, Miami is averaging just over 73 possessions per game.
Indiana has a decided talent and size advantage across the roster. Defensively, Miami has allowed its first three D1 opponents to shoot 54.5 percent on 2s and grab 36.2 percent of missed shots. Even if Indiana isn’t making perimeter shots, the Hoosiers will have ample opportunities to clean up their misses for looks at the rim.
WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO
The KenPom projection is Indiana by 27 with a 99 percent chance of victory for the Hoosiers. The Sagarin ratings like Indiana by 24.
Sunday’s game, along with upcoming matchups against Little Rock and Jackson State, should allow Indiana’s younger players and bench to get plenty of reps ahead of a looming Big Ten-ACC Challenge matchup against North Carolina.
(Photo credit: Miami Athletics)
Filed to: Miami Ohio Redhawks