What to Expect: Indiana vs. Morehead State

  • 12/18/2023 1:34 pm in

Indiana will look to snap a two-game losing streak when it hosts Morehead State Tuesday night at Assembly Hall. The Eagles are 8-3 and have won six straight, but lost at Alabama, Purdue and Penn State by a combined 85 points.

The game will tip at 6:30 p.m. ET on BTN:

Indiana’s disappointing loss to Kansas is still top of mind, but the Hoosiers must move on and look to finish non-conference play on a solid note.

The Hoosiers will host two games in three days this week, with Morehead State coming to town on Tuesday and North Alabama on Thursday before taking a holiday break.

Tuesday’s meeting with Morehead State will be the second straight season the teams have played in Bloomington. Indiana beat the Eagles 88-53 to open the 2022-23 campaign.


Morehead State has won at least 22 games in the last three seasons and made the NCAA tournament in 2021 under Preston Spradlin, who is in his eighth season at the helm.

The Eagles are a balanced offensive team with four players averaging double figures and several capable 3-point shooters.

Former NAIA All-American Riley Minix is Morehead’s leading scorer at 17.5 points per game. Minix, a 6-foot-7 forward, averaged 25.4 points, 13.6 rebounds and almost three assists at Southeastern University (Fla.) before transferring to Morehead for his final season of eligibility. He’s attempted a team-high 36 free throws and is shooting 86.1 percent from the line. He also leads the Eagles in rebounding at 8.5 per game and has a team-high 16 steals.

Fifth-year guard Jordan Lathon, who played two seasons at UTEP and two seasons at Milwaukee, sat out last season due to injury. But the 6-foot-5 Lathon is healthy this season and is Morehead’s second-leading scorer at 12.5 points per game. He’s a 42.2 percent 3-point shooter.

Drew Thelwell is the team’s point guard and is in his fourth season. The 6-foot-3 guard averages 5.5 assists with 11.8 points per game, third on the team. He’s another capable 3-point shooter and has connected at a 38.8 percent clip from distance.

Kalil Thomas is a 6-foot-5 guard who played three seasons at UMass Lowell before transferring to Morehead before last season. This is his fifth and final season of eligibility. Thomas has connected on a team-high 29 3-pointers and is shooting 43.9 percent.

The center position is occupied by Dieonte Miles, who played three seasons at Xavier before transferring down to get more opportunities. The 7-footer rarely played for the Musketeers but averages 21.7 minutes this season at Morehead. Miles is shooting 69.4 percent from the field and averages 5.6 points and 6.6 rebounds.

Thekey reserves to know are Eddie Ricks III, Jerone Morton and Zach Iyeyemi.

Ricks is a 6-foot-7 freshman who plays nearly 23 minutes a game and averages eight points. He’s shooting 36.7 percent on 3s in 30 attempts.

Morton is a 6-foot-4 Winchester, Kentucky freshman who backs up Thomas. He’s just 2-for-17 on 3s.

Iyeyemi is a 6-foot-9 senior who has started two games but is very foul-prone. He’s committed 24 fouls in a total of 104 minutes this season.


All stats are via KenPom.com and are valid through Sunday’s games.

Morehead State is a high-volume 3-point shooting team. The Eagles have taken 273 3-pointers in 11 games and are making 9.2 triples per game. Indiana had trouble with many of its coverages and rotations in defending the 3-pointer early in the season but has been better in recent weeks.

Turnovers have been a problem for Morehead State. The Eagles are averaging 14 turnovers per game and only force an opponent turnover rate of 14.4 percent. Morehead State also struggles to keep its opponent off the free throw line and doesn’t get to the line at a high clip.

Overall, Morehead State’s offensive profile is solid. Per KenPom, the Eagles are shooting 54.7 percent on 2s, rank 92nd in offensive rebounding percentage and 66th in effective field goal percentage.


The KenPom projection is Indiana by 10 with an 81 percent chance of a Hoosier victory. Morehead State is 155th in KenPom, one spot behind Harvard and about 15 spots lower than Wright State.

Indiana has a huge talent advantage and a significant advantage in the post with Kel’el Ware and Malik Reneau. The question, however, is how IU will respond following a hard-fought loss to Kansas on Saturday in Bloomington.

The Hoosiers have a lot of work to do to get into the NCAA tournament conversation, and the work begins with taking care of business ahead of Big Ten play, which will resume in a couple of weeks. With little meat on its resume, Indiana can’t afford to slip up at home in any of the next three games.

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