Monday, November 10, 2014

A-rank Indiana

I caught IU's exhibition game tonight, and they are bad. I didn't have very high expectations for IU before this game based on their lack of size and horrible coach, but they found a way to lower them even further.

IU was playing without 3 players expected to contribute this year. Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson are suspended for the first 2 games, and Devin Davis is out for the foreseeable future with his car related injury. IU has a ton of new players including 7 freshman and transfer Nick Ziesloft. This IU team is young with 0 seniors and 4 juniors and they look like an inexperienced squad.

IU will have to win games on the perimeter this year as they have no inside game. Mosquera-Perea is the only big they have and he doesn't look remarkably improved from last year. He is slight of build but he can jump, but that is about his only talent. He picked up 2 fouls in the first few minutes tonight, and was allowed to continue playing with 2. He immediately tried to block a shot and got bailed out by the ref who didn't call a 3rd foul. He did play most of the rest of the half without picking up a 3rd. Freshman Tim Priller played at center some but is even more slight and looks more comfortable at the 3 point line than in the lane. Another freshman center Jeremiah April is apparently hurt and did not play.

Troy Williams was forced to play the 4 spot last year and will likely have to do the same this year. He kind of fits there despite his smaller stature because he can't shoot (.207 3pt%). He is also a big leaper and good athlete, but unless he expands his game, he is limited to offensive rebounds and transition scoring. He had the benefit of playing next to Vonleh last year, and won't have that luxuary this season. Devin Davis was expected to give IU some bulk after playing limited minutes in 29 games last year, but he may not play again this year. Sophomore Colin Hartman didn't play much last year and then blew out his knee. He played fairly well tonight but is a role player at best. Freshman Max Hoetzel has apparently missed time due to injury and played sparingly tonight, but was agressive. He did not show anything to make one think he will contribute significantly this season.

I expect IU to play mostly 3 and 4 guard lineups as that is where the talent is. The good news for IU is Yogi looks like Yogi, and the 2 freshman guards look ready to play right away. Yogi played quite a bit of off guard today letting the freshman Johnson run the point. I would expect to see them both have opportunities to run the show. The other freshman guard Balckmon looked good, but I expect both freshman to struggle once they have to play against a defense that doesn't have to worry about an interior game. IU has some experience at guard with Stanford Robinson and transfer Nick Ziesloft, but both juniors are role player types that will be forced into bigger roles.

As for defense, IU doesn't really play much in a good year, and this will not be a good year. The lack of size allowed the Indianapolis forwards to bully them down low. IU will certainly see better post players than Indianapolis provided, and they will get destroyed by them. There were also slow, stout, 5'10" guards getting into the lane against IU tonight. That does not bode well either, not to mention all the offensive rebounds they gave up. I won't drone on any more, IU will have one of the 2 or 3 worst defensive teams in the Big Ten.

I will hold off on my prediction for IU until I have seen them play with Williams and Robinson, but it is safe to say I don't see them improving on last season's 7 Big Ten wins and 17 wins overall.

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