FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 | SECTION F
F2 | FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 | THE HERALD-TIMES | IU BASKETBALL PREVIEW
IU BASKETBALL PREVIEW | THE HERALD-TIMES | FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 | F3
PROVING GROUND After another knee surgery and amid criticism of his defense, Blackmon wants to show what he can do By Mike Miller 812-331-4369 | firstname.lastname@example.org
It was a poor shooting night, maybe the worst of James Blackmon Jr.’s career. But the Indiana junior wouldn’t let this night, this oh-so-forgettable shooting night, be defined by his shortcomings. In Saturday’s exhibition finale against Bellarmine, everybody saw the misses — all seven 3-point attempts and each of his first nine shots from the field. As one of college basketball’s most elite scorers, Blackmon Jr.’s value can often be viewed through the prism of offensive potency. Yet on this night, it was the unseen qualities that Blackmon held close. He didn’t hang his head after a string of deep shots failed to find the net. He didn’t pout or allow his own failures to penetrate his usual stoic facade. Most importantly, he didn’t allow his defensive approach to come undone by what was unfolding on the opposite end of the floor. For a game that didn’t count, there was no takeaway more crucial than that. This is Blackmon Jr.’s comeback season, affording him a return from
major knee surgery and from the criticism that has hovered over his defensive lapses during his first season and a half in college. Never before has Blackmon Jr. felt he’s had more to prove. For an Indiana team with national championship aspirations, Blackmon Career highs for James Blackmon Jr. Jr.’s focus on POINTS: 33, vs. Alcorn State, 11-30-2015 three key areas — defense, health REBOUNDS: 9, vs. NC-Greensboro, 11-2814 and leadership — ASSISTS: 7, vs. Northwestern, 3-12-2015 could be part of STEALS: 4, vs. Alcorn State, 11-30-2015 the formula for a March tournament run. “This year,” Blackmon Jr. said. “I just want to show what I can do.”
• • • It was all just noise. It was all just unnecessary, distracting, bothersome noise. So Blackmon Jr. tuned it all out. Of course, he heard the growing criticism regarding his defense during Indiana’s wild and frustrating nonconference run. How could he not? SEE BLACKMON | PAGE F4
F4 | FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 | THE HERALD-TIMES | IU BASKETBALL PREVIEW
BLACKMON CONTINUED FROM PAGE F3
The grand stage of Indiana basketball offers few hiding spots. In all fairness, some of the griping had merit. There’s no question that Blackmon Jr. needs to hone his instincts, develop more lateral mobility and foster better habits on that end of the floor. Those, too, were areas where he felt he was growing prior to the season-ending ACL injury he suffered days prior to IU’s Big Ten opener last December. So he blocked the criticism and focused on improvement. “I was so proud of him because I think he didn’t listen to the negative comments,” said Blackmon Jr.’s mother, Sailaja. “He stayed positive. I think he was more looking for positive reinforcement from family and Coach (Tom) Crean and the coaching staff. That meant more to him than maybe what outsiders said.” Growing as a defender is not solely an individual pursuit. It often requires moving in lockstep with those around you, occupying spaces and generally possessing a will to play with vigor. And for a potent offensive threat like Blackmon Jr., developing strong defensive tendencies only stands to benefit him with a more complete game. “It’s just communication, being more vocal offensively and defensively,” Blackmon Jr. said. “Our team is talking so much in practice, which helps everyone be in the right spot. It’s all about positioning and spots for me.” In Blackmon Jr.’s case, the Bellarmine game served as an example of what his defensive focus could look like this season. “He’s growing up, and he’s understanding how important impacting the game on both ends is,” Crean said. “He played the game without a turnover, and he got better defensively inside the game, and so, to me, that’s the little signs with a team that’s got to get this understanding and this responsibility for one another, that’s got to get this leadership because of what we lost from last year. Those are the signs that help you, and I know it’s early November, but those are things we can build towards.” • • • CHRIS HOWELL | HERALD-TIMES
Indiana’s James Blackmon Jr. (1) drives the ball around Morehead State’s Lamontray Harris (13) during their Dec. 5, 2015, game at Assembly Hall.
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It was fair for him to wonder. Why me? Why now? Why did this happen again? There was plenty of time to ponder those questions after he tore the ACL in his right knee in late December. There were, however, no easy answers. Last year’s injury required Blackmon Jr. to undergo his third knee procedure in four years. He tore the ACL in his left knee late in his sophomore year of high school. In July 2015, he tore the meniscus in that same knee. For the second year in a row, Blackmon Jr. was unable to utilize the benefits of a full and normal off-season. But as a veteran of the rehabilitation process, Blackmon Jr. knew what had to come next. “He understood that there was a timeframe,” said James Blackmon Sr., his father and high school coach at both Fort Wayne Luers and Marion. “You can’t have it all SEE BLACKMON | PAGE F5
IU BASKETBALL PREVIEW | THE HERALD-TIMES | FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 | F5
CHRIS HOWELL | HERALD-TIMES
James Blackmon Jr. signs an autograph for Maggie Wade, 15, of Warmington, Pa., during an open practice for the Sweet 16 on March 24 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
BLACKMON CONTINUED FROM PAGE F4
back all of a sudden. The thing about it was, we took the positive approach, because there are always two sides where you can take the situation. James knew he could overcome this issue and the adversity. To be able to prove that to himself and his family and his friends, that’s the most important thing that drove him to come work hard.” Work hard, he did. All the while, he found his best support while leaning on younger brother Vijay, a freshman guard at Saint Francis, who is merely a year and a half removed from his own ACL injury. “They’re very close, and they look to each other for moral support,” Sailaja Blackmon said. “If they see exercises that maybe might be helpful, they’re always texting each other, telling each other about different exercises that can be done to help the other.” Eight months removed from surgery in August, Blackmon posted a time of 13:06
in the VO2 Max treadmill test, which tests an individual’s endurance while running at full speed. That’s the third-highest time in 40 years of testing at Indiana. “When you see things like that on his return, that shows you how serious he was and how dedicated he was to his body and not only being an average player, but being back to who he was,” Blackmon Sr. said. • • • It doesn’t come easy, but it’s coming along. Soft-spoken, yet smooth and collected, Blackmon Jr. doesn’t naturally project leadership qualities. But he’s working on it. CHRIS HOWELL | HERALD-TIMES Before Yogi Ferrell graduated and left Indiana’s basketball program as its all-time Indiana guard James Blackmon Jr. shoots during an NCAA practice on March 16 at the Wells leader in assists and games started, the Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. four-year point guard left Blackmon Jr. with a personal challenge. Be the leader. Lead the film sessions. Get guys in the gym. Ferrell left Blackmon Jr. with other lessons, too. SEE BLACKMON | PAGE F6
Career statistics 2014-15 2015-16 Totals
GP-GS Min 3PFG AFG FT O-Reb Asst TO St Bl Pts. 33-33 30.0 77-199 177-421 87-108 53-176 50 53 2 21 15.7 13-12 24.5 37-80 73-152 23-27 17-54 22 25 5 16 15.8 46-45 28.4 114-279 250-573 110-135 70-230 72 78 7 37 15.7
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F6 | FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 | THE HERALD-TIMES | IU BASKETBALL PREVIEW
BLACKMON CONTINUED FROM PAGE F5
“What I love about Yogi and what I miss is the competitive edge,” Blackmon Jr. said. “Every day, me and him would guard each other in practice trying to go at each other and get in each other’s face. I feel like I do that.” With Collin Hartman, Indiana’s lone senior, out indefinitely with a knee injury, the Hoosiers are searching for another voice. Ferrell used to help in that regard. So did former graduate transfer Max Bielfeldt. Gradually, Blackmon Jr. is showing the qualities of becoming an upperclassman who can marshal the Hoosiers within a game. But that’s not a transformation anyone is expecting to take hold overnight. That is a degree of growth that requires time. “It needs to be forced,” Crean said of Blackmon Jr.’s leadership qualities. “It needed to be forced out of Yogi as well. It really “James is the epitome did. Yogi’s leadership of a guy that has so went to a whole other level when we got into much more to give, the Big Ten season (last and we’re going to year). “What Yogi had was hold him to a high a presence, was a duraexpectation level of it.” bility, and people had a real comfort level playTOM CREAN, Indiana basketball ing with him because it coach on junior guard James was like it was safe to Blackmon Jr. play with Yogi because Yogi was so good, Yogi could do so many different things. “So there’s different forms of leadership. But verbal, demanding, make the game easier for everybody else, that takes time for guys. It’s very unnatural for most people.” That includes Blackmon Jr. “James is at the point that, as he’s maturing a bit more, he’s being more vocal,” his father said. “That’s a good thing. That’s a positive thing. He’s trying to put it all together by being a little bit more verbal. That’s why he’s one of the team captains.” CHRIS HOWELL | HERALD-TIMES Leadership and attention to detail are among the Indiana director of player personel Derek Elston slaps hands with Indiana guard James Blackmon Jr. in the locker room before an teaching points NBA decision-makers will be looking NCAA tournament practice at the Wells Fargo Arena on March 28 in Des Moines, Iowa. Blackmon missed the final 22 games of to see from Blackmon Jr. this season. He’s at least on the the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee on Dec. 22, 2015 against Kennesaw State. NBA Draft radar after declaring himself eligible this past spring. Blackmon did so to gauge his value at the next level and use those lessons learned during his upcoming The Premier junior season at Indiana. Spot for Pool Teams want to make sure he’s healthy, fully recovEnthusiasts & ered from his latest knee surgery. They want to know R E A LT O R ® Locals to he can complement one of the best shooting strokes in WATCH the conference, if not the country, with a more complete approach in other areas. THE Those professional teams, like Indiana, are ready to HOOSIERS see what Blackmon does while fueled by an urgency to 426 S. College Ave. prove himself as one of college basketball’s top players. Bloomington IN, 47403 “James is the epitome of a guy that has so much more Cell 812-325-8207 (812) 287-7608 to give,” Crean said, “and we’re going to hold him to a www.bluetipbilliards.com email@example.com high expectation level of it.” HT-147984-1
IU BASKETBALL PREVIEW | THE HERALD-TIMES | FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 | F7
Could be a monster season for Anunoby, Hoosiers The 2016-17 season marks a changing of the guard for Indiana basketball. The 1-2 punch of Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams has departed. In its place is a three-headed monster. There’s the known quantity of instate standout James Blackmon Jr., who Hoosier fans have been watching for the better part of a decade. Sophomore center Thomas Bryant is the hype man, with personality and charisma that matches and even occasionally exceeds his talent. Both those players were on the preseason All-Big Ten team, but the backbone of the Hoosiers is OG Anunoby, a player IU fans knew almost nothing about a year ago and now will never forget, even if conference voters did. Jeremy In many ways, Price H-T SPORTS WRITER Anunoby’s turn as an understated star has only further endeared him to the masses and made him the unintentional face of the Hoosiers. It’s certainly a strange thing when the face of a team would far rather be anonymous, something the sophomore forward is certainly not to NBA scouts. Anunoby was named the Big Ten’s best NBA Draft prospect by DraftExpress.com last month ahead of teammate Bryant. Just don’t expect him to get too excited about it. “It’s nice, but it doesn’t mean anything,” he said. “The season hasn’t started. We haven’t played any games yet.” But Anunoby still pays enough attention to recognize just how highly he is thought of, right? “No, I don’t pay any attention,” he said. That’s false humility for most players, and maybe it is for Anunoby as well, but it seems entirely believable. The increased notoriety hasn’t changed much for the Jefferson City, Mo., product, except, he says, that more people ask to take pictures with him.
Otherwise, it’s nothing more than what Anunoby would expect to happen. “It’s been cool, because I know I’ve worked hard,” he said. But did he really expect to be this good? “Yeah, I worked hard, so yeah,” Anunoby said in typically blunt fashion. He was even more effusive after a career-high 25 points in the exhibition win over Bellarmine on how his game is different this year. “I think I just worked on my allaround game a lot,” Anunoby said. You’d half expect him to don a mask, shout “Hi-ho Silver, Away,” and ride into the sunset. But the best news for Indiana is that Anunoby is anything but a Lone Ranger, and that is what gives this Hoosier team a higher ceiling than any of its Crean era predecessors, with perhaps the exception of the 2012-13 team that spent 11 weeks at No. 1 in the rankings. You may recall that team had an alleverything big man in Cody Zeller and an elite shooter in Jordan Hulls, but it was the emergence of under-the-radar Victor Oladipo that propelled Indiana into the stratosphere before a missile named Syracuse sent the whole thing hurtling back to Earth. See any similarities? The difference is that this year’s Hoosiers stand to have the depth that was hoped for four years ago but never actually developed. Just the ability to absorb the loss of Collin Hartman — and make no mistake, it is a loss — is testimony to this fact. So is the fact that the four freshmen and JUCO transfer Freddie McSwain can fill niche roles without being counted to carry a heavy burden like Ferrell was in his rookie season at Indiana. Ultimately, Indiana stands to be a vintage example of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts, which might add up to something CHRIS HOWELL | HERALD-TIMES more than just reaching the Sweet Indiana forward OG Anunoby dunks over Michigan State forward Kenny Goins in their Feb. 14 Sixteen. If so, this just might be remembered game at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich. Anunoby could be poised for a big year for the as a monster season. Hoosiers after averaging 4.9 points and 2.6 rebounds per game last season.
F8 | FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 | THE HERALD-TIMES | IU BASKETBALL PREVIEW
IU PLAYER PROFILES
James BLACKMON JR.
ings drew ridicule. Now, Blackmon enters a potentially transformative junior season looking to grow into an NBA prospect. He tested his stock this past spring through a new rule that allows underclassmen to declare for the draft and participate in team Class: Junior | Position: Guard workouts and interviews. Still recovering from surgery, BlackHeight: 6-4 | Weight: 200 mon did not do any physical work for teams, but gained valuable High School (Hometown): Marion (Fort Wayne) feedback about becoming a more complete offensive player, Key stats: Averaged 15.8 points and 4.2 rebounds, scoring in while shoring up the defensive holes in his game. Blackmon will double figures in 11 of the 13 non-conference games he played. be a featured player in IU’s backcourt, and could occasionally Outlook: Blackmon underwent knee surgery in January to repair be tasked with taking on more point guard duties. Above all, Blackmon will be pushed to become more of a vocal leader and a torn ACL, ending what was developing as an up and down sophomore campaign. His scoring potency was on prime display cultivate those qualities that do not come naturally to him. If he during the non-conference season, but his defensive shortcom- can do so, an early exit to pro basketball may be in the cards.
Curtis JONES Class: Freshman | Position: Guard Height: 6-4 | Weight: 175 High School (Hometown): Huntington Prep (Richmond, Va.) Key stats: Averaged 20 points, five rebounds and five assists per game as a high school senior. Outlook: Jones arrives in Bloomington with a reputation as one of the top shooters in the 2016 recruiting class. Rivals ranked Jones the No. 69 overall recruit last year, while 247 Sports tabbed him as the No. 11 available combo guard nationally. He was a teammate of sophomore center Thomas Bryant at Huntington Prep, and played for the same Boo Williams AAU program as former Hoosier Troy Williams and current backcourt mate Robert Johnson. Shortly after his commitment last September, Boo Williams compared Jones favorably to James Blackmon Jr. He’ll see time, especially early in the season, as a backup to Blackmon and could carve himself a niche role as a shooter off the bench during his freshman year.
Josh NEWKIRK Class: Redshirt Junior | Position: Guard Height: 6-1 | Weight: 195 High School/Previous school (Hometown): Word of God Academy/Pittsburgh (Raleigh, N.C.) Key stats: Averaged 5.9 points, 2.7 assists and 1.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore at Pitt. Outlook: Tom Crean recruited Newkirk out of high school and would’ve loved to have had him available as point guard depth behind Yogi Ferrell last season. NCAA transfer rules, along with his recovery from May 2015 microfracture knee surgery, prevented that. Now Newkirk is ready to earn minutes in a backcourt that is reshaping itself in Ferrell’s absence. Newkirk is, perhaps, the most natural — and experienced — point guard on the roster. He had 154 assists against 77 turnovers during his freshman and sophomore seasons at Pittsburgh, including a career-high eight assists against IU in the 2014 ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The question is whether Newkirk can be a more efficient shooter than he was during his final year with Pitt, when his 3-point shooting fell from 43 percent to 37 percent.
IU BASKETBALL PREVIEW | THE HERALD-TIMES | FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 | F9
OG ANUNOBY Class: Sophomore | Position: Forward Height: 6-8 | Weight: 235 High School (Hometown): Jefferson City (Jefferson City, N.C.) Key stats: Averaged 4.9 points and 2.6 rebounds while coming off the bench in all 34 games in which he appeared. Outlook: Anunoby’s NCAA Tournament run, which included a career-high 14 points against Chattanooga and personalbest three blocks and all-around great defense against Kentucky, put him underneath the national microscope. Expectations are high for the soft-spoken sophomore, who suddenly finds himself as a possible lottery pick in projections for next year’s NBA Draft. His length and attention to detail make him a strong defender, while his potential to see time guarding all five positions makes him a versatile weapon on that end of the floor. Offensively, Anunoby still has room to grow. He also needs to prove that he can translate last season’s short-burst production into higher volumes. But few players on this team spend more hours beyond practice working on their game. Anunoby is seeking to develop a quicker, more consistent shot, while also becoming more of a creator with the ball in his hands. Should he accomplish those things this season, there is reason to believe Anunoby could be fasttracked to a lottery pick in only a few months’ time.
Robert JOHNSON Class: Junior | Position: Guard Height: 6-3 | Weight: 195 High School (Hometown): Benedictine College Prep (Richmond, Va.) Key stats: Averaged 8.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists last season, and leads active players with 55 starts. Outlook: Johnson’s development into a solid two-way guard continued last season, and IU certainly missed his presence late in the year when an ankle injury forced him to sit out five of the final seven games. Johnson appears to be the most intuitive defensive guard IU has on its roster, while his scoring punch and shooting range make him a featured offensive player in the backcourt. As IU moves to replace former point guard Yogi Ferrell, Johnson is expected to share at least some of those responsibilities. Doing so will require that he improve upon a 22.9 turnover percentage that was the highest of IU’s starters last season. For comparison, Ferrell turned the ball over only 16.9 percent of the time. Still, Johnson is the kind of player Indiana needs in its backcourt. He brings toughness to both ends and he can light up the scoreboard from beyond the arc.
JOHNNY JAGER Class: Sophomore | Position: Guard Height: 6-0 | Weight: 180 High School (Hometown): Bloomington South (Bloomington) Key stats: Averaged 15.0 points per game, while dishing 5.5 assists as a freshman at Wabash College. Outlook: Jager turned down a more prominent role at the Division III level to return home and learn how to be a basketball coach from Tom Crean. That was the primary motivation for Jager, who will have to sit out this season per NCAA transfer rules. As local fans remember, the 2015 Herald-Times All-Area Player of the Year is a talented point guard who will serve IU well on its scout team. Behind the scenes, Jager says he’s also taking notes, studying film and generally trying to soak up as much as he can from Crean so that he, too, can one day crack into the coaching business.
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F10 | FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 | THE HERALD-TIMES | IU BASKETBALL PREVIEW
Class: Freshman Position: Guard Height: 6-3 | Weight: 186 High School (Hometown): Long Island Lutheran (North Babylon, N.Y.) Key stats: Averaged 20.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists as a high school senior. Outlook: He comes from good bloodlines, that’s for sure. But Green came to Indiana looking to make his own name, no longer content to be known as the little brother of San Antonio Spurs forward Danny Green. A finalist for New York’s Mr. Basketball award, Green is an aggressive guard who appears comfortable attacking the rim and drawing contact on the offensive end. Defensively, he was known in high school for his tenacity on that end of the floor, and averaged 2.7 steals per game as a senior. The balance that already appears in Green’s game may allow him to crack the rotation for serious minutes once Big Ten play rolls around.
Class: Sophomore | Position: Forward Height: 6-8 | Weight: 230 High School (Hometown): Waynesville (Waynesville, Mo.) Key stats: Averaged 2.4 points and 2.1 rebounds, playing in 30 games off the bench. Outlook: Injuries prevented Morgan from fully showing what he could do as a freshman. His skill set is one that will endear himself to Hoosier fans, especially as a player willing and able to play nearly every role necessary on the floor. He displayed his toughness last season, playing through a separated shoulder that nagged him down the stretch. He was cleared for full contact on Oct. 29 and will be trusted to juggle a list of responsibilities during meaningful minutes this season. That includes seeing occasional time as a point forward, though he is best suited in the post thanks to his size, strength and fundamentals. With Collin Hartman out indefinitely, Morgan will need to impact the Hoosiers with hustle plays and other intangible qualities. Tom Crean wants Morgan to develop into one of the most versatile players in the country. This season could be a big step toward doing so.
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Class: Redshirt sophomore | Position: Forward Height: 6-6 | Weight: 200 High School (Hometown): Carmel (Carmel) Key stats: Averaged 4.4 points and 4.2 rebounds for Vermont two seasons ago. Outlook: McRoberts and James Blackmon Jr. were teammates on the 2014 Indiana All-Star. This year, they’ll be reunited in Bloomington. McRoberts took an interesting path to Indiana and to basketball, in general. He played his freshman season at Vermont, where he came on strong late in the year. After missing seven games with a knee injury, McRoberts played in 27 consecutive contests and averaged 7.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and shot 57.1 percent in the 2015 CBI Tournament. He stepped away from the game after the season, no long feeling fully committed. McRoberts then transferred to Indiana as a student, not for basketball purposes before realizing after the Spring 2016 semester he would like to play again. A walk-on opportunity was granted to McRoberts, the younger brother of Miami Heat forward Josh McRoberts, and he figures to challenge for a role in IU’s rotation, especially early in the season.
IU BASKETBALL PREVIEW | THE HERALD-TIMES | FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 | F11
De’Ron DAVIS Class: Freshman | Position: Forward Height: 6-6 | Weight: 200 High School (Hometown): Overland (Aurora, Colo.) Key stats: Averaged 13.8 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.5 blocks as a high school senior. Outlook: Patience may be required with Davis, who wasn’t able to join the program until the day before the beginning of the fall semester while he tended to academic obligations back home. After arriving, he was forced to deal with nagging Achilles and ankle injuries that sidelined him at times this fall. He has some catching up to do, and will do so with some on-the-job training. Davis, the highest-rated recruit in the class, should at least start the year as Thomas Bryant’s primary backup in the post. Davis could replace Bryant next year. In the meantime, this should function as a developmental year for Davis, who has a ready-made defensive skill set and should be a willing and able rebounder and rim protector as a freshman. He’ll turn 20 years old in late November, and while he still must develop the adequate conditioning for the rigors of the Big Ten, he has a developed body and should provide some additional strength in the post.
Class: Junior | Position: Forward Height: 6-6 | Weight: 215 High school/previous school (Hometown): Liberty County/Neosho County Community College (Hinesville, Ga.) Key stats: Averaged 14.8 points and 8.4 rebounds at junior college last season. Outlook: Like De’Ron Davis, McSwain was also a latearriving member of IU’s signing class due to his own
academic obligations at the junior college level. He also missed most of the preseason after undergoing a knee procedure to clean up an old injury. As he works his way back and adapts to a new level and team, McSwain could be Indiana’s energy man as the season progresses. That was his billing at the junior college level, where he earned his status as a Division I recruit with impressive athleticism and leaping ability. McSwain, who committed to Indiana in April, has been likened to an NFL tight end by coach Tom Crean because of his size and broad shoulders. His role could grow if he turns out to be a consistent shooter, but he’ll find most of his minutes — at least early — as a bouncy and tough-minded rebounder.
Quentin TAYLOR Class: Sophomore | Position: Guard Height: 6-2 | Weight: 187 High School (Hometown): Brebeuf (Indianapolis) Key stats: Appeared in eight games, logging nine minutes and three points. Outlook: Taylor’s value is on the scout team, though this walk-on may also once again see the court at the end of blowout victories. He joined the program prior to the start of last season. His first point came on a free throw against Eastern Illinois in the season opener. He also grabbed two rebounds last season.
F12 | FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 | THE HERALD-TIMES
Grant GELON Class: Freshman | Position: Guard Height: 6-5 | Weight: 195 High School (Hometown): Crown Point (Crown Point) Key stats: Averaged 14.5 points and shot 41.8 percent from 3-point range last season at Crown Point. Outlook: Gelon could be used situationally this season as a shooter off the bench. An Indiana All-Star this past summer, Gelon helped Crown Point to back-to-back regional final appearances, while picking up Associated Press High Honorable Mention All-State honors. He caught Tom Crean’s attention during the summer leading into his senior season, averaging 12 points and hitting 49 percent of his 3-point attempts playing for Indiana Elite. If he can shoot deep shots at a high clip, he’ll find himself a role this season.
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tion. Every championship team needs a player — a glue guy — like Hartman. Will Indiana have Hartman on the floor at some point this season? There’s no clear answer. Though the Class: Senior | Position: Forward program has been tight-lipped about the speciHeight: 6-7 | Weight: 220 ficity and severity of the injury, Hartman didn’t rule out a return at some point late in the year. High School (Hometown): Cathedral Indiana would certainly welcome his contribu(Indianapolis) tions. Hartman, like a few other of his teamKey stats: Averaged 5 points and 3.1 rebounds mates, played through pain late in the year. He last season, starting 24 of the 35 games. broke his right wrist in the Big Ten Tournament Outlook: News of Hartman’s knee injury in Sep- against Michigan, but insisted upon playing in tember came as a blow to Indiana’s program. the NCAA Tournament. To do so, Hartman wore The Hoosiers’ lone senior, Hartman has been a a cast and required cortisone shots before the steady presence the past two seasons. He has games began. That willingness to put the team shooting range and rebounding ability, and he’s ahead of himself endears Hartman to teamone of the toughest players on the court, doing mates and coaches, and his production and presence will be missed. the intangible things to make this team func-
IU BASKETBALL PREVIEW | THE HERALD-TIMES | FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 | F13
Tim PRILLER Class: Junior | Position: Forward Height: 6-9 | Weight: 225 High School (Hometown): North Richland Hills (Richland, Texas) Key stats: Has scored six points and added eight rebounds across 22 career games. Outlook: Through his first two years in the program, Priller has yet to seize any meaningful role. Fans, particularly students, adore him as the lovable, end-of-thebench favorite who becomes the focus at the ends of blowout victories. Is Priller ready to become something more? Entering the season, especially with so much frontcourt depth, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Pizza | Pasta | Calzones | Sandwiches | Salads | Italian Dinners Gluten-Free Menu | Beer & Wine | Dine In | Carryout | Delivery
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Thomas BRYANT Class: Sophomore | Position: Forward Height: 6-10 | Weight: 255 High School (Hometown): Huntington Prep (Rochester, N.Y) Key stats: Averaged 11.9 points and 5.8 rebounds, while starting all 35 games last year. Outlook: He could have tested his NBA Draft value and turned pro this past spring. But Bryant wasn’t done at Indiana, and this season he’s poised to become one of the Big Ten’s best players. He’ll be a focus for IU’s offense in
the post, where he led the league last season with a 68.3 shooting percentage from the field. While training on campus during the summer, Bryant spent most of his available time practicing on the perimeter working like a guard. That includes both sides of the floor, which could lead to important strides as a defender on ball screens. Any defensive gains Bryant makes will ultimately complement his already sufficient offensive skill set. Bryant scored in double figures in seven of IU’s final eight games last season. One of his best performances was a 19-point, five-rebound effort against Kentucky in the second round. Once again, he’ll be a focal point of the offense and a player Indiana can rally around as it makes it way to March.
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2016-17 INDIANA OPPONENTS Kansas Jayhawks
COACH: Ritchie McKay 52-47 in 4th year at Liberty WHEN: Nov. 11, 9 p.m. (ESPN) KEY PLAYERS: John Dawson (6-2, Sr., G) 13.4 WHERE: Stan Sheriff Center, ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.4 apg; Lovell Cabbil (6-3, So., G) Honolulu 9.9 ppg; Ryan Kemrite (6-4, Jr., G/F) 8.3 ppg, 4.0 2015-16: 33-5, 15-3 in the Big 12 (1st) rpg; A.C. Reid (6-5, Jr., G/F) 7.8 ppg. COACH: Bill Self, 385-83, in 14th year at Kansas OUTLOOK: Tabbed to finish second in the Big KEY PLAYERS: Frank Mason III (5-11, Sr., G) 12.9 South, the Flames’ highest preseason rankppg, 4.6 apg, 4.3 rpg; Devonte Graham (6-2, Jr., ing since 2003, Liberty is expected to take a G) 11.3 ppg, 3.7 apg, 3.3 rpg; Landen Lucas (6-10, step forward with four starters returning. That Sr. F) 5.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg; Josh Jackson (6-8, Fr., G), includes preseason first team all-conference Carlton Bragg (6-10, So., F) 3.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg. pick John Dawson. Coach Ritchie McKay is in OUTLOOK: The preseason No. 3 Jayhawks have the second year of his second stint at Liberty, won 12 regular-season Big 12 titles in a row, looking to repeat the 23-12 record he posted in and there’s little reason to believe the streak his second year the first time around back in won’t reach 13. Frank Mason and Devonte 2008-09. Graham form a talented and experienced backcourt, plus freshman Josh Jackson is already Fort Wayne Mastodons projected as an NBA lottery pick next summer. WHEN: Nov. 22, 9 p.m. (BTN) KU still has to adjust to the loss of Perry Ellis WHERE: Memorial Coliseum, (16.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and Wayne Selden (13.8 ppg) Fort Wayne. but has plenty of pieces in place to make a run 2015-16: 24-10, 12-4 in Summit League (t1st) at a fifth No. 1 seed in the past 8 years. COACH: Jon Coffman 40-25 in 3rd year at Fort UMass-Lowell River Hawks Wayne KEY PLAYERS: Mo Evans (6-1, Sr., G) 16.9 ppg, WHEN: Nov. 16, 7 p.m. (BTN) 5.1 apg; John Konchar (6-5, So., G) 13.0 ppg, 9.2 WHERE: Assembly Hall rpg; DeAngelo Stewart (6-5, Sr., G/F) 8.2 ppg, 2015-16: 11-18, 7-9 in America 3.5 rpg. East (5th) OUTLOOK: Putting the alphabet soup IPFW COACH: Pat Duquette 33-53 in 4th year at moniker in the past, Fort Wayne is the UMass Lowell preseason favorite to win the Summit League KEY PLAYERS: Jahad Thomas (6-2, Jr., G/F) 14.2 after tying for first a season ago. Sophomore ppg, 7.4 rpg, 3.4 apg; Isaac White (6-0, So., G) John Konchar is a preseason first team all11.5 ppg; Matt Harris (6-1, Jr., G) 10.1 ppg; Tyler conference pick, while point guard Mo Evans Livingston (6-6, Sr., F) 7.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg. is a second team selection. This is a rare OUTLOOK: With their top six scorers returning non-conference game outside Assembly Hall from a year ago, experience is a major plus for for the Hoosiers, particularly within the state of UMass Lowell, which is picked to repeat last Indiana. The last such game was at Evansville year’s fifth-place finish in the America East in 2011. IU won last year’s matchup with the Conference. That experience is guard heavy, as Mastodons in Bloomington, 90-65. 6-foot-2 Jahad Thomas was the leading scorer and rebounder in 2015-16. It is the fourth year of the River Hawks’ transition to Division I, and Mississippi Valley State they finished ranked No. 255 in the NCAA RPI last season. Hoosier Sports Report
WHEN: Nov. 19, 7 p.m. (BTN Plus) WHERE: Assembly Hall 2015-16: 13-19, 10-8 in Big South (t5th)
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Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils
Southeast Missouri State Redhawks
WHEN: Nov. 27, 4 p.m. (ESPN3) WHERE: Assembly Hall 2015-16: 8-27, 4-12 in SWAC (t7th) COACH: Andre Payne 14-53 in 3rd year at MVSU KEY PLAYERS: Marcus Romain (6-2, Sr., G) 18.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.4 apg; Isaac Williams (6-4, Sr., G) 11.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg; Ta’Jay Henry (6-4, Sr., F) 4.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg. OUTLOOK: The top two scorers return for Mississippi Valley State, which will be taking on Indiana for the second time in three years. The Delta Devils are led by preseason first team All-SWAC guard Marcus Romain, who averaged nearly 19 points per game a year ago and led MVSU in rebounding at 5.4 per game. There are only two players over 6-7 on the roster.
WHEN: Dec. 4, 4 p.m. (ESPN2) WHERE: Assembly Hall 2015-16: 5-24, 2-14 in Ohio Valley (6th in OVC West) COACH: Rick Ray 5-24 in 2nd year at Southeast Missouri State KEY PLAYERS: Antonius Cleveland (6-6, Sr., G) 15.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg; Trey Kellum (6-7, Sr., F) 10.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg; Jamaal Calvin (6-1, Sr., G) 6.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg. OUTLOOK: Two of the worst teams on the IU schedule came in back-to-back fashion as the Redhawks were No. 342 in the RPI last year. However, 6-foot-6 senior guard Antonius Cleveland is a preseason All-OVC pick and considered one of the nation’s best non-power five guards, leading SEMO in scoring, rebounding, minutes played, steals and blocks a season ago.
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WHEN: Nov. 30, 9 p.m. (ESPN) WHERE: Assembly Hall 2015-16: 33-7, 14-4 in ACC (1st) COACH: Roy Williams 365-108 in 14th year at North Carolina KEY PLAYERS: Joel Berry (6-0, Jr., G) 12.8 ppg, 3.8 apg; Justin Jackson (6-8, Jr., F) 12.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg; Kennedy Meeks (6-10, Sr., F) 9.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg; Isaiah Hicks (6-9, Sr., F) 8.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg. OUTLOOK: It’s a rematch of last year’s Sweet Sixteen game in Philadelphia, when the Tar Heels shot 55 percent from 3 and 51.6 percent from the field overall in a 101-86 victory. Key participants are gone from each side, including a preseason injury to UNC wing and former IU recruiting target Theo Pinson, who is out indefinitely. The previous matchup was one of the rare nights when the Hoosiers’ OG Anunoby struggled against the Tar Heels’ size and this will provide both an individual and collective measuring stick.
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WHEN: Dec. 17, 7 p.m. (ESPN3) SIU-Edwardsville Cougars WHERE: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis WHEN: Dec. 2, 7 p.m. (ESPN3) 2015-16: 22-11, 10-8 in Big East (t4th) WHERE: Assembly Hall COACH: Chris Holtmann 45-22 in 3rd year at 2015-16: 6-22, 3-13 in Ohio Butler Valley (5th in OVC West) KEY PLAYERS: Kelan Martin (6-7, Jr., F) 15.7 ppg, COACH: Jon Harris 6-22 in 2nd year at SIU6.8 rpg; Andrew Chrabascz (6-7, Sr., F) 10.7 ppg, Edwardsville KEY PLAYERS: Burak Eslik (6-4, Sr., G) 14.0 ppg; 4.2 rpg; Tyler Wideman (6-8, Jr., F) 7.8 ppg, 5.7 Carlos Anderson (6-4, So., G) 10.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg; rpg; Tyler Lewis (5-11, Sr., G) 5.9 ppg, 2.8 apg. OUTLOOK: There’s experience returning, headKeenan Simmons (6-6, Jr., F) 5.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg; lined by preseason All-Big East selection Kelan Jalen Henry (6-8, Jr., F) 5.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg. Martin, but the Bulldogs will also have to figure OUTLOOK: One of the worst teams in the out how to adjust to life without Kellen Dunham country a year ago, ranking No. 306 in the and Roosevelt Jones. The key to success will be RPI, SIUE will look to take a step forward in 2016-17. The Cougars did lead the OVC in blocks for the frontline to emerge as a physical factor in the paint, a task that will be aided by the per game (4.0) last season, but they’ll still be arrival of Indiana All-Star Joey Brunk. overmatched against the Hoosiers.
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WHEN: Dec. 10, 4 p.m. (BTN) WHERE: Assembly Hall 2015-16: 17-17, 10-8 in Southland (5th) COACH: Ron Cottrell 452-350 in 26th year at Houston Baptist KEY PLAYERS: Colter Lasher (6-7, Sr., F) 10.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg; Josh Ibarra (6-11, Jr., C) 10.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg; Reveal Chukwujekwu (6-3, Sr., G/F) 8.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg. OUTLOOK: The Huskies do have some size, but whether that size can keep up with the pace at which Indiana plays is a whole different question. This will be the third of a trio of cupcakes bridging the gap between two of Indiana’s biggest non-conference games, so the Hoosiers just have to avoid a letdown.
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(12th) COACH: Keith Walker 30-49 in 4th year at Delaware State KEY PLAYERS: Devin Morgan (5-10, So., G) 12.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.7 apg; DeAndre Haywood (6-2, Sr., G) 11.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.4 apg; Dana Raysor (6-5, Jr., F) 6.5 ppg; Kavon Waller (6-5, Jr., F) 5.7 ppg. OUTLOOK: It was a miserable 2015-16 season for the Hornets, who finished 12th out of 13 teams in the MEAC. The outlook isn’t any brighter this year, as Delaware State is picked to repeat that finish in the conference. Individually, sophomore guard Devin Morgan was named to the preseason All-MEAC second team and senior guard DeAndre Haywood was selected to the third team.
Austin Peay Governors WHEN: Dec. 22, 7 p.m. (BTN Plus) WHERE: Assembly Hall 2015-16: 18-18, 7-9 in Ohio Valley (4th in OVC West) COACH: Dave Loos 398-381 in 27th year at Austin Peay KEY PLAYERS: Josh Robinson (6-2, Jr., G) 16.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg; Kenny Jones (6-6, Sr., F) 7.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg; Jared Savage (6-5, So., G/F) 6.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg; John Murry (6-3, Sr., G) 5.7 ppg. OUTLOOK: Indiana beat Austin Peay a season ago by a 102-76 margin, but the Governors eventually went on to win the Ohio Valley Tournament and automatic NCAA bid. But gone is talented big man Chris Horton, now in the NBA D-League. Junior guard Josh Robinson is a preseason All-OVC pick, but Austin Peay will have to shore up the front line, especially against a team like Indiana.
White, plus veteran guard Benny Parker. The big addition is Louisville transfer Anton Gill, who sat out last season and should add perimeter scoring punch to a group that already includes senior Tai Webster and sophomore Glynn Watson Jr. This probably isn’t an NCAA team, but Nebraska could use a winning season and NIT berth to regain momentum as a program.
Louisville Cardinals WHEN: Dec. 31, 12:30 p.m. (CBS) WHERE: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis 2015-16: 23-8, 12-6 in ACC (4th) COACH: Rick Pitino 391-132 in 16th year at Louisville KEY PLAYERS: Quentin Snider (6-2, Jr., G) 9.4 ppg, 3.5 apg; Donovan Mitchell (6-3, So., G) 7.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg; Mangok Mathiang (6-10, Sr., F/C) 7.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg; Ray Spalding (6-10, So., F) 5.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg. OUTLOOK: This is a Louisville team with something to prove after serving a self-imposed postseason ban a year ago. The Cardinals did lose grad transfer leaders Trey Lewis and Damion Lee, but enter this season ranked 13th and high on any number of young players. The sophomore trio of Deng Adel, Donovan Mitchell and Ray Spalding should lead the charge, while the foreign legion of Matz Stockman, Mangok Mathiang and Anas Mahmoud will provide size and depth in the frontcourt.
Wisconsin Badgers WHEN/WHERE: Jan. 3, 7 p.m. (ESPN), Assembly Hall; Feb. 5, 1 p.m. (CBS), Kohl Center,
Madison, Wis. 2015-16: 22-13, 12-6 in Big Ten (t3rd) COACH: Greg Gard 15-8 in 2nd year at Wisconsin KEY PLAYERS: Nigel Hayes (6-8, Sr., F) 15.7 Nebraska Cornhuskers ppg, 5.8 rpg; Bronson Koenig (6-3, Sr., G) 13.1 WHEN: Dec. 28, 7 p.m. (BTN) ppg; Ethan Happ (6-10, So., F) 12.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg; WHERE: Assembly Hall Vitto Brown (6-8, Sr., F) 9.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg; Zak 2015-16: 16-18, 6-12 in Big Ten Showalter (6-3, Sr., G) 7.5 ppg. (11th) OUTLOOK: After Bo Ryan retired last season, COACH: Tim Miles 63-67 in 5th year at the Badgers really took off under Greg Gard Nebraska to continue their streak of finishing fourth or KEY PLAYERS: Tai Webster (6-4, Sr., G) 10.1 better in the Big Ten to 15 consecutive years. ppg, 4.1 rpg; Glynn Watson Jr. (6-0, So., G) 8.6 With all five starters back, there’s no reason ppg; Jack McVeigh (6-8, So., F) 4.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg; to expect that to change. Preseason Big Ten Anton Gill (6-3, Jr., G). Player of the Year Nigel Hayes leads the way OUTLOOK: What seems like a perpetual reboot for the four seniors in the starting lineup. The in Lincoln begins anew as the Cornhuskers ceiling for Wisconsin will be determined by adjust to losing their two leading scorers and the development of players off the bench that rebounders in Shavon Shields and Andrew could be a surprise.
IU BASKETBALL PREVIEW | THE HERALD-TIMES | FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 | F17
Illinois Fighting Illini
son ago, including honorable mention All-Big Michigan Wolverines Northwestern Wildcats Ten freshman Corey Sanders, but the Scarlet WHEN/WHERE: Jan. 26, 6:30 WHEN/WHERE: Jan. 7, 5 p.m. WHEN/WHERE: Jan. 26, 9 p.m. Knights have a new coach at the helm in Steve p.m. (BTN) Welsh-Ryan Arena, (ESPNU) (ESPN2) Crisler Center, Ann Pikiell, who came over after a successful run Evanston, Ill.; Feb. 25/26, TBA WHERE: Assembly Hall Arbor, Mich.; Feb. 12, 1 p.m. at Stony Brook. There’s certainly optimism for (TBA) Assembly Hall 2015-16: 15-19, 5-13 in Big Ten (12th) (CBS) Assembly Hall improvement, but getting the progress to show 2015-16: 20-12, 8-10 in Big Ten (9th) COACH: John Groce 77-61 in 5th year at Illinois 2015-16: 23-13, 10-8 in Big Ten (8th) up in the win-loss column may be a bit of a COACH: Chris Collins 49-48 in 4th year at KEY PLAYERS: Malcolm Hill (6-6, Sr., G) 18.1 COACH: John Beilein 189-123 in 10th year at bigger challenge. Northwestern ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.3 apg; Mike Thorne Jr. (6-10, Sr., Michigan C) 12.9 ppg; Jalen Coleman-Lands (6-3, So., G) Penn State Nittany Lions KEY PLAYERS: Zak Irvin (6-6, Sr., G/F) 11.8 ppg, KEY PLAYERS: Bryant McIntosh (6-3, Jr., G) 13.8 10.3 ppg; Maverick Morgan (6-10, Sr., C) 8.3 4.5 rpg; Derrick Walton Jr. (6-1, Sr., G) 11.6 ppg, ppg, 6.7 apg; Aaron Falzon (6-7, So., F) 8.4 ppg; WHEN/WHERE: Jan. 18, 7 p.m. Dererk Pardon (6-8, So., C) 6.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg; Vic ppg; Tracy Abrams (6-2, Sr., G). 5.4 rpg, 4.5 apg; Duncan Robinson (6-8, Sr., (BTN) Bryce Jordan Center, OUTLOOK: It’s been a tumultuous year in G/F) 11.2 ppg; Muhammad-Ali Abdur Rahkman Law (6-7, So., F). University Park, Pa.; Feb. 1, Champaign, both on the court and off. Standout OUTLOOK: Northwestern has shown flashes (6-4, Jr., G) 8.6 ppg. 6:30 p.m. (BTN) Assembly Hall. guard Kendrick Nunn is no longer on the team, OUTLOOK: Since reaching the Elite Eight in 2014 over the past couple of years, but youth and 2015-16: 16-16, 7-11 in Big Ten (10th) while the Illini hope to benefit from the return on the heels of the 2013 Final Four run, Michigan injuries have made meaningful breakthroughs COACH: Patrick Chambers 72-91 in 6th year at of point guard Tracy Abrams after two years has been stuck in neutral, in part due to injuries. difficult. This may finally be the year when it Penn State away due to injuries. All-everything senior all comes together in Chris Collins’ fourth year The Wolverines hope to get healthy this year KEY PLAYERS: Shep Garner (6-2, Jr., G) 14.8 Malcolm Hill is back, but Illinois will have to as coach. Junior point guard and Greensburg behind a quartet of veterans on the perimeter. get more out of the post position to return to a ppg, 3.4 apg, 3.2 rpg; Payton Banks (6-6, Jr., F) Finding consistency along the front line remains native Bryant McIntosh will orchestrate the competitive level in the Big Ten, not to mention 9.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg; Josh Reaves (6-4, So., G) 6.4 Wildcats’ attack, while Vic Law returns from a challenge and improving the defense is part ppg, 3.7 rpg; Lamar Stevens (6-7, Fr., F). keep coach John Groce off the hot seat. injury to provide some explosion on the wing of that. IU has mixed memories from last year, OUTLOOK: This could mark the turning point of and help make up for the graduation of Tre winning with a monster run in Ann Arbor before the Pat Chambers era at Penn State, as a highly Maryland Terrapins Demps. losing in the Big Ten Tournament. touted freshman class featuring Tony Carr WHEN: Jan. 10, 9 p.m. (ESPN2) and one-time IU target Lamar Stevens aims to WHERE: Xfinity Center, College complement returning standouts Shep Garner On the Scoop Park, Md. and Payton Banks. The biggest question mark Keep up with the latest IU sports news and share your comments 2015-16: 27-9, 12-6 in Big Ten (t3rd) remains the Nittany Lions’ frontline, especially on the Hoosier Scoop blog at HoosierSportsReport.com COACH: Mark Turgeon 114-59 in 6th year at with the loss of Brandon Taylor and Donovon Maryland Jack. KEY PLAYERS: Melo Trimble (6-3, Jr., G) 18.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.3 apg; Jared Nickens (6-7, Jr., Michigan State Spartans G/F) 5.4 ppg; Dion Wiley (6-4, So., G); Kevin WHEN: Jan. 21, TBA (ESPN2) Huerter (6-7, Fr., G). WHERE: Assembly Hall OUTLOOK: The Terps have had two really 2015-16: 29-6, 13-5 in Big Ten good years in the Big Ten to this point, but this (2nd) season may be the biggest challenge yet. Star guard Melo Trimble is back for his third season COACH: Tom Izzo 524-205 in 22nd year at Michigan State to lead the way, but the rest of the starting lineup from last year is gone. Dion Wiley returns KEY PLAYERS: Eron Harris (6-3, Sr., G) 9.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg; Lourawls Nairn (5-10, Jr., G) 5.4 ppg; after missing a year to injury, Jared Nickens looks to bounce back from a sophomore slump Gavin Schilling (6-9, Sr., F); Miles Bridges (6-7, Fr., G/F); Cassius Winston (6-0, Fr., G). and some minor role players will have to emerge along with several talented freshmen. OUTLOOK: There are plenty of pieces to replace in East Lansing, chiefly Big Ten Player of the Getting that group to find the right chemistry Year Denzel Valentine. But this is also one of will take some time. the best freshmen classes Tom Izzo has ever had, so while it may not happen quickly, there’s Rutgers Scarlet Knights enough talent for MSU to coalesce into conferWHEN: Jan. 15, noon or 4:30 ence and national contenders. The Hoosiers p.m. (BTN) only get the Spartans once for the second WHERE: Assembly Hall straight year, this time at home. 2015-16: 7-25, 1-17 in Big Ten (14th) COACH: Steve Pikiell 0-0 in 1st year at Rutgers KEY PLAYERS: Corey Sanders (6-2, So., G) 15.9 ppg, 4.3 apg; Deshawn Freeman (6-7, Jr., F) 13.1 Hoosier Sports Report ppg, 5.3 rpg; Mike Williams (6-2, Jr., G) 12.3 ppg, Watch Indiana University sports 3.5 rpg; Jonathan Laurent (6-6, So., F) 8.1 ppg, feeding Hungry news on demand with the Hoosier 5.1 rpg. 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F18 | FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 | THE HERALD-TIMES | IU BASKETBALL PREVIEW
OUTLOOK: Nothing has come easy for Richard Pitino at Minnesota, and he could use something positive to prove his WHEN/WHERE: Feb. 9, 7 p.m. (ESPN2) Assemprogram is making progress. The Gophers found trouble on bly Hall; Feb. 28, 7 p.m. (ESPN) Mackey Arena, and off the court last year making for some significant roster West Lafayette changes. Freshman Amir Coffey is Minnesota’s prized recruit 2015-16: 26-9, 12-6 in Big Ten (t3rd) and could pair with sophomore Jordan Murphy to create some COACH: Matt Painter 238-134 in 12th year at Purdue headaches with their length and versatility. The lone meeting KEY PLAYERS: Vince Edwards (6-8, Jr., F) 11.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg; Isaac with IU comes at Williams Arena, never an easy place to play for Haas (7-2, Jr., C) 9.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg; Caleb Swanigan (6-9, So., F) the Hoosiers. 10.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg; Carsen Edwards (6-0, Fr., PG). OUTLOOK: No A.J. Hammons for the Boilermakers at last, but Iowa Hawkeyes Purdue still has a lot of strong pieces with Caleb Swanigan’s WHEN: Feb. 21, 9 p.m. (ESPN2) decision to return to school and a fast-improving Vince Edwards, WHERE: Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, who played his best late last season. All the Boilers have really Iowa needed for quite some time is a point guard to provide direc2015-16: 22-11, 12-6 in Big Ten (t3rd) tion, and they may have found their man in freshman Carsen COACH: Fran McCaffery 118-86 in 7th year at Iowa Edwards. Swanigan and Isaac Haas ensure Purdue will still have KEY PLAYERS: Peter Jok (6-2, Jr., G) 16.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg; Dom Uhl a massive front line to deal with as well. (6-6, So., F) 6.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg; Christian Williams (6-5, So., G) 1.4 ppg; Tyler Cook (6-9, Fr., F). Minnesota Golden Gophers OUTLOOK: All-Big Ten talent Peter Jok returns for what is WHEN: Feb. 15, 9 p.m. (BTN) otherwise a rebuilding, perhaps reloading, Iowa squad that lost WHERE: Williams Arena, Minneapolis, Minn. the notable senior quartet of Jarrod Uthoff, Anthony Clemmons, 2015-16: 8-23, 2-16 in Big Ten (13th) Mike Gesell and Adam Woodbury. Some of the role players from COACH: Richard Pitino 51-51 in 4th year at Minnesota last year’s team will have to increase their roles, competing KEY PLAYERS: Nate Mason (6-2, Jr., G) 13.8 ppg, 4.5 apg; Jordan with a sizable freshman class, which will also need to make an Murphy (6-6, So., F) 11.6 ppg, 8.0 rpg; Dupree McBrayer (6-5, impact. Youth in the frontcourt and at point guard are the bigSo., G) 5.9 ppg; Amir Coffey (6-8, Fr., G/F). gest concerns.
Ohio State Buckeyes WHEN: March 4, noon (ESPN2) WHERE: Schottenstein Center, Columbus, Ohio 2015-16: 21-14, 11-7 in Big Ten (7th) COACH: Thad Matta 320-108 in 13th year at Ohio State KEY PLAYERS: Marc Loving (6-8, Sr., F) 14.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg; Keita Bates-Diop (6-7, Jr., F) 11.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg; Jae’Sean Tate (6-4, Jr., F) 11.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg; JaQuan Lyle (6-5, So., G) 11.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 4.2 apg. OUTLOOK: The big takeaway from a season ago was that the Buckeyes could beat the lesser teams but couldn’t enjoy the same success against the best teams on their schedule. Ohio State will need to develop an improved chemistry and cohesion to improve on that and climb the Big Ten standings. Better depth should go a long way in helping that happen, including Wofford transfer Jimmy Jent, son of former Buckeye player and current assistant coach Chris Jent, and freshmen big men Micah Potter and Derek Funderburk.
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IU men’s schedule
IU women’s schedule
Nov 11: vs. Kansas, 9 p.m.‡ Nov. 16: Massachusetts-Lowell, 7 p.m. Nov. 19: Liberty, 7 p.m. Nov. 22: at Fort Wayne, 9 p.m. Nov. 27: Mississippi Valley State, 4 p.m. Nov. 30: North Carolina, 9 p.m. Dec. 2: SIU-Edwardsville, 7 p.m. Dec. 4: Southeast Missouri State, 4 p.m. Dec. 10: Houston Baptist, 4 p.m. Dec. 17: at Butler, 5 p.m.† Dec. 19: Delaware State, 8 p.m. Dec. 22: Austin Peay, 7 p.m. Dec. 28: Nebraska, 7 p.m. Dec. 31: Louisville, 12:30 p.m.† Jan. 3: Wisconsin, 7 p.m. Jan. 7: Illinois, 5 p.m. Jan. 10: at Maryland, 9 p.m. Jan. 15: Rutgers, noon or 4:30 p.m. Jan. 18: at Penn State, 7 p.m. Jan. 21: Michigan State, TBA Jan. 26: at Michigan, 9 p.m. Jan. 29: at Northwestern, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 1: Penn State, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 5: at Wisconsin, 1 p.m. Feb. 9: Purdue, 7 p.m. Feb. 12: Michigan, 1 p.m. Feb. 15: at Minnesota, 9 p.m. Feb. 21: at Iowa, 9 p.m. Feb. 25 or 26: Northwestern, TBA Feb. 28: at Purdue, 7 p.m. March 4: at Ohio State, noon ‡at Honolulu †at Indianapolis
Nov. 11: Presbyterian, 7 p.m. Nov. 13: Vanderbilt, 2 p.m. Nov. 17: at Chattanooga, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 19: at Western Kentucky, 3 p.m. Nov. 23: Massachusetts-Lowell, 2 p.m. Nov. 27: at Auburn Dec. 1: at N.C. State, 7 p.m. Dec. 6: at North Texas, 12:30 p.m. Dec. 8: Northern Kentucky, 7 p.m. Dec. 11: Valparaiso, 2 p.m. Dec. 17: Oakland, 5 p.m. Dec. 20: vs. Florida, 7:45 p.m.‡ Dec. 21: vs. Stony Brook, 7:45 p.m.‡ Dec. 28: at Penn State, 7 p.m. Dec. 31: Ohio State, 3 p.m. Jan. 4: Minnesota, 7 p.m. Jan. 10: at Michigan, 6 p.m. Jan. 14: at Northwestern, 3 p.m. Jan. 19: Purdue, 8 p.m. Jan. 23: Penn State, 7 p.m. Jan. 29: at Wisconsin, 3 p.m. Feb. 2: at Michigan State, 6 p.m. Feb. 5: Maryland, 1 p.m. Feb. 8: at Rutgers, 7 p.m. Feb. 11: Northwestern, noon Feb. 16: Michigan, 6 p.m. Feb. 19: at Nebraska, 3 p.m. Feb. 22: Iowa, 7 p.m. Feb. 25: at Illinois, TBA ‡at Winter Park, Fla.
Final 2015-16 IU men’s basketball statistics (27-8) Player Kevin Ferrell James Blackmon Jr. Troy Williams Thomas Bryant Max Bielfeldt Robert Johnson Nick Zeisloft Collin Hartman OG Anunoby Juwan Morgan Ryan Burton Quentin Taylor Harrison Niego Tim Priller Jackson Tharp Total Opponents
GP-GS 35-35 13-12 35-34 35-35 35- 5 30-22 35- 8 35-24 34- 0 30- 0 24- 0 8- 0 25- 0 14- 0 5- 0
Avg 34.7 24.5 26.2 22.6 17.5 24.9 20.1 21.9 13.7 9.1 3.2 1.1 4.4 1.2 1.0
FG FGA 196 428 73 152 163 318 157 230 113 219 84 187 72 172 65 144 66 116 21 41 5 9 1 2 4 13 1 3 0 0 1021 2034 905 2037
Pct. .458 .480 .513 .683 .516 .449 .419 .451 .569 .512 .556 .500 .308 .333 .000 .502 .444
3FG 3FGA 79 188 37 80 26 75 5 15 29 64 51 114 65 156 29 81 13 29 5 11 4 7 0 0 2 8 0 2 0 0 345 830 218 636
Pct. .420 .463 .347 .333 .453 .447 .417 .358 .448 .455 .571 .000 .250 .000 .000 .416 .343
FT 136 23 112 96 31 23 19 16 20 24 0 1 1 2 0 504 419
FTA Pct. Off-Reb 164 .829 34-133 27 .852 17- 54 162 .691 50-204 136 .706 70-202 44 .705 59-158 36 .639 12-100 21 .905 11- 57 19 .842 35-109 42 .476 42- 90 30 .800 23- 64 1 .000 3- 10 2 .500 0- 2 3 .333 5- 15 2 1.000 3- 5 0 .000 0- 0 689 .731 414-1288 615 .681 361-1059
Avg 3.8 4.2 5.8 5.8 4.5 3.3 1.6 3.1 2.6 2.1 0.4 0.3 0.6 0.4 0.0 36.8 30.3
PF 58 19 76 99 75 53 44 99 53 41 11 0 17 2 0 647 668
A TO Stl Blk Pts Avg 195 88 38 1 607 17.3 22 25 16 5 206 15.8 70 93 39 28 464 13.3 34 58 17 32 415 11.9 25 39 29 16 286 8.2 94 51 19 5 242 8.1 29 17 7 3 228 6.5 60 37 28 10 175 5.0 18 28 27 26 165 4.9 5 15 9 11 71 2.4 1 1 1 0 14 0.6 0 0 0 0 3 0.4 6 4 7 0 11 0.4 0 1 2 0 4 0.3 1 1 0 0 0 0.0 560 474 239 137 2891 82.6 423 458 215 106 2447 69.9
Final 2015-16 IU women’s basketball statistics (21-12) Player Tyra Buss Amanda Cahill Alexis Gassion Jenn Anderson Karlee McBride Kym Royster Jess Walter Tyshee Towner Lyndsay Leikem Danielle Williams Laken Wairau Total Opponents
GP-GS 33-33 33-33 33-33 33-26 33-17 33- 0 32- 5 30-11 33- 7 6- 0 4- 0
Avg 37.7 31.0 34.9 22.7 20.2 11.9 16.4 13.6 14.3 2.5 1.3
FG FGA 187 452 181 364 144 353 101 175 83 217 55 99 32 114 19 71 28 76 3 7 1 4 834 1932 875 2091
Pct. .414 .497 .408 .577 .382 .556 .281 .268 .368 .429 .250 .432 .418
3FG 3FGA 43 140 42 103 17 53 0 0 48 131 0 0 16 60 4 19 5 35 0 0 0 1 175 542 187 591
Pct. .307 .408 .321 .000 .366 .000 .267 .211 .143 .000 .000 .323 .316
FT 203 80 69 56 39 38 11 20 2 0 0 518 306
FTA 263 107 99 82 62 47 18 30 4 0 0 712 459
Pct. Off-Reb .772 20-166 .748 86-279 .697 29-156 .683 76-168 .629 4- 55 .809 48-116 .611 3- 35 .667 5- 42 .500 16- 74 .000 1- 6 .000 1- 1 .728 361-1235 .667 400-1221
Avg 5.0 8.5 4.7 5.1 1.7 3.5 1.1 1.4 2.2 1.0 0.3 37.4 37.0
PF 73 91 43 87 65 66 36 29 17 5 0 514 653
A TO Stl Blk Pts Avg 144 121 70 4 620 18.8 81 91 42 31 484 14.7 109 50 38 24 374 11.3 20 36 14 20 258 7.8 40 45 29 1 253 7.7 8 37 8 25 148 4.5 26 26 6 1 91 2.8 16 25 16 2 62 2.1 25 22 6 4 63 1.9 0 3 0 1 6 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0.5 469 478 229 113 2361 71.6 433 490 222 151 2243 68.0
F20 | FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 | THE HERALD-TIMES | IU BASKETBALL PREVIEW
INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
Expectations on the rise at IU Hoosiers ranked in preseason AP poll for first time in school history By Jon Blau 812-331-4266 | firstname.lastname@example.org
As a competitor, Indiana senior Alexis Gassion has worked to be on a team like this, coming off of an NCAA tournament bid and ranked in a preseason poll. It certainly hasn’t come together in any way she could have imagined when she first came to Bloomington. Three of the six players in her recruiting class remain. The head coach is Teri Moren, not Curt Miller. But as much as her path to this point has been a whirlwind, here she stands, about to begin her final season with expectations higher than ever before. For the first time in program history, the Hoosiers are ranked in the preseason Associated Press poll, at No. 23, which just happens to be Gassion’s number. The 5-foot-11 wing isn’t getting caught up
in numbers, though. “We have been working toward getting respect, but to us, numbers don’t mean anything,” Gassion said. “Anyone can beat anyone at this time.” It has been a crazy couple years for the Hoosiers, but the program is now on an upswing. After a WNIT run, Miller resigned in July 2014. Moren was hired in August 2014, and the Hoosiers finished below .500. The next year, IU went 14-0 at home, beat Georgia in the NCAA tournament and Moren was named Big Ten Coach of the Year. Losing only reserves Lyndsay Leikem and Jess Walter in the offseason, there is reason for optimism. But the only thing certain in 2016-17 is the Hoosiers aren’t sneaking up on anyone. A media panel predicted IU would finish third in the Big Ten conference, and the coaches had the Hoosiers tied for third with Michigan State. Tyra Buss, a first-team All-Big Ten selection in ’15-16, ROBERT FRANKLIN | ASSOCIATED PRESS made the preseason all-conference team. Big Ten coaches made her a unanimous selection. Indiana coach Teri Moren questions a call during the second half of the “Last year, no one really knew about Indiana Hoosiers’ NCAA tournament game against Notre Dame on March. 21. Indiana SEE HOOSIERS | PAGE F23 finished 21-12 in Moren’s second season as head coach last year.
Lawrence D. Rink, MD, FACC
IU BASKETBALL PREVIEW | THE HERALD-TIMES | FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 | F21
IU PLAYER PROFILES
Class: Senior | Position: Guard | Height: 5-10 High School (Hometown): Detroit County Day (Lathrup Village, Mich.) Outlook: A grad transfer and 1,000-point scorer, Deane gets a second chance at a collegiate finale after her senior season at Dayton was shortened by a quadricep injury. If she’s at full strength, Deane is a scoring wing who should see significant minutes and another vetrean with tournament experience.
Class: Junior | Position: Guard | Height: 5-8 High School (Hometown): Mt. Carmel (Mt. Carmel, Ill.) Outlook: Fearless invading the paint, Buss has thrived on finishing in traffic and getting to the free throw line. The All-Big Ten point guard also ignites IU’s transition offense. Her point production leaped from 11.7 points per game as a freshman to 18.8 last season. Now the focus of opposing defenses, can she make another leap?
Class: Freshman | Position: Guard | Height: 5-9 High School (Hometown): Tom C. Clark (San Antonio) Outlook: Gulley’s potential excites the Hoosiers. The freshman from San Antonio is long and athletic on the perimeter and should fit Teri Moren’s defense-first approach. She can hit the 3 and should be a blur in transition, as well. It’s hard to predict how she figures into a deep backcourt rotation, but don’t be surprised to see a lot of her.
Class: Sophomore | Position: Forward | Height: 6-2 High School (Hometown): Newark (Newark, Ohio) Outlook: Royster was a boom-or-bust player last year, averaging 4.5 points, but she produced a double-double when forced into action against Notre Dame in the tournament. That performance motivated her this offseason. She started in the UIndy exhibition and showed off an abilty to run the floor. If she can be consistent inside, Royster could have a major impact.
Class: Freshman | Position: Forward | Height: 6-3 High School (Hometown): Heritage Christian (Indianapolis) Outlook: Foresman was never the featured player at Heritage Christian in Indianapolis, because she played alongside South Carolina recruit Tyasha Harris, among others. But Foresman has size and can play on the perimeter. She plays with energy, but it may take time for her to adjust to the college game.
Class: Sophomore | Position: Guard | Height: 5-10 High School (Hometown): Christchurch Girls (Christchurch, New Zealand) Outlook: Wairau, billed as a quality shooter, saw only five minutes of playing time and scored two points after joining the Hoosiers midseason from New Zealand. Barring injury, there wouldn’t appear to be much time available for Wairau in a deep backcourt.
F22 | FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 | THE HERALD-TIMES | IU BASKETBALL PREVIEW
Class: Senior | Position: Guard | Height: 5-10 High School (Hometown): Villa Maria (Erie, Pa.) Outlook: McBride started last season coming off the bench but emerged during Big Ten play as instant offense for IU on the wing. She will have more competition for minutes with Ria Gulley and Amber Deane, but as long as her shot stays true — she made 36.6 percent of her 3s last year — McBride, who averaged 7.7 points last season, should see a lot of the court.
Class: Sophomore | Position: Guard | Height: 5-7 High School (Hometown): Tartan (Oakdale, Mich.) Outlook: Elbert sat out last season after transferring to IU from Marquette, where she averaged 8.6 points and three assists per game as a freshman. In practice, Elbert has shown an ability to break defenders down with her dribble. She could spell Tyra Buss at the point.
Class: Senior | Position: Guard | Height: 5-11 High School (Hometown): Fairborn (Fairborn, Ohio) Outlook: Gassion has been the Hoosiers’ ace defender, often matching up with the other team’s best scorer. At the same time, the veteran guard was IU’s third-leading scorer, at 11.3 points per game, knocking down jumpers and receiving Tyra Buss’ hit-ahead passes. No reason to think she won’t a big factor again this season.
Class: Senior | Position: Guard | Height: 5-9 High School (Hometown): East Aurora (Aurora, Ill.) Outlook: Towner showed promise as a defender last year after arriving from the junior college ranks. She just wasn’t very productive on the offensive end, hitting 26.8 percent of her shots and averaging 2.1 points. If she can be, at the very least, a threat to score, she can play a more prominent role. Otherwise, she is a defensive specialist.
Class: Freshman | Position: Forward | Height: 6-1 High School (Hometown): Guyer (Denton, Texas) Outlook: Wickware is athletic and a terrific rebounder. She is an aggressive player, at least on the defensive end. But Wickware’s jump shot will have to come along to play on the wing, because she’s undersized for a post.
Class: Senior | Position: Forward | Height: 6-2 High School (Hometown): Clyde (Clyde, Ohio) Outlook: Cahill is extremely well rounded, averaging 14.7 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds, and recording 11 doubledoubles. A second-team All-Big Ten selection, Cahill should continue to challenge defenses with her ability to finish inside as well as knock down 3-point shots. She can also handle the ball in a pinch.
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Class: Senior | Position: Center | Height: 6-3 High School (Hometown): Sheridan (Westfield, Ind) Outlook: Anderson can be hard to move on the inside and made 58 percent of her shots last year. But on the other end, she has an uncanny sense for when to take a charge. That is why the Westfield product is such an effective defensive center for the Hoosiers. She can just frustrate opponents with that combination.
Class: Soph. | Position: Forward | Height: 6-4 High School (Hometown): North Crowley (Fort Worth, Texas) Outlook: Williams certainly has the size to be a presence in the paint, but she was raw as a freshman. She played a total of 15 minutes and still has a steep hill to climb with the likes of Jenn Anderson, Kym Royster and Darby Foresman competing for post minutes.
“We all want expectations. We are all competing for the same things, you know? We want to get back to the tournament.”
Expectations on the rise for Indiana in Year 3 under Moren CONTINUED FROM PAGE F20
women’s basketball and what we could do,” Buss said. “Now, this year, we have more expectations, we are going to work in here and we are gong to work hard and not worry about what the poll says.” Buss will again lead a fast-paced IU attack, which could push even faster with increased depth behind seniors Karlee McBride and Gassion. Sophomore guard Tia Elbert, who sat out a transfer year, is now eligible. Freshman guard Ria Gulley is highly thought of within the program. On the wing, the Hoosiers have added grad transfer Amber Deane, who eclipsed 1,000 points at Dayton. Moren understands why observers would look at that mix, which also includes All-Big Ten selection Amanda Cahill in the post, and predict great things. It’s just that her team can’t be content with what other people think. “In order for us to have any sort of shelf life, we are going to have to put a couple of years together of being consistent with
ALEXIS GASSION, IU senior guard winning and, hopefully, getting into the tournament, and that is a really difficult thing,” Moren said. “We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves from that perspective, but we are excited to have the expectations. I don’t think that any competitor would ask that they don’t have that on them.” Once again, Moren has put together a tough non-conference schedule to prepare the Hoosiers for Big Ten play. Following home games against Presbyterian and Vanderbilt to start the season, IU will play five of its next six games on the road, including matchups with NCAA tournament teams in Chattanooga and Auburn. Gassion is fine with taking the hard road, along with whatever expectations are placed on the Hoosiers this season. “We all want expectations. We are all competing for the same things, you know?” Gassion said. “We want to get back to the tournament.”
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