I reached out to a friend of mine that is a big Indiana basketball for some help with what Indiana looks this year. All the Indiana information came from her, so I would like thank her for that. You can follow her on twitter here Sporting Jules
Indiana is off to a 4-0 start but hasn't really played anyone. Whereas, Washington has a one slip up and is at 2-1. So lets get to it.
After losing four starters to graduation and bringing in a gigantic eight-man freshman class, the Indiana Hoosiers are a bit of a mystery heading into the 2013-2014 season. The only returning starter is Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell, a 6'0" sophomore point guard. Ferrell did an admirable job of running IU's offense last season as a true freshman, but this year he will be counted on for more of an offensive role and to be the team's true on-court leader. Senior forward Will Sheehey (6'7") was one of the nation's top sixth-men last year and is one of the streakiest shooters in the Big Ten. When he's in the zone, he can't miss but his overaggressive nature can be a liability at times.
Joining these two in the starting lineup are forward Jeremy Hollowell (a 6'8" sophomore who saw limited action last season), shooting guard Troy Williams (6'8" freshman), and forward/center Noah Vonleh (6'10" freshman). Outside of Ferrell, Vonleh is IU's true superstar. A five-star recruit out of Massachusetts, Vonleh has shown flashes of a dominating presence on both ends of the court. Over the course of four games he's averaged 14.8 points and 12.5 rebounds and will only continue to improve.
Overall, Indiana is a very young and inexperienced team. However, Coach Tom Crean has this program humming after a breakout season this past year in which they finished 29-7 and were eliminated in the Sweet 16. ESPN ranked IU's 2013 draft class at fourth overall, and Crean is taking advantage of this outstanding group by playing many of his young players extensively. Outside of Arizona State senior transfer Evan Gordon (6'0" shooting guard), the next four players to come off of Indiana's bench are all freshmen. Collectively, this is the best group of talent that IU has seen in many years, but a lot of questions have yet to be answered concerning this team's ability to play together and handle adversity.
Indiana can be counted on to play hard defense, push the ball on offense, and shoot often and accurately.
Washington is led by fifth year senior swingman C.J. Wilcox. He comes in averaging 20.3 points a game. As Wilcox goes, so have the huskies over the last season plus. Right now he is there only consistent scorer. Running the point is Freshman Nigel Williams-Goss. Coming off his best game in his short collegiate career, where he scored 22 points and had 6 rebounds and 5 assists. In three games he has only turned the ball over 4 times. I am anxious to see how he plays under the lights of MSG. That being said. Nigel is used to big moments, playing for the USA under 19 team, as well as, other appearances at MSG. Percy posted a nice video of him here NWG on MSG.
Joining these two in the starting lineup will most likely be SG Andrew Andrews, PF Shawn Kemp JR. and C Perris Blackwell. This will be a big defensive game for Blackwell as he will be tasked with stopping Noah Vonleh. This matchup could really be the key to the game as we know the huskies front court is very thin due to the injuries of Desmond Simmons and Jernard Jarreau. My other key is the play of NWG.
I expect the game will be up tempo and high scoring. Washington has the 12th shortest possession time in the country and Indiana is averaging 92 points a game. The Husky rotation will include Freshman guard Darin Johnson and Junior G Mike Anderson. Both are excellent scorers. I expect the coach Romar would like to only go to 7 players deep tonight. However, Gilles Dierickx will need to play some meaningful minutes to give Kemp and Blackwell a breather.
This will be the first time I get to Watch the Husky Basketball team in action and it may be a rough night. Indiana is overall bigger than Washington, so rebounding and defense could be an issue all night. Both teams are seeking to create their identity in New York City and I suspect Indiana will be more successful in doing that. If they are not I think we will wake up tomorrow knowing that the next great Husky guard has arrived.