Hey, there's basketball tonight! Exhibition #1: Indiana Hoosiers v. Franklin Grizzlies.

The 2010-11 Indiana Hoosiers take the court for the first time this season when they play the Franklin College Grizzlies at 7:30 p.m. at Assembly Hall.  For those who don’t know, Franklin College is a NCAA Division III school located in Franklin, Indiana, which is about 20 miles south of downtown Indianapolis.  It’s a small, picturesque campus in what I consider one of the more underrated small towns in Indiana. 

Unquestionably, this game will be a thrill for the Franklin players.  The Grizzlies’ 16-man roster is comprised entirely of players from central and southern Indiana.  Coach Kerry Prather, in his 28th season at the helm, is an IU grad.  Although Prather has a solid 433-296 record during his tenure, the Grizzlies struggled to an 8-18 finish last season.  In their defense, they had a very young team last season.  All four of Franklin’s double-figure scorers from last season are back: 6-6 junior Will Canoley, 5-9 junior Clayton Starrett, 6-5 junior Zach Mershbrock, and 6-5 sophomore Gunner Irwin.  That means that Franklin’s top 4 scorers in 2010 were freshmen or sophomores.  On paper, at least, the appropriately named Gunner Irwin is the most intriguing: He’s 6-5 and shot 48 percent from behind the arc last season, a rare combination in Division III.  Unfortunately for Franklin, the tallest man on its roster is 6-6, so IU should present some major matchup issues.

Ultimately, there’s not much to say about this one.  Frankly, it somewhat snuck up on me.  I’ll try to work in some basketball preview posts before IU’s regular season opener on November 12.  We’ll take a look at this year’s scholarship newcomers (freshmen Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey, and junior college transfer Guy-Marc Michel) and expectations for the season. 

The game will be carried on the Big Ten Network's website.  I probably won't have the chance to watch it live, but feel free to use this post as a game thread.

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