The Hoosiers barely even have a chance to get into the gym for practice after Friday's win over Samford before they have to square off with their toughest competition of the year in Stony Brook tonight at 5 pm. The Seawolves are 3-0 on the season as well and they've done so in pretty consistent fashion. A 16 point win at home against Marist to open the season was over by half time. The Seawolves then took on Division III and also won by 16. Their most recent victory came Wednesday in a 7 point victory against Northeastern.
Stony Brook has been doing their damage this season with two seniors leading a group of underclassmen. Guards Anthony Jackson and Dave Coley have both been grabbing nearly 80% of their teams minutes on the perimeter. However, despite their large chunk of minutes these two have been having nearly polar opposite seasons to start off. Jackson, standing at 6', has an offensive rating of 128.2. A strong shooter, he's going to put up a lot of shots. He's also going to be prone to turning the ball over. This is key to the Hoosiers defense, as their length and speed can be disruptive of the Stony Brook offense that runs nearly totally through Jackson.
Jackson's counterpart Dave Coley is more of a defensive menace than an offensive one. In this young season he's at a 74.8 offensive rating, which in case you didn't know, is bad. Like really bad. However, Coley is an experienced defender that is great at keeping his man in front of him. He's very capable of avoiding fouling and while he doesn't generate a lot of turnovers he's a guy that offers a lot of staunch resistance.
Add 6-8 sophomore Jameel Warney's strong rebound and consistent offensive play to the former two and that's the guys we're going to hear from the most. The rest of the starting 5 so far this year has been by committee. No one outside of Warney, Jackson and Coley breaks 54% of the team's minutes. So the Seawolves are going to sub early and often for everyone outside of their big three.
As a team Stony Brook is capable of competing in the Big Ten but only barely. According to the Pomeroy numbers they would be good enough to put up fights against Penn State, Northwestern and Nebraska. That should tell you at least that this squad isn't going to be a push over. They're going to be coming to Assembly Hall looking to prove something. A team likely to run through their American East Conference, Stony Brook is looking to build their tournament resume by getting some early non-conference wins. Indiana's got to come to this game prepared.
For the Hoosiers, I'd look for Vonleh to continues his strong run to start the season. 6-8 is the largest consistent minutes receiver for Stony Brook, so guys like Vonleh and Jeremy Hollowell should be able to get in a lot of work. Hollowell especially looks like a guy that matches up well with this squad. While the Seawolves do have the size to match up with him, none of those match-ups are perimeter players. So Jeremy is going to have the ability to go around his defenders or post up if they go smaller, more athletic players on him. Look for Hollowell to get a lot of work in today.
In the end, the Hoosiers should be able to come away with a comfortable victory. It will be a hard fought game, but I expect Indiana to finish up with a 15ish point win or more. This is a game that the Hoosiers need to prove that they're much better than LIU Brooklyn made them out to be. Getting a big win here could pump Indiana up into the media top 25 if they look really good. We'll know more by tonight.