GAME INFO / HOW TO WATCH:
Tune-up Number Two
Tonight, Indiana plays its second tune-up between the Kansas and North Carolina contests. I'm not really sure what else to say to hype up this game that you probably won't watch anyway because you'll be drunk from watching Indiana football (more than likely) get thrashed in the Big House and you won't want to pay to watch it on BTN Plus. Jim Delaney sucks, have we mentioned that before?
HERE WOULD YOU LIKE SOME FACTORS?
|INDIANA (#5 Adj. Offense)||59.2% (24th)||20.8% (243rd)||46.8% (5th)||44.8% (18th)|
|LIBERTY (#264 Adj. Defense)||52.1% (226th)||27.4% (6th)||23.3% (53rd)||33.3% (173rd)|
|INDIANA (#59 Adj. Defense)||50.0% (173rd)||15.9% (297th)||27.3% (116th)||36.4% (244th)|
|LIBERTY (#239Adj. Offense)||46.6% (227th)||23.1% (294th)||9.7% (348th)||35.0% (140th)|
The Liberty Cupcakes?
Fresh off what has become a typical non-conference evening for the Hoosiers -- a 100-78 snoozer against UMass-Lowell -- Indiana will face the Liberty Flames tonight at Assembly Hall. Though Liberty would appear to be another cupcake on paper, the Flames hung tough just a few days ago with in-state VCU, losing by just five after getting the Rams at home in Lynchburg. Liberty may turn out to be the toughest of the non-major non-conference opponents. Still though, KenPom gives the Hoosiers a 98% chance of victory.
What should you know about Liberty? Well, as far as the school is concerned, you should know that Liberty is a Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia. Formerly known as Lynchburg Baptist College, and founded by Jerry Falwell, Liberty is the 5th largest university in the country when you consider residential and online students. 15,000 students attend the university in person and more than 94,000 students from 50 states and 85 countries take online classes.
For Basketball purposes, you should know that last season Liberty went 13-19, but had a winning record in the Big South, going 10-8 in conference play.This season, they're off to a start that suggests marked improvement, mostly judging off one contest against VCU. The key for Indiana will be whether they can cutdown on the turnovers against against a team that is 6th best in the nation at forcing them. For Liberty, it'll be key for them to keep the Hoosiers off the offensive glass. Liberty just doesn't get offensive rebounds, but they do a fair job at keeping opponents off boards. They'll need to be stellar though, tonight, as the Hoosiers are 5th best on the offensive glass, and if that trend continues, coupled with Liberty's offensive rebounding trend, Indiana will dominate battle on the boards.
What to Watch (or probably listen for on the radio since the game is on BTNPlus)
- Youth Development - As of now, it appears that if Indiana was playing a quality opponent, as they will next week against North Carolina, would only be about eight deep. 10 players saw the floor against Kansas, but Freddie McSwain played just four minutes and Devonte Green played just 13. De'Ron Davis is averaging just 9.5 MPG. While those minutes may be enough to get some rest for the regulars, but if those three guys can develop and gain confidence against these lesser opponents and play quality minutes against the Butlers and Louisvilles of the world, this team will be in a much better place come Big Ten season.
- Rebounds - As mentioned above, rebounding will be huge tonight. The Hoosiers have out-rebounded their first two opponents 96-63 combined. A margin of 16.5 per game might seem like early season inflation, but sustaining numbers close to that might be possible thanks to Thomas Bryant and the freak athletes surrounding him.
- Active Hands - Since these early contests mostly aren't about the game being played and are about getting ready for later in the season, it would be good to see (hear about) some active hands on defense. Tom Crean prides himself on having teams with active hands on the defensive end, and he has someone on his staff who counts deflections because he takes it so seriously. Crean doesn't release those numbers unless he tells Fisch in the postgame interview, so I have no idea how many deflections they have through two games. But Indiana has just 17 steals and has forced just 26 turnovers (which may be okay given that they've played Kansas and not two middle school teams, but you'd like to see those numbers increase dramatically). Active hands will lead to a significant rise in those numbers.