Game Info / How to Watch
Who? Indiana Hoosiers (3-1, #18 KenPom) vs. UT Arlington Mavericks (3-1, #225 KenPom)
When? Tuesday, 11/20/18 7:00 PM, Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Bloomington, IN
Vegas? Indiana -24, o/u 146
KenPom Projection? Indiana 84-63, 97% chance of Indiana victory
Did y’all know that this game along with the previous games against Arkansas and Montana State and future opponent UC Davis are apart of a series called “Hardwood Showcase”? These teams are all playing each other in a round robin, I know it’s not really important to know that info but I found it interesting nonetheless.
We now return to your regularly scheduled preview.
IU is coming off their first loss, and a tough one, after falling on the road by a point by what should be an NCAA tournament-caliber Arkansas team. Despite sloppy play and poor officiating, a loss is a loss and it’s something the Hoosiers can’t do to fix now.
A little over 48 hours after the Arkansas game, IU returns to Bloomington to face off against a somewhat respectable UT Arlington, a team that came up one game short of an NCAA tournament appearance last year.
UT Arlington has done an okay job so far this season, picking up a nice win against Northern Iowa and another against UC Davis yet losing to a KenPom sub-300 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
As for players to watch out for on this team, the one to definitely watch for is Indy native and Howe graduate Brian Warren. The 5-11 Junior guard is this team’s best player with out a doubt. Warren has an impressive 2pt% of 66.7 and the highest offensive rating amongst his teammates.
Now, let’s get look at the four factors to see what the Mavericks bring to Tuesday’s matchup.
Looking at the Mavericks’ numbers, the main takeaway is that this team isn’t all too special — sporting an average defense and a below average offense, making this a cupcake game with no frosting.
Although, UT Arlington does one thing very well, and that is capitalizing on their free throws. The team is 26th in the country for their FTA/FGA rate AND sports a stellar team FT% of 77.5, good enough to be top 40 in the country. But beside that, there isn’t much more to marvel at.
This team has a tough time shooting despite the solid free throw rate, with an effective FG% of 46.2 and an abysmal 3PT% of 24.7.
Tune up 2.0 - While Chicago State and Montana State were tune up games for Marquette and Arkansas, UT Arlington and UC Davis will serve as tune up games before a tough five game stretch for the Hoosiers that features Duke, Northwestern, Penn State, Louisville, and Butler. If there is any time to fix any issues from the past few games, now would be the time.
Secure the bag... I mean ball - Part of what lost Indiana the game on Sunday was in part to sloppy ball control which resulted in 18 turnovers against Arkansas’ 12. It’s controlling things like that which can make or break a game, although I don’t imagine it being too big of an issue against a UT Arlington team that has a nationally below average defensive TO% rate.
Inside out - While successful at the FT line, UT Arlington does a solid job of scoring inside with a 54.9% 2-pointer average, which puts them in the top 90 nationally. However the team, as mentioned earlier, doesn’t do a great job shooting from distance. With that said, I want to see how players like Juwan Morgan, De’Ron Davis, Justin Smith, and Evan Fitzner are able to discourage that inside basket, forcing the Mavericks to take subpar shots from beyond the arc.