IU heads to Brooklyn for the next two days to play in the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center. The No. 1 Hoosiers are entering a more difficult stretch in their schedule and will start off by facing Georgia.
The Bulldogs, 1-2, and IU will tip off at 5:30 pm this evening and the game will be on ESPN U. IU. 3-0, will then face the winner of No. 13 UCLA and Georgetown (so, realistically UCLA) on Tuesday.
This will be IU's first trip away from home, but they won't exactly be in a true hostile environment. The Hoosiers won't have a true road game until the Big Ten season starts.
Once again, IU will be without Peter Jurkin and Hanner Mosquera-Perea due to the ineptitude of the NCAA. The appeal hearing will not be held until Friday. Meanwhile, UCLA has already had Shabazz Muhammad reinstated despite having to pay back $1,600 in impermissible benefits which, according to NCAA bylaws, would mean he should sit out 30 percent of the season. When asked about this the NCAA responded with a "no comment." If you, as an IU fan, are confused and frustrated, you should be. This situation further illustrates just how much of a joke the NCAA has become.
Alright, rant over. IU still has enough fire power without the two freshmen to overpower Georgia and UCLA.
Here's what to watch for tonight against Georgia:
- Defense. IU showed stout defense against Sam Houston State, holding them to just 45 points and 30 percent shooting. Georgia averages just 61 points per game and is one of the worst shooting teams in the nation at just 37 percent. IU needs to show improvement over last season on defense, and this is a good chance for them to continue this trend. Expect IU to shut down the Bulldogs.
- Blowout. IU has the best offense in the nation. The Hoosiers average 94 points per game, which would be good even in the NBA. There simply isn't a way that Georgia can keep up. As we just said, the Bulldogs only put up 61 points per game. Only one player, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (who might have a legitimate claim to the throne of a distant nation, based solely on his name), that averages over ten points per game. IU has so far held it's opponents to just 53 points per game. This level of intensity should continue.
- More defense. Despite what we just said, Georgia is a pretty solid defensive team. This isn't to say that IU won't eventually over power the Bulldogs, but IU might have a slow start as they try to figure out their defense. The Bulldogs have held their opponents to 64 points per game.
- More minutes. The starting five, whoever they may be, will more than likely play for a lot longer than in previous games. We will still see solid minutes from the second string, as they have proven to be quite potent, but the starters will need to play more.
While this maybe a more challenging outing for the Hoosiers than their other opponents, this should still be an easy win. The Hoosiers will overcome a slow start and roll to a 20+ point win. In addition, UCLA will beat Georgetown tonight in Muhammad's debut setting up a showdown between No.1 and No. 13 tomorrow night.
We'll be live tweeting the game, so don't forget to follow us on twitter @hoosiers101.
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