On today’s Banner Morning:
• IU left out of NCAA tournament field
• Previewing the first round NIT matchup
• Who can breakout for IU
• Quotes from Archie Miller
Welcome Hoosier fans to this Monday edition of Banner Morning — your daily rundown of IU basketball news and notes.
I’m Michael Dugan, filling in for Jerod Morris, and we are one day away from IU-St. Francis.
In team news …
The Hoosiers were officially left out of the NCAA tournament and found themselves as a 1 seed in the NIT. They will face St. Francis of Pennsylvania, a team that won the Northeast Conference regular season with a conference record of 12-6. That game will tip off at 7 p.m.
The Red Flash will bring some solid experience against quality teams into Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Four of the team’s first five games this season were all road games against Buffalo, UCLA, North Carolina and Virginia Tech, three of whom are seeded sixth or better in the NCAA tournament. While they didn’t play any of those teams very closely, they do have experience in going up against top-tier talent and coaching, and they’ll be ready to play inside of one of college basketball’s greatest venues.
Now, let’s take a closer look at what St. Francis brings to the table …
The two leading scorers for the Red Flash are guards Keith Braxton and Jamaal King, who combine to average almost 32 points and 8 assists for the team, and each play over 30 minutes a game. Braxton is also a force on the glass, averaging a solid 9.8 rebounds per game despite standing at just 6-feet, 4-inches tall. King is the team’s leader in assists per game, with 4, just ahead of Braxton’s 3.8.
All in all, this is a team that plays with a lot of guards and runs through those two. They don’t play any forward or center more than 16 minutes per game, which means we could see a Juwan Morgan takeover. Their guards aren’t terribly big either, which has me on the lookout for how aggressive Al Durham and Rob Phinisee play defensively, going up against guys that they can physically outmatch.
Now let’s go around the horn and get some reaction to Indiana’s matchup…
Kenpom heavily favors the Hoosiers in this one, favoring them by 20 points and giving them a 96% chance of victory.
Zach Osterman of the Indy Star has a recap of selection Sunday, some numbers on St. Francis, and some quotes from Archie Miller on the Hoosiers’ bid. Coach Miller said “It is an honor to earn an invitation to postseason play of any kind and our program will treat it as such. We look forward to the opportunity to be a No. 1 seed in the NIT, and our goal is to win and take advantage of the experiences we can gain as a team.” Sounds like despite just missing the NCAA tournament, the Hoosiers will come out ready to play as many games as they can.
For the links mentioned in this edition of Banner Morning, visit assemblycall.com.
And remember to use the URL iutickets.shop to visit SeatGeek for the best prices on IU basketball tickets. That’s iutickets.shop, promo code ASSEMBLY for $10 off your first purchase.
We’ll be back tomorrow with a new edition of Banner Morning. Until then, keep your elbows in and your eyes on the rim, and go Hoosiers.