With every basketball game that Indiana plays this season we will take a look at three things to watch that could be important for that game.
Here are the three keys for Chicago State:
1. HANDLE THE PRESSURE
Tom Crean talked at length Thursday about how Chicago State likes to press and trap the ball, as well as wanting to trap the ball out of the zone as well. Passing the ball at a high level, not allowing yourself to get trapped in the corner, and good ball distribution will be keys against a team like Chicago State. Look for players like Yogi Ferrell and Stanford Robinson to have opportunities to dissect that defense with their quickness.
2. THE BRIGHT LIGHTS OF ASSEMBLY HALL
It's one thing to play at Hoosier Hysteria, the Haunted Hall of Hoops or two exhibition games against non-Division I competition, but tonight it starts for real. And the reality is that a good number of these Indiana players will be playing their first regular season game in Assembly Hall.
The challenge will be to try not to do too much, let the game come to them, and enjoy the moment. The game is a sellout and there's plenty of anticipation about this Indiana team so one would think it would be an electric atmosphere for tonight's opener. That kind of electricity can also have an effect on the visiting team, in this case Chicago State.
3. KNOCK DOWN THE PERIMETER SHOT
A big question mark for this Indiana team remains what players are going to be able to consistently hit the open jumper. Will Sheehey will likely be one of them. He has the most experience and will be looked upon to consistently hit that shot from the outside. Yogi Ferrell has shown in the early going that he is more than capable of contributing from there perimeter, too.
But others also need to step up. Evan Gordon needs to consistently hit the outside shot. The same is true for players like Troy Williams, Austin Etherington and Stanford Robinson. The best way to open things up inside for players like Noah Vonleh and Luke Fischer is to establish a perimeter shooting attack. That will be one of the big things to watch beginning tonight.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch