Samford Bulldogs (1-1)
Last time out: L, 88-75 at Texas-Arlington
Down by seven at halftime, Samford made a modest comeback before UT-Arlington pulled away at home. The Bulldogs got as close as down three points, 51-48, with 15:31 to go in the game. UT-Arlington went on a 23-10 run over the next 9:23 to take a 74-58 with just over six minutes left. Samford only got as close as nine points the rest of the way before falling 88-75.
Junior guard Raijon Kelly scored 14 of his team-high 18 points in the second half to go along with four assists. Sophomore forward Tim Williams came close to a double-double with nine points (3-of-12 shooting) and 12 rebounds. Samford shot just 38.3 percent (23-of-60) from the floor.
Record: 11-21, 9-9 Southern Conference
Samford finished fourth in the Southern Conference's six-team North division. The Bulldogs are picked to finish fourth in the conference, the highest preseason conference ranking since joining the conference in 2006.
The Bulldogs' 9-9 conference record was its best in its five years as a member of the Southern Conference. Samford has eight newcomers on the team, half its roster, including six freshmen and two transfers.
Head coach: Bennie Seltzer
At Samford (2nd season): 12-22. Career: Same
What they do well:
Shoot the three and play pressure defense
Samford shot 36.1 percent from 3-point range last season, which ranked second in the conference. It's a small sample size, but the Bulldogs are off to an even better start this year, shooting 37.8 percent (14-of-45) from deep. They shot 43.5 percent (10-of-23) from beyond the arc against UT-Arlington on Tuesday. Junior guard Connor Miller lead the way in that department, going 4-of-7 from long range.
"They're getting deeper," Indiana head coach Tom Crean said. "They shoot the ball well. They've got numerous guys that can make threes, and they've already been on the road, so it's not like we're going to be their first road test."
Crean said Samford will look to push the ball in transition and will challenge IU with its athleticism. Seltzer has also installed some of his own defensive wrinkles.
"When I watch them on film, I see a very quick, athletic team that is executing at a good rate," Crean said. "They're learning, they got pressed a lot the other night by Texas A&M. They dealt with that.
"I think there's no question (Seltzer) could come in here and change defenses, play his own, do different things."
G Raijon Kelly, JR
Kelly, whose 151 assists last season were a single-season program record, is more than just a capable passer. He was second on the team in scoring, as well, averaging 14.1 points per game.
Kelly has 32 points and nine assists through two games. He makes the Bulldogs' offense go and can burn defenders in a number of ways. So far he's 4-of-11 on 3-pointers and finished 6-of-7 from the charity stripe against UT-Arlington.
Crean said Kelly is an "excellent" guard but stressed that IU isn't focusing on stopping one player.
"I don't think it's a game where you can look at it and say they've got one or two guys and we're just going to pinpoint those guys because then all of a sudden they're going to knock down threes," Crean said. "I think what (we) have to do is just no matter what defense we're in we've got to stay true to the coverage, be athletic and active and try to limit them to one shot."
F Tim Williams, SO
Including Samford's exhibition game, Williams has two double-doubles in three games, coming up just short of a third against UT-Arlington. He had 20 points and 10 rebounds in the Bulldogs' exhibition win over Miles College and followed it up with a 19 and 16 performance in Samford's season-opening win over Martin Methodist.
Williams was named the 2013 Southern Conference freshman of the year after leading all conference freshmen in scoring (14.1) and rebounding (7.1) last season. He also earned third team All-Southern Conference honors.
"He's a hard guy to deal with the angles that he creates inside, because of the strength that he plays with," Crean said.