Scouting Report: Nicholls State

Nicholls State has won three of its last four games including a road win at IUPUI Wednesday night. But the Colonels also come into Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall a 27.5 point underdog tonight. Here is a closer look at Nicholls State.

Here is a closer look at the latest opponent for Indiana basketball, Nicholls State.

Nicholls State Colonels (3-5)

Last time out: W, 62-56 at IUPUI on Wednesday

Earlier this week, the Colonels grabbed their first road win of the season just an hour north of Bloomington against IUPUI.

Nicholls State grabbed the early first half lead before IUPUI ran on an 11-2 run to control the game for the majority of the game's first 20 minutes. The Colonels fought back to take a two-point lead into the locker room led by Jeremy Smith's 11 points.

In the second half, IUPUI took a couple possession lead in the middle of the half, but with a 14-4 run to close out the game – including three 3-pointers from T.J. Carpenter, the Colonels pulled off their third win in four games.

2012-13 season

Record: 9-21, (8-10 in the Southland Conference)

Nicholls State finished tied for fifth in the Southland Conference, falling to the No. 8 seeded McNeese State in the first round of the conference tournament, 62-59.

The Colonels started the season 1-9 in non-conference play, including losses to fellow Big Ten members Michigan State (84-39) and Nebraska (68-59).

During conference play, Nicholls State struggled against the top four teams – Stephen F. Austin, Northwestern State, Oral Roberts and Southeastern Louisiana – going 1-7 against those foes.

What they do well

The Colonels are on a hot streak, winning three of their last four games – averaging 76 points in those wins. The team's biggest win came against Loyola at home 87-62 where T.J. Carpenter scored a season-high 20 points.

But outside of those games, Nicholls State has performed towards the bottom of the NCAA. They've been outscored by the opponents by more than 10 points per game this season and out-rebounded by more than three.

The Colonels have struggled from the free throw line this season as well, shooting 55.6 percent from the charity stripe. On the other end, they've committed 27 fouls per game, almost an identical amount as the Hoosiers, but IU has shot 72.6 percent from the line, giving the Hoosiers a clear advantage from the line.

Nicholls State has been scoring just 0.905 points per possession this season – ranking them 314th out of 351 teams in the NCAA. The Hoosiers stand at 74th in the country, not a mark to brag about, but with an overwhelming advantage on the glass – 47.1 rebounds per game to 33 – and decent shooting from the field, the 3-point line and the charity stripe, the Hoosiers shouldn't have much trouble getting a large lead.

Star players

G Dantrell Thomas, Sr.

Last season, Thomas was second on the team in scoring with a career-high of 13.8 points per game. Through the first eight games of the season, the senior from Many, La. has eclipsed that mark, scoring 14.1 points per game to lead the Colonels shooting 41-of-81 from the floor. He's also pulling down 4.9 rebounds per game, is second on the team in assists and taken 10 steals this season.

G T.J. Carpenter, So.

On a team that struggles from the 3-point line (shooting 28.9 percent as a team this season), Carpenter shines. The sophomore from Lakeside High School has shot more than double the number of 3-pointers of any of his teammates, knocking down 43.8 percent of them (21-of-48). As a shooter, he's only a 40 percent shooter from the field, but his stroke from beyond the arc could keep the Colonels in the game for a little while. Top Stories