Unlike in year's past, Indiana's exhibition opener didn't provide any clues as to who IU Coach Mike Davis might be considering redshirting.
Indiana played 13 of its 16 players in its 93-65 victory over St. Joseph's, one of those to suit up was a freshman Joey Shaw, someone many think is a potential redshirt candidate due to Indiana's depth on the wing and Shaw's need to add weight. Shaw played 12 minutes Friday night, contributing two points, three rebounds and two blocks.
NCAA rules used to stipulate that players who suited up for exhibition games were no longer eligible to be redshirted, but they've since rescinded that rule. Now, only players who play in regular season games are no longer eligible to redshirt.
"I thought Joey did a great job," said Davis. "I wanted him to sit and watch (early on)…I thought he came in and rebounded the ball better than anyone for a stretch."
One player noticeably absent from Friday's game was junior Roderick Wilmont. A standout in Tuesday's intra-squad scrimmage, Wilmont didn't play against St. Joseph's due to some off-the-court issues Davis wants him to address.
"Wilmont has to take care of a couple of things before I play him," said Davis. "He will be back soon."
ALLEN SHOWS SKILLS
Indiana fans got their first glimpse of freshman Ben Allen, who scored six points in 10 minutes before fouling out.
"I love Ben Allen," said Davis. "He has to stop fouling so much. But other than that – he's a very good basketball player. Tonight he showed something he hasn't shown before tonight – a post-up game."
Allen was 3-for-4 from the floor, with his only miss coming from behind the 3-point arc. The native of Australia is a gifted perimeter shooter, and Davis expects him to show those long-range skills this season as well.
Allen got himself in foul trouble with some issues on the defensive end, but he's been making steady progress since arriving in Indiana over the summer. Davis said he expects him to team with D.J. White, Marco Killingsworth and Sean Kline to give the Hoosiers a very formidable – and versatile – frontline.
While Allen is expected to be a valuable contributor immediately, Indiana's other freshman from overseas, Cem Dinc, might take a little more time. But Davis said the 6-10, 240-pound Dinc has plenty of skills, and his days will come soon as well.
"Ben is a lot further along than Cem," said Davis. "(Cem) wants to play outside, but if D.J. is out (with a foot injury), we're going to put him inside. He's coming. He's made some strides in the last couple of days. We look for him to be ready to go in December."
Marco Killingsworth wrapped up his first game in an Indiana uniform with a team-high 17 points and four rebounds in 19 minutes, but his effort left Davis wanting and expecting more.
"I didn't think he was very good tonight," said Davis.
It's not so much that Killingsworth's effort was lacking. Instead, it's the faith that Davis has in the 6-7, 265-pound senior that he can do a whole lot more.
"Normally he's dominant around the basket - really dominant," said Davis. "I thought he was so-so. A Marco Killingsworth knight is 13-for-16 (from the field)."
While 13-for-16 nights might be a stretch, there's little doubt that Killingsworth presence will provide a big lift to Indiana's field goal shooting, which ranked ninth in the Big Ten a year ago (42.5 percent). Killingsworth led the SEC in field goal shooting in both 2003 (55 percent) and 2004 (58.7 percent), and he knocked down his first six shots on Friday on his way to a 7-of-8 night from the floor.
Once White returns to the lineup, Davis believes he has as good a 1-2 tandem as anyone.
"D.J and Marco side by side, I don't see another frontcourt in the country that's better than those two," said Davis.
The frontline, though, will also include a couple of other players as well. Ben Allen is expected to be a factor inside and on the perimeter, while senior Sean Kline's 13-point, two-block effort suggests he's going to be a significant contributor as well.
"He lost his confidence (last year)," said Davis. "He can help us.
"Coming int the year, we thought the frontcourt would be D.J., Marco and Ben Allen on paper. But Sean Kline has made great strides to make it D.J., Marco, Sean Kline and Ben Allen. He's going to definitely play 20 minutes per game I think."
- Marco Killingsworth shook off the rust in a big way. Just after the opening tip he dunked home the first points of the game off an assist from Robert Vaden. "I really didn't sleep that much last night," said Marco. "I wasn't nervous, I was just anxious. I was anxious until I scored my first point and then I started to get back to my groove. Then I scored again and again, then it settled in that I was playing basketball again." Killingsworth finished the night with 17 points in 19 minutes of play and barely played in the second half…Fifth-year senior Sean Kline had a fast break opportunity eerily similar to the play where he injured his knee two seasons ago at Purdue. After Killingsworth pulled down a defensive rebound, he threw the ball three-quarters of the court to an open Kline who pulled it in almost under the basket. Kline missed the layup but avoided injury. "It was kind of like the same play," said Kline. "But I've gotten past that by now. I had a little bit of a flashback, but I wish I would have made the layup – or at least drawn iron."…After spending last offseason bulking up for the 2004-05 season, Kline was noticeably slimmer for his last season as a Hoosier. "I slimmed down just to help myself athletically and as a basketball player," said Kline. "I've cut down about 20 pounds since last season."…Indiana showed a run and gun offensive style of play that was missing from last season. With head coach Mike Davis playing 12 players, he was able to wear out the Pumas in the second half. "We wanted to play up tempo last season but we didn't have enough depth to do it," said sophomore Robert Vaden. "Now we have enough guys on our bench this year to go up and down the court a lot and go inside every time."…If Killingsworth has any part of his game to work on, it is his free throws. Killingsworth went 3-of-9 from the charity stripe. He missed the front end of two bonus opportunities. He did however go 7-of-8 from the floor and pulled down four rebounds…Robert Vaden played a game high 31 minutes and totaled 17 points, five assists and three rebounds. Back as his more fitting wing position, Vaden showed more depth to his game. He showed his ability to slash to the rim and knock down the outside shot…One area Indiana will have to be much better in is rebounding. St. Joseph's out-rebounded the Hoosiers 49-38, including a 19-7 edge on the offensive glass. St. Joseph's didn't do much with those opportunities – Indiana actually had eight second-chance points compared to St. Joe's six – but other foes won't be as generous."We have to rebound the basketball better to create more opportunities," said Davis…Indiana forced 26 St. Joe's turnovers and held a 21-9 edge in points off turnovers…Indiana only attempted 13 3-point shots in 66 overall attempts, or 19.6 percent. A year ago, nearly 35 percent of Indiana's shots were from behind the 3-point arc.
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