After starting Indiana's final exhibition game against the University of Indianapolis in place of the injured D.J. White, Sean Kline looks like the likely starter heading into the Hoosier's home opener against Nicholls State.
"I think Sean Kline played well for the first game he had his named called out as a starter," said Indiana head coach Mike Davis. "He was a little nervous tonight, but I thought he did okay. By Friday night against Nicholls State, he should be ready to go."
Kline replaced White in the second and final exhibition game, chipping in four points on 1-of-4 shooting while pulling down six rebounds in 15 minutes. Kline split time with freshman Ben Allen at the power forward position in the first half of Indiana's 96-49 blowout win against the Greyhounds.
While Davis was generally positive about Kline's effort, IU's fifth-year senior was a bit more critical.
"I wasn't very pleased with my play tonight," said Kline after the game. "I made a couple of dumb turnovers early and I had a couple of shots where I didn't really finish as strong as I would have liked to. There will be things for me to learn from tomorrow in film so I can be ready to help this team when the season starts next week."
Going into his final season, Kline is no stranger to the starter's role. He started 12 games his sophomore season before injuring his knee against Purdue and he also started three games last season.
"Kline has been playing well in practice," said senior Marshall Strickland. "He plays with the starters on the White team. He plays a different game than D.J. who is more of a scorer on the block. Kline is more of a guy who's going to take two dribbles to the middle and kick out. We know the ball is going to come out and Kline is going to give the perimeter guys more looks."
Kline will have the tough job of filling in for White, who along with Marco Killingsworth, was expected to lead one of the best frontcourts in the nation.
"We just need to win," said Kline. "We need to win without D.J. It's a big loss. He's a great player, a potential All-American. Losing a body like that is detrimental to the team. I just want to step up and contribute, help any way I can."
The loss of White for six to eight weeks means the Hoosiers will most likely have to win without him for most of the non-conference schedule before his return for Big Ten play.
"People say maybe it's good D.J.'s out now," said Davis. "There's no silver lining in it. We lost the Big Ten Freshman of the Year for six to eight weeks and he's a pretty good player. We have the guys, they just need to step up."
Being back in the starter's role should help Kline improve on his 1.3 points a game he averaged in the 2004-05 season. It's a very different role than the one he had a year ago, but one he knows is critical if the team is going to excel with White on the sidelines.
"I'm going to do whatever I can to help the team," said Kline. "I do anything whether it's drawing a charge, getting a rebound, making a layup, making a block or getting a key steal. This is my last season and I want to win."
Kline Starts Accepting Role
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