Indiana vs. USC-Upstate Gameday

Indiana gets its final tune-up for its trip later this week to Puerto Rico when it hosts Atlantic Sun Conference foe USC-Upstate Monday at 8:30 p.m. at Assembly Hall. Hoosier Nation breaks down the game, the starters, the news and the notes about this match-up…

Game Particulars: Indiana (1-0) vs. USC-Upstate (0-1)
One of the nation's most storied basketball programs takes on one of Division I's fledgling units when Indiana hosts USC-Upstate Monday night. While Indiana's five national titles makes it one of college basketball's best, USC-Upstate is only in its third year as a Division I program. A D-II school from 1991-07, USC-Upstate joined the Atlantic Sun Conference at the start of the 2007-08 season to join the D-I ranks. It's been a rough road early on, as the Spartans went a combined 16-44 in its first two years at the D-I level after going 17-11 in its final year as a D-II program. This year's season is already off to a rough start with a 76-49 loss at Nebraska.

IU is coached by Tom Crean, who is in his second year as Indiana's head coach and 11th year overall. Crean owns a 197-121 career mark and led Marquette to the NCAA Tournament five times. USC-Upstate, meanwhile, is coached by Eddie Payne, who in his eighth year as the program's head coach and is in his 25th year overall. He's compiled a 369-332 career record, including a 109-99 mark at USC-Upstate.

The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network with Gus Johnson (play-by-play) and John Laskowski (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2009-10 Schedule

USC-Upstate 2009-10 Schedule

POSSIBLE STARTERS
Indiana (1-0)
PG- Jeremiah Rivers (6-5, 214, Jr.) – 6.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.0 apg, 25% FG shooting
SG- Verdell Jones (6-5, 183, So.) – 9.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 33.3% FG shooting
WG – Maurice Creek (6-5, 200, Fr.) – 17.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 63.6% FG shooting
SF – Christian Watford (6-9, 220, Fr.) – 14.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 1.0 bpg, 66.7% FG shooting
PF – Tom Pritchard (6-9, 248, So.) – 10.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.0 bpg, 83.3% FG shooting

US-Upstate (0-1)
PG – De'Marion Gordon (6.1, 170, So.) – 2.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 25% FG shooting
SG – Carter Cook (6-5, 220, So.) – 9.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 75% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Mezie Uzochukwu (6-5, 215, Jr.) – 6.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.0 spg, 33.3% FG shooting
SF – Pat Posey (6-5, 200, Sr.) – 4.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 66.7% FG shooting
C- Nick Schneiders (7-3, 260, Sr.) – 8.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 3.0 bpg, 66.7% FG shooting

Indiana 2009-10 Statistics

USC-Upstate 2009-10 Statistics

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
How will Indiana's young big men look to attack USC-Upstate center Nick Schneiders? – Indiana freshmen Christian Watford, Derek Elston and Bobby Capobianco will get a taste of the difference between high school basketball and college basketball tonight when they have to figure out a way to score around the basket when 7'3" USC-Upstate center Nick Schneiders is on the floor. At the high school level all three were generally the biggest player on the floor and were able to easily shoot over defenders. But they won't find things to be as easy against Schneieder, whose 2.6 blocks/game last season ranked 15th among Division I players. All three can expect to find it to be difficult to get it up and over Schneiders in halfcourt sets and potentially on offensive putbacks, but Indiana's best way to neutralize Schneiders is probably going to be to push the pace and keep USC-Upstate's center from setting up shop in the paint. Depending on how Upstate decides to defend the Hoosiers, this could also prove to be a game where Capobianco can make a significant impact. Assuming Tom Pritchard starts at center, Capobianco will likely spell Pritchard at times. If Upstate tries to play man-to-man, Capobianco has the kind of range that could prove to be a very difficult match-up for Schneiders.

How does Devan Dumes look as he works his way back from his injury? - Dumes was Indiana's leading scorer a year ago at 12.7 points per game, but he's been slowed in the early going as he recovers from an injury. He missed the Grace exhibition game before playing nine minutes against St. Joseph's and 14 in the season-opening win against Howard. He made an impact the Howard game, making 3-of-5 shots for seven points while also making 1-of-3 from behind the 3-point arc. Dumes figures to continue to get more involved as he returns to full strength, and time will tell how much (if at all) his role will change from a season ago. During his junior season, Indiana leaned on him a great deal for offense because often times there weren't many other sources. This year's team has a great deal more firepower, and Dumes figures to be a part of the backcourt rotation. Whether it's as a starter or off the bench, one need that he clearly can fill is as an excellent on-the-ball defense, which he did during his time on the court against Howard. He can team with Jeremiah Rivers to give the Hoosiers a pair of gifted defenders that also have a degree of experience, and that will be valuable as the Hoosiers continue to go up against better perimeter players.

Can Indiana dictate the tempo and get the game into the 90s? - Trying to figure out how USC-Upstate will try to stay close with Indiana? Look no farther than last year's Indiana team, which often tried to work the shot clock and limit the possessions over the course of a game to stay close. USC-Upstate figures to try to turn the tables this season. Despite a 9-21 record last season, the Spartans led the Atlantic Sun in scoring defense at 68.5 points per game. Offensively they scored only 60.4 points per game to rank ninth in the league, but it's a style that fits their personnel. Neither center Nick Schneiders or wing Carter Cook are built to go baseline-to-baseline for 40 minutes, so Upstate will likely try to settle back and limit IU's transition opportunities. The Hoosiers, meanwhile, will still look to attack at every opportunity, especially if they can generate some turnovers and get some 2-of-1 or 3-on-2 chances.

QUOTABLES
"Eddie Payne has been a very successful coach for a long time. He's coached in the SEC, in the Pac-10. They know what they want offensively. They run a very good version of the triangle offense. They can break off of it and make plays…they're going to create issues in the sense we're really going to have to be disciplined in how we guard them." – IU Coach Tom Crean

"We have a very, very long way to go in a lot of areas. When it comes to energy, effort, leadership, all those intangibles as much as anything else. It's part of the growing process we're going to go through this year. We're not surprised. We just have to continue to learn." – Crean

"The hardest thing for the older guys is that they didn't really have to earn anything last year, and now they do. You don't have growth in a program if you don't have that." – Crean

"There's room for growth with everyone. Devan (Dumes) is the same way. He hasn't been healthy yet. His ball handling still leaves a lot to be desired. He has to make a lot of improvements there. For Devan to help us, he needs to be really good defensively with ball pressure, he needs to be an athlete and get out and run, and he needs to make shots. We're looking for everyone to do that right now." – Crean

"We're 1-0 with a lot of room for improvement with a lot of games left, and there's not one thing that we're doing that I'd look at and say, ‘wow, that's mid-season form.'" – Crean


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