Playing the Palindrome

The media guys call them Ooooey-Pooey, but they're the combined Indianapolis branch of two pretty good basketball schools - Indiana and Purdue. They've moved up to Division I and they're playing the Cats tonight...

They're Called the Jaguars...
and they play for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis which is obviously abbreviated IUPUI. They're already 2-3 on the season, winning against Brown and St. Joseph's College, and losing to Notre Dame, Creighton and Furman (the last two in the Guardians Classic Tournament last weekend).

They play in the Mid Continent Conference against teams like Valparaiso, Oral Roberts, Chicago State and Western Illinois. They've just moved up to Division I, but have a few big time wins under their belt, including one over Georgia Tech [96-92] last year besting one of the ACC's better teams. They also played in the Mid Continent Conference championship game in only their 2nd year of tournament eligibility.

Probably IUPUI's most noted alumnus is Carlos Knox a former Div II scoring leader and the catalyst of much of IUPUI's early success under Ron Hunter

They're coached by Ron Hunter [IUPUI Photo-Right], from Miami of Ohio, who's in his 9th year at IUPUI - and has a 116-110 career record. He also was an assistant at Wisconsin-Milwaukee prior to IUPUI. He's taken a team that had 9 wins in 1993-94 to a team with 15 wins last year, and from the NAIA to NCAA Division I.

They like to shoot from the outside (like UNH does), and even let the country in 3-point shooting early in the season last year. This year, however, they're only shooting 17-77 [.221] from beyond the arc. The Jaguars have a veteran team - 8 Seniors, and 5 Juniors on a 16 man roster.

Division I transfers 6-7 Senior Forward Josh Murray (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central/School of Continuing Studies) and 5-11 Senior Guard Marcus May (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central/Kelley School of Business) joined the team of nine returnees this season and are already making an impact.

The Starters
Coach Hunter has been been trying different starting alignments, with 9 of his 16 roster players drawing starts. [He's played a total of 12 of his 16 players in the 5 games so far]

In their last game against Furman, Hunter started 3 Guards and 2 Forwards.

6-6 Senior Dannorris Harvey [#4/5.8 ppg], and 6-7 Senior Antoine Lewis [#41/5.2 ppg] started up front.

At Guard 6-3 Junior Matt Creshaw [#21/6.4 ppg], 6-5 Senior Josh Mullins [#24/5.8 ppg], and 6-4 Junior Odell Bradley [#40/13.8 ppg] started in the 3 guard backcourt.

But 6-7 Senior Forward Josh Murray [IUPUI Photo-Left] [#25/8.4 ppg] and 5-11 senior guard Marcus May [Right] [#20/8.0 ppg] came off the bench to keep the game close for the Jaguars.

As with any veteran team, the Jaguars have a lot of talent to choose from; 7 Players, Odell Bradley, Josh Murray, Marcus May, Matt Crenshaw, Antoine Lewis, Brandon Cole and Dannorris Harvey, have over 20 minutes of playing time and have starts. 6-10 Senior Center Herbert Lambert has also started one game.

Coach Hunter had not announced a starting lineup as of this morning.

The Big Guns
So Far it appears that 6-4 Junior Forward/Guard Odell Bradley [IUPUI Photo Right] averaging 13.8 points a game, is the scorer - He's been the top guy in 3 of the first 5 games. 6-7 Senior Forward Josh Murray has led in rebounds 4 of the 5 games.
What to Watch for
The Jaguars have out rebounded their opponents 200 to 180 over the first 5 games. The big number is on the Offensive Board - they hold the edge 88 to 50. But they have to follow their shots in, they shoot only .364 on field goals, .221 on 3's.

They also like to steal the ball - they've got a slight edge over their opponents 49-38. Our premier pocket picker - Jitim Young - should have a shot to turn those stats around.

Aaron Jennings should have an interesting game - IUPUI has a 3-1 blocked shot ratio 10 blocks for them against 29 by their opponents.

This one should be a good test for the NU Wildcats. The IUPUI Jaguars bring in a group of veterans who have five games on the board.

Those Cats will want to get back to .500. Our Cats will want to go 3-0. Game time at 7 PM CST - its on WGN 720 AM, the web, and we'll probably chat too.

Just so its not:Able was I ere I saw Elba.

Talk about it on the Court Cats Board
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