IUPUI game poses dangerous threat for Commodores

Vanderbilt (3-0) guns for its fourth win of the season Wednesday evening vs. IUPUI (4-0). Coach Ron Hunter's Jaguars of the Mid-Continent Conference earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament last season and pose a dangerous threat to the Commodores' unbeaten mark. Tipoff is set for 7 pm CT (no TV; WSM-AM 650). VeeMan previews the game and offers a prediction on the outcome.

The Skyhawks of Tennessee-Martin proved to be no match for Vanderbilt last Saturday. The Commodores won more easily than expected (94-60) and improved the early-season record to 3-0. With Matt Freije below par due to illness, David Przybyszewski had his first double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Also in double digits were Julian Terrell (14 points), Mario Moore (13), and Corey Smith (11); Freije scored just nine. The game was so one-sided that all 12 Vanderbilt players saw significant action.

IUPUI Head Coach Ron Hunter
The Jaguars of IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis) are members of the Mid-Continent Conference. Last season they tied Oakland University for second place in the conference standings and then won the MCC tournament. That put the Jags in the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to Kentucky 95-64 in the first round. Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook picked them to finish fourth in the conference this year. The Jaguars have won their first four games, beating St. Francis (Ind.) 99-75, Wisconsin-Green Bay 66-55, and Tri-State 112-60, all at home. They also disposed of David Lipscomb 94-84 in overtime in Nashville on Monday.

IUPUI's star is senior 6-4 forward Odell Bradley, who attended Whites Creek High School in Nashville. Coach Ron Hunter may have wanted to give Bradley a chance to play before the home folks, hence the Lipscomb and Vanderbilt games on the schedule. Last year Bradley averaged 14.7 ppg and 4.9 rebounds and scored 60 points and grabbed 28 rebounds in his first three outings this year. He has been getting most of his points inside the three-point line, and is especially tough and competitive.

The other forward is 6-6 sophomore Brandon Cole, a product of Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis. He is averaging 16 points per game and nearly six rebounds. He is a very good three-point shooter as well, the best on the team (17-9 so far this year).

The starting guards are 6-2 senior Matt Crenshaw and and 6-2 junior Johnny Miller. Crenshaw, who is 28 years old and hails from Charlottesville, Va., plays the point and is averaging nearly six assists per game, and can also score (11.2 per game). He is regarded by Coach Hunter as an outstanding floor leader. Miller, a transfer from Panola Junior College in Texas, is scoring 12 points per game.

The fifth starting position has changed with each game. 6-8 junior James Booyer began the first game, but hasn't played since. 6-6 senior Dannorris Harvey began the second game and 6-8 senior Fred Long the third. Long seems likeliest to start unless Booyer is back in action. Booyer is considered to be a strong defender.

6-3 junior Akeem Clark, who like Booyer is a JUCO transfer, has been a big scorer off the bench. To date he has scored nearly twelve points per game and gives the Jaguars a second three-point threat.

Other players who may see limited action are three freshmen, 5-11 David Barlow, 7-0 Bill Van Senus, and 6-5 Drew Connor, plus 6-6 senior Ricky Buckley and 6-2 sophomore Blair Crawford.

IUPUI has a hustling, undersized, quick team and is likely to give the Commodores more problems than did Tennessee-Martin. The team must not overlook IUPUI with Michigan coming to Memorial Gym on Saturday. However, Vanderbilt will be at home and has much more size and experience. The Commodores should win by 12-15 points or more.

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