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IUPUI (1-1) at Miami (1-1)

Miami’s CBE subregional begins with a visit from an old friend.  Coach and Miami alum Ron Hunter brings his IUPUI Jaguars into Oxford after an 83-62 victory over IU-Northwest.  The Jags opened the year losing 86-56 at Gonzaga.  Under Coach Hunter, IUPUI has made 1 NCAA tournament since making the move to Division 1 in 1998.  The strength of Coach Hunter’s teams historically has been their point guard and wing players, and that is no exception this year.

Probable Starters

John Ashworth, 6’3” Sr.  7 pts, 4 ass.  63% FG, 33% 3PFG, 100% FT. 

Leroy Nobles, 6’5” Sr.  18 pts, 6 reb.  35% FG, 33% 3PFG, 80% FT.

Alex  Young, 6’6” Jr.  17 pts, 8 reb, 3 ass.  52% FG, 0/5 3PFG, 78% FT

Donovan Gibbs, 6’7” Fr.  6 pts, 2 reb.  50% FG, 50% FT

Christian Siakam, 6’7” Jr.  1 pt, 6 reb.  17% FG

Off the Bench

Stephen Thomas, 6’1” Jr.  8 pts, 4 reb, 3 ass.  54% FG, 17% 3PFG, 50% FT

Sean Esposito, 6’3” So.  6 pts, 1 reb.  44% FG, 50% 3PFG

Mitchell Patton, 6’9” Fr.  6 pts, 1 reb.  50% FG, 100% FT

Coach Hunter lets his perimeter players direct the offense and make the decisions.  Ashworth is content to trigger the offense, either through his penetration or the use of a high screen.  When they run the high pick and roll, Nobles and Young pop out.  Ashworth can finish at the basket and shoot the 3, though he won’t resort to shooting until the shot clock is running down; he’s content to pass first.  Nobles is a true wing player.  He can drive or hit the open jumper.  If he drives and you’re able to cut him off, he doesn’t have a midrange game, at least from what I’ve seen.  But he’s a very good shooter.  Young is the best athlete on the team.  He can run like a deer and penetrate all the way to the hoop.  Young’s weakness is his jumper.  He’d rather drive or crash the glass.  Gibbs is a good athlete, but he, Siakam, and Patton only score when they’re the recipients of dumpoffs.  When IUPUI runs pick and roll either up high or on the wing, the roll is the 4th option, not the 1st or 2nd.  Thomas is a transfer from UD.  He can shoot the deep ball or hit the floater when he drives to the basket.  Esposito is arguably their best shooter, but he’s strictly a catch and shoot guy.  8 of his 9 attempts and all 4 of his makes are from 3.

One of the big keys Saturday will be for our guys to move their feet defensively and keep their perimeter players outside, even force their big forwards to make shots.  Gonzaga did just that, only allowing 3 assists on 18 made field goals.  If our guards challenge theirs man-to-man as they did with Duke and we make sure their athletes don’t fly in for rebounds, IUPUI should have a tough time scoring.  Defensively, the Jags will gamble.  They forced Gonzaga into 14 turnovers, but also allowed them 19 assists.  Goodson and Gray had 14 assists to just 4 turnovers.  We need to be more aggressive on offense and start our offense closer to the basket so our wings can get open for shots. 

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