Ben Malcomson Previews IU-USI: Indiana Takes Center Stage Thursday Night vs. Southern Indiana in Exhibition Action

   Photo Credit to 1070 The Fan

Photo Credit to 1070 The Fan

Written By: Ben Malcomson 10/31/2018


We are still under a week away from seeing games that count for the Indiana Hoosier men’s basketball program, but that isn’t stopping us from getting excited about an exhibition game.  IU fans are starving for LIVE game action.  They will get just that Thursday night as Indiana welcomes Division II Southern Indiana to Bloomington for their one and only exhibition game of the season.

-          Time:  7:00 pm Eastern Standard Time – 6:00 pm Central Standard Time

-          Where:  Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall (Capacity:  17,222)

-          TV:  Big Ten Network PLUS (It is a paid subscription platform) – Josh Eastern, Luke Hallett, and Mary Kate Hamilton

-          Radio:  IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, and Joe Smith)

2017-18 Season Recap for USI:  20-11 overall and finished 3rd in the GLVC (Great Lakes Valley Conference) East Division.

2018-19 Season Outlook for USI:  Projected to finish 4th in the GLVC.  It is now a 14-team league as the division setup gets dropped and merged into one big division.

Head Coach Info on USI: Southern Indiana is led by head coach Rodney Watson. He is the ninth head coach for the program. Watson is 203-65 (.757) over 8 successful seasons at the helm that includes a 115-47 (.710) Great Lakes Valley Conference record.

 

My Projected Starting Lineup for the Hoosiers

-          Al Durham

-          Romeo Langford

-          Justin Smith

-          Juwan Morgan

-          Evan Fitzner

Click here to view all of Indiana men’s basketball roster

Projected Lineup for Southern Indiana

-          Kobe Caldwell

-          Mateo Rivera

-          Alex Stein

-          Jacob Norman

-          Emmanuel Little

Click here to view all of Southern Indiana men’s basketball roster

 

Why do I have Al Durham starting? – With Devonte Green recovering from a nagging injury, expect him not to see game action Thursday night.  It is fair to say you could go either way with Al Durham or Rob Phinisee, but I am sticking with Durham getting the starting opportunity to be the facilitator.  Durham provides experience and has proven that he can be efficient.  Phinisee will see plenty of time on the floor, so I wouldn’t worry too much about the lineup set. 

What to Watch For? – Focus on who is on the floor together.  I am interested to see the chemistry of the rotations that go out there.  With Green and Race Thompson not playing, this gives time to guys like Durham, Jake Forrester, Damezi Anderson, and Clifton Moore.  On a team with added depth, every minute of action matters to these guys. Consider it a silver lining for players trying to earn time.

Impact Players

Juwan Morgan (IU) – Morgan is a co-captain and clear leader of this team.  He is coming off a hell of a performance in the scrimmage against Loyola of Chicago finishing with 13 points, 16 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Romeo Langford (IU) – Langford enters this exhibition contest with a double-double (19 points and 10 rebounds) from the scrimmage against Loyola. I would look for Romeo to have his way with this Screaming Eagles team both inside and out.

Alex Stein (USI) – Southern Indiana’s senior guard Alex Stein enters the season with a couple of honorable mention nominations for All-America teams at the D-II level from Street and Smith’s College Basketball and Division II Bulletin. He was also named second team All-Midwest by the National Association of of Basketball Coaches.  He averaged 17.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game last season.

 

Prediction

Indiana handles USI with ease cruising to a 94-43 victory.  Five Hoosiers finish in double-figures (Juwan Morgan, Romeo Langford, Jerome Hunter, Evan Fitzner, and Justin Smith).