Josh Wilson Previews IU-Chicago State
The Indiana Hoosiers open up the 2018-2019 basketball season this Tuesday, November 6th as they welcome in the Cougars of Chicago State. The Cougars had somewhat of a tumultuous off-season, as they were the last Division-1 basketball program to fill their head coaching position. This should be a game the Hoosiers cruise to victory in. Nonetheless, I’ll do my due-diligence and take a dive into the Chicago State Cougars.
Chicago State, who is currently ranked as one of the worst programs in NCAA Division-1 basketball, play out of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Last season, the Cougars finished 3-29 overall and 1-13 in WAC conference play. The Cougars played against four BigTen teams last season, all resulting in a loss. The four teams the Cougars faced last season were Iowa, Purdue, Northwestern, and Wisconsin. The combined results from those games were 384-205. The closest margin in any of the four matchups was a twelve point loss to Wisconsin. The Cougars only had three players on their roster last season that averaged double figures in points. All three have either graduated or moved on from the program.
So now we look into the 2018-2019 version of the Chicago State Cougars. A new head coach in Lance Irvin, and six returning players from last year’s team. None of those players averaged more than six points per game last season. In all, the Cougars return 22.8 points per game, 11.2 rebounds per game, and 5.3 assists per game from the six returners. That means along with a new coach, the Cougar program welcomes in seven newcomers. Only one of those seven is a freshman. The other six are mixed between the sophomore and junior classes. The Cougars were ranked sub-300 in the following categories; points per game, rebounds per game, assists per game, and points allowed per game. To be short and sweet, the Chicago State program is not in a good place right now. They are easily the worst team on Indiana’s schedule this season, and it’s by a large margin. The Cougars also don’t appear to have a go-to player returning from last year’s squad. The team will certainly be looking for an identity early on this season.
I fully expect the Hoosiers to have this game in hand early. I expect Coach Archie Miller will be able to experiment with some different lineup combinations and rotations. Don’t be surprised to see a lot of bench players in this game from the Cream and Crimson.
Indiana - 95
Chicago St - 43