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Wednesday, Feb. 21
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's basketball

IU to face Coppin State Friday at home

The danger of a big win – IU’s Tuesday triumph against North Carolina, for instance – is the ever-present possibility of a letdown in the first game after celebration.

For the Hoosiers, this comes in the form of the Coppin State Eagles, a speedy Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team led by freshman guard Patrick Cole and his 15.3 points per game.

The Eagles land in Assembly Hall Friday for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.

“We are approaching every game the same way,” senior guard Jordan Hulls said. “We are going to get everybody's best shot, and they're going to get our best shot as well, so we can't afford to play bad."

Granted, Coppin State is not North Carolina. The Eagles are 1-5 on the season, with three losses coming by double-digits.

Still, Coppin Sate has put up several notable numbers thus far in the still-young season.

The Eagles average better than 27 attempts per game from beyond the three-point arc. Even with only a 26.8 shooting percentage on those attempts, it still equates to nearly a third of the team’s points each game coming from long range.

“We know they shoot a lot of threes – I think they're fourth in the country on three point attempts,” freshman guard Kevin ‘Yogi’ Ferrell said. “We know we are going to have to get out on shooters and make sure to keep our guy in front of us."

Additionally, the Eagles force more than 21 turnovers per game, their 11.2 steals per contest often serving as the start of a fast break attack.

“They start with ball pressure,” IU Assistant Coach Kenny Johnson said. “They aren't always in a full-court, man-to-man, type of look, but they do a good job of scrambling and helping. In the passing lanes they are aggressive, they are overplaying so they are forcing you into unforced turnovers at times.

“Other times, they are just always going to be there. You're not going to have any space to operate. They are going to be constantly moving their feet and communicating, and they are playing 10-11 guys as well, so they are able to stay fresh."

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