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Monday, Feb. 26
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's basketball

No. 6 Hoosiers return home against Mountaineers

After being stymied by Butler’s slower, methodical pace in its Dec. 15 loss in Indianapolis, IU returns home Dec. 19 to face a first-time opponent with a familiar gameplan.

No. 6 IU takes on the Mount St. Mary’s at 7 p.m. Wednesday evening at Assembly Hall in the first ever meeting between the two teams.

“They are a team that is going to play fast,” IU Assistant Coach Kenny Johnson said. “They are going to shoot 3-pointers in transition. They are going to be in a diamond trap defense a majority of the game… They present a number of different challenges for us and we have to constantly be aware of where the 3-point shooters are on the floor."

The Mountaineers are led by first year head coach Jamion Christian, a 2004 graduate of and former player for Mount St. Mary’s. Prior to his appointment at his alma mater, Christian spent last season at Virginia Commonwealth and was on the sidelines when VCU narrowly lost to IU in the third round of the 2012 NCAA tournament.

“They have done a lot of things, in watching them on film, very similar to what VCU tries to get accomplished, not only from their set plays but from their style of play as well,” Johnson said. “They are built on pressure defense in the full court and half-court.”

Through eight games, Mount St. Mary’s has maintained a rather balanced offensive attack. Three players, led by Rashad Whack, average between 11.5 and 10.2 points per game. Each attempts at least 6 3-point shots on average per contest.

Though the Mountaineer’s speedy tempo is a departure from the Butler gameplan that troubled the Hoosiers on Dec. 15, IU has spent much of its recent practices correcting issues from that game that could carry over, namely the rebounding drills IU Coach Tom Crean promised.

“They have gotten real intense over the last couple days,” junior guard Victor Oladipo. “It is one thing that we need to work on and it has been a big emphasis. I think we did a pretty good job of going at each other and making that a big emphasis for our team."

If there was a silver lining to IU’s first loss of the season, it was the college debut of freshman forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea after a nine game suspension. Freshman center Peter Jurkin is also now eligible to play, and senior forward Derek Elston is expected to soon return from a torn meniscus that has sidelined him.

Mosquera-Perea played only three minutes against the Bulldogs, but could be in line for more playing time in the remainder on IU’s nonconference slate.

"I try to bring energy, and I try to be active all over the floor on defense and offense,” Mosquera-Perea said. “I try to rebound the ball and help the team wherever they need my help."

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