Indiana Daily Student

IU opens regular season with Chicago State

Freshman Troy Williams gets open to pass during the game against Hillsdale on Monday at Assembly Hall.
Freshman Troy Williams gets open to pass during the game against Hillsdale on Monday at Assembly Hall.

In last season’s opener against Bryant, the IU men’s basketball team only saw playing time out of two freshmen, guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell and forward Jeremy Hollowell.

Both young guns scored double figures — 10 and 12 points respectively — and Ferrell even saw a start in his first collegiate experience, but the Hoosiers cruised to a 97-54 victory against Bryant with the help of veteran play.

This season, two players from IU’s six-deep freshman class have already started during exhibition play.

IU’s young team starts regular season play Friday night at 7 p.m. at Assembly Hall.
IU Coach Tom Crean said he’s excited to see his young squad up against the experience and speed of the Cougars who ranked seventh in the nation in steals last season, averaging 9.4 per game. Chicago State also returns both its leading scorers, seniors Quinton Pippen and Matt Ross, who put up 10.4 and 10.1 points per game respectively last season.

“It’s a great opener for us because it gives our guys a chance to go against what I think is certainly one of the more experienced and older teams that we’re going to see, and a team that’s going to put tremendous pressure on them defensively,” Crean said. “They’re going to create some havoc for us.”

Last season, Chicago State finished 11-22 but won the Great West Conference Tournament Championship to finish the season.

Crean said Friday’s matchup is about seeing just how deep a team he and his coaching staff truly have.

For six IU players, Friday is just about getting their first taste of regular season college basketball in Assembly Hall.

“I’m really excited,” freshman forward Noah Vonleh said. “I can’t wait to get out there and try to help our team to get a victory.”

Ferrell said that after thinking back to his first collegiate game against Bryant last season, the biggest thing for his younger teammates is to be patient and prepared for a few mistakes along the way.

Ferrell said he thinks Chicago State may try to push the tempo to trick the young Hoosiers into some turnovers. IU committed 29 combined in the team’s two exhibition games.

Even though last year’s Hoosiers excelled at a fast-paced game, scoring 78.6 points per game last season, fifth-best in the nation, Ferrell said this young group is going to need to slow it down a bit at times but be ready to amp it up when the game calls for it.

“They (Chicago State) feed off their energy, and they feed off their press, so once they get a couple steals in the press and a couple quick buckets, they’re going to get fired up, so this will be a good test for us to see how well guys can handle the ball,” Ferrell said.

“When they speed up, we’ll have to slow it down. It’ll be a fun game.”

Follow reporter Nathan Brown on Twitter @nathan_brown10.

Like what you're reading?

Get more award-winning content delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Recap.

Signup today!
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

Powered by Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2023 Indiana Daily Student