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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

IU opens season against Northwood

Junior Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell high-fives sophomore Devin Davis before the dunk contest on Oct. 25 during Hoosier Hysteria at Assembly Hall.

For at least 40 minutes Thursday night, IU fans can turn their attention to action on the court.

IU’s season opening exhibition against Northwood has been somewhat lost in the shuffle of the past week’s off-the-court fallout that leaves IU lacking six of the team’s 15 players for the game at 7 p.m. tonight.

Sophomore Devin Davis’ health still weighs heavy on the minds of the players and IU Coach Tom Crean.

Davis remains in the Bloomington Health Hospital recovering from a head injury suffered last Saturday morning when he was struck by a vehicle driven by freshman forward Emmitt Holt.

The game, perhaps, is a step toward recovery.

“I’m excited about it, to play,” Crean said. “I know they are, too. At the same time, it’s not like any of what we’re dealing with with Devin or any of those things are going to go away, but I think everyone will be excited to play basketball.”

IU’s bench options will be limited with only nine players available.

Holt was suspended for four games Monday after being cited for illegal consumption and operating a vehicle with a BAC above 0.02.

Sophomores Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson were also suspended for four games Monday as a result of a violation in the summer.

Williams and Robinson both failed a drug test, according to ESPN’s Jeff ?Goodman.

Freshman Jeremiah April, who is recovering from an ankle injury, and freshman Max Hoetzel, who was injured trying to throw down a dunk in practice last week, won’t play due to ?injury.

One bit of good news for IU is that junior Collin ?Hartman will be available after being limited by a knee injury throughout preseason.

But even with Hartman, IU is left with just nine ?players.

Six of those nine have yet to play in an official game for IU.

We just have to deal with it,” Crean said. “I don’t have a magic answer to that. We’re going to play to get better, but we’re also going to play to win the game. I like the team that we’re getting ready to play.”

The Division II Northwood, located in Midland, Mich., finished last season 18-13.

The lone mutual opponent between the Hoosiers and Timberwolves last season was Hillsdale.

IU defeated Hillsdale by 40 in an exhibition, and Northwood defeated them by five in December.

Northwood lost its leading scorer, Wes Wilcox, to graduation, but added 5-foot-7 junior guard Maurice Jones.

Jones led USC in points, assists and 3-pointers in 2011-12 before being ruled academically ineligible before the start of the 2012-13 season.

Despite having a thin front court and six players unavailable, IU junior guard Nick Zeisloft said IU will not be changing its playing style.

He said Thursday will still be a chance to learn and grow as a team, despite not having everyone available.

“We’ll take every possession down and learn from it because at this point, we need to learn from everything,” Zeisloft said.

With the combination of off-court issues and a team of 60 percent new players still adjusting to playing for IU, Crean said he wants to win but also wants the team playing to its potential at this point in the season.

“Will they be at their best? That’s not what’s relevant,” Crean said. “Will they be at the best that they can be tomorrow? That’s what is relevant.”

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