Archie Miller's first road game as head coach of IU will be a difficult test.
IU travels to face No. 22 Seton Hall in the Gavitt Games on Wednesday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
“They're great opportunities for showcase games early in the season,” Miller said. “I think that's always important for college basketball is to get out there on national television and play against great opponents that are going to prepare you for your league play.”
Seton Hall (2-0) has defeated Fairleigh Dickinson and Monmouth so far this season.
IU’s frontcourt will likely be without two starters when they face one of the premier frontcourts in the country.
Senior forward Collin Hartman will not play due to a groin injury, and junior forward Juwan Morgan's participation is questionable after he suffered a sprained ankle in IU’s victory over Howard on Sunday. Miller said he was unsure if Morgan will be able to play, but he said he is hopeful.
After Morgan went down, freshman forward Justin Smith stepped in and notched a double-double. Miller said he was happy with what his freshman could do when he was thrust into the fire.
“Especially as we're getting ready to go to Seton Hall, this is going to be a game, so to speak, for the men,” Miller said. “There's no boys sort of allowed when you're playing against Seton Hall. Justin is going to have an opportunity to step up and play against really good forwards and front court players on Wednesday.”
Seton Hall’s senior forward Angel Delgado is one of those players. He averaged a double-double last season while leading the nation in both rebounding and offensive rebounding. He was second in the nation in double-doubles last season and had a 13 consecutive stretch.
Miller said he is concerned about Delgado, but the Hoosiers have a plan to try to limit his damage.
“But it's an awareness thing going in,” Miller said. “The attention to detail on weak side blockouts, our guards getting in there and helping out, keeping your body on him early, when the shot goes up staying attached. There's going to be a lot of little details. Make no mistake, he's doing that pretty much against everybody.”
While Seton Hall's size will prove to be a difficult challenge for IU, so will its three-point shooting. In IU’s first two games, the Hoosiers have given up 30 made threes. Miller thinks that a significant portion of those were preventable.
“I think one of the things we spent a lot of time talking about yesterday as a team is the communication factor,” Miller said. "Of the 30 made threes that went in in the first two games, I would say that about 12 or 15 of the actual shots that went in didn't even have to be taken."
Miller said he wants better communication on switching, proper technique for ball screen coverage and for his team to get back fast enough, all of which he says will help IU’s problem of allowing three-pointers.
After the loss to Indiana State, Miller called his team soft; the game against Seton Hall will be a major opportunity for the Hoosiers to prove that statement wrong.
“I think this is a huge test for us going in on Wednesday night to play against a terrific team," Miller said. "They're experienced, veteran-led. This is going to be one of those come-together type of opportunities for us."
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