Brendon Mulvihill is an RTC contributor. You can find him @themulv on Twitter. See bottom of the post for the Official RTC Star System.
After a twenty-four hour marathon of hoops yesterday, we settle things down a bit and get into the groove of regular season college basketball. Let’s check out a few games for you to watch tonight.
Indiana @ Evansville – 8 PM EST on ESPN3 (***)
- Picking up right where it left off last year, Evansville continues to win games at the free throw line. Junior guard Colt Ryan scored 14 of his game high 23 points from the line in the Purple Aces’ overtime win against Butler last Saturday. Ryan was not the only scorer for Marty Simmons’ team, as four other players scored in double figures. With 40% of the team’s points coming from the line, Evansville relies on free throws to fuel their offense like few other teams. Since Evansville does not look like it will be a one-man show, Indiana will have to be cognizant of fouls across the board so as to not find itself in the double bonus early in each half.
- At 6’11”, Indiana freshman Cody Zeller gives the Hoosiers an athletic big man to go along with guards Vardell Jones, III, and Victor Oladipo. IU has a significant advantage down low since no Evansville player is taller than 6’8”. Indiana’s two-point shooting has been on target for the first two games, hitting 64.3% of its shots from inside the arc. Look for Zeller and the Hoosier guards to score from the paint regularly against a soft Evansville interior defense.
- This game, like most Evanville games, hinges on the Purple Aces’ ability to attack the basket and get to the free throw line. If they are not getting to the line they will assuredly lose. They do not have the size to guard Zeller or create second-chance points for themselves on missed shots. Simmons’ team faced similar circumstances against Butler, though, but pulled off the win thanks to a hefty 32 points from the line. If Indiana can continue to defend the two well without fouling, they should have no problem leaving Evansville’s new building with a 3-0 record.