November basketball continues for Indiana with a matchup against the Ivy League’s Princeton Tigers. The Hoosiers are looking for their first 5-0 start since the 2013-2014 season.
Indiana holds a 9-3 record against the Ivy League entering Wednesday. Archie Miller and his Hoosiers will look to take the advantage in the 2-2 all time head-to-head record with the Tigers.
Indiana’s last meeting with Princeton happened in November 1996, when the No. 22 Hoosiers defeated Princeton, 59-49.
How to Watch
|Indiana Hoosiers vs. Princeton Tigers
|Wednesday, November 20, 2019 / 7 PM ET
|Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall – Bloomington, Indiana
|Find the Lowest Ticket Prices on SeatGeek
|IU Radio Network
Getting to Know the Tigers
The Tigers are coached by former Princeton player Mitch Henderson. He is currently the third-winningest head coach in program history with a total record of 148-91. Henderson enters his ninth year off of the heels of a 16-12 season, where his Tigers qualified for the Ivy League Tournament semifinals.
Henderson’s trip to Bloomington represents a homecoming as the Vincennes native grew up in the Hoosier State. He graduated from Culver Military Academy, where the Hoosiers are getting distinguished 2020 recruit Trey Galloway.
After two back-to-back postseason appearances, first to the NIT and then to the NCAA tournament, Princeton has struggled with the loss of talent after the 2016-2017 season. Since then the Tigers have struggled to reach 0.500 overall.
Princeton is currently ranked number 223 in KenPom with both their offensive and defensive rankings in the same range. They finished in 3rd in the Ivy League last year, and media have projected them to finish 4th this season.
They are led their frontcourt senior Richmond Aririguzoh, a 6-foot-9, 230-pound post player. A 2018-19 2nd team All-Ivy selection, he averages 17.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Given Indiana’s size, the matchup around the rim will be a heavyweight fight to keep and eye out. Sure, Indiana forwards have defended undersized opponents up until this point, but can they handle someone their size?
Also averaging 17.3 points per game, sophomore Jaelin Llewellyn holds the backcourt for the Tigers. The 6-foot-2 guard is originally from Mississauga, Ontario and leads the team in assists and steals. Watch for a defensive matchup between him and Indiana’s point guards.
Llewellyn has not been the deep threat for Princeton this year. For Henderson’s ball club, sophomore Drew Friberg is currently the most active three pointer on the team. The 6-foot-7 wing is shooting over 40% at 9 of 22 for the season.
Projected Starting Lineups
|G: #0 Jaelin Llewellyn
|G: #1 Al Durham
|G: #4 Max Johns
|G: #10 Rob Phinisee
|G: #3 Ryan Langborg
|F: #3 Justin Smith
|F: #5 Drew Friberg
|F: #4 Trayce Jackson-Davis
|C: #34 Richmond Aririguzoh
|C: #50 Joey Brunk
What To Watch For
1. Getting Devonte back in shape
Having Devonte Green back was certainly a positive sign for the Hoosiers. Indiana needs all of the scoring help it can get, especially with the schedule intensifying in December.
Now, all eyes are on Green to see how long it takes for him to return to his true form. Recall that he has been sitting out a substantial amount of time due to a hamstring injury, with little to no practice until this past week.
The senior captain is going to be a key offensive weapon for the Hoosiers and the team needs him back at his peak as quickly as possible.
2. How will the Hoosiers handle the Princeton offense?
While not quite the same as the legendary offense instilled by former Princeton coach Pete Carril that included weaves, pivot plays, and dribble handoffs, Henderson has his own flavor of the modern Princeton offense.
That offense includes a quicker pace of the game and more freedom to shoot when they are enabled.
They are not a great three-point shooting team, but Indiana has seemed to let a guard turn hot in each of their games, except against Troy. How well does the packline scheme handle a fast-moving offense?
3. Building on top of the current offense
Indiana has been attacking the paint, getting to the line (see next topic), and have generally shot well from behind the arc so far in this short season. At the time of writing, the Hoosiers are ranked 22 in KenPom for adjusted offense with an average points per game currently at 93.5.
4. More, more, and more free throws
The Hoosiers rank second in the nation in free throw attempts and third nationally in free throws made. They have taken 130 attempts and made 97 of them. With the size and length that this roster provides, the Hoosiers are going to be seeking the free throw buffet all season long.
Fans should get used to grind-out games that last considerably longer with stoppages from whistles all evening long.
5. Establishing more consistent line ups
With all 11 scholarship players proving that they can provide serviceable minutes for the Hoosiers this season, it will be up to Archie Miller and the rest of the coaching staff to find lineups that can be consistent and lineups that may serve a specific intention.
Indiana still has liberties, namely in the next three games, to continue experimentation; however, at some point the team needs to have familiar lineups to start establishing chemistry.
Look for the lineups to stay together for longer periods on the court and look for lineups that occur more frequently.
Featured Photo: goprincetontigers.com