Wednesday, November 30, 2005

More thoughts on IU-Duke match-up

Since I'm here and obsessing.
Duke has looked vulnerable this season. Now, without Demarcus Nelson, they look especially ripe for upset and they have almost zero depth. The story of this game may well be who gets in foul trouble first; Shelden Williams or Marco Killingsworth. Given Marco's penchant for the Matador defense, I would guess Williams will be first, after doing considerable damage inside.

But check out these numbers.
After 3 games, IU leads the nation in total offense (100.3ppg), 3pt. FG% (58.3%), and is 2nd in FG%. (57.6%).
Granted the competition has been weak, but there's like 329 Division-I teams? Plenty of other teams have had just as weak schedules. IU has five double-figure scorers for the first time since, I dunno, 1993? Errek Suhr is unlikely to keep up this pace, but remember that all of this has been sans DJ White and AJ Ratliff.

I don't know how this game will go, and I totally would've picked Indiana if DJ was healthy, but Duke plays well in the Challenge. Of course, IU generally has as well. Duke has JJ Reddick, Williams, and Coach K. Every other position advantage and/or intangible belongs to the Hoosiers.

I like this Hoosier club, the balance, the sweet shooting, and the passing. The defense needs to be tightened up, but I like these guys, and I've waited since 2002 ended to have a team to feel good about supporting.

But against Duke, soooo close. Too close to call, but IU has a legit shot, just a shot, but still.

I say,

Go IU!


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