Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Looking ahead to Southern Illinois

Who will be the best team that IU will face in its pre-conference schedule, in my estimation (yes, better than Duke and Kentucky). However, it will also be the only really tough game they'll play at home.

SIU is not very tall or deep, but is experienced (no freshmen) and mirrors IU pretty well as basing their identity on defense. The Salukis shoot the 3-ball a little better, while still getting to the line a couple more times a game (and shooting significantly better once they are there).

However, IU has a shot-blocking presence in DJ White that the Salukis just don't have, rebounds better, and has about the same assist/turnover ratio. I suspect IU will shoot better at home than at Kentucky, and will be able to generate more offensive opportunities against SIU due to their superior rebounding. Especially coming off a maddening loss, I think Sampson will get his guys up to get a valuable win. It won't be easy, tho.

I should plug this poll, as it looks like the best one out there. Quick glance, Butler is #1, Duke is #6, and Kentucky is #19. Correspondingly, IU is #28. They rank SIU as #16.

Should be a good game.
Go Hoosiers!


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