Fresh off their biggest win of the campaign, the top-ranked Indiana Hoosiers turn their attention to the visiting Coppin State Eagles as the two teams get set for a non-conference clash at Assembly Hall on Saturday evening.
Coppin State has had very little success this season, winning just once in six opportunities, that lone victory coming at home against Cheney (98-78) last Saturday. Certainly not one to duck an opponent, the Eagles have already faced teams like USC, Texas and now Indiana. Still to come are non-league bouts with Saint Joseph's, Marshall, Iowa and Arizona State, and CSU will begin Mid- Eastern Athletic Conference action at home versus Howard on Jan. 5, 2013.
Indiana routed visiting North Carolina on Tuesday night as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, 83-59. It improved the team to 5-0 at home, and 7-0 on the season. Following this bout, the Hoosiers have five more non-league games, including a clash with Butler in Indianapolis in two weeks, and then Big Ten Conference play gets underway with a trip to Iowa on New Year's Eve.
This bout marks just the second meeting between Coppin State and Indiana on the hardwood, with the first taking place in December of 2007 and going to the hometown Hoosiers in a 73-46 final.
Coppin State's issues this season are mostly at the defensive end, as opponents are hitting just shy of 40 percent of their three-point attempts in averaging 75.5 ppg. The Eagles are routinely beat on the glass (-7.0 rebounding margin), although they own a +6.7 turnover differential thanks to a staggering 21.3 miscues per outing by the enemy. From an offensive standpoint, the team has three players currently netting double figures on a consistent basis, and Patrick Cole lead the way with 15.3 ppg despite converting less than 35 percent of his field goal attempts. Troy Franklin (12.8 ppg) and Michael Murray (10.5 ppg) round out the trio, with the latter heading the CSU's rebounding effort with 10.5 rpg. Murray logged a double-double with 10 points and 10 caroms, but the team as a whole made good on only 29 percent of its total shots, including a dismal 3-of-27 showing from three-point range, as it dropped a 67-51 decision at Loyola-Maryland on Wednesday. The Eagles played well defensively, holding the Greyhounds to 38.5 percent success from the floor while goading them into 16 turnovers. Loyola posted a 48-37 rebounding advantage, while also claiming a 21-8 edge in points from the foul line.
Cody Zeller scored 20 points and pulled down eight rebounds, helping Indiana blow past No. 14 North Carolina earlier in the week. Zeller got considerable help from Victor Oladipo and Will Sheahy, who tallied 19 points apiece, and Jordan Hulls tacked on 13 while handing out eight assists for the Hoosiers, who connected on 44.6 percent of their field goal attempts, which included eight three-pointers. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels had all kinds of trouble against IU's suffocating defense, shooting a meager 37.7 percent from the floor, missing all but one of their eight long-range launches on the night. Zeller (15.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg) heads a list of five players averaging double digits in the scoring column for Indiana, the team as a whole accounting for 87.9 ppg on the strength of its 51.0 percent field goal efficiency, and its 41.2 percent effort from beyond the arc. Defensively, the Hoosiers have stood tall in permitting just 56.7 ppg, with foes knocking down their total shots a mere 35.9 percent of the time, and their three-point tries at a 26.7 percent clip. Indiana owns the glass (+13.1 rebounding margin) and take advantage of nearly 16 turnovers per outing.