The Archie Miller era at Indiana is off to difficult start and it won’t get any easier during Wednesday’s game at No. 23 Seton Hall in the Gavitt Tip-off Games. After being blown out in their opener and scratching out a win in their second game, the Hoosiers could be in for a long night against the Pirates, who have won 18 straight non-conference games at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
The Hoosiers opened their season by losing by 21 points to Indiana State and then held off Howard, two teams with a combined record of 21-44 last season. “I think one thing right now that is very new is the roles,” Miller told the media. “You see some guys right now trying to figure out where they stand. To continue to establish what we are asking guys to do will be key moving forward.” When the veterans couldn’t get it done against the Sycamores, Miller turned to freshmen Justin Smith and Aljami Durham, who combined for 32 points, 15 rebounds and five assists off the bench in the nine-point victory over the Bison. The Pirates, led by senior Angel Delgado, started 2-0 for the seventh straight season by dominating on the glass, including grabbing 37 offensive rebounds, good for second in the nation.
TV: 6:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
ABOUT INDIANA (1-1): It wasn’t hard to see why the Hoosiers struggled against Indiana State as they collected only 25 rebounds and turned the ball over 19 times against 12 assists, two things that Smith and senior Justin Newkirk helped to remedy against Howard. Smith logged double the minutes in the second game and pulled down 12 of the team’s 44 boards, while Newkirk received 11 more minutes of action and registered seven of the Hoosier’s 25 assists. De‘Ron Davis was the only player to perform well in both games, although a 3-of-10 effort from the foul line ruined what was otherwise a solid contest for the 6-10 sophomore forward against Howard.
ABOUT SETON HALL (2-0): Aside from Delgado, who is a double-double threat every game, the opposition can’t be sure who the focal point of the Seton Hall offense will be on any given night considering the Pirates have three other proven scorers in Myles Powell, Desi Rodriguez and Khadeen Carrington. Rodriguez paced Kevin Willard’s team in the season opener before giving way to Powell in Sunday’s 10-point victory over Monmouth. Perhaps Carrington, who has acted as more of a facilitator this season after leading the team in scoring last season, can lead the way against the Hoosiers, whose last 1-2 start occurred in 1997-98.
1. Over the last two seasons, the Pirates are 18-0 when outshooting their opponent.
2. Already without senior Collin Hartman out with a groin injury, the Hoosiers lost junior Juwan Morgan to an ankle injury early on against Howard.
3. Robert Johnson had 14 points in the victory over Howard and needs one more to become the 51st Indiana player to eclipse 1,000 career points.
PREDICTION: Seton Hall 87, Indiana 80