BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) James Blackmon Jr. made five 3-pointers, scored 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Robert Johnson added 16 points, as No. 6 Indiana sailed to a 100-78 victory over UMass Lowell on Wednesday night.
Blackmon made four 3-pointers and scored 20 of his 23 points in the first half of Indiana’s regular season home opener.
The Hoosiers (2-0) were playing their first game since beating No. 3 Kansas in the Armed Forces Classic and had to overcome a slow, sloppy start. Indiana outscored UMass Lowell (1-2) 32-15 over the final 8:24 of the first half. Indiana shot 60 percent from the field (21 of 35) in the first half. The Hoosiers found scoring opportunities with sound passing, scoring 23 of their field goals off an assist.
Big men OG Anunoby and Thomas Bryant contributed to Indiana’s onslaught. Anunoby scored 15 points and Bryant added nine. The Hoosiers outrebounded UMass Lowell 46-24. The 19 offensive rebounds helped the Hoosiers score 15 second-chance points.
Jahad Thomas finished with 16 points and Tyler Livingston scored 14 for the River Hawks.
BIG PICTURE: Indiana will have three more games to build on the big win over Kansas. The Hoosiers next three games are against mid-majors before they host North Carolina on Nov. 30. The Hoosiers’ other notable non-conference game comes on Dec. 17 when they face Butler at Bankers Life Fieldhouse before kicking off Big Ten Conference play against Nebraska on Dec. 28. Indiana’s final non-conference game is a showdown with No. 12 Louisville at Bankers Life on New Year’s Eve.
Indiana hosts Liberty University
UMass Lowell travels to Indiana-Fort Wayne
Report: North Carolina and Indiana schedule 2018 contest
The two programs met just a few months ago when the Tar Heels knocked off the Hoosiers in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament, but their last regular-season meeting came in 2012, with Indiana toppling UNC.
The Jimmy V Classic puts Indiana in NYC for at least the next two years as they’ll be joined by Providence, Virginia Tech and Washington in the 2017 2K Sports Classic.
Indiana leads the all-time series against North Carolina, 8-5, with the first-ever meeting coming during the 1961-62 season. Between the two programs, they’ve combined for 10 NCAA national championships, with both schools accounting for five apiece.
Sure, it’d be great to see this as a home-and-home with the games being played in Bloomington and Chapel Hill, but to get these two programs to face each other in any setting (and, presumably, Madison Square Garden is no slouch) is a good sight to see.
Trump, of course, went on to win not only the Hoosier State primary, but also has become the party’s presumptive nominee. He’s now asking Knight to make his case not just to the state in which he won national titles, but to the entire country as a speaker at the Republican National Convention later this month in Cleveland.
Knight won 902 games in his career at West Point, Indiana and Texas Tech. His time with Indiana famously ended after he violated a “no-tolerance” policy placed on him after a string of controversies that are as much a part of his legacy as any achievement on the floor. He retired in 2008 after seven seasons with the Red Raiders.
Former Indiana player Emmitt Holt has committed to join Ed Cooley’s program at Providence, according to multiple reports.
Holt spent last season at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Ia. He left the Hoosier program last August after a series of high-profile off-the-court incidents. During his freshman season, Holt was cited for illegal consumption of alcohol and operating under the influence of alcohol under the age of 21 after an incident in which the car he was driving hit teammate Devin Davis. Last August, he was cited for underage possession of alcohol and dismissed from the program. Davis, who suffered a serious head injury in the accident, recently committed to Houston after spending a year at junior college.
Holt averaged 11.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 69.5 percent shooting last year for Indian Hills, which finished the season ranked sixth in the NJCAA Division I poll.
The 6-foot-8 forward will give the Friars frontcourt depth, which will be especially important if Ben Bentil decides to remain in the NBA draft after entering his name and not initially signing with an agent. Otherwise, Providence is slated to return all but All-American Kris Dunn from last year’s 24-11 tournament team.
We’re labeling this as the nation’s top back courts, but truthfully, it’s the nation’s top perimeters. That’s why you’ll see guys like Brandon Ingram and Jaylen Brown, small forwards that will play the four a lot this season, listed here.
One thing we realized making this list: There are an inordinate number of talented guards in college basketball this season, especially those that will get labeled as lead guards. So many, in fact, that the likes of Miami, Iowa State and Texas A&M didn’t even crack the top 15.
They don’t rebuild in Lexington they reload, and John Calipari has quite the perimeter rotation at his disposal despite losing three of his top four guards from a season ago. The returnee is 5-foot-9 sophomore Tyler Ulis, who has emerged as this team’s leader. But he isn’t the only guard in the group who operates will with the ball in his hands, as both Briscoe and Murray will also have ample opportunities to create offensively. The 6-foot-4 Murray was one of the standouts at the Pan-American Games in Canada this summer, as he went off to lead the hosts past the United States in the semifinals. Matthews and Mulder aren’t slouches either, giving Kentucky additional talent and depth with their presence.
2. Wichita State (Ron Baker, Fred VanVleet, Conner Frankamp, Landry Shamet, Evan Wessel)
Baker and VanVleet are two of the nation’s best at their respective positions and they’re going to appear on multiple preseason (and end of season, for that matter) All-America teams as a result. Wessel gives this group added toughness, and Kanas transfer Conner Frankamp will give Wichita State another capable shooter when he becomes eligible in December. The 6-foot-4 Shamet is a Top 100 recruit who will fight for minutes now and be a key figure for the Shockers in the years to come.
3. Indiana (James Blackmon Jr., Yogi Ferrell, Robert Johnson, Nick Zeisloft)
This group is one of the reasons why the Hoosiers will enter the 2015-16 season ranked, with senior point guard Yogi Ferrell leading the way. Ferrell led the Hoosiers in scoring and assists a season ago, and he also led the team in made three-pointers. Blackmon should be better as a sophomore after tailing off somewhat down the stretch last year and the same goes for classmate Johnson, with Zeisloft coming off of a year in which he shot 45 percent from beyond the arc.
4. North Carolina (Marcus Paige, Justin Jackson, Joel Berry II, Nate Britt, Theo Pinson, Kenny Williams)
Paige enters his senior season as one of the the best guards in the country, as he’s comfortable as either a scorer or a distributor for the Tar Heels. Jackson, who was a key contributor for North Carolina as a freshman, looks poised for a breakout year as he moves into the starting spot left vacant by J.P. Tokoto, and classmate Pinson is healthy after dealing with injuries last season. Both Berry and Britt are capable contributors but they have to get better as playmakers, thus relieving some of the pressure on Paige. The one thing this group was missing a season ago was another shooter to go with Paige, and if called upon Williams has the ability to be that guy.
Irvin is working his way back to 100 percent after undergoing back surgery in early September, and his return will make Michigan’s perimeter attack one of the deepest and most talented groups in the country. LeVert was projected by some to be an All-America caliber player prior to last season, and Walton and Irvin are also players capable of earning postseason honors. Albrecht will also be a factor, with Abdur-Rahkman, Chatman and Dawkins gaining valuable experience as freshmen due to the injuries that sidelined LeVert and Walton. The “wild card” is Robinson, who sat out last season after averaging 17.1 points per game as a freshman at Division III Williams College in 2013-14.
Lon Kruger’s perimeter rotation won’t lack for experience as reigning Big 12 Player of the Year Hield and Cousins are both seniors and Woodard will be a junior. Walker played 10.6 minutes per game as a junior last season and figures to be in a similar reserve role. As for the freshmen, both James and Odomes are players who will look to earn minutes but ultimately benefit down the line from competing with (and against, in practice) the veteran guards.
Big East Co-Player of the Year Arcidiacono is back for his senior season, with Big East tournament MOP Josh Hart appearing poised to take a significant step forward as a junior. And then there are the freshmen, most notably a lead guard in Brunson who enters college as one of the best at his position. DiVincenzo and Bridges, with the latter having redshirted last season, give Villanova additional skill and athleticism on the wing and Booth gives Wright another point guard to call upon.
8. Duke (Brandon Ingram, Grayson Allen, Matt Jones, Luke Kennard, Derryck Thornton Jr.)
Allen, who stepped forward in a big way in the national title game, returns for his sophomore season and Jones gives Duke an experienced wing option who’s a solid defender and capable perimeter shooter. Given the personnel losses the three freshmen will be especially important this year, with Thornton being asked to take over at the point and Ingram being a slender wing who can score from anywhere on the court. As for Kennard, he’s good enough to see time at both guard spots, and given Duke’s numbers he’ll likely have to do just that.
9. Maryland (Melo Trimble, Jake Layman, Jared Nickens, Rasheed Sulaimon, Dion Wiley, Jaylen Brantley)
The Terrapins did lose leader Dez Wells from last season’s NCAA tournament team, but most of the perimeter rotation returns led by preseason Big Ten Player of the Year Melo Trimble. Trimble’s a handful with the ball in his hands, making sound decisions in ball screen situations and getting to the foul line at a very high rate. Layman, who took a step forward as a junior, has the potential to be even better as a senior with Nickens and Wiley looking to earn more minutes as sophomores. And the newcomers, Brantley and Sulaimon, will also contribute with the latter giving Maryland another quality perimeter shooter (and he’s a good defender too).
10. California (Tyrone Wallace, Jaylen Brown, Jabari Bird, Stephen Domingo, Jordan Mathews, Sam Singer)
Depth, which was an issue all over the court for the Golden Bears a season ago, won’t be a problem in 2015-16. Wallace, one of the nation’s top point guards, leads the way with a trio of juniors (Bird, Mathews and Singer) also having a wealth of experience. Add in two talented newcomers in Brown, who could see time at the four in smaller lineups, and Georgetown transfer Domingo and head coach Cuonzo Martin has a host of options at his disposal.
11. Virginia (Malcolm Brogdon, London Perrantes, Marial Shayok, Devon Hall, Evan Nolte, Darius Thompson)
The Cavaliers have to account for the departure of Justin Anderson on the perimeter, but it certainly helps to have veterans Brogdon and Perrantes back on campus. Brodgon was a first team All-ACC selection a season ago, and his skill on both ends of the floor merits All-America mention this season. Perrantes is a solid floor general who can do even more from a scoring standpoint. Nolte and Shayok were rotation players last season, and Hall and Thompson (who redshirted after transferring in from Tennessee) will also compete for minutes.
12. Michigan State (Denzel Valentine, Eron Harris, Tum Tum Nairn, Bryn Forbes, Matt McQuaid, Kyle Ahrens, Alvin Ellis)
This group is led by one of the nation’s most versatile players in Valentine, who can play anywhere from the one to the three depending on match-ups. Forbes should be more consistent in his second season with the program, and Nairn looks poised to step forward as the next in a long line of high-level point guards to play for Izzo. Harris is a transfer from West Virginia who many expect to hit the ground running, and Ellis will also look to solidify his spot in the rotation. As for the freshmen, they’ll look to carve out roles in what is a deep rotation.
Ryan Boatright’s moved on, but UConn’s perimeter rotation is more balanced (and deeper) than it was a season ago. Part of that is due to their additions, with the explosive Adams and experienced Gibbs joining the ranks. As for holdovers, head coach Kevin Ollie has those as well with Calhoun being a senior, Cassell and Purvis (who put together some solid outings down the stretch last season) being juniors and the versatile Hamilton (AAC Rookie of the Year) being a sophomore.
14. Kansas (Wayne Selden Jr., Frank Mason III, Svi Mykhailiuk, Devonté Graham, Brannen Greene, LaGerald Vick)
This ranking could prove to be low at season’s end, depending upon (in part) the progress made by Selden. The junior played very well at the World University Games in South Korea this summer, and if he can build on that play the Jayhawks will undoubtedly have one of the top guards in the country. Mason gives them an absolute pitbull at the point, with Graham being another player capable of running the point. And in Green, Mykhailiuk and Vick, Kansas won’t lack for depth on the wings either.
15. Florida State (Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Dwayne Bacon, Devon Bookert, Montay Brandon, Terance Mann, Malik Beasley, Benji Bell, Robbie Berwick)
While he’ll once again be one of the top guards in the ACC, Rathan-Mayes will have some much-needed help on the perimeter. Bookert and Brandon give Florida State two experienced seniors, Berwick saw solid minutes as a freshman, and their newcomers arrive on campus amidst much fanfare. Bacon may be the marquee freshman, but Beasley and Mann will also compete for minutes with junior college transfer Bell looking to do the same.