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What to Watch For: Indiana preps for tougher test in Princeton

With plenty of momentum under its belt, Indiana finds itself undefeated with a 4-0 record going into Wednesday night’s home contest with Princeton.

Last Saturday’s 100-62 win over Troy was Indiana’s most complete effort of the year, both on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. They hit a season-high nine 3-point shots, held the Trojans to shooting just 20 percent from deep and four Hoosiers reached double-digit scoring outputs.

Al Durham is 9-of-17 from long range in his first four games of the season. (Kurt Spitler/HN)

Even without a win thus far, 0-3 Princeton might be the toughest team Indiana will face at this point in the season. This will be the first team the Hoosiers have played thus far that finished last season with a winning record (16-12). Additionally, the Tigers are consistent threats in the Ivy League, last making the NCAA Tournament in 2017 and amassing 25 appearances in program history.

Let’s take a look a deeper look into the threat Princeton poses and what to expect from Indiana.

Princeton’s three-headed monster 

When it comes to Princeton’s offense, the Tigers are pretty concentrated from where their scoring comes from. Princeton has three players averaging 13 points or more, and everyone else on the roster scores four points per game or less.

Despite lack of depth as a team, the three who do the majority of the offensive work are very talented.

Senior center Richmond Aririguzoh is the Tigers’ top player, entering the game tied for first on the team with a 17.3 points per game average while shooting 64.7 percent from the field. The 6-foot-9 center is also grabbing 7.7 rebounds per game too. Aririguzoh was a Second-Team All-Ivy League selection last year.

Sophomore guard Jaelin Llewellyn has shown the ability to score the rock with the same scoring average as Aririguzoh while also distributing the ball well with 2.3 assists per contest. Llewellyn was a Top 100 ranked, four-star recruit coming out of high school, picking Princeton over high-major offers such as Florida, Purdue, Ohio State and others.

Another Princeton sophomore, Drew Friberg, is a 6-foot-7 forward who Indiana will have to pay close attention to on the perimeter. Friberg is shooting just under 41 percent from deep in route to his 13.3 points per game scoring average. Friberg also chips in 6.7 rebounds per game.

 Indiana’s big men getting put to the test

The Princeton game will be the first matchup of the season where Indiana is going to need a lot out of its big men, especially on the defensive end of the floor.

Indiana has not faced many stud post players yet this season, but Aririguzoh is going to demand Indiana’s attention as he is Princeton’s best player and dominant center. The Hoosiers’ Joey Brunk and De’Ron Davis will really be tested Wednesday.

Brunk and Davis both have played limited roles offensively thus far and the Hoosiers have not had to be very reliant on them in the post because of the lack of true big men faced and that every game has been a blowout win. Both Hoosier centers are playing fewer than 20 minutes per game. 

Guarding the post was perhaps the only struggle in the Troy win as sophomore big Zay Jones scored a game-high 28 points on the Hoosiers from 11-for-19 shooting and corralled seven rebounds in the process. A stout defensive performance from Brunk and Davis on Aririguzoh would be a great opportunity to make up for their struggles against Troy.

Green getting back to normal

Against Troy, Indiana’s offense was at its best that it has been all season, reaching the century mark for the first time this season and recording the highest scoring half ever — 58 points in the first half — in the Archie Miller era at Indiana.

This was all done with a very rusty Devonte Green. Green got 20 minutes in his first game of the season back from a hamstring injury against Troy.

Green is still recovering, but it will be interesting to see how he progresses against Princeton and if he can get his shot falling consistently. The offense was moving smoothly with Green on the floor, but he only shot 2-for-8 from the field and was 1-for-6 from the 3-point line.

Green, a career 38 percent 3-point shooter, is arguably Indiana’s best marksman from deep and showed the ability to be a lethal scorer for this team at the end of last season.

If Green can shake off the rust and find his stroke, Indiana’s 3-point shooting can become a legitimate weapon and their offense much more potent.

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