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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

July 27th, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball


IUPUI Jaguars


Overall Rank: #108

Conference Rank: #1 Mid-Con


2005-06: 19-10, 13-3, 1st (t)

2005-06 postseason: none


IUPUI lost three of their last four in 2005-2006.  What makes it even worse is the fact that two of those were to Chicago State and the other to Southern Utah…not exactly Mid-Con powerhouses.  Coach Ron Hunter and his Jaguars will have to find a way to beat those mid-level teams if they want to get through the conference tournament this year.


Who’s Out: Brandon Cole did a little bit of everything, averaging 15.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 steals.  The only knock on the 6-6 guard is that he took too many three-pointers.  Brandon Cameron added on 4.6 points last season after he transferred from Penn State, but will not return this season.  The backcourt also loses some emergency depth with the departures of seldom used Blair Crawford, Chris Scott, Troy Shanks and Dean Hadley.  The first two options for the frontcourt off the bench last season were Maushae Byles and Michal Vavrek.  Byles put up the better numbers, averaging 6.7 points and 2.7 rebounds and the departure of the duo leaves the frontcourt depth in the hands of the newcomers.


Who’s In: There are plenty of options to fill in under the basket starting with Fred Kounkorgo.  After stops at Hartford and Connors State, Kounkorgo is expected to replace some of the rebounding that was lost with Cole for the Jags.  The 6-6, 225 pound Lowell, Massachusetts product is a great athlete and will provide some exciting finishes in Indianapolis.  Power forward Andy Hampton, who redshirted last year, has the strength to battle in the post and he can step out all the way to the three-point line to spread out the opposing defense.  Small forward Billy Pettiford, the only incoming freshman, is a solid defender and passer, but will have to wait his turn down the depth chart.  Gary Patterson and Austin Montgomery will add experience to the backcourt.  Patterson, a transfer from Butler, brings another solid defender to the perimeter and a nice option to back-up the point.  Montgomery, a transfer from Bowling Green, is a good rebounding guard who can find a way to get to the basket.


Who to Watch: Take your pick from a dynamic backcourt.  George Hill led the squad with 18.9 points and 3.6 assists.  The 6-2 junior also grabbed 6.0 rebounds per contest during the 2005-2006 campaign.  Point guard David Barlow was the main reason IUPUI ranked eighth in the nation in turnovers.  Barlow is a scoring threat as well, averaging 10.2 points last season.  The trio concludes with Matt Burks.  The long range shooter averaged 8.6 points per game and, with Cole gone, will be asked to take most of the shots from behind the arc. 


Final Projection: The frontcourt has a few questions behind Angelo Smith, who averaged 4.5 points and 5.0 rebounds as a junior after transferring from Xavier.  Kounkorgo needs to be as good as advertised in order to immediately be productive at the four.  Players like Drew Connor and Bill Van Senus, along with the newcomers, need to step up and fill in some minutes to spell the starters in the paint.  There are plenty of choices; it just might take a little time to figure out the rotation.  By January it will be sorted out and IUPUI will battle ORU for the spot in the NCAA Tournament, and win it.  Let’s just hope Coach Hunter is as excited about going dancing this time as he was three years ago.


Projected Post-season Tournament: NCAA


Projected Starting Five:

David Barlow, Senior, Guard, 10.2 points per game

George Hill, Junior, Guard, 18.9 points per game

Matt Burks, Senior, Guard, 8.6 points per game

Fred Kounkorgo, Sophomore, Forward, DNP last season

Angelo Smith, Senior, Forward, 4.5 points per game

109 Arizona State » Complete List » 107 NC State

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