Rank: #1 Mid-Con
19-10, 13-3, 1st (t)
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Senior, Guard, 10.2 points per game
Junior, Guard, 18.9 points per game
Senior, Guard, 8.6 points per game
Sophomore, Forward, DNP last season
Senior, Forward, 4.5 points per game