Indiana returns to action Sunday night in the first game of the Hoosier Classic. The 3-0 Hoosiers meet Mid-American Conference opponents Miami, OH at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The RedHawks are down 3-1 after a 95-69 home loss to Marshall on Thursday. The Sunday tip is set for 5:30pm ET on BTN:
Indiana announces its exempt three-game multi-team event this weekend in the state capital. Over six days, the Hoosiers will play Miami (OH), Little Rock and Jackson State.
None of the three games shall be competitive. All three opponents are ranked 287 or worse in the KenPom rankings as of Saturday afternoon.
Sunday’s opponent, Miami (OH), was picked to finish 11th in preseason on the MAC.
MEET THE REDHAWKS
Miami fired Jack Owens after last season and hired Travis Steele, who coached at Xavier for four seasons before his sacking last spring.
A native of Danville, Indiana, Steele spent some time at IU as a video coordinator early in his coaching career. The 41-year-old never reached the NCAA tournament with Xavier.
In four games in Miami, Steele is 1-3 with home losses to Evansville and Marshall, a road loss in Georgia and a home win over Goshen College, an NAIA program.
In Thursday’s loss to Marshall, the RedHawks shot a whopping 18.8 percent on 3s and took 32 shots from long range.
Miami’s top scorer is Evansville Bosse Product and fifth grader Mechi Lairy. The 5-foot-8-point guard averages 16.5 points but shoots just 38.5 percent from the field.
Julian Lewisa 6-foot-6 transfer from William & Mary, shoots 50 percent from the field, and is one of two Miami players to average 12 points per game.
Miami’s second-leading scorer is 6-foot-8 senior Anderson Mirambeaux, who transferred from the state of Cleveland. A native of the Dominican Republic, Mirambeaux averaged 15.8 points and four rebounds in his first four games.
Wofford transfer Morgan Safford scored 12 points in the season opener against Evansville but has not played since after leaving the game with an injury. A native of Columbus, Ohio, he is a 6ft 5 security guard.
Much of the rotation in Miami is young with freshmen BillySmith, Ryan Mabrey, Eli Yofan, Jaqual Morris and Mitchell Rylee all logging minutes along with the second year Bryson Tatum.
Smith was the most notable of the group in four games. The 6-foot-7 freshman from Indianapolis has started all four games and is averaging 9.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in 31.7 minutes per game. Smith played at Brebeuf.
Mabrey, who played at La Lumiere, also started the first four games. The freshman guard averages 6.8 points on 33.3 percent of shots from the field.
THOUGHTS ON THE REDHAWKS AND THE MATCHUP
Miami has a long way to go to become relevant again in the MAC. The RedHawks should be able to bring some talent back into the program under Steele. However, this season is shaping up to be a long year at Oxford.
The RedHawks won’t be afraid to up the pace, which should give Indiana plenty of opportunities for quick break points and transition offense. In three games against the Division I competition, Miami is averaging just over 73 possessions per game.
Indiana has a definite talent and size advantage across the roster. Defensively, Miami has allowed its first three D1 opponents to shoot 54.5 percent on 2s and catch 36.2 percent on misses. Even if Indiana doesn’t make perimeter shots, the Hoosiers will have ample opportunity to clean up their missed shots for rim looks.
The KenPom prediction is Indiana at 27 with a 99 percent chance of winning for the Hoosiers. The Sagarin ratings like Indiana of 24. The Hoosiers are a 25.5-point favorite at DraftKings.
Sunday’s game, along with upcoming matchups against Little Rock and Jackson State, should allow Indiana’s younger players and bench to score plenty of replays ahead of an upcoming Big Ten-ACC Challenge matchup against North Carolina.
(Image credit: Miami Athletics)
Filed by: Miami Ohio Redhawks