Tonight, the Indiana Hoosiers play their first official game of the 2009-2010 season.
The Hoosiers host the Howard Bison, a member of the MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference).
Indiana comes into tonight's matchup after two exhibition games versus Grace College and St. Josephs (Indiana). Both games were easy wins and good tuneups to the start of the regular season.
The Bison also are playing their first game of the season and come off a 64-47 win in an exhibition vs Marymount.
The Hoosiers have received good outputs from their new freshman class in the first two games. Forward Christian Watford finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds in the game versus Grace College, and guard Maurice Creek finished with 16 points and 7 rebounds in a coming-out game.
Along with the new freshmen, junior transfer Jeremiah Rivers is now eligible to play basketball again. After such a long wait and having to endure sitting on the bench last season, Rivers is ready to contribute to the Hoosiers immediately. In the two preseason games he averaged 13.5 points, three rebounds, and four assists per game.
For the Bison, this game isn't only a chance to be on TV.
Two players on the roster are from Indianapolis and will surely have a lot of family in attendance. Senior guard Curtis White and junior guard Kyle Riley both attended Pike High School in Indianapolis.
Overall, Howard will return nine players, and six of them are seniors.
However they will be hard-pressed to find a replacement for their leading scorer from last season, Eugene Myatt, who averaged 15.8 points per game in his senior season.
That man might be Calvin Thompson, a sophomore guard and someone Indiana will need to keep their eye on.
Look for the Hoosiers in this game to get off to a quick start and set the tempo they want.
There will be a near sellout, and maybe by game time it will be a sellout, so surely the atmosphere will be electric, and the players will feed off of that.
My Prediction: Indiana wins 70-55
Projected Starting Lineup for Indiana
Guard: Verdell Jones III
Guard: Jeremiah Rivers
Guard: Devan Dumes
Forward: Christian Watford
Forward/Center: Tom Pritchard