Hoosiers v. Wake Forest: Maui Invitational continues


In beautiful Hawaii, the Indiana Hoosiers are poised to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the second game of the Maui Invitational.

WHO: Indiana Hoosiers (3-0) v. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-1)
WHEN: Today, 5 pm ET / 4 pm CT


The Hoosiers
Indiana looks great at the moment, but tonight is a good opportunity to take a look at an ACC opponent with a matchup against the ACC’s best* Duke Blue Devils looming. (*maybe)

The Creighton Bluejays were supposed to be the biggest test Indiana had faced all year, and technically they were. However, the Hoosiers’ offense steamrolled and the visitors didn’t have the best night on their end of the floor so a 20-point blowout at Assembly Hall was the result.

Tonight may be a similar story. Favored heavily, Indiana may not be tested as much as they would be later in the Maui Invitational but this is still no cakewalk. Any lapse in focus v. the Deacs could prove a surprise test.

What to Watch For
Tonight, I’m looking for Yogi Ferrell to have another big performance and extend the nation’s longest streak for consecutive games with a 3-pointer made. However, it might be on the defensive end where Ferrell has the biggest impact. The Demon Deacons are led by their guard Bryant Crawford, who tops the team in scoring and assists, and could prove a fun one-on-one matchup for Ferrell and potentially Robert Johnson when Yogi is resting.

Troy Williams and James Blackmon Jr. could have high-output nights as well, as Blackmon remains my player to watch as the season grows older. Coming off of a knee injury, JBJ has looked incredibly smooth and his jumper seems even better than last year. For Williams, if he slows down a bit and learns to control the ball on the fast break, the highlight reel plays will only continue.

Finally, the impact of Thomas Bryant. This is the first non-AH environment for Bryant as a member of the Hoosiers, so if he gets his feet wet quickly it’s possible the freshman plays a massive role assuming his minutes limit is somewhat loosened.

Next: Colts rally in 4Q to beat Falcons

All in all, Indiana needs to keep proving themselves as the team to beat in the Big Ten. Maryland had a close contest with Rider, and Purdue left it a little late against Florida, though looked incredible in the final stretch.

These three will be kings of the Big Ten, but so far only the Hoosiers have not been bothered in the regular season. Tipoff for tonight’s game set for 5 pm ET.