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Sully's Court: Indiana young but getting better quickly

Posted by Joe Sullivan, Globe Staff  November 27, 2013 09:53 AM

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About last night: Tuned to Evansville-Indiana game hoping for a good intrastate grudge match. Indiana’s playing great defense and they smothered the Purple Aces early and it was never a game. The final was 77-46.

Hoosiers point guard Yogi Ferrell looks like he’s improved his outside shot. And obviously the defense is still there. I really liked Indiana’s freshman center Noah Vonleh (6-10, 240) who’s from Haverhill and played at New Hampton School. He’s going to be tremendous, very quick, great footwork, quick leaper too.

For all the hype Nerlens Noel got coming out of Greater Boston, Vonleh already has more offensive skills than the 76ers’ first-round draft choice. He doesn’t appear to be the natural shot blocker Noel is, but I’ll take him anytime on the offensive end. Indiana starts three freshmen, so there will be some tough days, but they’re going to be good sooner rather than later.

Good wins:
-- Illinois beating UNLV 61-59 on The Strip, nice road win.
-- Pitt manhandling Stanford 88-67, an assertive victory. Take that weak stuff back to the West Coast.
-- Wisconsin out-muscling Saint Louis 63-57 in the ballroom in Cancun. This was arm-wresting basketball at its best.
-- Fordham beating Manhattan 79-75. This is a big rivalry; the schools are not far from each other in the Bronx. WAIT. Manhattan College is in the Bronx? Yes.
-- NC State 82, Florida Gulf Coast 62: The Wolfpack needed this one. Gulf Coast getting humble fast.
-- Princeton beating George Mason 71-66. Maybe the Tigers are good enough to give Harvard some trouble.
-- Mount St. Mary’s beating Bucknell 69-64. On a small level, a huge upset.

Bad wins:
-- BC sleepwalking for most of the game before beating Sacred Heart in overtime 75-67. Bobby V was not at the game. The Eagles need to find some passion, as analyst Danya Abrams said on the radio. I was impressed Danya told it like it was.

Bad losses:
-- Dayton falling to Baylor 67-66 in Maui. It was really hurts, could have been a big win. Ouch, ouch, ouch. You know I feel for the best college basketball fans in the land.
-- Rutgers losing at home to FDU 73-72. Hopefully, it can’t get any worse for the Scarlet Knights because this is pretty bad.
-- Niagara losing to Penn 85-66. Purple Eagles lost coach Joe Milhalich to Hofstra and things have taken a turn for the worse.
-- Murray State getting crushed by Middle Tennessee 80-62. The Racers are ALWAYS good but maybe not this season.

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