So, How We Doin'? Indiana-PA

Oct 29, 2021

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I probably shouldn't have started these "SOC, but for basketball" posts before the start of the season. My prediction for St. Francis (IL) - 94-68. Actual score: 101-34. Points in the paint: 56 to 6.

But hey, I did one of these for that game, so I should do one of these for this game. Here's my thoughts on Illinois vs. Indiana-PA:

I have no thoughts. There aren't really any thoughts to have. The absolute best case scenario is for Illinois to get a scare from this Division II opponent so that some lessons can be learned, but I doubt there will be many lessons to learn. I need to fill the paragraphs here, so let's do some research on the Crimson Hawks.

OK, here's something. Indiana (PA) is ranked 18th in the preseason Division II poll but there's two asterisks next to their record from last season. So I look down at the bottom and here's the footnote:

Went 2-1 in 2020-21 season; listed record from 2019-20

THAT has to be a fun Covid story. So now I'll do a little more research.

Looks like it was the conference that canceled. The PSAC - the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference - canceled the entire season. I found an article that said Indiana (PA) was able to schedule three games. I'll just cut and paste that paragraph...

The Crimson Hawks look forward to their return after missing the 2020-21 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hawks managed a schedule of three games, falling to Gannon on the road 80-75 before defeating the Golden Knights at home 67-56 and rallying for a 77-74 win over Clarion at home.

Looks like nearly all of Division II played basketball last season so that had to really suck. The article mentions something about being #4 preseason (they had gone 28-2 the previous season), so the conference canceling the entire season had to be rough for those kids. Possible D-II Final Four contenders and poof, the season is gone.

I'm not sure I even know where Indiana University of Pennsylvania is located, so let's look this up together. It is... hold up, that's not far from where I was last weekend. The train from Pittsburgh to State College goes south of Indiana, Pennsylvania (takes a route from Latrobe to Johnstown to Altoona), but that's not far at all from the highway I took last December driving from State College to Pittsburgh. The thing you always forget about that part of Pennsylviana: there's, like, mountain mountains.

Ever heard of Horseshoe Curve (is this a basketball post, Robert?). It's this path down out of the mountains outside Altoona which was the only route they could find to send the train tracks. This is what it looks like:

So yeah, that's what it looks like in that part of the country. This should give you plenty of insight into what we're going to see from the Crimson Hawks tomorrow night.

(It gives you zero insight.)

I really do hope they give us a test. I'm hoping to see Belo and Kofi play 12 minutes and then the rest can be "how does this team function without Belo and Kofi?". Maybe sit Trent for long stretches, too.

Give me at least 20 minutes from Coleman Hawkins and at least 15 minutes from all of the freshmen. Omar Payne only played 9 minutes against St. Francis - I'd like to see at least 18 tomorrow night.

And just give me something where Indiana (PA) goes on an 8-0 run and Underwood has to call a timeout. I always want these exhibition games to provide the first "oh man, we need to step it up" of the season.

Well, that's not true. When we trailed Lewis University at halftime back in 2010, I was not smiling. I was not thinking about how good it was that the team was learning to focus for 40 minutes. I was ready to riot. (We ended up beating Lewis by 10 and then Southern Indiana by 9 in those two exhibition games. Those were the days!)

With this team, though, with the goal set at a 3-seed or higher, I'm hoping for as many preseason lessons as possible. Given the way last season ended, in my mind, everything is focused on that second weekend this year. We haven't been there since 2005. We must return. So I want to learn every lesson we can possibly learn between now and March. And then I NEED that second weekend.

So give me some kind of lesson tomorrow night. Let's make sure the starters are sitting and the backups are tested because we might need those backups late in the second half against Indiana (IN), not Indiana (PA). One goal: a team ready to rip through March.

A little Kofi, a little Belo, a little Trent, a lot of everyone else.

Illinois 86, Indiana (PA) 68


Bear8287 on October 29, 2021 @ 02:33 AM

Fun fact, there's also a California University of Pennsylvania. link

If you hit there athletics page there are games notes about Cal U vs. Seton Hill. (Makes you do a double double-take. :-D ).

learningandlabor on October 29, 2021 @ 08:24 AM

Ah, a little horseshoe curve with score prediction. Clever.

ILLhaveaBrewski on October 29, 2021 @ 09:49 AM

Didn't Lou Tepper coach the football team at Indiana PA after getting fired from the Illinois job?

Bear8287 on October 29, 2021 @ 11:38 AM

  • 1998–1999 LSU (DC/LB)
  • 2000–2005 Edinboro
  • 2006–2010 IUP

Despite Tepper's abilities as a defensive coach, he only put together only two winning seasons in his six years in Champaign. His teams were unable to match the moderate success the Illini had enjoyed under Mackovic and Mike White, and the Illini got progressively worse over his tenure. They placed fourth in the Big Ten Conference in Tepper's first full season, 1992, and finished in fourth, fifth, seventh, and ninth in his remaining years. Tepper was fired after the 1996 season, when the Illini went 2–9 with a 1–7 conference record. Tepper later said that he had forgiven Illinois for firing him.

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