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Indiana University

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Indiana
vs. Ball State
When: 6 p.m. today
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: 1250 AM, 102.7 FM

Versatility has been key to IU’s early success

Grit. Toughness. Passion.

Those were three of the things Indiana associate head coach Tim Buckley saw from the Hoosiers in wins over Georgia and Georgetown at the Legends Classic in Brooklyn.

“I would say that when things didn’t go our way we had a really good ability to get to the next play,” Buckley said Saturday. “I also felt like we were able to play a couple of different styles out there whether it was pushing the pace or grinding it out at the half court. I think that’s always a sign of a pretty good team when you can play a lot of different ways.”

The No. 1 Hoosiers (5-0) return to action at 6 p.m. today against Ball State (2-1) at Assembly Hall.

Indiana captured the Legends Classic title with an 82-72 overtime victory over the Hoyas.

Jordan Hulls earned MVP honors after averaging 13 points, 4.3 assists and 2.8 rebounds in the event. Four Hoosiers averaged double figures in scoring in the four games, the final two of which took place at Barclays Center.

“Jordan and Victor (Oladipo) – all of that work that they’ve done when nobody’s been watching came to the forefront when everybody was watching,” Buckley said. “That’s what it takes. That’s what this culture is. You’ve got to get in here and you’ve got to do extra. You can’t just do what’s required.”

Oladipo averaged 12 points and shot 69.2 percent from the floor in the Classic.

“You’ve got to be able to sacrifice for what’s best of the team at any given moment, and I think we’ve done a pretty good job of recognizing who’s playing well, where the ball needs to get, how we’re sharing the ball, and then we also have some guys that can make some big plays,” Buckley said.

The Hoosiers face a Ball State team coming off a 68-44 loss to Indiana State on Tuesday. The Cardinals have wins over Grambling State and Wofford. This will be the Cardinals’ first road game.

Forward Majok Majok, a 6-8 junior college transfer, leads the Cardinals, averaging 14.3 points and 10.3 rebounds. Guards Jesse Berry and Jauwan Scaife are averaging 12 and 11.3 points, respectively.

Buckley said defending screens will be a key.

“We’ve got to get through screens to get to the shooters. We’ve got to beat the ball, can’t get hung up at any point in time on those screens. The second thing is our post defense,” he said. “Their leading scorer is Majok Majok, and he’s doing a really good job of carving out space down on the low block and scoring and getting fouled.”

lpope@jg.net

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