Indiana Ready for Season Opener Against Florida Gulf Coast on Friday
Nov. 10, 2010
INDIANA vs. FLORIDA GULF COAST
THE OPENING TIP
Indiana begins its 111th season of college basketball and will play at total of 20 games at home during the regular season starting with Friday night's opener against Florida Gulf Coast University. The Hoosiers logged wins in both of their exhibition games, most recently a thrilling 78-65 overtime victory against Ferris State on Monday night. The Hoosiers trailed by 10 points with 4:43 left in the second half before embarking on a 15-5 run to tie the game and then went 5-for-5 from the floor in overtime to pull away for the win.
Including exhibition games, IU will play eight games in 23 days during the month of November to start the season. On two occasions, the Hoosiers will play three games in less than a week, starting with three games in five days from Nov. 12-16.
Dave Balza is in his ninth year as the head coach at Florida Gulf Coast and has compiled a 143-101 record with the Eagles. Prior to taking the reigns of FGCU, Balza was the head coach at St. Joseph's (Ind.) for three years.
The Hoosiers were able to win their 25th straight home opener and their 12th straight season opener last season, when they defeated Howard 83-60.
Juniors Verdell Jones III and Tom Pritchard have started the last two seasons in the first game of the season. Senior Jeremiah Rivers and sophomores Maurice Creek and Christian Watford also were in the starting lineup last year.
If Victor Oladipo starts the game it will be the fourth straight year that IU has had a freshman in the starting lineup. Eric Gordon started the 07-08 opener, Jones II and Pritchard in 08-09 and Watford and Creek in 09-10. Victor started both exhibition games. His four-point play with 10 seconds left and blocked shot with 1.4 seconds left helped send the Ferris State game with overtime.
WATFORD WOWS `EM
Against Ferris State, he did not shoot as well from the field but got to the free throw line 12 times and made all 12 attempts.
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