IUPUI starts 4-game road trip against Wright State tonight





DAYTON, Ohio – The IUPUI basketball team will begin an arduous stretch of its schedule on Wednesday night (Feb. 8) when the Jaguars face Wright State inside the Nutter Center at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN+. Coming off a win over Green Bay, the Jaguars’ next four contests will all be on the road, beginning Wednesday. 

IUPUI (4-21, 1-13 HL) finally broke through with a league win over the weekend, knocking off the Phoenix 68-53 inside Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Freshmen Vincent Brady II and DJ Jackson tallied 16 points each and Chris Osten closed with 12 points. Sophomore guard Jlynn Counter had eight points, eight assists and three rebounds and a team-high +14 plus/minus. The Jaguars shot 52 percent from the floor and held Green Bay to just 35 percent while outscoring the foes 46-24 in the paint. The Jaguars’ 46 points in the paint matched a season-high. 

Jackson was later named Horizon League Freshman of the Week after averaging 15.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 66.7 percent from the field. Jackson became the third different IUPUI rookie to earn the weekly award and IUPUI players have accounted for seven of this season’s 13 honors. 

“Our guys have stuck with it all year long and today they were rewarded. We’ve been close and today I thought we did a good job of staying on the gas when we got a lead. We played a long stretch of the second half without (Counter) because of foul trouble and our freshmen really played well in that scenario. Those guys have really grown up right in front of us,” head coach Matt Crenshaw said following Saturday’s win over Green Bay. 

Wright State is 14-11 overall and 7-7 in Horizon League play with a 6-6 mark at home. Trey Calvin keys the Raiders attack at 20.3 points per game while shooting 48.6 percent from the floor and 35.4 percent from three. Freshman Brandon Noel is averaging 12.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game and also leads the team in blocked shots (23) and is shooting nearly 60 percent from the field. As a team, Wright State shoots 49.7 percent from the floor and outrebounds their opposition by nearly four boards per game.   

IUPUI will take on Northern Kentucky on Sunday (Feb. 12) at 1:00 p.m. in Highland Heights, Ky.

Tidbits heading into Wednesday’s game (click here for full game notes)
    IUPUI freshmen have collected seven #HLMBB Freshman of the Week Awards this season as Vincent Brady II has collected four honors, Armon Jarrard has been honored twice and DJ Jackson is the league’s most recent recipient. 
    Brady is second on the team in scoring (10.3 ppg) and rebounding (4.1 rpg) and leads the team in minutes played (31.4 mpg, 15th in the HL) and threes made (42). Brady comes in having made at least one three in 20 straight games and in 23 of the team’s 25 games this season. 

    Speaking of Brady, you may have seen him on your timeline recently as his dunk in the closing minutes of IUPUI’s win over Green Bay went viral on social media. Brady threw down a vicious one-handed hammer with 2:40 to play over GB’s Cade Meyer, later earning ESPN’s #SCTop10’s No. 1 play and ‘Dunk of the Day’ honors, along with additional mentions from Fox Sports, NCAA March Madness, House of Highlights and other social accounts. It received just under 1-million views on ESPN’s SportsCenter account alone. 

    It would appear that Brady will be hovering around double-digits in scoring all season long as he sits at 10.3 points per game entering today’s game.  
    Earlier this season, he had a stretch of four straight games with 15-or-more earlier this season, becoming the first IUPUI freshman to do so since Alex Young in 2008. 
    Freshmen scoring in double-digits has been a rarity for the IUPUI program as just two have done so in the program’s Division I-era. The aforementioned Young went on to score 2,286 points in his four-year IUPUI career and George Hill scored 1,619 points in three-plus seasons before being drafted in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft. 
    Here’s the full list of IUPUI true freshmen to score in double digits for a season in the Division I era (1998-present). 
    Alex Young – 10.8 ppg (2008-09)
    George Hill – 10.7 ppg (2004-05)

    It’s safe to say that sophomore guard Jlynn Counter has emerged as the program’s most important player this season. Here are a few nuggets about the Oklahoma City-native, including a recent five-game surge that has him among the top players in the Horizon League.
    -he’s scored 20-or-more in four of IUPUI’s last six games
    -during that six-game stretch, he’s averaging 19.2 points and 4.7 assists per game while shooting 53.7 percent (44-82) from the floor, 41.2 percent (7-17) from three and 87 percent (20-23) from the foul line
    -he started the year 0-of-14 from three in the season’s first 12 games, but has gone 9-of-25 (36 percent) since and made at least one three in each of the past five games  

    ALL 12
    Following IUPUI’s game at Cleveland State on Sunday (Jan. 29), all 12 of the Jaguars’ scholarship players have now started at least one game this season. Graduate student Jonah Carrasco started in place of an injured Chris Osten, becoming the 12th different IUPUI player to start a game and IUPUI’s 12th different starting unit of the year. 

    IUPUI is tops in the nation, having had 14 different players miss at least one game due to injury or illness, 12 of whom are scholarship student-athletes. Highest on the list are Zach Gunn (out for the season), Bryce Monroe (21 games missed) and DJ Jackson (11 games). Other scholarship student-athletes who have missed multiple games this season include Amhad Jarrard (9 games), Armon Jarrard (7 games), Daylan Hamilton (7 games), John Egbuta (5 games) and Cooper Dewitt (3 games).
    Behind IUPUI, Wyoming and Iona have all had nine student-athletes miss time.  
    IUPUI has not had a game this season in which the entire roster was available. 

    True freshman Vincent Brady II is the only IUPUI player to have appeared in all 25 games this season and is tied with Chris Osten with a team-high 24 starting nods. 

    Freshman DJ Jackson became the tenth different IUPUI player to have a double-digit scoring game for the Jaguars this season, doing so against Detroit Mercy on Jan. 21. Amazingly, of all 10 players who have scored in double-digits this season, none were on the IUPUI roster last season. 

    Graduate transfer Chris Osten is currently shooting 66.9 percent for the season, chasing the school record for single-season shooting percentage (Jon Avery – 67.9 percent in 2008-09). The 6-foot-9 forward is shooting an absurd 77.1 percent from the field (54-of-70) at home this year. 
    Coming into this season, he had scored in double-digits just one time in his Division I career
in stops at both Arizona State and Northern Illinois, and never had a double-double. However,
in 21 games this season, Osten has hit double-figures 12 times and registered four double-doubles.

    The past seven games have seen a new star emerge off the IUPUI bench as John Egbuta has provided a huge lift. The New York-native has contributed 11 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while making 28-of-48 (58.3 percent) shots, including 5-of-9 from three. 

    SEEING 20-20
    IUPUI had a pair of 20-point scorers against Oakland last Thursday as freshman Vincent Brady II had a career-high 23 points (8-16 FG, 4-9 3’s, 3-3 FT) and Jlynn Counter tallied 22 (8-16 FG, 1-2 3’s, 5-6 FT). It marked the first time under head coach Matt Crenshaw that two players have gone for 20-or-more in the same game. 

    With so many new faces and primarily young faces, head coach Matt Crenshaw is still seeking a closer to help in crunch time. IUPUI has gone down to the wire in six of its past eight losses. 
    At Robert Morris on Jan. 9, IUPUI trailed 44-29 at halftime, but rallied to come all the way back in the second half. The Jaguars tied the game at 61 all and again at 63-63 before being outscored 14-7 over the game’s first five-plus minutes in the 77-70 loss. 
    Against Oakland on Jan. 19, IUPUI again rallied from a nine-point deficit and led by as many as four in the closing minutes before a Jalen Moore trey with 3.0 seconds left sent the game to overtime. Oakland outscored the Jags 15-9 in overtime to secure an 83-77 win, keeping the Jags winless in league play. 
    Against Detroit Mercy on Jan. 21, it was a two-possession game with five minutes remaining before the Titans outscored the Jags 20-12 down the stretch. 
    At Purdue Fort Wayne, IUPUI rallied from 11 down to cut the Mastodons’ lead to two in the waning minutes, but couldn’t get over the hump late. 
    At Cleveland State on Jan. 29, the Jaguars rallied from down 20 in the second half to down three with 3:01 to play. However, IUPUI was never able to draw even late in that contest before ultimately falling short, 78-72. 
    Against Milwaukee on Feb. 2, IUPUI had two chances to tie the score in the closing minute but came up empty on both in a 72-69 home loss to one of the league’s top teams. 

    IUPUI had three freshmen in the starting lineup in the season opener at Iowa State as Vincent Brady IIAmhad Jarrard and Armon Jarrard all got the starting nod. The trio, all of whom are Indianapolis natives, combined on four points, five boards and an assist in their collegiate debut. 
    A fourth freshman, DJ Jackson, made his first collegiate start on Dec. 31 against NKU. 

    IUPUI hosted its annual NCAA Readers Become Leaders game on Dec. 12 against Spalding University and had a program best 4,114 fans in attendance. The game attracted roughly 3,500 3rd graders from Central Indiana and stressed the importance of creating reading habits at a young age. The 4,114 fans easily surpassed the previous record for an IUPUI home game – 3,327 against Indiana State inside Conseco Fieldhouse on Dec. 23, 2008. 
    The previous record for an IUPUI game inside Indiana Farmers Coliseum was 3,159 in the inaugural game against Indiana State on Nov. 14, 2014. 

    After missing the first three games of the season to injury, junior transfer Bryce Monroe came in and made a major impact in the Jaguars’ lineup. In his four appearances, Monroe led the team in scoring (12.0 ppg) and assists (3.8 apg), despite suffering an injury in his third game back. More importantly, the team as a whole has improved its output. Without Monroe in the lineup, the Jags averaged just 53.4 points per game and scored 65.0 points per game with him available.
    The San Diego-transfer had a monster game at New Orleans on Nov. 24, pumping in 29 points (13-20 FG, 3-6 3’s) and seven assists – both of which are the most by an IUPUI player this season. However, Monroe was injured during the New Orleans trip and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.  

    The three-point line has been a tell as to IUPUI’s success, or struggles, this season. 
    As a whole, IUPUI ranks No. 344 (of 352) nationally in three-point percentage (28.8%) and No. 346 in threes made per game (4.6). 
    In IUPUI’s 21 losses, opponents are shooting 39.7 percent from three and connecting on 9.1 threes per game, while outscoring the Jags by 13.3 points per game from deep. 
    In IUPUI’s four wins, opponents are shooting just 16.7 percent from deep and connecting on just 3.5 threes per game. 

    The Jaguars put together a 3.03 team grade point average during the fall semester with 12 members of the team earning a 3.0 or better. Junior John Egbuta was most impressive with a perfect 4.0 mark during the fall.