Pete DiPrimio, sports columnist and college beat writer for The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., takes his best shots on the world of Hoosier basketball.

Tuesday, November 14

Closer Than You Might Think

If you missed the game and saw the score, you’d think Indiana rolled over Lafayette in the Preseason NIT.

You couldn’t be more wrong.

The Leopards (1-1) pushed the Hoosiers (1-0) to the limit before losing 91-66. Only a closing 28-6 run made the score so lopsided.

“They’re a big, physical team and we’re not,” Lafayette coach Fran O’Hanlon said. “Physically and mentally we were spent at the end. We kind of lost our poise.”

The Hoosiers did not and you can credit the play of Rod Wilmont (24 points, five steals), Earl Calloway (22 points, nine assists), Lance Stemler (10 points) and Mike White (10 points).

With forward D.J. White in foul trouble (he played only eight minutes), Wilmont took over the offense. He was 6-for-11 from three-point range, 9-for-14 overall.

“Rod is going to shoot it regardless,” coach Kelvin Sampson said. “If he ever hurts his left wrist or hurt his fingers and couldn’t shoot, he’d have to quit.”

Wilmont won’t quit and neither, it seems, will the Hoosiers. They place Butler tonight with the winner advancing to next week’s Preseason NIT Final Four.


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