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IUPUI looks to gel

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Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis' goal for the Blue & Gold Classic is similar to Marquette's goal — to gel as a team.

While Marquette is looking for their talented freshmen to come together as a team, the Jaguars are trying to transfuse players from other schools into their program.

IUPUI is a team made up largely of transfers, with nine of the 20 players on its roster playing at their second school.

"We've got high expectations. We've got a good basketball team," said IUPUI head coach Ron Hunter. "We hope to be good this weekend, but we know it might take time with our transfers."

So far, the newcomer making the biggest impact is junior forward Angelo Smith, who transferred from Xavier, where as a freshman he was the primary backup for the National Player of the Year, David West. In the Jaguars' two exhibition victories, Smith averaged nine points, eight rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.

The other transfers playing their first year at IUPUI are Matt Burks (transferred from Highland Community College) and Brandon Cameron (Penn State).

Although the transfers bring new talent to the squad, the team will continue to rely on two familiar faces.

"Our two best players are (sophomore George) Hill and (senior Brandon) Cole," Hunter said. "We go as far as they go. When those guys play well, we're pretty hard to beat."

Hill is coming off of an impressive freshman season in which he was third on the team in scoring with 10.7 points per game, while adding 4.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Those numbers were good enough to earn him a place on the five-man Mid-Continent Conference All-Newcomer Team.

As a junior last season, Cole led the team in scoring (14.3 points per game), rebounding (7.0 boards per game) and double-doubles (6). He enters this season as a preseason first-team all-conference selection. He is particularly dangerous from beyond the arc, hitting 72 long-range shots last season and going 6-for-14 in this season's exhibition games.

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