Getting to know the MUBB opponents: IUPUI


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Marquette needed overtime to top IUPUI last season, 75-71.

This is the fourth in a 12-part series about Marquette’s non-conference opponents.

Marquette will host Indiana University-Purdue University Indiana, known as IUPUI, in the first leg of a three game homestand to close November. The Golden Eagles will take on the Summit League team for the third time in four seasons.

2015-’16 record: 13-19

Final Kenpom ranking: 203

Game time: 6:30 p.m.

Analysis: Head coach Jason Gardner enters his third season leading the Jaguars with reasons for optimism. Last year his team saw a three-win leap from the season before and flipped a 6-10 conference record in 2014-’15 into a 9-7 record last year.

IUPUI returns a pair of seniors who averaged double digit points last season. Darell Combs and Matt O’Leary scored 16.3 and 10.3 points per game, respectively. Combs led the team in minutes per game and assists. O’Leary co-led the team in rebounding, snagging six boards per game.

After those two players, the Jaguars lack experience. Big time contributors Marcelus Barksdale, Jordan Pickett, Archie Mason and Nick Osborne are no longer on the roster.

Sophomores Evan Hall and T.J. Henderson will have bigger roles after playing 16 minutes per game each last season. Both players scored just over four points per game, but there are plenty of shots to be taken this year.

IUPUI was a miserable offensive team last year. That stemmed from below average three-point shooting and a terrible assist percentage, meaning the ball wasn’t moving much.

The Jags were consistent defensively last season, giving up just 102.9 points per 100 possessions, good for the 153rd best defense in the country according to KenPom.

If IUPUI is going to take down Marquette, they’ll need a big day from Combs. He shot nearly 42% from downtown last year, making him one of the top-150 three-point shooters in the country.

The Golden Eagles took the Jaguars down in overtime last season, but they should only need 40 minutes to get the W this year.