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Scouting Notes: Army



Indiana basketball faces Army on Sunday
A deep dive into Army and some of the challenges it could give the Indiana basketball program in Sunday's matchup.

IU basketball gets back on the court on Sunday night as it welcomes in Army to Assembly Hall.

Indiana enters 1-0 on the season after a 23-12 record last year.

Army is coached by first year head coach Kevin Kuwik. Last season, they were 17-16 overall. Army comes into this matchup as a struggling offense — and struggling team, with an 0-2 record this Eason. They are coming off of a double-digit loss to Stonehill College earlier this week. Army ranks 359th overall in offensive efficiency in KenPom, with an 89.1 rating. They are shooting 31 percent on the season — ranked 354th overall in the country. Defensively, the Black Knights rank 237th in defensive efficiency with a rating of 104.9 — also allowing opponents to shoot 50.0 percent from the field. Overall, they are ranked 339th in KenPom entering the season.

Here is a deep dive into some of the challenges Army could give the IU basketball program.

Key Players:

Army doesn’t have a lot of offensive talent but Jared Cross is the best of the team’s talent. The senior 6-foot-3 guard comes off of the bench but leads the team in minutes and scoring. He averages 9.5 points per game. Cross is more effective as a three-point shooter than on 2s. He shoots 45.5 percent from three (5-of-11) and is just 33.3 percent from two (2-of-6). For his career, 64.3 percent of his career attempts have come from three, while 50 percent of his made field goals have been from three. Cross is the one player that Indiana really needs to hone in on throughout the game as most of Army’s offense will come from him.

Freshman guard Ryan Curry splits the point guard duties but is more more of a scoring guard than passing. He had 13 points in the opener, but was 0-of-4 in their loss to Stonehill. Curry is 3-of-7 on 3s this year. Curry isn’t someone who has the ball in his hands a lot throughout each possession, but has the highest turnover rate of any guard or wing on Army at 21.4 percent.

6-foot-9 Charlie Peterson is the go-to player up front. He is the leading-returning scorer for Army and a real threat on the glass. He has a 20.8 offensive rebound percentage and 21.8 overall rebound rate. He’s not someone who is going to be a threat from the perimeter and most of his work is done in the paint or at the high post. Army will run a lot of its offense through Peterson, who currently has the highest usage rate (29.8 percent) on the team.

Kwabena Davis is an athletic slashing wing who is not a consistent threat from deep — just 22 attempts in 20 games played — but has connected on nine of them. Most of Davis’ action is attacking the basket and getting downhill.

Josh Scovens, Abe Johnson and AJ Allenspach round out the front court rotation — all three are expected to be heavily rotated on Sunday. Scovens is a smaller forward at 6-foot-5 but has decent length and athleticism. He is not an effective offensive player, however, shooting just 25 percent from the floor (4-of-16) and 25 percent from three (2-of-8). Johnson is a 6-foot-8, high motor and physical player. He leads Army with eight free throw attempts this season. Johnson is best on the defensive glass, with a defensive rebound rate of 25.4 percent. Allenspach, like Johnson, is an effective rebounder, but he won’t be much of an offensive threat.

Key Tendencies:

Army is not an efficient team on either end of the floor. Offensively it is one of the worst teams in the country and do so at a slow pace. They rank 322nd in tempo and 248th in average length of possession — both similar numbers to Florida Gulf Coast entering this season. But, Army is averaging just 49.5 points per game thus far and shooting just 31 percent from the field. The Black Knights are not a team that has the athleticism to beat opponents off of the dribble and rely a lot on 3s. They are attempting 26 3s per game this season but are converting on just 25 percent of them. 46 percent of their field goal attempts come from three, while 39.4 percent of their points are off of 3s. Those numbers rank 54th and 43rd in KenPom, respectively. The two possession outcomes for Army tend to be either a turnover or an attempted 3.

Defensively, Army is small and not an effective team defending the paint — something Indiana basketball should be able to take advantage of at will. Opponents are shooting 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from three against Army — but they are attempting just 17 3s per game. Only 35 percent of opponents’ field goal attempts per game are coming from three — Indiana should follow that trend. Look for Indiana to be able to run against Army, with a lot of long rebounds off of missed 3s and with the sheer fact that it’s a much longer, quicker and athletic team than Army.

Army’s rotation will be deep, however. 41.2 percent of its minutes come from the bench — ranked 24th in KenPom. There are 10 players averaging at least 16 minutes per game

Projected Starters:

G- Ryan Curry (Freshman; 6-0 175)

Stats: 6.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 41.9% 3pt

G- Kwabena Davis (Senior; 6-3, 182)

Stats: 6.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg

G- Blake Barker (Junior; 6-2, 192)

Stats: 3.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.0 apg

F- Josh Scovens (Freshman; 6-5, 218)

Stats: 6.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.o apg

F- Charlie Peterson (Senior; 6-9, 244)

Stats: 5.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.0 apg

Key Notes:

  • Kevin Kuwik is in his first year as Army head coach
  • Army’s top-two scorers come off of the bench
  • The Black Knights currently have no scorers averaging double-digits
  • Army is 1-9 against Power Five programs in its last 10 matchups — the last win coming against USC in the 2015-16 season.
  • The Hoosiers are looking to start 2-0 for the sixth-straight season and the 16th time in the last 17 seasons

SEE ALSO: Indiana Basketball Game Preview: Army – key storylines, injury report, how to watch

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.