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Why Indiana State reminds the Runnin’ Utes of BYU

Drake’s Darnell Brodie (51), left, defends against Indiana State’s Robbie Avila during championship game in the Missouri Valley Conference NCAA basketball tournament Sunday, March 10, 2024, in St. Louis. | Joe Puetz

INDIANAPOLIS — If there’s one team that most closely resembles Utah’s NIT semifinal opponent, Indiana State, among programs the Runnin’ Utes have played this season, it’s one they are extremely familiar with.

“Yeah, just I would say BYU,” Utah senior center Branden Carlson said Monday when asked who Indiana State reminds him of. “They shoot the 3-point well, so that’s a lot of emphasis for us and something that we really have to dial into, is defending the 3.”

“Just the way they played through their five, really look similar to how Indiana State plays and obviously shoot a lot of 3s and play fast in transition. It’s pretty identical, I’d say, to BYU.”

Utah guard Gabe Madsen

The Utes will play the Sycamores in Tuesday’s first of two NIT semifinals at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis (5 p.m. MDT, ESPN). The winner will advance to Thursday’s championship game between the winner of Seton Hall and Georgia.

Glance at the statistics, and it’s understandable why BYU was the answer each Utah representative gave at Monday’s NIT press conference when asked to compare what previous opponent most resembles the Sycamores.

At the center of Indiana State’s offensive attack is 6-foot-10 center Robbie Avila, who leads the Sycamores by averaging 17.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.

“Yeah, (I’d) kind of say BYU, too,” Utah guard Gabe Madsen said of the comparison between Indiana State and BYU. “Just the way they played through their five, really look similar to how Indiana State plays and obviously shoot a lot of 3s and play fast in transition. It’s pretty identical, I’d say, to BYU.”

The Cougars, who made the NCAA Tournament in their first Big 12 season, were known for their 3-point propensity, making an average…


Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/why-indiana-state-reminds-runnin-230850897.html

Author : Deseret News

Publish date : 2024-04-01 23:08:50

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