By Ben Molnar, For The Miami Student
After a week-long break from competition, the Miami University men’s basketball team hits the road for a game against Indiana University — Purdue University Indianapolis on Saturday.
The RedHawks (4-3) are coming off last Saturday’s 64-63 comeback victory against University of Central Florida.
Head coach John Cooper likes how balanced his group is becoming and how much depth the team has.
“I think it goes to making sure we get guys in the game,” he said. “I do think there’s gonna be nights where there’s gonna be someone who’s gonna be on that night and be able to give us what we need and give us that lift.”
Senior guard Eric Washington leads the RedHawks with an average 12.1 points per game and 18 total steals. Senior guard Geovonie McKnight is close behind, averaging 11.4 points per game.
As a team, MU shoots 41.5 percent from the field, while holding opponents to a 42.8 shooting percentage.
Cooper thinks the team is maturing through each game, but he always wants his team to give him their maximum effort day in and day out.
“I don’t know if they’re ever as mature as I want them to be,” Cooper said, joking. “I think you always want more. In order to be special, you have to go beyond yourself and go beyond what you feel are your limits and your capabilities. I’m asking for more and more and more, and they say that I gave you all I got, and that’s when I say just give me a little bit more.”
IUPUI (2-6) has lost its last four games, including a 61-58 loss at Ball State University on Tuesday. Junior guard Darell Combs leads the Jaguars with 14.8 points per game.
Cooper said the players need to refocus as they head to Indianapolis, and that they need to come together and bond during the road trip.
He also said the team needs to start strong to avoid having to make up lost ground in the waning minutes of the game, much like they were forced to in the season-opening loss to Xavier University.
“We’ve gotta be able to come out and be locked in and focus from the very beginning of that game, and understand and value each possession, which is key,” Cooper said. “Take care of the basketball, rebound the basketball, do the little things on the road, which you really need to do in order to be successful.”
Tipoff is 1 p.m. Saturday in Indianapolis, Ind.