GAMEDAY: Eagles set to battle Big Ten foe Indiana

Zane Clodfelter

Follow all day for continuous coverage of USI's exhibition season opener at Indiana.
Follow all day for continuous coverage of USI’s exhibition season opener at Indiana.

Southern Indiana will begin their 2013-2014 schedule in an exhibition contest against Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. tonight at Assembly Hall. Tip is scheduled for 6 p.m. (Central time).

What to watch for: The Eagles return a wealth of talent from last year’s team that went 23-8 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament, led by returning starters Aaron Nelson (11.9 points per game), Taylor Wischmeier (10.5 ppg) and Lawrence Thomas (9.8 ppg). USI will be without leading scorer Orlando Rutledge, who is ineligible for the fall semester due to academic issues. Indiana lost several key contributors from their Big Ten Championship team last season, but boast another top-five recruiting class and are expected to again be factors in the Big Ten Conference title race in 2014.

Rankings: Indiana enters tonight’s contest ranked 24th in the preseason USA Today coaches poll, while USI is ranked 23rd in the Division II Bulletin preseason poll. The Associated Press poll for Division I hasn’t been announced.

Hoosiers against GLVC teams: Indiana is 5-0 against Great Lakes Valley Conference teams since the 2005-06 season. This is the first meeting all-time in men’s basketball between USI and IU.

USI against Division I schools: The Eagles are 0-12 all-time against Division I schools, including an 0-2 mark against Big Ten programs (Illinois in 2010, Purdue in 2011).

Coverage: The game will be streamed live on Big Ten Digital Network (subscription required). USI is hosting a viewing party at the Physical Activities Center on campus, doors to that event open at 5 p.m., one hour prior to tip. The game will be broadcast on a tape-delay basis on Big Ten Network and BTN2Go on Monday at 6:30 p.m. For those traveling statewide, the game will be available on the IU Radio Network or by clicking here. Locally, the game will be available on 106.7 and 90.7 respectively. The Shield will have a live game story and updates via @usishieldsports throughout the evening.