Indiana gets its final tuneup for the upcoming season today against Saint Josephs (Ind.) College.
It will be the first chance for freshman Bawa Muniru to gain game experience.
Muniru sat out Wednesdays 96-73 exhibition victory over Grace awaiting eligibility clearance from the NCAA. He received the positive word Thursday.
The one beauty of this is that he was cleared to practice (earlier). It would have really been a nightmare if he hadnt been cleared to practice, IU coach Tom Crean said Sunday. He hasnt missed any time there, but he hasnt always felt like a willing participant to get out there. Theres a certain amount of anxiety in him right now. The last couple of days, its been different.
The 6-11 center from Tumu, Ghana, was the 111th rated recruit in 2009 and the 14th best center, according to Rivals.com.
Hes worked very hard. Theres going to be three parts to Bawa right now, Crean said. Its his practice time and what he does there. Its what he does outside of practice, whether its his individual workouts, before or after practice things, and then its going to be game experience.
Muniru averaged 16.6 points and 8.9 rebounds as a senior at Madison (Ala.) Academy and attended Mount Zion Academy a year ago. Crean said Munirus biggest role will be on defense.
Weve got to put up resistance at the basket, Crean said. We didnt have any resistance on people last year. Im not saying we have to foul, but we cant be passive inside, we have to have a presence.
The one thing Bawa brings is legitimate shot-blocking presence. Hes learning more and more. We have as many defensive drills for him as we do right anything else. Hes got to really, really learn.
Crean said the Hoosiers are not good enough at any one position right now, to consider redshirting players.
We had a situation (Wednesday) where (forwards) Bobby (Capobianco) and Tom (Pritchard) had four fouls on them with time still in the game, Crean said. Well see how it goes. Could we redshirt somebody? I guess we could, but again I dont know if we are deep enough to take that shot right now.