Indiana vs. Kentucky Gameday

HoosierNation.com previews Saturday's match-up between No. 16 Indiana (4-2) and No. 15 Kentucky (6-2), which tips off at 3:45 p.m. at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis.

Game Particulars: Indiana vs. Kentucky
No. 16/18 Indiana (4-2) squares off with No. 15/15 Kentucky (6-2) at 3:45 p.m. Saturday at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. Kentucky owns a 27-21 edge in the all-time series and has won five in a row and 10 of the last 11 meetings. Indiana's only win during that stretch came in 1999, when IU handed Kentucky an 83-75 setback in Indianapolis.

IU Coach Mike Davis is winless against UK Coach Tubby Smith, going 0-5 and losing those contests by an average of 17.6 points. That includes an 80-41 drubbing two years ago in Indianapolis, the last time the two teams met in the Circle City.

Davis is in his sixth year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 100-69 career mark. Kentucky, meanwhile, is coached by Tubby Smith, who owns a 225-60 record in eight-plus seasons at Kentucky, including a 7-1 mark against Indiana. Overall, Smith owns a 349-122 record in 14-plus seasons as a head coach, which includes a four-year stay at Tulsa and two years at Georgia before taking over the Kentucky program before the 1997-98 season.

The game will be televised by CBS, with Tim Brando (play-by-play) and Clark Kellogg (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2005-06 Schedule

Kentucky 2005-06 Schedule

PROBABLE STARTERS
#16/18 Indiana (4-2)
PG- Lewis Monroe (6-5, 192, Sr.) – 5.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.7 apg
SG-Marshall Strickland (6-2, 195, Sr.) – 14.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 55.6 3 pt. %
SF - Rod Wilmont (6-4, 200, Jr.) – 9.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 36.4 3 pt. %
PF - Robert Vaden (6-5, 225, So.) – 13.3 ppg, 4.0 apg, 5.7 apg
C - Marco Killingsworth (6-8, 270, Sr.) – 19.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 64.0 FG%

Kentucky (6-2)
PG- Rajon Rondo (6-1, 171, So.) – 14.7 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 5.6 apg
SG- Patrick Sparks (6-0, 180, Sr.) – 10.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, 45.2 3 pt. %
SF- Bobby Perry (6-6, 219, Jr.) – 7.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 49.1 FG%
PF- Rekalin Sims (6-8, 200, Jr.) – 8.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 49.1 FG%
C – Lukasz Obrzut (7-0, 270, Jr.) – 2.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg

Indiana 2005-06 Statistics

Kentucky 2005-06 Statistics

INJURY UPDATE
Indiana – Indiana will play its seventh straight game without D.J. White (13.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.2 bpg in '04), who is out with a broken foot. White is no longer wearing a boot on the foot and he is expected to be back in two weeks. Sean Kline is questionable for the Kentucky game with a sore knee that's kept him out of the Eastern Michigan and Indiana State games. James Hardy, meanwhile, has joined the team since the conclusion of the football season, but hasn't been cleared to begin practice due to some nagging football injuries.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
What sort of impact will Shagari Alleyne have on the game? – The 7-3, 271-pound junior center was a little-used reserve a year ago, averaging 2.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 9.2 minutes. But he made a huge contribution against the Hoosiers, playing a season-high 21 minutes and scoring 10 points, pulling down five rebounds and blocking four shots. His presence kept D.J. White (8 points on 3-of-9 shooting) from getting untracked inside in Kentucky's 15-point win in Louisville. This year, Alleyne will likely be matched up with Marco Killingsworth when he's in the game. Killingsworth will have to be physical with Alleyne to get his shot off. He's virtually impossible to shoot over, as White found out a year ago. He's terribly slow, though, so there could be some opportunities to try to lure him away from the basket and then beat him off the dribble. Alleyne could also draw Ben Allen on occasion, although Allen's ability to shoot from the perimeter is a terrible match-up for Coach Tubby Smith, who wants Alleyne in the middle of the lane.

Who wins the first four minutes? This is Indiana's second match-up against an elite program on national television, and it has to do better out of the gates than it did last time out. In the first four minutes of the game against Duke, Indiana missed four of its first five shots and committed four turnovers and fell behind 16-2. The Hoosiers can't afford to put themselves in that sort of hole again. The player to keep an eye on is Killingsworth. While he wound up with 34 points and 10 rebounds against Duke, he committed three of those early turnovers and missed his first shot in the loss to the Blue Devils. He's the player on the offensive end that Davis' troops look to, and if he's rattled, the rest of the team will be rattled.

What sort of impact will Ben Allen have on the game? - Kentucky's biggest matchup concern might not be Marco Killingsworth or Robert Vaden or Marshall Strickland – it could be 6'11" Ben Allen when he comes in off the bench. His ability to step out and shoot from behind the arc (he's 10-of-12 on 3s this season) creates more room in the paint for Killingsworth to operate and it likely creates more offensive rebounding opportunities as well for players such as Robert Vaden. Kentucky can't very well afford to put Alleyne or Carter or Obrzut on Allen, because Tubby Smith wants them in the paint to take away IU's penetration, and the trio of Wildcat big men isn't mobile enough to combat Allen's inside-outside game in the first place. Allen is averaging 18.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 25.0 minutes in the Hoosiers' last two games, and he'll likely see plenty of action again Saturday. He could wind up being a key ingredient to an Indiana win.

What kind of shape is Rajon Rondo in? - The Wildcats' leading scorer (14.7) and rebounder (10.0) missed the Georgia State game with strep throat, and it's unclear if he'll be back to 100 percent for the Indiana contest. It's a virtual certainty that he'll play, but Tubby Smith needs a big game from his sophomore to knock off the Hoosiers. He's the catalyst from his point guard position, leading the team in just about every statistical category imaginable (scoring, rebounding, assists, field goal shooting, 3-point percentage, steals, minutes). His presence creates better scoring opportunities on the wing for Patrick Sparks, who has to slide over and play the point on occasion when Rondo isn't available.

QUOTABLES
"They are a very good basketball team. You don't come in ranked No. 15 in the nation by just being an average basketball team. They are very good. It is going to be a game where we have to play our best in order to win." – IU Coach Mike Davis.

"(Indiana has) a lot more depth this year. They shoot the ball really well from the three-point line. Mike Davis has depth that he can go to in Ben Allen and Roderick Wilmont. Earl Calloway is as quick as any guard that we will face this year. They have been playing smaller lineups that are hard to guard because they spread the court. They have been doing some good things. We know they can score, so we are really going have to concentrate on defense." – UK Coach Tubby Smith.

"I don't think anyone can guard (Marco Killingsworth) one-on-one. He is pretty good one-on-one. I think you have to bring somebody to try and contain him. Shelden Williams is the best defensive player in the country at that position. To play him one-on-one no matter how big you are is definitely in his favor."." – IU Coach Mike Davis.

"It is a big game. We really want to show the world what we are capable of. We haven't played our best this year. We have to pass the ball, rebound and develop more flow to our game." – UK guard Joe Crawford.

DID YOU KNOW…
Twenty-one of Shagari Alleyne's 30 field goals a year ago were on dunks…Tubby Smith will be going for his 350th win as a head coach…over the last four years, Kentucky ranks second nationally in both wins (93) and winning percentage (84.5). Illinois leads the way with 96 wins and an 85.7% winning percentage….Indiana has shot better than 50 percent in each of its four wins this year, and less than 50 percent in both of its losses. Kentucky, meanwhile, has held 31 straight foes under 50 percent shooting and 73 out of the last 74…Indiana has a lot of UK connections, but not many wins. Mike Davis is 0-5 all-time against UK, while Associate Head Coach Kerry Rupp was 0-2 against Kentucky as an assistant at Utah. Marco Killingsworth and Lewis Monroe, meanwhile, were 0-5 against Kentucky during their three years at Auburn…Kentucky has been ranked nationally for 86 straight weeks, dating back to Feb. 6, 2001. That's the second-longest active streak in the country, trailing only Duke's run of 173 straight weeks (began March 12, 1996)…Indiana is shooting 47.3 percent from behind the 3-point arc, while Kentucky is holding its foes to 25.3 percent shooting from 3-point range….Indiana averages 25.3 points/game off its bench, compared to 29.0/game for Kentucky. Kentucky had a season-high 46 points off its bench in its most recent win over Georgia State, while Indiana's season-high bench production is 45 in its Game 2 win over Florida A&M.

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