Indiana vs. Ball State Gameday

HoosierNation.com previews the matchup pitting No. 17 Indiana (7-2) and Ball State (4-3), which tips off Saturday at 6 p.m. at Worthen Arena in Muncie.

Game Particulars: Indiana vs. Ball State
No. 17/17 Indiana (7-2) squares off with Ball State (4-3) at 6 p.m. Saturday at Worthen Arena in Muncie. Indiana owns a 17-1 edge in the all-time series, including a 71-59 win a year ago at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Bracey Wright scored 29 in the game to pace the Hoosiers, while D.J. White was Indiana's only other double-figure scorer with 12 points. Ball State's only win in the series came in 1937 when the Cardinals handed IU a 42-38 setback in Muncie.

IU is coached by Mike Davis, who is in his sixth year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 103-69 career mark. Indiana has been to the postseason in four of Davis' five seasons (three NCAA invitations). Ball State, meanwhile, is coached by Tim Buckley, who owns an 87-72 record in five-plus seasons with the Cardinals and a 137-124 career head coaching mark.

The game will be televised by the Ball State Sports Network, with Vince Welch, Jerry Pierson and Kevin Lee calling the match-up. Stations picking up the game include WIPB (Muncie); WNDY-UPN (Indianapolis); UPN (Ft. Wayne); WHME (South Bend); WTVW (Evansville); WYIN (Merrillville) and Comcast Michigan. Satellite coordinates are: SBS6, Transponder K9

Indiana 2005-06 Schedule

Ball State 2005-06 Schedule

PROBABLE STARTERS
#18 Indiana (7-2)
PG- Lewis Monroe (6-5, 192, Sr.) – 5.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.6 apg
SG-Marshall Strickland (6-2, 195, Sr.) – 12.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 55.6% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Robert Vaden (6-5, 225, So.) 14.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 5.0 apg, 50% FG shooting
PF – D.J. White, (6-9, 243, So.) 7.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.0 bpg, 43.8% FG shooting
C - Marco Killingsworth (6-8, 270, Sr.) – 20.6 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.7 apg, 65.7% FG%

Ball State (4-3)
PG- Maurice Acker (5-8, 150, Fr.) – 5.7 ppg, 3.6 apg, 29.3% FG shooting
SG- Julien ‘Skip' Mills (6-3, 190, Jr.) – 19.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.3 spg, 36.4% 3 pt. shooting
WG - Chris Ames (6-3, 200, Jr.) – 3.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.8 spg, 40.0% FG shooting
SF- Jalon Perryman (6-4, 180, Fr.) 5.4 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 41.2% 3 pt. shooting
C – Charles Bass (6-9, 215, Jr.) – 8.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.3 bpg, 58.1% FG shooting

Indiana 2005-06 Statistics

Ball State 2005-06 Statistics

INJURY UPDATE
Indiana – D.J. White, Sean Kline and A.J. Ratliff have all returned to the lineup, but James Hardy is now sidelined indefinitely. IU Coach Mike Davis said last week the 6-7, 215-pound forward is out with a hamstring injury, and he'll likely be off the practice floor for 2-3 weeks. Ball State – Peyton Stovall was sidelined for the year with an injury to his left knee in the Cardinals' Nov. 26 contest against Wright State. A double-figure scorer in 25 of 28 games a year ago, Stovall was averaging 15.0 points/game this season before going down with the injury.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
D.J. White back in the starting lineup? – In an effort to get White going, IU Coach Mike Davis said D.J. White will likely start in the final tune-up for the Big Ten slate. White has played in two games since returning from a broken foot, averaging 7.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in 14.0 minutes/game in victories over Charlotte and Butler. Indiana has had little opportunity to have both White and Marco Killingsworth on the floor at the same time, something that will likely change once the Big Ten season gets underway Tuesday against Michigan. Davis would like to use Saturday night's Ball State matchup to have the two big men playing alongside each other. Due to matchups, though, this game will also prove to be a difficult game to have both big men on the floor for extended periods of time. Ball State basically starts four guards, which would force White or Killingsworth to defend the perimeter. Expect to see both start, but if Ball State begins having success from behind the 3-point arc and/or in luring White or Killingsworth out and then driving them to the basket, Davis might have to resort to the smaller lineup that features Robert Vaden at the power forward spot.

Can Indiana get some offensive production from Lewis Monroe? - The IU coaches have been trying to get Lewis Monroe to be more aggressive offensively, and he might have a chance to have his first double-digit scoring effort since the season-opener against Nicholls State. The 6-5 Monroe will have a huge size advantage over 5-8, 150-pound Ball State point guard Maurice Acker, so opportunities to score over the Cardinal freshman could be plentiful. Indiana's offense is predicated on feeding the ball into the post and either a. scoring or, b. drawing double teams and then kicking it back out to open shooters. Monroe needs to be willing to take the open jump shot when given the opportunity. He's averaging only 3.6 shots/game despite playing 28.0 minutes/contest, and Big Ten teams will eventually look to double the post with his man if Monroe doesn't look to shoot more.

Can Charles Bass matchup physically with Killingsworth and White? - Anchoring the post for Ball State Coach Tim Buckley is 6-9, 215-pound Charles Bass, a one-time Ohio State Buckeye who transferred to Muncie two years ago. While Bass has enjoyed his change of scenery, he's still pretty much the same player that he was in Columbus – an athletic, shot-blocking big man who is rail thin. At 215 pounds, Bass will be giving up 55 pounds to Killingsworth and 30 pounds to White, so it's questionable whether he'll be able to hold up physically against the IU frontline, particularly by the time the second half rolls around. While the long armed White will still be able to shoot over Bass, it will be important for Killingsworth to use his body to bully Bass in the post, pick up fouls on him, and make body contact. If Bass has the space to get off the floor and challenge the shot, Killingsworth will have difficulty shooting over him.

Who Defends Skip Mills? - For Ball State to have a chance it will need a huge game from Mills, who has been Mr. Everything for the Cardinals. He leads the team in scoring (19.4), rebounding (7.1), steals (2.3), minutes (34.0) and 3-pointers (16), and he's undoubtedly one of the elite players in the Mid-America Conference. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see who Mike Davis decides to use on him defensively. Against other high-scoring wing players such as Indiana State's David Moss, Duke's J.J. Redick and Charlotte's DeAngelo Alexander, Davis has opted to use a plethora of players on them defensively, including the likes of Lewis Monroe, A.J. Ratliff, Marshall Strickland and Robert Vaden. While that will likely be the case with Mills as well, it will be an interesting choice as to who draws the assignment from the game's outset. Indiana is still looking for a player to emerge as its best perimeter defender, and everyone will get a shot to claim that label with the effort they turn in against Mills.

QUOTABLES
"I'm being honest -- every game we play is a big game. Whatever game is coming up is a big game. That's no disrespect to Indiana. Indiana has a great basketball team and a great program, and it's the state's program, and all those things. At the same time, it's another game. I would hope we don't get too high for games or too low. I hope our approach is the same for every game we play." – Ball State Coach Tim Buckley in the Muncie Star Press about Saturday's matchup.

DID YOU KNOW…
Since Peyton Stovall was lost for the year with a knee injury, Ball State has been held to less than 60 points in four of five games. With the exception of a 75-point effort in a 28-point win over Anderson, Ball State has scored 53, 53, 56 and 51 points in the other four contests (Ball State 1-3 in those games). When Stovall was in the lineup, Ball State scored 78 in a win over Oakland City and 71 in a 21-point win at Wright State…Indiana attempted a season-low 42 shots in last year's contest against Ball State, yet had its eighth-highest point total in the 71-59 win. How? The Hoosiers attempted a season-high 33 free throws, knocking down 28. Robert Vaden (2-2), D.J. White (4-4), Marshall Strickland (5-6) and Errek Suhr (5-6) all had solid nights at the free-throw line…Skip Mills has scored in double figures in all seven of Ball State's games, but the rest of the active roster has combined to score in double figures only six times. Charles Bass has reached double figures three times, while Maurice Acker, D'Andre Peyton and Jalon Perryman have reached double digits once…Mills has led Ball State in scoring in all seven games, and he's reached double figures in 15 straight games dating back to last season…Mills was a high school teammate to both A.J. Ratliff and Adam Ahlfeld at Indianapolis' North Central H.S…Of the 13 active players on the Ball State roster, 10 are playing in their first season for the Cardinals, while seven are in their first season with the program (three players sat out a year ago as redshirts)…Ball State went 11-3 at home last season and averaged a Mid-America Conference best 5,641 at home games. That number, though, pales in comparison to Big Ten teams. Northwestern averaged a league-low 4,825 for home games, and Penn State averaged 7,990, but the other nine conference schools each averaged at least 10,000 for its home contests…in an effort to attract more Cardinal fans to the Indiana-Ball State contest, Ball State officials gave away tickets to students before they departed for semester break. The Muncie Star Press reported Friday that the game was a near sell-out, with only 200 tickets still available. Ball State's last sellout was the last time these two teams met on Dec. 31, 2002...when Errek Suhr is on the floor, he will have his first height advantage of his college career. The 5-9 Suhr will likely be matched up with the 5-8 Acker.

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