Game Particulars: Indiana vs. Minnesota
No. 13/11 (AP/Coaches) Indiana (12-4/4-2) travels to Minneapolis to face Minnesota (9-8/0-6) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Williams Arena. Indiana leads the all-time series 85-62, but the Gophers have won three out of the last four overall and six of the last seven at Williams Arena dating back to 1996. Indiana's only victory in Minneapolis during that time span was on Jan. 24, 2004, when Indiana prevailed 86-81 in overtime.
IU is coached by Mike Davis, who is in his sixth year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 108-71 career mark, including a 4-5 record against Minnesota. Indiana has been to the postseason in four of Davis' five seasons (three NCAA invitations). Minnesota, meanwhile, is coached by Dan Monson, who is in his seventh year as Minnesota's head coach and ninth season overall. He's compiled a 109-94 record in Minneapolis and a 161-111 mark overall, which includes two years at Gonzaga. He's been to the NCAA Tournament twice times (1999, 2005) and to the NIT four times (1998, 2001, 2002, 2003).
The game will be televised by CBS, with Ian Eagle (play-by-play) and Bill Raftery (color commentary calling the match-up.
Indiana 2005-06 Schedule
Minnesota 2005-06 Schedule
#13/11 Indiana (12-4/4-2)
PG- Lewis Monroe (6-5, 192, Sr.) – 4.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.4 apg
SG-Marshall Strickland (6-2, 195, Sr.) – 12.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.3 apg, 50.8% 3 pt. shooting, 92.3% FT shooting
WG – A.J. Ratliff (6-2, 183, So.) 3.2 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.5 apg, 31.6% 3 pt. shooting
WF – Robert Vaden (6-5, 225, So.) 14.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.4 apg, 50.6% 3 pt. shooting
C - Marco Killingsworth (6-8, 270, Sr.) – 19.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.1 apg, 60.4% FG shooting
PG- Adam Boone (6-2, 200, Sr.) – 10.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 4.5 apg, 34.2% FG shooting
SG- Maurice Hargrow (6-5, 200, Sr.) – 15.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.8 apg, 47.0% FG shooting
SF – Vincent Grier (6-5, 210, Sr.) – 15.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.6 spg, 41.0% FG shooting
PF- J'son Stamper (6-6, 235, Sr.) – 6.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.1 apg, 45 offensive rebounds
C – Spencer Tollackson (6-9, 267, So.) – 9.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.6 apg, 53.6% FG shooting
Indiana 2005-06 Statistics
Minnesota 2005-06 Statistics
Indiana – Marshall Strickland missed the Iowa game with a right knee injury, but returned to practice this week and is expected to start at Minnesota. Marco Killingsworth has also been sidelined with leg and back problems, but is also expected to start. D.J. White is out indefinitely with a broken left foot, which he suffered against Ohio State. He is likely out for the season. James Hardy, meanwhile, has been scratched from the IU roster for the remainder of the season.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Minnesota's offensive rebounding– Minnesota can miss shots with the best of them – Spencer Tollackson is the only Gopher starter shooting 50 percent from the floor, and the Gophers rank tenth in the league standings in field goal percentage at 43 percent and ninth in 3-point shooting (32.7 percent). Vincent Grier, Adam Boone and Maurice Hargrow will likely continue to miss their share of shots, but Indiana needs to do a good job of making sure J'son Stamper, Tollackson and reserve Jonathan Williams aren't collecting those caroms and coming away with easy putbacks. Minnesota ranks third in the Big Ten in offensive rebounds (12.6/game) and it pulled down 19 in the game between the two teams last year in Bloomington. Stamper ranks second in the league in offensive rebounding (3.2/game) and Tollackson is ninth (2.5/game). The 6-6, 235-pound Stamper is likely the No. 1 concern in this regard, as he'll have a healthy size advantage over Vaden. Just about all of his point production comes as a result of his work on the boards, so putting a body on him needs to be a top Indiana priority.
What will IU do to try to get off to a better start? - To say the Hoosiers have been starting games slowly as of late would be a gross understatement. In recent weeks Indiana has fallen behind early to Ohio State (7-0), Illinois (8-0), Purdue (8-4) and Iowa (7-0) in the opening minutes. The Hoosiers can't afford to do that against a Minnesota team that is 0-6 in the league standings and is in need of an early pick-me-up to get the sort of confidence it's been devoid of since league play opened. So what does Indiana do? Don't be stunned if Davis opts to give a start to Rod Wilmont, who's provided instant offense off the bench since league play opened. While his contributions off the bench have been huge, IU might give him the start in an effort to get the team off to a better start. Also, expect Robert Vaden to be aggressive early. He knocked down a couple of quick 3s in the Hoosiers' road trip to East Lansing, and he had a school-record eight in Tuesday's game in Iowa City. Marco Killingsworth has often struggled in the opening minutes of games with turnovers, so it's very possible that IU will try to get some production from its perimeter game early, and then let Killingsworth find his rhythm as the game wears on.
How will Lewis Monroe handle Minnesota's press? - Minnesota uses some fullcourt pressure to try to dictate the tempo and produce some easy baskets, and Coach Dan Monson's team forces a league-high 17.6 turnovers/game. Indiana, meanwhile, has been turnover-prone, turning the ball over 15.2 times/game a total that ranks ninth in the league. With that in mind, expect to see the Gophers harassing the Hoosier ball handlers in the backcourt. The onus for handling that pressure will fall to senior Lewis Monroe, one of the Big Ten's most reliable point guards. While he's averaging less than five points per game, Monroe owns a 2.13 assist to turnover ratio, which ranks sixth in the Big Ten. He's averaging only 1.6 turnovers/game, a total that is much better than other Big Ten point guards such as Iowa's Jeff Horner (2.6/game), Michigan State's Drew Neitzel (2.2/game), Illinois' Dee Brown (2.8/game), Minnesota's Adam Boone (2.7/game), Michigan's Daniel Horton (3.4/game) and Penn State's Ben Luber (2.6/game). Monroe certainly won't be Indiana's leading scorer in this contest, but his role will be every bit as important as anyone else on the IU roster.
"Our situation is obvious – we're the only one in the league playing consistent. The problem is it's consistently not good enough." – Minnesota Coach Dan Monson.
"It's huge for us. We need to get a quality road win. We just need to stay in the hunt. If we were to lose this one, we would be putting ourselves against the wall." – Marshall Strickland.
"We're showing some frustration, and we're very vulnerable right now. One thing that cures a lot of confidence is shooting the ball. We need some shots to go in that haven't been going in to get ourselves going. We haven't shot 40 percent in a league game, and that's pretty hard to weather confidence-wise, whether you're winning games or not. We need to get some shots to fall." – Dan Monson.
"Their press is a lot more aggressive than it has been. They used to just fall back and now they're trying to attack on the defensive end. They get a lot of energy and points off that." – Marshall Strickland.
"The old coaching book – we've tried about everything. That stuff only works if you come out and play. The bottom line is we have to play better. Yeah, you hope (Indiana) doesn't come in and feel confident, but you make them feel confident when you're not playing good." – Dan Monson.
DID YOU KNOW…
A win for the Hoosiers would create a five-way tie atop the league standings, with Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa and Wisconsin all standing at 5-2…Indiana currently has four players shooting better than 50 percent from behind the 3-point arc (Ben Allen, Errek Suhr, Marshall Strickland and Robert Vaden). The Hoosiers have never had more than one player shoot 50 percent or better from 3-point range during a season (minimum 40 attempts)…Robert Vaden is on pace to challenge for a top-five spot on IU's all-time single-season 3-pointers made list. Vaden has made 43 so far and is averaging a Big Ten-best 2.7/game. That puts him on pace to finish with 73 by the time the regular season concludes. Steve Alford holds IU's single-season record with 107 in 1986-87, while Jay Edwards is second with 81 in 1988-89…Marco Killingsworth has a team-high five double-doubles this season. He's a long way from challenging for IU's single-season record, though. Archie Dees recorded 23 double-doubles during a 1957-58 season that included only 24 games. The only player in the last 30 years to appear on IU's single-season double-double top 10 list is Alan Henderson, who had 18 double-doubles in 1993-94 (tied for sixth on IU's list)…Indiana currently ranks 16th in the RPI and its strength of schedule is ranked 20th. Minnesota, meanwhile, is ranked No. 120 in the RPI and the Gophers' schedule is ranked No. 41…Indiana is shooting just 67.9 percent from the free-throw line this season, but its been much better late in ball games. As a team IU is shooting 78.2 percent in the final five minutes of games and in overtime. Among the leaders are Marshall Strickland (95.7%, 22-of-23), Earl Calloway (84.6%, 11-of-13), Robert Vaden (77.8%, 7-of-9) and Marco Killingsworth (70.3%, 19-of-27)…Marshall Strickland is 47th on IU's all-time scoring list and with 913 points and could easily pass Ken Johnson (919), Neil Reed (920), Wayne Radford (922) and John Ritter (925) in the Iowa game.
Indiana vs. Minnesota Gameday
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