Game Particulars: Indiana vs. Northwestern
No. 22/21 (AP/Coaches) Indiana (12-5/4-3) returns home to face Northwestern (10-8/3-4) at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Assembly Hall. Indiana leads the all-time series 104-42, but the Wildcats have won two out of the last three and three out of the last five. While the Wildcats have had some recent success in the series, that hasn't included a run of luck in Bloomington. Indiana has won 33 straight over the Wildcats at Assembly Hall.
IU is coached by Mike Davis, who is in his sixth year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 108-72 career mark, including a 6-3 record against Northwestern. Indiana has been to the postseason in four of Davis' five seasons (three NCAA invitations). Northwestern, meanwhile, is coached by Bill Carmody, who is in his sixth year as Northwestern's head coach and tenth season overall. The 2003-04 Big Ten Coach of the Year, Carmody has compiled a 78-88 record in Evanston and a 170-113 mark overall, which includes four years at Princeton. At the Ivy League school is compiled a 92-25 mark, including a 50-6 record in conference games, and went to the postseason four times.
The game will be televised by ESPN-Regional, with Mike Gleason (play-by-play) and Shon Morris (color commentary calling the match-up.
Indiana 2005-06 Schedule
Northwestern 2005-06 Schedule
#13/11 Indiana (12-4/4-2)
PG- Marshall Strickland (6-2, 195, Sr.) – 11.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.4 apg, 49.3% 3 pt. shooting, 92.3% FT shooting
SG- Robert Vaden (6-5, 225, So.) 14.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.2 apg, 50.5% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Rod Wilmont (6-4, 200, Jr.) 8.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.6 apg, 38.1% 3 pt. shooting
PF – Sean Kline (6-8, 233, Sr.) 1.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.5 apg, 8.1 minutes/game
C - Marco Killingsworth (6-8, 270, Sr.) – 19.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.9 apg, 59.2% FG shooting
PG- Mohamed Hachad (6-4, 200, Sr.) – 10.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.5 apg, 53.9% FG shooting
SG- Craig Moore (6-4, 185, Fr.) – 6.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.8 apg, 39.5% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Sterling Williams (6-4, 180, Fr.) – 4.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.3apg, 38.5% FG shooting
PF- Vedran Vukusic (6-8, 245, Sr.) – 20.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.2 apg, 35.7% 3 pt. shooting
C – Vince Scott (6-10, 230, Jr.) – 3.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 0.8 bpg, 38% FG shooting
Indiana 2005-06 Statistics
Northwestern 2005-06 Statistics
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Who Controls the Tempo– At practice Tuesday, IU Coach Mike Davis said that his team needs to get back to playing its style of basketball. Northwestern is a team that makes that extremely difficult. Coach Bill Carmody's teams traditionally try to slow the tempo to a snail's pace, preferring to play the game in the 50s and 60s. Indiana, meanwhile, hasn't scored more than 62 points in its last four games, and would like to try to play the game in the 70s or higher. Northwestern won't get into an up-and-down game, though, unless Indiana's work on the defensive end forces the Wildcats into doing so. That will require some full court pressure and some half court traps to generate some turnovers and fast break opportunities. That sort of aggressive play on the defensive end, though, will make Indiana susceptible to the backdoor cut.
What's the score at the first TV timeout? - It's been a traumatic week for the Indiana basketball team, getting soundly whipped by Iowa and then embarrassed by Minnesota, both on national television. Those efforts has riled up the Indiana fan base, and it's prompted Mike Davis to make some significant changes to the lineup. When Indiana takes the floor against the Wildcats, there will likely be two new starters in the lineup (Rod Wilmont, Sean Kline/Ben Allen) and two other players at new positions (Marshall Strickland at point guard, Robert Vaden at shooting guard). The game's first four minutes will be a good sign to see how well the players fit into their new roles, and what sort of energy they come out playing with. While Davis wants to get five players on the floor that can score, an equally important change that is needed is a re-invigorated effort from his team. Will these changes produce that? Time will tell.
Can Indiana keep Vedran Vukusic in check? - Indiana might be going with a bigger lineup against Northwestern, but it will be a tough matchup for Marco Killingsworth, Ben Allen or Sean Kline to match up with 6-8, 245-pound Vedran Vukusic. One of the league's best inside-outside big men, Vukusic is averaging 20.5 points on the year and 24.7 points in Northwestern's three Big Ten victories. He's scored in double figures in 18 of 19 games this season, with the lone exception being a miserable five-point, 1-of-14 shooting effort against Illinois last week. That game not withstanding, he's a very capable 3-point shooter, but he can also take players off the dribble if they venture out too far. Robert Vaden is probably the best defensive matchup for Indiana, but don't be surprised to see Kline get the start and see what he can do against the high-scoring Wildcat. It could be a big evening for Kline if he can slow down Vukusic…or it might be a quick night if he gets in quick foul trouble.
"Northwestern is a team that their system is different from anyone we will play against. Defensively, your rules are really out the door because if you overplay the wing or they will backdoor cut you. You can't be soft with them, but you can't overplay them either.." – IU Coach Mike Davis.
"The way people are thinking about us is that we're done. We're still ranked No. 21 in the country. We're in second place, we're playing for first but we're in second. We win tomorrow night and at the halfway point we're 5-3. There will be four or five more teams by the weekend that will be 5-3." – IU Coach Mike Davis.
"The Big Ten is crazy right now. It's never been like this as long as I've been here. No matter who it is when they go on the road they're getting beat around. Everyone is just losing on the road." – Rod Wilmont, who is expected to start against Northwestern.
"They always cut hard and they're scrappy. You have to be ready for their backdoor and post, they're so good they get teams sleeping. They're excellent back cutters and we have to be aware of that." – A.J. Ratliff.
DID YOU KNOW…
One team that hasn't struggled terribly on the road in the Big Ten? Northwestern. The Wildcats are 2-1 away from Welsh-Ryan Arena, having knocked off Minnesota and Purdue…Vedran Vukusic has averaged 20.5 points against IU during his career while shooting 58 percent from the floor and 53 percent from behind the 3-point arc…Northwestern ranks first in the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio (+1.27) and is second in turnover margin (+2.61). The Wildcats rank 21st nationally with only 12.4 turnovers/game, while the 56.6 points per game that they surrender ranks eighth…Vukusic has led Northwestern in scoring in 15 out of 18 games this season…Marco Killingsworth is averaging 21.0 points in IU's home games, but only 15.4 on the road. Marshall Strickland has had the same sort run going as well, averaging 14.1 points in IU's eight home games, but only 7.4 in the Hoosiers' seven games away from Assembly Hall.
Indiana vs. Northwestern Gameday
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