Indiana vs. Michigan State Gameday

HoosierNation.com previews the match-up pitting Indiana (14-10/6-7) and Michigan State (19-8/7-6), which tips off Sunday at Noon EST at the Assembly Hall in Bloomington.

Game Particulars: Indiana vs. Michigan State
Indiana (14-10/6-7) welcomes Michigan State (19-8/7-6) on Sunday at Noon to the Assembly Hall in a huge game for the Hoosiers' NCAA Tournament hopes and its Big Ten Tournament seeding. With a win Indiana would climb into a sixth-place tie with Michigan State in the league standings at 7-7, with fifth-place Michigan (8-7 in the Big Ten) well within reach. Indiana is also trying to avenge an 87-73 loss to the Spartans last month in East Lansing.

IU is coached by Mike Davis, who is in his sixth and final year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 110-77 career mark, including a 4-6 record against Michigan State. Indiana has been to the postseason in four of Davis' five seasons (three NCAA invitations). Michigan State, meanwhile, is coached by Tom Izzo, who is in his 11th year in East Lansing and owns a 252-105 record at the Big Ten school. Izzo has led the Spartans to four Final Fours in the last seven years, including a national championship in 1999. He is 11-7 all-time against Indiana.

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

Indiana 2005-06 Schedule

Michigan State 2005-06 Schedule

PROBABLE STARTERS
Indiana (14-10/6-7)
PG- Earl Calloway (6-3, 162, Jr.) – 4.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.1 spg, 37.9% 3 pt. shooting
SG- Marshall Strickland (6-2, 195, Sr.) – 12.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.3 apg, 48.1% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Lewis Monroe (6-5, 192, Sr.) – 3.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.7 apg, 33.3% 3 pt. shooting
PF – Robert Vaden (6-5, 225, So.) – 13.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.3 spg, 41.6% 3 pt. shooting
C - Marco Killingsworth (6-8, 270, Sr.) – 17.7 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.8 apg, 0.7 bpg, 54.9% FG shooting

Michigan State (19-8/7-6)
PG- Drew Neitzel (6-0, 175, So.) – 9.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 5.6 apg, 43.0% 3 pt. shooting
SG- Shannon Brown (6-2, 205, Jr.) – 18.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.8 apg, 40.9% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Maurice Ager (6-5, 202, Sr.) – 18.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.8 apg, 35.4% 3 pt. shooting
PF- Marquise Gray (6-8, 228, Fr.) – 3.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.4 apg, 52.9% FG shooting
C – Paul Davis (6-11, 270, Sr.) – 17.9 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.7 apg, 57.0% FG shooting

Indiana 2005-06 Statistics

Michigan State 2005-06 Statistics

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
What will Michigan State do differently against Killingsworth?– Indiana might have lost its first meeting with Michigan State by 14, but Marco Killingsworth's offensive contributions weren't to blame. The Hoosiers' 6-8-265-pound senior was 13-of-22 from the floor in East Lansing, scoring 27 points. Michigan State opted to play him one-on-one, rotating Paul Davis, Matt Trannon and Marquise Gray on him defensively. MSU Coach Tom Izzo won't have the luxury of using Trannon on him this time. Trannon, who scored 11 points in the first meeting, is out indefinitely with a broken jaw that he suffered against Michigan Feb. 18. He had started 10 straight games, averaging 5.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 25.3 minutes in those 10 games.

Izzo doesn't want to see Davis get in foul trouble trying to defend Killingsworth, so don't be surprised if Izzo turns to the plan that most teams have employed in recent weeks. Watch for the Spartans to bring more double teams in an effort to get the ball out of Killingsworth's hands. In the first meeting Izzo was likely concerned about IU's proficiency from behind the 3-point arc, but IU hasn't been nearly as dangerous in recent weeks. Indiana is shooting just 36.1 percent from 3-pont range during Big Ten play.

Can Earl Calloway Disrupt Drew Neitzel? - In the first meeting, Michigan State got too many things much too easily. Wide open looks were plentiful for the Spartans, which shot 58.8 percent for the game and 64 percent in the second half. Indiana has to do a much better job defensively, and that starts with disrupting point guard Drew Neitzel.

While most of the Spartans' point production comes from wings Shannon Brown and Maurice Ager and center Paul Davis, Neitzel is the quarterback of the offense. He looks to push the pace after opponents' misses and makes, and he'll look to get the ball to those point producers for quick hitters early in the shot clock. It will be up to Calloway to keep him from getting a big head of steam bringing the ball up the court in transition, and then to also create some havoc defensively in the halfcourt. Calloway played 32 minutes in the first meeting due to Lewis Monroe's absence, and he finished with eight points and five assists. But he'll need to do a better job of shutting down Neitzel, who had seven assists and only two turnovers in that East Lansing encounter.

Will A.J. Ratliff and Rod Wilmont turn in another big effort on the glass? - Looking for the biggest reason why Indiana was able to end its five-game losing streak with a 69-65 win over Penn State Wednesday? Look no further than a huge turnaround on the glass. Indiana out-rebounded the Nittany Lions 38-26 in Bloomington, a big difference from the 33-24 deficit they had in the three-point loss to PSU seven days earlier. The biggest factor in that turnaround was the efforts of wings Rod Wilmont and A.J. Ratliff. The pair combined for 14 rebounds Wednesday, compared to only a combined two in the first encounter.

Rebounding was a big problem in the first meeting with Michigan State. Indiana had only 17 total rebounds, losing the battle on the boards by 10. With very active wings such as Maurice Ager and Shannon Brown, it will be up to Wilmont and Ratliff to get a body on their men Sunday and pull down their share of boards. Ratliff and Wilmont don't need to get another 14 rebounds to be successful, but they need to be in the 10-12 range combined and they need to prevent Brown and Ager from crashing the boards for putbacks.

QUOTABLES
"We have to have all our guys playing well. It's an important game for everyone. We need all our guys rebounding the basketball." – Mike Davis.

"It's important to have your fans supporting you all the time. We're looking forward to the game Sunday. Hopefully our fans come out and support us." – Mike Davis.

"We're playing three of the top teams in Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio State, and then an Indiana team where it's senior day, end of the coach day, and it's going to be a tough game down there." – Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo.

"(Trannon's) going to be out…it's been said 3-6 weeks…it's a big loss for us, especially in the games we have coming up. We felt he's a guy that can cover a lot of people on the perimeter or inside, and both Ohio State and Indiana have that four-guard lineup. It's disappointing because he's been playing better, too. We're not the most physical team, and he brings a little physicality to us. But more importantly, he's a versatile guy that can guard the perimeter and guard big guys inside." – Tom Izzo.

DID YOU KNOW…
Three out of the last five meetings between Indiana and Michigan State in Bloomington have gone into overtime. Indiana won 79-78 in overtime in 2000 and 78-74 in 2005, while Michigan State won 67-62 in overtime in 2003…Tom Izzo ranks No. 1 in Big Ten history in winning percentage in league games for coaches with at least 10 years of experience. Izzo has won 70.1 percent of his Big Ten games, narrowly ahead of former IU Coach Bob Knight's 70.0 winning percentage…Michigan State is only 3-6 on the road this season…the Spartans are 13-1 when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor, but only 6-7 when shooting less than 50 percent…Michigan State is 17-1 when scoring 70 or more points and 2-7 when it fails to do so…Drew Neitzel has played 78 out of a possible 80 minutes in MSU's last two games…Indiana's 109 3-point field goals in conference play ranks second in the league to Ohio State's 119. Michigan State's 75, meanwhile, ranks tenth, ahead of only Minnesota (62)…Rod Wilmont averages 11.6 points/game in home games, compared to 7.2 points/game on the road.

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