Indiana vs. Purdue Gameday

HoosierNation.com previews the match-up pitting Indiana (15-10/7-7) and Purdue (9-16/3-11), which tips off Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind.

Game Particulars: Indiana vs. Purdue
Indiana (15-10/7-7) travels to West Lafayette for a pivotal match-up with arch-rival Purdue (9-16/3-11) at 8 p.m. at Mackey Arena. Fresh off a sweep of Penn State and Michigan State last week, Indiana is trying to get its first Big Ten road win of the season and improve its NCAA Tournament resume. Despite Purdue's 11th-place standing in the Big Ten, it is 3-4 at home during conference play, including wins over Wisconsin and Michigan this month. This marks their second meeting of the season, as Indiana posted a 62-49 win in Bloomington last month.

IU is coached by Mike Davis, who is in his sixth and final year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 111-77 career mark, including an 8-2 record against Purdue. Indiana has been to the postseason in four of Davis' five seasons (three NCAA invitations). Purdue, meanwhile, is coached by Matt Painter, who is in his first year as Purdue's head coach. Prior to arriving in West Lafayette, Painter spent one season as the head coach at Southern Illinois, where he compiled a 25-5 mark. He joined the Purdue staff at the start of the 2004-05 campaign as the assistant head coach, with the agreement that he'd take over after Gene Keady retired at season's end.

The game will be televised by ESPN-Plus, with Craig Coshun (play-by-play) and Greg Kelser (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2005-06 Schedule

Purdue 2005-06 Schedule

PROBABLE STARTERS
Indiana (15-10/7-7)
PG- Earl Calloway (6-3, 162, Jr.) – 4.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.0 spg, 37.9% 3 pt. shooting
SG- Marshall Strickland (6-2, 195, Sr.) – 12.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.4 apg, 48.2% 3 pt. shooting
WG – A.J. Ratliff (6-2, 183, So.) – 3.5 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.3 apg, 31.1% 3 pt. shooting
PF – Robert Vaden (6-5, 225, So.) – 13.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.3 spg, 42.8% 3 pt. shooting
C - Marco Killingsworth (6-8, 270, Sr.) – 17.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.9 apg, 0.7 bpg, 54.7% FG shooting

Purdue (9-16/3-11)
PG- Bryant Dillon (6-6, 180, Sr.) – 6.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.0 apg, 44.7% FG shooting
SG – Chris Lutz (6-2, 189, Fr.) – 9.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.6 apg, 36.2% 3 pt. shooting
WG- Chris Hartley (6-4, 190, Jr.) – 1.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.6 apg, 25.8% 3 pt. shooting
PF- Marcus White (6-8, 214, Jr.) – 11.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.1 apg, 48.9% FG shooting
C – Matt Kiefer (6-10, 233, Sr.) – 11.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.9 apg, 35.8% 3 pt. shooting

Indiana 2005-06 Statistics

Purdue 2005-06 Statistics

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Who controls the tempo?– If IU Coach Mike Davis has his way, this will be a game where the shot clock is an afterthought. Indiana wants to use its athleticism and depth and push the pace, trying to get the game into the 70s. Purdue, meanwhile, wants nothing to do with that sort of game, instead looking to keep the game ideally in the 50s or low 60s. If Indiana is able to in fact dictate the game's pace, it's likely going to come down to its play on the defensive end. Expect to see Earl Calloway, A.J. Ratliff and Rod Wilmont pressuring the Boilermaker guards in an effort to create some turnovers and some ill-advised shots.

If Indiana is able to turn the game into an up-and-down contest, it has too many athletes for the injury-riddled Boilermakers to deal with. But if Purdue is in fact able to turn this into a halfcourt game, Coach Matt Painter's team has an excellent chance to hand IU its seventh straight Big Ten road loss.

Will Errek Suhr continue to play a big part in IU's resurgence? - For most of the season, the contributions of Errek Suhr have been dictated by match-ups. When IU went up against teams with bigger, athletic guards, the 5-8 Bloomington native's contributions were minimal. But when IU matched up with a team that instead had a couple of guards who did most of their damage from behind the 3-point arc, Suhr was a steady contributor. Indiana appeared to make a break from that philosophy in the 78-71 win over Michigan State. In the two teams' first encounter Suhr played only one minute after being taken to the basket for a conventional 3-point play by point guard Drew Neitzel. But on Sunday, Davis played Suhr 19 minutes, and he came up with a couple of huge defensive plays to go along with nine points.

While Suhr isn't expected to start, he'll likely play 15-20 minutes against the Boilermakers and will play a big part in IU's success or failure in West Lafayette. The ball movement is always better for the Hoosiers when Suhr is on the floor, and he's developed into consistent 3-point shooter as well. He'll also give Indiana to sort of effort and intensity that it has to have to came away with a win over a Purdue team that will likely be playing in front of its first sell-out of the season.

Who wins the Marcus White vs. Robert Vaden match-up? - For all of the player losses that Purdue has had to deal with this season, one of the pleasant new additions has been 6-8, 214-pound forward Marcus White. A transfer from UConn, White became eligible at semester and has averaged 12.6 points in Big Ten games. That includes a career-high 19 points in the first meeting with Indiana. White gives Painter an athletic frontline player who will look to use his size to score over Vaden around the basket.

Vaden, meanwhile, brought an end to a miserable shooting slump with a 21-point effort in Sunday's win over Michigan State. After going just 2-of-14 from the 3-point arc in his previous two games, Vaden was 5-of-8 against the Spartans. When Vaden is knocking down shots from the perimeter, it opens up opportunities for him to put the ball on the floor as well, and that's when he's most dangerous.

Whoever wins this head-to-head battle will go a long way toward determining which teams wins the contest. Both teams rely on these players on the offensive end, and when they struggle, so do their teams.

QUOTABLES
"It is a big game for us because we are trying to win a road game. It is a big game for them because it is Senior Night, and it is Indiana-Purdue. I am quite sure they will be up for the game, and hopefully, we will be up for the game. It has always been a big game for us and a big game for them. I am not going to look at it as my last Purdue game, I am looking at is as an important game for us." – Mike Davis.

"Vaden is a big part of our offense. With Robert, Marco (Kilingsworth) and (Marshall) Strickland, we need two of those guys every night to step up and play really well for us to have a chance. He just wasn't shooting well, but I hope the Michigan State game is a start, and that he is back." – Mike Davis.

"It is a rivalry game. It is Purdue-IU. It is one of the biggest rivalries in the country. We just have to come out and work hard to get the win. In high school, you play your rival and you try to have your best game. The same goes for Purdue. They are our biggest rival, and I try to get up and have my best game against them."– Robert Vaden.

""You throw the records out, and I think we really have to match their intensity. We really have to execute on defense and get up and down the court. If we can do those things, we have a chance to get a win." – Marshall Strickland.

DID YOU KNOW…
Purdue is 0-11 this season when being out-shot by its opponent from the field…this is Senior Night for Purdue seniors Matt Kiefer, Gary Ware, Bryant Dillon and Matt Carroll…Bryant Dillon leads the Big Ten in 3-point shooting during league games, going 15-of-28 (53.6%)…Purdue guard Chris Lutz is averaging 9.6 points/game, which ranks second among Big Ten freshmen…Purdue leads the all-time series 106-81…Robert Vaden needs one more assist to reach 100 for the season. He'll be the first Hoosier to record 100 assists in a season since Tom Coverdale had 152 during the 2002-03 campaign…after leading the nation in field goal percentage for much of the preseason, Indiana has fallen all the way to 57th (46.4%)…Indiana still ranks fourth nationally in 3-point percentage (40.8%) and 10th in 3-pointers/game (9.0)…Indiana has had 11 different players score in double figures in a game this season. Marco Killingsworth leads the way with 23, followed by Robert Vaden (19), Marshall Strickland (16), Rod Wilmont (9) and Errek Suhr (4).

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