Indiana vs. Lafayette Gameday

HoosierNation.com previews Indiana's season-opener against Lafayette, which tips off Monday at 9 p.m. at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The Hoosiers are going up against a Patriot League foe that went 11-17 a year ago...

Game Particulars: Indiana vs. Lafayette
After winning a pair of exhibition games handily, IU and Coach Kelvin Sampson get the 2006-07 season underway tonight when they face Lafayette (1-0) from the Patriot League at 9 p.m. in the first-round on the Preseason NIT at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The Indiana-Lafayette match-up is the evening's second contest, as Notre Dame and Butler meet at 6 p.m. The winners of the two games will meet in the second round Tuesday at 9 p.m., while the losers will square off at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

IU is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who is in his first year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 455-257 career mark. Lafayette, meanwhile, is coached by Fran O'Hanlon, who in his 12th year at the helm of the program and owns a 163-152 record. His team went 11-17 a year ago.

The game will be televised by ESPN2, with Dan Shulman (play-by-play), Dick Vitale (color commentary) and Doris Burke (sideline) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2006-07 Schedule

Lafayette 2006-07 Schedule

PROBABLE STARTERS
Indiana (0-0)
PG- Earl Calloway (6-3, 173, Sr.) – 5.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.5 apg, 3 spg in two exhibition games
SG-A.J. Ratliff (6-3, 188, Jr.) – 12.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 36.3% (4-11) 3 pt. shooting in exhibition games
WG – Rod Wilmont (6-4, 203, Sr.) 16.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 50% (3-6) 3 pt. shooting in exhibition games
PF – D.J. White (6-9, 251, Jr.) 13.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.0 bpg, 15-20 FT shooting in two exhibition games
C - Ben Allen (6-11, 256, So.) – 5.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.5 bpg in two exhibition games

Lafayette (1-0)
PG- Andrew Brown (5-11, 175, So.) – 15.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 5.0 apg
SG - Jamaal Hilliard (6-4, 195, Sr.) – 16.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.0 apg
WG – Bilal Abdullah (6-5, 200, Jr.) – 14.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg
SF- Matt Betley (6-4, 200, Jr.) 9.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 5.0 apg
PF - Everest Schmidt (6-7, 270, Jr.) – 8.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg

Indiana 2006-07 Statistics

Lafayette 2006-07 Statistics

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Will IU Start Ben Allen or Lance Stemler? – Coach Kelvin Sampson has gone with the same starting five in each of IU's two exhibition games, but he might be tempted to insert Lance Stemler into the line-up against Lafayette. The reason is that the Leopards start a three-guard lineup plus a fourth player – forward Matt Betley – who is just 6-4 and 200 pounds. While it could be tempting to try to exploit Lafayette due to Allen's size advantage, the presence of Allen and D.J. White on the floor together makes it a difficult defensive assignment for whomever draws Betley. Like the three starting guards, Betley can shoot from behind the 3-point arc and Stemler is probably a better match-up for the Hoosiers. Indiana wants to get into Lafayette defensively, and it would be difficult for either White or Allen to keep up with Betley on the perimeter. So even if Allen starts, expect to see Stemler early – particularly if Lafayette starts getting some open looks from behind the 3-point arc.

Can Indiana prevent Lafayette from getting untracked from 3-point range? - Lafayette led the Patriot League in 3-pointers/game last season (7.9), and if they are going to keep this game close against Indiana they're going to have to get hot from behind the 3-point arc. In their season opener against Wagner the Leopards did just that, knocking down 10-of-23 attempts from behind the arc on their way to a 76-70 win. Coach Fran O'Hanlon will often have four 3-point threats on the floor together, including point guard Andrew Brown (5-of-8 from 3-point range in the season opener), shooting guard Jamaal Hilliard (2-of-3 on 3s against Wagner) and wing Bilal Abdullah (top returning scorer from a year ago at 9.9/game, 1-of-6 on 3s vs. Wagner). Junior Paul Cummins (51 3-pointers in 2005-06) will also be a threat off the bench from deep.

Will D.J. White look like the D.J. White of old? - The Hoosiers' 6-9, 251-pound junior scored a game-high 17 points in the exhibition win over Indianapolis, but it's clear he's still shaking off some of the rust from his season on the sidelines. Despite playing a team-high 31 minutes, White only attempted three shots and did most of his damage by getting to the free-throw line where he was 11-of-14. Sampson said afterwards that he played White more than many of the other starters in an effort to get him into a rhythm, which it appeared he started to do late in the contest. White will be going up against a big body in 6-7, 270-pound Lafayette center Everest Schmidt.

How dominant will Indiana be on the boards? - Kelvin Sampson's teams have always been known for their ability to rebound the basketball, and the Hoosiers were a combined +23 on the boards in their exhibition wins over North Dakota and Indianapolis. Lafayette, meanwhile, is undersized and struggles on the glass. Wagner owned a 41-30 edge over Lafayette in rebounding in the season opener, and last year's Lafayette squad was out-rebounded in all but eight of their games. Ted Detmer and Schmidt led the Leopards in rebounding last season with only just 4.1/game.

QUOTABLES
"When Ben and D.J. are on the floor at the same time, they defend the same position. I remember playing these exhibition games at Oklahoma, and these guys would go out with all these 6-5 guys that play on the perimeter, those are tough match-ups. D.J. and Ben defend better when they're defending 6-9, 6-10 guys instead of 6-4 3-point shooters." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson

"When you get in the regular season you button the match down. I'm not going to be experimenting Monday. We're going to play the guys that will help us win." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson

"Armon is in the rotation. We need him to play well. He's a good player, offensively. Defensively he has to get where he can defend the backdoor with at least a cannon." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson

DID YOU KNOW…
Lafayette has only three players on scholarship…arguably the best era of Lafayette basketball was orchestrated by a name familiar to Big Ten basketball fans – former Iowa Coach Tom Davis. Davis coached at Lafayette from 1971-77 and led the Leopards to a 116-44 record, including three trips to the postseason NIT. One of Davis' assistants was current Maryland head coach Gary Williams, who performed double-duty while at the Patriot League school. From 1971-76, Williams also served as the school's head soccer coach…Indiana has won its last eight season openers, dating back to 1997-98, when it lost its opener at No. 24 Temple, 59-53…this is Indiana's fifth appearance in the Preseason NIT, and it has advanced to New York City in each of its previous four appearances. In 1988 IU beat Illinois State and Stanford before losing to Syracuse and North Carolina in New York. In 1992 the Hoosiers beat Murray State, Tulane Florida State and Seton Hall to win the event, and they won it again in 1996 with wins over Princeton, St. Louis, Evansville and Duke. IU's most recent trip was in 2000, when then-first year coach Mike Davis' team beat Pepperdine and South Alabama in the first two rounds before losing to Temple and Texas at Madison Square Garden.

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