Game Particulars: Indiana (1-0) vs. Butler (2-0)
A pair of instra-state rivals tangle tonight when Indiana (1-0) faces Butler (2-0) at 9 p.m. in the second round on the NIT Season Tip-Off at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Indiana advanced to round two thanks to a 91-66 win over Lafayette. Rod Wilmont scored 24 points and Earl Calloway added 22 in a game the Hoosiers needed a 28-6 run in the game's final eight minutes to pull away from their Patriot League foe. Butler, meanwhile, rode the play A.J. Graves in its 71-69 win over Notre Dame Monday night. Graves scored 28 and had eight 3-pointers, including one with 1:28 remaining that gave the Bulldogs the lead for good against the Irish.
IU is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who is in his first year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 1-0 record in Bloomington and a 456-257 career mark. Butler, meanwhile, is coached by Todd Lickliter, who in his 6th year at the helm of the Bulldog program and owns a 104-54 record.
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
Butler 2006-07 Schedule
PG- Earl Calloway (6-3, 173, Sr.) – 22.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 9.0 apg
SG-A.J. Ratliff (6-3, 188, Jr.) – 8.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 1.0 spg
WG – Rod Wilmont (6-4, 203, Sr.) 24.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.0 spg
PF – D.J. White (6-9, 251, Jr.) 4.0 ppg, 3.0 apg
C - Ben Allen (6-11, 256, So.) – 4.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg
PG- Mike Green (6-1, 175, Jr.) – 14.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 7.5 apg
SG – A.J. Graves (6-1, 155, Jr.) – 20.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 4.0 apg, 45% 3 pt. shooting
WG- Julian Betko (6-5, 200, Sr.) 7.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 75% FG shooting
SF – Brandon Crone (6-6, 225, Sr.) – 11.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 45.5% 3 pt. shooting
PF – Brian Ligon (6-7, 240, Sr.) – 5.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg
Indiana 2006-07 Statistics
Butler 2006-07 Statistics
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
What will Indiana do to slow down A.J. Graves? – The former White River Valley H.S. standout had a huge night against Notre Dame, knocking down eight 3-pointers on his way to 28 points. The runner-up for Mr. Basketball in 2004, Graves likely views this tournament as an opportunity to get back at a couple of the state's top programs that didn't recruit him out of high school. He didn't fare well in his first meeting with IU a year ago – he scored only seven points on 2-of-11 shooting in a 73-55 Hoosier victory – and is likely welcoming a second chance to face Indiana. So who draws the assignment? Earl Calloway is the Hoosiers most tenacious defender in the backcourt, but he'll likely be matched up against Mike Green. That means it could be A.J. Ratliff – the player who beat out Graves for Mr. Basketball – who will be entrusted with keeping Graves from getting open looks. Ratliff has a decided edge in size and athleticism, and his length will pose plenty of problems for Graves. But Ratliff will have to be active on the defensive end fighting through screens to keep Graves from getting into a flow early.
Indiana going to D.J. White early - It's been a struggle for D.J. White to get going, and he was a non-factor in IU's win over Lafayette. White picked up a pair of fouls in the game's first 1 ½ minutes and ended up on the bench, and then was saddled with his fourth personal 17 seconds into the second half and didn't return until the game was safely in hand. Assuming he can avoid the same sort of cheap fouls he picked up Monday night, expect to see the Hoosiers go to White early against an undersized Butler squad. White will have a decided size advantage over Brian Ligon in the post, and should be able to quality looks. Notre Dame's Luke Harangody scored 17 points and had 10 rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench last night against Butler, and White has a chance to have a similar night if he can stay on the floor.
Will IU be better at defending back cuts this time around? - Indiana might have prevailed Monday night by 25, but Lafayette gave the Hoosiers plenty of problems during the game's first 32 minutes. Generally known for their 3-point shooting, Lafayette knocked down only six from behind the arc but gave IU all kinds of troubles with cuts to the basket. Lafayette had seven lay-ups in the first half alone, and they also earned 29 trips to the free-throw line against the Hoosiers. Butler plays a similar style, and Tuesday night's game will give IU an opportunity be much improved in taking away those easy baskets.
Will IU's bigs hit the boards? - Indiana out-rebounded Lafayette 31-21, but much of the work on the glass was done by the Hoosier backcourt. Earl Calloway and Errek Suhr led the team with five rebounds apiece, while wings Joey Shaw and Rod Wilmont added four and three, respectively. D.J. White had three rebounds while being limited to eight minutes due to foul trouble, and Ben Allen totaled just two rebounds in 21 minutes of action. While Sampson likes the fact he has wings that can be contributors on the glass, he wants to get a more consistent rebounding effort out of the Hoosier frontline. They'll have an opportunity to do that against a Butler team that was out-rebounded 29-24 by Notre Dame last night and was out-rebounded on average by 7 ½ rebounds a year ago.
"Defending the dribble and defending the ball screen (is what we need to emphasize). Those are things Butler is always good at." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson
"I think we had five palming calls…but I'm telling you, early in the season, they're going to call everything. I don't know that it's anyone's fault. Those referees all summer and all fall get drilled on it, because they have practices too. They have meetings, points of emphasis. So early in the season, you're going to get games like this." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson
"It shows you how important scoring is, doesn't it? You don't have to score to be a good player or contribute. When he went in, our defense got a lot more solid…at the end of the game I went with Suhr because I knew what to expect. Sometimes your greatest ability is dependability." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson on the play of Errek Suhr.
Indiana vs. Butler Gameday
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