Indiana vs. Western Illinois Gameday

With a big game against Kentucky looming on Saturday, Indiana (4-2) tries to guard against looking past Western Illinois (3-4) tonight at 7 p.m. at Assembly hall. The last time these two teams met in Bloomington, IU had to scramble late to pull out a 64-60 win in 2004…

Game Particulars: Indiana (4-2) vs. Western Illinois (3-4)
Indiana looks to win its second straight when it welcomes Western Illinois (3-4) to Assembly Hall for a 7 p.m. match-up Wednesday night. The Leathernecks have gotten off to a disappointing 3-4 mark thanks to a quartet of tough losses. Western Illinois has lost its four games by a combined seven points, including a two-point, five-overtime 97-95 loss to Dane Fife's IPFW squad Nov. 21. Western ended a four-game losing streak earlier this week with a 74-57 win over Texas-Arlington.

IU is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who is in his first year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 4-2 record in Bloomington and a 459-259 career mark. Western Illinois, meanwhile, is coached by Derek Thomas, who in his fourth year at the helm of the Mid-Continent Conference program. He owns a 24-67 record, including a 7-21 mark a year ago.

The game will be televised by ESPN-Plus Local, with Jim Barbar (play-by-play) and John Laskowski (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2006-07 Schedule

Western Illinois 2006-07 Schedule

PROBABLE STARTERS
Indiana (4-2)
PG- Earl Calloway (6-3, 173, Sr.) – 10.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.3 apg, 67.6% FG shooting
SG-Armon Bassett (6-1, 176, Fr.) – 5.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.2 apg, 21.8 mpg
WG – A.J. Ratliff (6-3, 188, Jr.) – 8.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.0 spg, 30.4% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Lance Stemler (6-8, 210, Jr.) – 11.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 50% 3 pt. shooting
PF – D.J. White (6-9, 251, Jr.) – 12.7 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.0 bpg, 51.7% FG shooting

Western Illinois (3-4)
PG- David Jackson (6-4, 190, Jr.) – 18.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.8 apg
SG –Morris Smith (6-4, 185, Fr.) – 5.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.6 apg
WG- Sammy Hunter (6-3, 175, Sr.) – 15.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 34.5% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Lorenzo Taylor (6-6, 195, So.) – 3.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 45.5% FG shooting
PF – Jerryck Owens-Murrey (6-6, 225, Jr.) – 8.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 49% FG shooting

Indiana 2006-07 Statistics

Western Illinois 2006-07 Statistics

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Will Indiana Be Looking Ahead to Saturday? – There's a big contest looming on the Hoosier schedule Saturday – a trip to Lexington, Ky., to take on Tubby Smith's Kentucky Wildcats. A year ago the Hoosiers handled UK easily in Indianapolis, and the unranked Wildcats appear to be beatable once again even though the two teams will square off in Rupp Arena. With that in mind, will the Hoosier be looking past the 3-4 Leathernecks Wednesday night? A year ago the Hoosiers stumbled in a mid-week tune-up at Indiana State, 72-67, before going to the RCA Dome and handling Kentucky in front of a national television audience. Indiana needs to guard against a similar lackadaisical effort tonight.

Can Roderick Wilmont get untracked? - After leading Indiana in scoring after the season's first four games, Wilmont is just 1-of-8 from the floor in his last two games and 7-of-25 in his last four. After averaging 19.0 points per game in IU's two Preseason NIT contests, Wilmont is averaging just 5.7 points in the last four games, reaching double figures only once. His recent struggles most recently includes a 1-of-6 effort Saturday in the Hoosiers' 74-57 win over Charlotte. The 6-4 guard still did his part in the victory by contributing a career-high 10 rebounds, but he needs to provide an additional perimeter scoring threat to Kelvin Sampson's attack. A.J. Ratliff made up for it against Charlotte, but getting Wilmont going is a must.

Does Western Illinois have anyone to slow down D.J. White? Sampson has been imploring D.J. White to be more aggressive when he gets his hands on the ball in the paint, and he'll have a chance to have a big game against a Western Illinois frontline who's tallest starter stands 6-6. Jerryck Owens-Murrey will likely draw the assignment, and he'll be giving up three inches and 25 pounds to White. WIU Coach Derek Thomas may need to turn to back-up center Louis Johnson for additional minutes to combat White's size. Johnson is 6-8 and weighs 230, and he's been contributing 6.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 16.9 minutes/game off the bench. White will have a much more formidable assignment Saturday when he tangles with 6-11 Kentucky center Randolph Morris, but tonight's game will give White an opportunity to assert himself down low and build some confidence in preparation for his huge head-to-head match-up with Morris this weekend.

Will Earl Calloway be the sort of scoring point guard Sampson talked about? - After IU's win over Charlotte, IU Coach Kelvin Sampson said Earl Calloway wasn't going to be your stereotypical moving the ball around to others type of point guard. Instead, Sampson believes the Hoosiers' 6-3 senior needs to attack when he has the ball in his hands and look to score. He did that Saturday, scoring 12 points in 26 minutes while attempting a season-high five 3-point attempts. Will he be able to build on that tonight? Calloway is clearly at his best when the tempo is up, the Hoosiers are in transition, and he's on the offensive. With that in mind, expect to see the IU big men getting the ball out early after rebounds to try to get some opportunities for Calloway to shine in the open court.

DID YOU KNOW…
Western Illinois' five-overtime game against IPFW was the longest game in Division I history. Western Illinois guard David Jackson set a school record by playing 58 out of a possible 65 minutes in the game while also scoring a career-high 32 points…In seven games, Western Illinois has played in front of a total of 5,817 fans – tonight, they'll play in front of nearly three times that many. WIU's largest crowd of the season was its most recent win over Texas-Arlington, which drew 1,180 fans…Western has been forced to scramble at the point guard position due to an injury to 5-10 freshman James Washington. Washington had started five of the first six games and was averaging 5.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists before breaking his leg against Morehead State...IU will have its hands full with WIU wing David Jackson, whose averaging 18.6 points/game. Jackson will look to attack IU's A.J. Ratliff and Rod Wilmont off the dribble and get to the free throw line, where he's averaging 10 attempts per game…this marks the third straight season these two teams have met. IU had to scramble late to win 64-60 two years ago in Assembly Hall, and last season the Hoosiers prevailed 102-79 on the road.

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