Indiana vs. Southern Illinois Gameday

After an eight-day lay-off, Indiana (5-3) returns to action Sunday at 8 p.m. when it hosts Missouri Valley Conference power Southern Illinois (7-1). A participant in the last five NCAA Tournaments, the Salukis enter the contest with wins over teams from the Big Ten (Minnesota) and ACC (Virginia Tech) already this season…

Game Particulars: Indiana (5-3) vs. Southern Illinois (7-1)
Points will be hard to come by when Indiana (5-3) hosts Southern Illinois (7-1) Sunday at 8 p.m. at Assembly Hall. Indiana enters the game surrendering only 58.9 points per game and is limiting its foes to 38.9 percent shooting from the field. Southern Illinois, though, is even better at shutting down its opponents, ranking second nationally by giving up only 51.9 points per game. This is the second match-up for Southern Illinois against a Big Ten team, as Chris Lowery's team whipped Minnesota 69-53 in November.

IU is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who is in his first year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 5-3 record in Bloomington and a 460-260 career mark. Southern Illinois, meanwhile, is coached by Evansville native Chris Lowery, who in his 3rd year at the helm of the Saluki program. He owns a 56-20, including a 27-9 mark in Missouri Valley Conference games.

The game will be televised by ESPN, with Sean McDonough (play-by-play), Bill Raftery (color commentary) and Jay Bilas calling the match-up.

Indiana 2006-07 Schedule

Southern Illinois 2006-07 Schedule

Indiana (5-3/0-0 Big Ten)
PG- Earl Calloway (6-3, 173, Sr.) – 8.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.8 apg, 54.9% FG shooting
SG-Armon Bassett (6-1, 176, Fr.) – 5.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.8 apg, 31.4% FG shooting
WG – Joey Shaw (6-6, 193, Fr.) – 6.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.6 bpg, 51.9% FG shooting
SF – Lance Stemler (6-8, 210, Jr.) – 10.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.3 apg, 42.9% 3 pt. shooting
PF – D.J. White (6-9, 251, Jr.) – 13.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.6 bpg, 52.9% FG shooting

Southern Illinois (7-1/0-0 MVC)
PG- Bryan Mullins (6-2, 190, So.) – 6.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 5.0 apg, 1.8 spg
SG –Tony Young (6-0, 190, Sr.) – 9.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.0 apg, 43.8% 3 pt. shooting
WG- Jamaal Tatum (6-2, 175, Sr.) – 12.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.6 apg, 34.3% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Matt Shaw (6-7, 225, Jr.) – 13.0 ppg, 7.4 rpg,1.6 apg, 43.3% 3 pt. shooting
PF – Randal Falker (6-7, 230, Jr.) – 10.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 58.6% FG shooting

Indiana 2006-07 Statistics

Southern Illinois 2006-07 Statistics

Which team gets more easy opportunities? – Points won't be plentiful Sunday evening in Assembly Hall. Southern Illinois ranks second nationally in scoring defense and has held all but one of its foes under 65 points. Indiana, meanwhile, is giving up only 58.9 points/game and has held each of its opponents under 70 this season. With that in mind, whichever team can create (and convert) some fastbreak opportunities off of its defensive prowess will have a great chance at emerging with a win. After struggling with turnovers earlier in the season, IU has averaged only 7.0 turnovers/game in its last two contests. Southern Illinois, on the other hand, averages 15.5 turnovers/game and committed 23 miscues in its loss to Arkansas. Expect to see Earl Calloway, Armon Bassett, and Rod Wilmont, among others, pressuring SIU's primary ball handlers Bryan Mullins and Tony Young in an effort to get some easy opportunities.

Who wins the battle between D.J. White vs. Randal Falker? - IU's White might be the one with national name recognition, but the 6-7, 235-pound Falker is no slouch. Falker is averaging 11 points and six rebounds per game and was the MVP of the Missouri Valley Conference postseason tournament a year ago. Falker has scored in double figures in four straight games, and in his last three outings he's 18-of-25 from the field. Like White, Falker does his work around the basket and not on the perimeter. He also leads SIU with 34 trips to the free-throw line, although he's converting only 58.9 percent of those attempts. White, meanwhile, has scored in double figures in six of his last seven games, including a season-high 23 in IU's loss at Kentucky. He'll have a size advantage of Falker, and he needs to put that to good use Sunday. Falker fouled out of eight games a year ago, and IU's chances go up exponentially if White and get Falker in foul trouble and send him to the bench.

Will Joey Shaw take a big step forward Sunday? Kelvin Sampson wants his team to get to the free-throw line more often than it has in the first eight games, and no one has done a better job of getting to the charity stripe than Shaw. When the 6-6 wing arrived at IU he was best known for his long-distance shooting, but he's emerged as someone who's very capable of putting the ball on the floor and attacking the rim. His 29 free throw attempts ranks second on the team to D.J. White's 30, and Shaw has done that in only 15.4 minutes/game. Don't be surprised to see his playing time go up dramatically beginning Sunday. He gives the IU offense a dimension that it lacks when he's not on the floor, and Sampson very well may give him the start and added minutes Sunday. That's probably not good news for A.J. Ratliff, but IU is looking for ways to become less reliant on 3-point shooting, and Shaw is a player who does that.

How will Lance Stemler bounce back? - Stemler has been Indiana's most reliable 3-point shooter this season, knocking down a team-best 18 3-pointers and 42.9 percent of his attempts. But he struggled through an 0-of-7 shooting effort at Kentucky in his last outing, going scoreless in IU's five-point loss. Indiana will need him in a big way against a very good Southern Illinois team that features small forward Matt Shaw, a player Stemler is familiar with from both of their prep days in Illinois. This game means a little something extra to Stemler, who grew up in close proximity to SIU's Carbondale campus and saw Saluki games as a youth. There's also a little extra motivation because Stemler spent some time in the Missouri Valley Conference at Bradley before departing for junior college.

Southern Illinois coach Chris Lowery – who is only 34 years old – played with former IU All-American Calbert Cheaney at Evansville Harrison H.S…the last time these two teams met was 2001, when the Salukis handed IU a 72-60 loss in Carbondale. That SIU squad was coached by Bruce Weber, who departed at season's end to take over at Illinois. Current Purdue Coach Matt Painter replaced Weber, and he left after the 2003-04 season to become the head-coach-in-waiting in West Lafayette…SIU point guard Bryan Mullins ranked seventh nationally with 2.8 steals/game last season. He enters the IU contest with 15 steals in his first eight games this season…Southern Illinois was picked to finish second in the MVC in the preseason poll. Surprisingly, that's one spot ahead of Wichita State, which is currently undefeated and ranked 7th nationally. Creighton was tabbed as the league's preseason favorite…Southern Illinois has been to five straight NCAA Tournaments, a claim that only 14 other Division I teams can make. Only three Big Ten teams have accomplished that feat – Illinois, Michigan State and Wisconsin…after starting the season 3-of-13 from 3-point range in his first three games, SIU's Matt Shaw is 10-17 from deep in his last five outings…Indiana is 5-0 when Lance Stemler reaches double figures and 0-3 when he doesn't. D.J. White leads the team with 30 career double-figure scoring outings. IU is 18-12 in those contests. The only other player on the IU roster with at least 10 career double-digit outings is Rod Wilmont, who has 21. Indiana is 15-6 in those games. Top Stories