Indiana vs. Western Michigan Gameday

Indiana (6-3) welcomes Western Michigan (4-6) to Assembly Hall for a 7 p.m. match-up on Wednesday. While the Hoosiers will be playing front of their home crowd, this will also serve as a homecoming of sorts for six Western Michigan players, all of whom are from the state of Indiana…

Game Particulars: Indiana (6-3) vs. Western Michigan (4-6)
After back-to-back games against two of the stingiest defenses in college basketball in Kentucky and Southern Illinois, Indiana (6-3) squares off against a Western Michigan (4-6) team that hasn't been quite as stout on the defensive end. The Broncos are surrendering 74.5 points/game during the season's first 10 games, and their foes are shooting 47.3 percent from the floor as well. Western Michigan features six players – including three starters – on its roster from the state of Indiana – center Joe Reitz (Fishers), forward Shawntes Gary (Elkhart), guard Andrewn Hershberger (Goshen), and reserves Jon Workman (Lagrange), Derek Drews (Elkhart) and Donald Cloutier (Indianapolis).

IU is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who is in his first year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 6-3 record in Bloomington and a 461-260 career mark. Western Michigan, meanwhile, is coached by Steve Hawkins, who in his 4th year at the helm of the Bronco program. He owns a 64-41 record and his teams have earned two postseason invitations (NCAA in 2004, NIT in 2005).

The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN-Plus, with Eric Collins (play-by-play) and John Laskowski (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2006-07 Schedule

Western Michigan 2006-07 Schedule

Indiana (6-3/0-0 Big Ten)
PG- Earl Calloway (6-3, 173, Sr.) – 8.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.6 apg, 51.8% FG shooting
SG-Rod Wilmont (6-4, 205, Sr.) – 11.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.7 spg, 40% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Joey Shaw (6-6, 193, Fr.) – 6.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 15.6 mpg, 50% FG shooting
SF – Lance Stemler (6-8, 210, Jr.) – 9.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 41.9% 3 pt. shooting
PF – D.J. White (6-9, 251, Jr.) – 13.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.3 bpg, 52.7% FG shooting

Western Michigan (4-6/0-0 MAC)
PG- Michael Redell (6-1, 183, So.) – 9.2 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 4.2 apg, 37.5% 3 pt. shooting
SG –David Kool (6-3, 208, Fr.) – 5.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 33.3% 3 pt. shooting
WG- Shawntes Gary (6-2, 220, So.) – 7.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 61.5% 3 pt. shooting
PF – Andrew Hershberger (6-7, 220, Jr.) – 6.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 42.9% FG shooting
C – Joe Reitz (6-7, 250, Jr.) – 13.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 57.1% FG shooting

Indiana 2006-07 Statistics

Western Michigan 2006-07 Statistics

Will Indiana look past the Broncos? – After difficult grind-it-out contests against Kentucky and Southern Illinois the last two weeks, it might be tempting for the Hoosiers to look past a Western Michigan team that already has six losses to its credit. If the Hoosiers do that it won't sit well with Sampson, and it could create some problems against a Bronco team that's probably better than their record suggests. WMU has lost its three road games by a combined nine points, and those setbacks came against Indiana State (which beat Butler), Temple and most recently Northwestern by two in overtime. One of the other losses was to seventh-ranked Pitt and another was to West Virginia, so Western Michigan has played quality competition in the early going.

Can Indiana continue to dominate the glass, and keep Joe Reitz from putback opportunities? - Indiana has out-rebounded its first nine opponents, a streak that hasn't been matched in school history since the 1981-82 season, when the Hoosiers out-rebounded nine straight teams from Nov. 28-Dec. 19. The Hoosiers actually have a chance to win the rebounding battle as many times during this season's non-conference campaign as it did all of last season (12). That's been a big part of Indiana's success early on, but Western Michigan is no slouch on the boards. The Broncos own a +3.1 rebounding margin, and they've out-rebounded six of their last seven opponents. The best of the Broncos' bunch is center Joe Reitz, who averages 7.8 rebounds and had a career-high 18 rebounds in his most recent outing. A second-team All-MAC pick a year ago, Reitz is a load at 250 pounds. D.J. White will likely match up with him at the game's outset, but if Ben Allen is unable to go for a second straight game Xavier Keeling will likely get an opportunity for extended minutes and a short at slowing down Reitz on occasion.

Can the Hoosier backcourt develop some consistency? Kelvin Sampson has used his guards as interchangeable parts in the early going. Rod Wilmont, A.J. Ratliff, Earl Calloway, Joey Shaw, Errek Suhr and Joey Shaw have all earned at least two starts this season, and it's just about anyone's guess who will start (and finish) Wednesday's contest against the Broncos. While it's nice to have options, it's also nice to know what you're going to get out of players on a night-in, night-out basis. Sampson hasn't gotten that, particularly in the big games. With the start of the Big Ten season now just two weeks away, it's important that Calloway and Ratliff, in particular, play with the sort of energy and effort that Sampson commands. The Hoosier head coach made a point after the Southern Illinois game that he's been pleased with Calloway's effort in the last two games and Ratliff's in the most recent outing, and he'll be watching to see if they begin to make that sort of play a habit. Hoosier fans should be watching that too, because it will go a long way toward determining what kind of success IU will have once Big Ten play opens.

Can Lance Stemler get back on track? - During the season's first month Stemler was IU's most consistent scorer, reaching double figures in five of his first six games while establishing himself as the team's best 3-point shooter. But the junior forward has fallen on hard times recently, missing all 11 of the shots he's attempts in the last two games, including seven 3-pointers. He's continued to play significant minutes despite his shooting woes – he averaged 33 minutes in the last two contests – but he needs to regain the confidence in his perimeter shot to give the Hoosiers a reliable scoring option from behind the arc.

Western Michigan sophomore guard Shawntes Gary is the older brother of Dairese Gary, a top-100 senior at Concord (Ind.) H.S. who is headed to Iowa…despite some quality opponents, this will easily be the biggest crowd WMU has played in front of this year. Their match-ups at Temple, Indiana State and Northwestern drew just over 3,000 fans each time, and a season-opening neutral court matchup against Pitt was in front of only 1,769 fans…one of the Broncos' losses was to a familiar foe to IU fans – San Diego State. The Hoosiers' first-round opponent in the 2006 NCAA Tournament, San Diego State beat the Broncos 84-73 earlier this month. Mohamed Abukar led the way for Coach Steve Fisher's team with 17 points, while guard Brandon Heath added 13…one player to keep an eye on off the Bronco bench is 5-9 guard Andre Ricks. Ricks has scored in double figures five times this season, including a 29-point, 10-of-17 shooting effort against San Diego State…Indiana is five wins away from becoming just the eighth college program with 1,600 wins. Others already in that select grouping include Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, North Carolina, St. John's, Syracuse, Temple and Penn. Top Stories