Indiana vs. Connecticut Gameday

Indiana (13-4/4-1) puts its four-game winning streak in the line when it travels to Storrs, Conn., for a match-up with Coach Jim Calhoun's UConn Huskies (13-4/2-3 Big East) at 3:45 p.m. The Hoosiers have lost three in a row to Connecticut, including an 88-80 setback last year in Bloomington…

Game Particulars: Indiana (13-4/4-1 Big Ten) vs. Connecticut (13-4/2-3 Big East)
Indiana gets another shot at one of the elite programs in college basketball when it squares off with Connecticut Saturday at the Hartford Civic Center. Earlier this season, Indiana dropped a three-point decision at Duke and then suffered a five-point setback at Kentucky Indiana has also dropped three straight games to Connecticut, tying the school's longest active losing skid to any program (IU has also lost three in a row to Syracuse and Villanova).

IU is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who is in his first year as Indiana's head coach and owns an 13-4 record in Bloomington and a 468-261 career mark in 23-plus seasons. Connecticut, meanwhile, is coached by Jim Calhoun, who in his 21st year at the helm of the Huskies' program and 35th year as a head coach. Calhoun owns a 498-181 record at Connecticut and a 746-318 mark overall.

The game will be televised by CBS, with Gus Johnson (play-by-play) and Clark Kellogg (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2006-07 Schedule

Connecticut 2006-07 Schedule

PROBABLE STARTERS
Indiana (13-4/4-1 Big Ten)
PG- Earl Calloway (6-3, 173, Sr.) – 10.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 4.2 apg,1.5 spg, 48.3% FG shooting
SG-Armon Bassett (6-1, 176, Fr.) – 8.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.5 apg, 39.7% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Rod Wilmont (6-4, 205, Sr.) – 11.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.2 spg, 35.7% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Lance Stemler (6-8, 210, Jr.) – 9.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 37.7% 3 pt. shooting
PF – D.J. White (6-9, 251, Jr.) – 13.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.5 bpg, 53.6% FG shooting

Connecticut (13-4/2-3 Big East)
PG- A.J. Price (6-2, 187, So.) – 11.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.7 apg, 1.6 spg, 31.9% 3 pt. shooting
SG –Jerome Dyson (6-3, 190, Fr.) – 12.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.3 apg, 2.0 spg, 31.1% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Stanley Robinson (6-9, 220, Fr.) – 5.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.2 spg, 46.7% 3 pt. shooting
PF – Jeff Adrien (6-7, 238, So.) – 13.0 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 52.4% FG shooting
C – Hasheem Thabeet (7-3, 255, Fr.) – 6.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 4.1 bpg, 54.2% FG shooting

Indiana 2006-07 Statistics

Connecticut 2006-07 Statistics

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
How does D.J. White deal with Hasheem Thabeet? – The latest test for Indiana's big man is the 7-3, 255-pound Thabeet, an unproven offensive commodity who has made his biggest contributions on the defensive end of the floor. Thabeet is averaging better than four blocks per game, which includes huge efforts against Texas Southern (10 blocks), Fairfield (9 blocks), Quinnipiac (7 blocks) and most recently St. John's (7 blocks). With that said, White is still more than capable of presenting some huge problems for the Huskies. White is coming off a 23-point, 12-rebound effort against Iowa and has been playing some of his best basketball as of late. He also displayed the ability to shoot the perimeter jump shot and score in transition in the win against the Hawkeyes, adding that to his usual array of back-to-the-basket moves. While Thabeet presents some problems due to his height, he is a freshman and is coming off a miserable game against Pitt when Panther center Aaron Gray scored 22 points and pulled down 19 rebounds to lead Pitt to a 63-54 win.

How will Indiana match-up with the bigger Huskies? UConn presents some problems thanks to a big frontline that will force Kelvin Sampson to use some bigger bodies off the bench early and often. Thabeet is the biggest body, but the most productive frontliner is 6-7, 238-pound Jeff Adrien, a physical power forward who will have a decided edge over Lance Stemler in terms of strength. Rod Wilmont will likely be matched up opposite Stanley Robinson, who will have six inches and 15 pounds on the Hoosiers' fifth-year senior. Don't be surprised to see the Hoosiers go to Xavier Keeling and Mike White early and put them on Adrien. Both have a better combination of athleticism and strength to slow down the Huskies' leading scorer. Stemler, meanwhile, is a better match-up for Robinson. Indiana may wind up going with three "bigs" on occasion – something it hasn't done much since Ben Allen was sidelined with mono before the Kentucky game – to match-up better defensively and to hold up on the boards, where UConn out-rebounds its foes by more than 10 per game.

Indiana's execution down the stretch? Chance are this will be another game that is determined in the final five minutes. Indiana has already taken Duke, Kentucky and Ohio State down to the wire before falling on the road, and the Hoosiers figure to be able to keep the game close against the Huskies as well. Have some of those narrow road losses provided valuable lessons for this team? We'll find out as the teams battle down the stretch. The Hoosier players have talked about ratcheting up the defensive effort in the closing minutes and avoiding turnovers on offense, so expect to see that if this game is a one or two-possession game late. Connecticut is 12-1 at home this season and has really only been tested once – a 73-69 loss to Marquette in their most recent home contest.

What kind of success will either team have behind the 3-point arc? - The Hoosiers don't want to become dependent on the 3-point, but it's always going to be an important part of the team's offensive arsenal with the likes of Rod Wilmont, Armon Bassett, Lance Stemler and A.J. Ratliff all playing 20+ minutes/game. Each one of those players has at least 23 3-pointers this season, which is more than any player on the Connecticut roster. The Hoosiers average eight 3-pointers/game, compared to Connecticut's 4.6/game. The Huskies don't shoot the 3 very well, with A.J. Price shooting just 31.9 percent and Jerome Dyson converting only 31.1 percent of his attempts. The best long-range shooter for Coach Jim Calhoun's squad is Craig Austrie, who is connecting on 43.2 percent of his attempts. For Indiana to be successful it's going to need to have more made 3-pointers on the final stat sheet, but it also needs to be proficient in its attempts. After all, Connecticut's opponents are shooting just 29 percent from deep this season.

DID YOU KNOW…
Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun ranks 12th on the all-time coaching wins list (746) and is fourth among active coaches. On the active list, Calhoun trails only Bob Knight (882), Lute Olson (774) and Mike Krzyzewski (766)…the Huskies are unranked for the first time in four years. After last weekend's loss to Pitt UConn fell out of the poll for the first time since March 9, 2003, ending a streak of 67 consecutive polls…Calhoun is 3-1 all-time against Indiana, but just 1-3 against Kelvin Sampson…the score at halftime may tell the story – Uconn is 13-0 when leading at the half this season and 0-4 when it trails…of the 88 points UConn scored against IU last season, only four of them were put up by players on the current roster. At the close of the '06 campaign Calhoun had Rudy Gay, Marcus Williams and Hilton Armstrong all taken in the first-round of the NBA draft, while Denham Brown, Josh Boone and Rashad Anderson are also now gone…after scoring at least 80 points in eight of its 11 non-conference games, UConn hasn't reached 80 once since Big East play opened. The Huskies scored 71 in a Big East-opening setback to West Virginia, and has been held under 70 in each of five games since…UConn struggles at the free-throw line. A.J. Price is the only starter shooting 70 percent from the line (76.8 percent), and UConn shoots 64.1 percent as a team. Jeff Adrien (58.8 percent), Jerome Dyson (68.2 percent), Hasheem Thabeet (50.7 percent) and Stanley Robinson (63.9 percent) have all had their problems on charity tosses. By comparison, Indiana shoots 70.8 percent as a team and has three starters shooting at least 75 percent (Earl Calloway – 78.5 percent; Lance Stemler – 86.4 percent; Armon Bassett – 80 percent).

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