Game Particulars: Indiana (14-5/4-2 Big Ten) vs. Michigan (16-5/4-2 Big Ten)
Indiana puts a handful of streaks on the line against Michigan when the two teams meet at noon Saturday. The Hoosiers are a perfect 10-0 at home this season and have a 12-game homecourt win streak dating back to last year. Indiana has also dominated this series as of late, winning the last 10 match-ups and 13 of the last 14 overall, including 10 straight victories at Assembly Hall dating back to 1995. With that said, Michigan will test the Hoosiers with their length, athleticism and experience (they start four seniors and one junior) in this key Big Ten match-up.
IU is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who is in his first year as Indiana's head coach and owns an 14-5 record in Bloomington and a 469-262 career mark in 23-plus seasons. Michigan, meanwhile, is coached by Tommy Amaker, who in his sixth year at the helm of the Wolverine program and 10th year as a head coach. Amaker owns a 103-75 record at Michigan and a 171-130 mark overall.
The game will be televised by ESPN, with Dave O'Brien (play-by-play) and Rick Majerus (color commentary) calling the match-up.
Indiana 2006-07 Schedule
Michigan 2006-07 Schedule
Indiana (14-5/4-2 Big Ten)
PG- Earl Calloway (6-3, 173, Sr.) – 9.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.3 apg,1.5 spg, 47.7% FG shooting
SG-Armon Bassett (6-1, 176, Fr.) – 8.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.4 apg, 39.3% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Roderick Wilmont (6-4, 205, Sr.) – 11.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.3 spg, 36.9% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Lance Stemler (6-8, 210, Jr.) – 8.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 26.9% 3 pt. shooting in Big Ten games
PF – D.J. White (6-9, 251, Jr.) – 14.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.4 bpg, 53.7% FG shooting
Michigan (16-5/4-2 Big Ten)
PG- Dion Harris (6-3, 205, Sr.) – 13.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 4.2 apg, 35.8% 3 pt. shooting
SG –Lester Abram (6-6, 200, Sr.) – 9.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.2 apg, 46.1% FG shooting
SF – Ron Coleman (6-6, 210, Jr.) – 7.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 35.7% 3 pt. shooting
PF – Brent Petway (6-8, 210, Sr.) – 7.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.6 bpg, 62.8% FG shooting
C – Courtney Sims (6-11, 245, Sr.) – 12.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 63.2% FG shooting
Indiana 2006-07 Statistics
Michigan 2006-07 Statistics
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
How will Indiana handle Michigan's length? – Ohio State and Wisconsin might be the two best teams in the Big Ten, but Michigan might be the league's longest and most athletic squad. Coach Tommy Amaker's squad will present some significant issues for the Hoosiers in that regard. First and foremost is how IU handles the ultra-athletic Brent Petway, perhaps the most athletic forward in the conference. He's at his best in transition and on the offensive glass, where he has a team-best 52 offensive rebounds. Will IU stick with Lance Stemler to tangle with Petway, or will Sampson turn to Mike White or maybe even Xavier Keeling? Michigan also has three bona fide shot blockers at its disposal in starters Petway (1.6/game), Courtney Sims (1.4/game) and top reserve Ekpe Udoh, a 6-10, 240-pound freshman who blocks 2.2 shots/game. They'll make things difficult when IU's perimeter players try to get to the rim. Michigan is also big at the wing spots with 6-6 Lester Abram and 6-6 Ron Coleman, but most of Coleman's work is done from the perimeter, meaning Armon Bassett will likely draw that defensive assignment. The tougher task will belong to Rod Wilmont, who will tangle with the more versatile Abram.
Which team gets more done in transition? Indiana's defense slowed to a virtual standstill in Tuesday's loss at Illinois, prompting Sampson to joke that he would have fallen asleep if it weren't for the Illinois crowd. Sampson said that's not how he wants his team to play – nor is it how they'll play – and the Hoosiers will have an opportunity to show that Saturday. Fastbreak points and easy buckets will be important for both teams - Michigan limits its opponents to 58.0 points/game and 39.3 percent shooting, while Indiana surrenders only 60.3 points/game and its foes shoot just 40.8 percent from the floor. But Indiana could be plenty of chances to score in transition, as Michigan likes to crash the offensive glass and has also been turnover prone in conference games (more than 15/game), so the Wolverines could be vulnerable to quick breakouts.
Who gets the better of the Earl Calloway vs. Dion Harris match-up? Point guard play will be critical Saturday, and IU's Calloway will have a tough match-up with the 6-3, 205-pound Harris. Harris has become a much better ball distributor than he was early in his career, averaging 4.1 assists/game as a senior. But he's also a very capable scorer, leading the team with better than 13 points per contest. That number jumps to 15.3 in Big Ten games, and he's shooting 48 percent from 3-point range (15-of-32) in league games. But Calloway figures to be the best defensive point guard he's gone up against. He'll hound Harris when he has the ball in his hands and won't give up many easy opportunities. Calloway is also someone to be dealt with on the offensive end – in his last three games at Assembly Hall he's averaging 10.7 points and 6.3 assists.
Can Indiana plant some seeds of doubt early? - Michigan might be a veteran team that's been there and done that before, but it hasn't been a very good road team in recent years, this season included. Michigan is 2-4 on the road, with three of setbacks coming by double digits – by 14 at Purdue, by 13 at Wisconsin and by a whopping 37 at UCLA. Indiana, meanwhile, should be glad to be playing in front of the home crowd again after back-to-back road games at Connecticut and Illinois. If Indiana can jump out to a lead early, this could wind up being an easier-than-expected win for the Hoosiers.
"You're not going to play with an edge every game. You can't. I had a team win 31 games one year and we didn't play with an edge every game. So I don't worry about that." – Kelvin Sampson.
"(if players aren't shooting well) that doesn't enter my mind. Rod is always just one shot away from being hot…Stemler is a shooter. You just get him the ball because I know he can hit the shot, and he knows he can hit the shot." – Earl Calloway.
"Their length is a problem, probably everywhere. I don't think we've played a team that can bother us in so many ways." – Kelvin Sampson.
"I think that's where Mike (White) has problems – finishing inside against length. Mike doesn't have problems against 6-5, 6-6 guys…but Mike's contributions for us is his defense. D.J. gets stuck behind sometimes, where Mike does a better job. It's harder to enter the ball into the post against Mike because he's a bulldog in there. He'll get around and sit in your lap and take away an entry pass. He's just tough." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson.
Indiana vs. Michigan Gameday
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