Game Particulars: Indiana (15-5/5-2 Big Ten) vs. Wisconsin (21-1/7-0 Big Ten)
On Sunday second-ranked Wisconsin brought an end to Iowa's 12-game winning streak at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, and now the Badgers will try to do the same to Indiana's 13-game streak at Assembly Hall. It's a match-up with significant Big Ten ramifications for both squads. A win for Wisconsin would give the Badgers their 18th consecutive victory dating back to a Nov. 24 loss to Missouri State and keep them one game ahead of Ohio State in the conference standings, while a victory for the Hoosiers would move them to within a single game of the Big Ten lead at the conference season's midway point.
IU is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who is in his first year as Indiana's head coach and owns an 15-5 record in Bloomington and a 470-262 career mark in 23-plus seasons. Wisconsin, meanwhile, is coached by Bo Ryan, who in his sixth year at the helm of the Badger program and 23rd year as a head coach. Ryan owns a 153-70 record at Wisconsin – including a 62-25 record in Big Ten games - and a 516-153 mark overall.
The game will be televised by ESPN-Plus, with Mike Gleason (play-by-play) and John Laskowski (color commentary) calling the match-up.
Indiana 2006-07 Schedule
Wisconsin 2006-07 Schedule
Indiana (15-5/5-2 Big Ten)
PG- Earl Calloway (6-3, 173, Sr.) – 9.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.4 apg,1.4 spg, 47.4% FG shooting
SG-Armon Bassett (6-1, 176, Fr.) – 9.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.5 apg, 42.2% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Roderick Wilmont (6-4, 205, Sr.) – 11.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.3 spg, 37.9% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Lance Stemler (6-8, 210, Jr.) – 8.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 37.1% 3 pt. shooting
PF – D.J. White (6-9, 251, Jr.) – 14.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.4 bpg, 53.5% FG shooting
Wisconsin (21-1/7-0 Big Ten)
PG- Michael Flowers (6-2, 185, Jr.) – 7.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 29.5%3 pt. shooting
SG –- Kammron Taylor (6-2, 175, Sr.) – 12.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 40% 3 pt. shooting shooting
SF – Alando Tucker (6-6, 205, Sr.) – 19.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.0 apg, 49.1% FG shooting
PF – Jason Chappell (6-10, 245, Sr.) – 3.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 15.7 mpg, 45.2% FG shooting
C – Brian Butch (6-11, 245, Jr.) – 10.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 49.1% FG shooting
Indiana 2006-07 Statistics
Wisconsin 2006-07 Statistics
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Can Indiana keep Wisconsin from taking up residence at the free-throw line? – Sampson said Tuesday that keeping Wisconsin from constantly getting to the free-throw line was a big key to his team's success Wednesday night. Of course, that's easier said than done – Michigan got to the line 35 times in the Hoosiers' win over the Wolverines Sunday, and Wisconsin averages nearly 27 free throw attempts per games. In fact, the Badgers have shot 587 free throws in 22 games, more than 100 free throws than anyone else in the Big Ten. By comparison, Indiana has attempted only 367 free throws this season. Tucker is the best of the bunch at getting to the line, but Kammron Taylor is averaging nearly nine free-throw attempts per game as well since conference play opened. Expect to see Wisconsin at the line more often than Indiana as byproduct of how the two teams function on offense, but Indiana needs to minimize careless fouls on jump shots or reach ins to keep the disparity to a minimum.
Can Indiana keep from being too ‘up' for this game? This is a huge game for Indiana. Any realistic chance at contending for a regular season Big Ten title depend on winning the one and only match-up with Wisconsin, and it's also the kind of game that could carry plenty of weight once the NCAA Tournament rolls around and the committee is trying to determine what sort of seeding to give the Hoosiers. But there's also a risk in being too up for this match-up. Wisconsin is a veteran squad that has dealt with its lofty ranking for a couple of months, and they will be all about "business as usual" when they arrive in town. Indiana needs to have a little bit of that same approach. As good as Wisconsin has been this season, Indiana has been equally as tough to beat at home. If the Hoosiers are too emotionally charged at the game's outset it could lead to some ill-advised fouls and some other miscues that could land them in an early hole.
Can Indiana win the battle of the benches? Both teams rely a great deal on their benches. For Indiana, most of its offensive production off the bench comes from guards A.J. Ratliff and Joey Shaw in the backcourt. Up front, Indiana depends on contributions from Mike White, Xavier Keeling and Ben Allen, with their work on the defensive end being the most important element. Wisconsin answers with forwards Marcus Landry, Joe Krabbenhoft, Greg Steimsma and guard Jason Bohannon. Landry (5.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.1 bpg) and Krabbenhoft (5.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg) are both 20 minute/game players who are consistent contributors. Bohannon, meanwhile, averages 4.4 points/game and can get hot from behind the 3-point arc. This is a match-up where Keeling could be an important contributor due to the fact he's the most athletic frontline reserve at IU's disposal, and Wisconsin's big men aren't afraid to step outside and shoot from the perimeter.
Will D.J. White create some doubt as to who the best player on the floor is? - The Big Ten season isn't halfway over yet, but it's hard to imagine anyone other than Alando Tucker winning the Big Ten Player of the Year award. The Badgers' 6-6 fifth-year senior has even elevated himself to the point that he's been generating some support for national player of the year honors as well, and Sampson said Tuesday one of Wisconsin's big advantages is that in every game they play, they have the best player on the floor. That might be the case, but D..J. White needs to be dominant on the interior to give the Hoosiers a good chance to win. White will be going up against some big bodies in 6-11 Brian Butch and 6-10 Jason Chappell, but neither is much of a shot blocker so White should have little trouble shooting over the top. White needs to be aggressive, using his improving face-up mid-range game to create opportunities to get to the rim and either finish or get to the free-throw line.
"We have to win this game if we want to compete for the Big Ten championship. I'm going into it treating it like a business game – we have to take care of business." – Rod Wilmont.
"(on whether he's guarded someone as good as Alando Tucker) Yeah, last year (Michigan State's Maurice) Ager was tough and (UConn's Rudy) Gay was tough. Tucker is a really good player and we'll have to play hard and compete." – Rod Wilmont.
"It's a lot easier to slow a team down than it is to speed a team up. You're not going to speed Wisconsin up." – Kelvin Sampson.
"I think (Kammron Taylor) embraces his role on that team. I think he had 20 against Ohio State, and the Iowa game, he just runs their offense…the thing that really impresses me is how much he's improved. He can play fast or he can play slow." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson.
"Wisconsin is really, really good…they've been steady. They play the same way every single game. You watch them against Pittsburgh early, Marquette early, you watch them against Ohio State, their last game against Iowa, they're consistent in what they do. They're not a hard team to prepare for because if you look at their stuff it is what it is, they don't deviate – they run the same offense. It's just difficult to stop." – Kelvin Sampson.
"I've always admired Bo from afar, how his teams play. There are a lot of definitions of the right way to play. It depends on your personnel and how you like your team to play…everyone has to play what's right for them. And I think a lot of how you coach has a lot to do with where you coach. If you look at the kids Bo recruits, Bo gets kids that buy into his system, and they don't deviate. You're not going to get them out of what they do. You jut have to be tough minded in a game like this." – Kelvin Sampson.
"Wisconsin has a huge advantage every game they play because they'll always have the best player on the floor, and he's a senior. That's a lot different than just having a really good team." – Kelvin Sampson.
Indiana vs. Wisconsin Gameday
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