Indiana vs. Minnesota Gameday

Indiana (17-8/7-5) has fallen back to the pack in its chase for third place in the Big Ten, but should get a reprieve tonight when it faces a struggling Minnesota squad (9-18/3-10) in the two teams' only meeting this season. Indiana enters the game with a perfect 13-0 record in Assembly Hall this season, while the Gophers are 1-7 on the road…

Game Particulars: Indiana (17-8/7-5 Big Ten) vs. Minnesota (9-18/3-10 Big Ten)
After dropping a pair of tough games on the road last week at Purdue and Michigan, Indiana returns to Assembly Hall for a 7 p.m. match-up against Minnesota. Indiana is once again expected to be without point guard Earl Calloway, who suffered a slight shoulder separation in the loss at Purdue and has been sidelined since. Minnesota, meanwhile, is suffering through a challenging year after the in-season resignation of former Coach Dan Monson during the non-conference portion of the schedule.

IU is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who is in his first year as Indiana's head coach and owns an 17-8 record in Bloomington and a 472-265 career mark in 23-plus seasons. Minnesota, meanwhile, is being coached on an interim basis by Jim Molinari, who in his first year at the helm of the Gopher program and 13th year as a head coach. Molinari owns a 7-13 record at Minnesota and a 223-182 mark overall. A two-year assistant under Monson before taking over this year, Molinari has previously been a head coach at Northern Illinois (1990-91) and Bradley (1992-02).

The game will be televised by ESPN-Plus Local, with Dick Bremer (play-by-play) and John Laskowski (analyst) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2006-07 Schedule

Minnesota 2006-07 Schedule

Indiana (17-9/7-5 Big Ten)
PG- Errek Suhr (6-1, 176, Fr.) – 1.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 0.5 apg, 42.1% 3 pt. shooting
SG- Armon Bassett (6-1, 176, Fr.) – 8.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.9 apg, 41.6% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Roderick Wilmont (6-4, 205, Sr.) – 12.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.0 apg, 38.8% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Mike White (6-6, 232, Jr.) – 3.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 0.2 apg, 53.1% FG shooting
PF – D.J. White (6-9, 251, Jr.) – 13.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 1.4 apg, 2.2 bpg, 52.7% FG shooting

Minnesota (9-18/3-10 Big Ten)
PG- Kevin Payton (6-5, 200, Fr.) – 2.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.6 apg, 42.3% 3 pt. shooting
SG –Lawrence McKenzie (6-2, 180, Jr.) – 15.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.9 apg, 38.2% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Jamal Abu-Shamala (6-5, 200, So.) – 6.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 38.8% 3 pt. shooting
PF – Dan Coleman (6-9, 230, Jr.) – 14.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.3 bpg, 45.2% FG shooting
C – Bryce Webster (6-9, 240, Fr.) – 1.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 0.3 apg, 9.8 mpg

Indiana 2006-07 Statistics

Minnesota 2006-07 Statistics

A Much More Aggressive D.J. White – On Tuesday IU Coach Kelvin Sampson said White was frustrated with how he'd played against Michigan, and for good reason – he finished with only seven points and four rebounds while battling foul trouble for much of the game. His inability to produce and absence on the floor was especially critical with the injury to Earl Calloway, who missed his first game with a shoulder injury. That result and effort left a bad taste in White's mouth, and IU fans can expect to see him be much more aggressive tonight. He'll be matched up opposite 6-9, 240-pound Gopher freshman Bryce Webster, an inexperienced rookie who will have his hands full with IU's big man. Double teams will be the norm for White tonight, but expect to see him be much quicker to look to score when he gets his hands on the ball in the post. When he does that he's at his best, making a move before the double team can arrive.

Who matches up with Lawrence McKenzie? There's no disputing who Minnesota's most formidable offensive weapon is – 6-2 guard Lawrence McKenzie. The team's leading scorer at 15.9 game, McKenzie has attempted a staggering 191 3-pointers this season (by comparison, Rod Wilmont leads IU with 131 3-point attempts) and shoots better than 38 percent from behind the arc. He's also bee playing well as of late and is coming off a 22-point, 10-assist effort against Ohio State. So who draws this assignment? It would have been Calloway if he was healthy, so Kelvin Sampson will have to look elsewhere. It's not out of the question that IU could change the line-up and insert A.J. Ratliff so that he can match up with McKenzie to keep him from getting going early. Ratliff's length would give McKenzie much more trouble than either Armon Bassett or Errek Suhr. This is a game IU would like to jump out early, and the best way to do that is to keep McKenzie from getting off to a hot start.

Will this be the game Lance Stemler gets untracked? Stemler played only 13 minutes against Michigan, but there's a very good chance he'll see extended action tonight due to match-ups. Minnesota goes with 6-9, 230-pound Dan Coleman at the ‘4', and he's a very reasonable match-up for Stemler. A 14-plus point/game scorer, Coleman is rangy and generates much of his offense either from the perimeter or with his mid-range game. That's a much better defensive assignment for Stemler than a big body who likes to play with his back to the basket and score in the paint. It seems as if it's just a matter of time before Stemler's offensive woes come to an end – he's been mired in a shooting slump for most of the Big Ten season, but tonight's match-up could provide him with an opportunity to break out of it.

Can Indiana use this game as a god preparation for Saturday's test in East Lansing? - Indiana needs some confidence after losing three of its last four, and Minnesota could provide that. But Indiana will also need to do some things to show it's ready for what should be a colossal test Saturday night when they travel to East Lansing to face Michigan State. A week ago the Spartans appeared to be hanging onto their NCAA hopes by a thread, but after a 30-plus point drubbing of Iowa last weekend and then last night's nine-point win over No. 1 Wisconsin, the Spartans are playing as well as anyone in the Big Ten right now. How Indiana handles McKenzie will be a good indictor of how they'll be able to cope with Spartan guard Drew Neitzel, who scored 28 of MSU's 55 points in the 55-46 win over the Badgers.

Minnesota guard Limar Wilson didn't make the trip with the team after an unexcused absence from a team practice this week. Wilson is averaging 4.1 points and 2.2 assists while starting 15 games this season…McKenzie has already established new Minnesota school records for 3-pointers made in a season (73) and 3-point attempts (191)…Minnesota has won four of the last five meetings in the series, including a 61-42 pounding in Minneapolis a year ago. Top Stories