Indiana vs. Southern Illinois Gameday

The No. 15 (AP)/15 (ESPN/USA Today) Indiana Hoosiers (5-1) goes tackles its first and only road test of the non-conference schedule when it faces NR/No. 22 Southern Illinois (3-1) Saturday at 9:30 p.m. at SIU Arena. Southern Illinois has gone 80-3 at home since 2001, including 72-60 win over Indiana on Dec. 1, 2001.

Game Particulars: Indiana (5-1) vs. Southern Illinois (3-1)
Indiana will try to do something that only three teams have managed to do in the last six years – beat Southern Illinois in Carbondale. Only Charlotte (2004), Louisiana Tech (2006) and Indiana State (2006) have managed to top Coach Chris Lowery's team in the last six years at 9,386-seat SIU Arena, and SIU is currently riding a 15-game homecourt winning streak. Indiana owns a 4-1 all-time edge in the series, including a 57-47 win in Bloomington a year ago. The only contest in Carbondale, though, came in 2001, when current Illini Coach Bruce Weber led the Salukis to a 72-60 win over a Mike Davis-coached IU team that would eventually advance to the NCAA title game that same season.

IU is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who is in his second year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 26-12 record in Bloomington and a 481-269 career mark. Southern Illinois, meanwhile, is coached by Chris Lowery, who in his 4th year with the Salukis, owns an 81-27 record, and is a two-time recipient of Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year honors.

The game will be televised by ESPNU with Jim Barbar (play-by-play) and Mike Kelley (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2007-08 Schedule

Southern Illinois 2007-08 Schedule

PROBABLE STARTERS
Indiana (5-1)
PG- Armon Bassett (6-1, 176, So.) – 11.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.5 apg, 51.9% 3 pt. shooting
SG- Eric Gordon (6-4, 205, Fr.) – 27.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.3 apg, 51.4% 3 pt.shooting
WG – Jamarcus Ellis (6-5, 210, Jr.) 7.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 3.5 apg, 42.1% FG shooting
F – Lance Stemler (6-8, 210, Sr.) 5.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 48.1% FG shooting
F – D.J. White (6-9, 230, Sr.) – 13.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 64.4% FG shooting

Southern Illinois (3-1)
PG- Bryan Mullins (6-2, 190, Jr.) – 9.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 6.3 apg, 3.5 spg, 22.2% 3 pt. shooting
SG – Tyrone Green (6-3, 205, Sr.) – 3.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 23.5%FG shooting
SF – Matt Shaw (6-7, 235, Sr.) – 10.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 31.8% 3 pt. shooting
PF – Tony Boyle (6-8, 235, Jr.) – 5.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 39.1% FG shooting
C- Randal Falker (6-7, 235, Sr.) 17.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.0 bpg, 61.8% FG shooting

Indiana 2007-08 Statistics

Southern Illinois 2007-08 Statistics

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Will this be a game in the 50s, 60s or 70s? – Truth be told, Southern Illinois' style of play controls the tempo in just about every game it plays. Coach Chris Lowery's team prefers a methodical, grind-it-out approach that produced only 62.9 points/game a year ago, but 29 wins. It did that by allowing only two foes to reach the 70-point mark. As much as Indiana might like to play a game in the 80s or even 90s, that's virtually impossible to do against a team that looks to utilize the shot clock like the Salukis do. What Indiana needs to do is create chances to push the pace by forcing some turnovers and long rebounds on the defensive end that will give the Hoosiers some quick-strike opportunities. Indiana can also utilize its ability to attack off the dribble to get to the free-throw line and get some more easy chances to put points on the board. Against a team like SIU, the higher the teams' combined score, the better chance IU has to come away with a win. A game in the 50s is trouble for IU, while one in the 70s is a good sign.

What kind of luck will Tyrone Green have in controlling Eric Gordon? - Southern Illinois isn't playing shooting guard Tyrone Green for his shooting ability – he's averaging just 3.5 points and has missed 13 of 17 shots this year. Instead, Green is in the lineup for his ability to defend. Now, for the second straight week, Lowery will look to Green to slow down one of the top-five freshmen in the country. Last week, Green spent a good portion of time going up against USC's O.J. Mayo, who scored 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting and had six turnovers. This week his task could be even tougher as he'll probably spend most of his evening trying to slow down Gordon, who is leading the nation in scoring at 27.3 points/game. The only thing to slow down Gordon in the season's first six games is foul trouble, as three first-half fouls against Xavier sent him to the bench during a 20-point night. Green will probably look to force Gordon to score his points from behind the 3-point arc – which he's more than capable of doing based on his 51.4 percent 3-point percentage – but that's a better option than playing Gordon tight and having him penetrate and make double-digit trips to the free-throw line, which he's done in five of IU's first six games.

Who wins the D.J. White vs. Randal Falker battle? - Indiana believes it has one of the best big men in the country in D.J. White, but Southern Illinois thinks it has one of the nation's top big men as well in Randal Falker. Falker averaged 12.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocks a year ago and earned Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors. Like White, Falker is one of 50 preseason Wooden Award candidates as well. Now in his senior season,Falker has become more of an offensive weapon as well. He's averaging a team-high 17.0 points and has scored 20 or more in two of his last three games. Falker also had success slowing down White a season ago. In Indiana's 57-47 win in Bloomington, White was limited to only six shots, eight points, and four rebounds in 36 minutes against Falker. Indiana will need a much bigger evening from its All-America candidate Saturday night in Carbondale.

Will Matt Shaw get untracked? - Saluki forward Matt Shaw is a fourth-year starter who is averaging double figures for the third straight season, scoring 10.5/game thus far. Despite his respectable scoring clip, though, he's struggled with his shot. In the first four games he's just 13-of-38 from the floor (34.2 percent) and 7-of-22 from 3-point range. After scoring 16 in the season opener, Shaw averaged just 8.7 points and shot 8-of-27 during its three-game run in Anaheim. Indiana wants to keep him from getting untracked, and it will likely fall to Jamarcus Ellis and Lance Stemler to make sure that happens. While Shaw plays the small forward spot, he's the only starter who's made more than two 3-pointers so he's one of team's primary perimeter shooters along with reserve guard Josh Bone. If Shaw struggles, SIU will have a tough time handling the Hoosiers.

QUOTABLES
"I've never had a freshman as good as Eric (Gordon). I'm not sure if I've ever had a senior as good as he is either. He is just a prolific scorer." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson

"We have to dictate (tempo). We can't play with guys that fast." – Southern Illinois Coach Chris Lowery

"I loved (Lance Stemler's) body language (against Georgia Tech), his confidence. Nobody has worked harder at shooting than Lance. There was a time last year when his shot wasn't falling, and I thought it affected his play. Now, when his shot is not falling, I don't think it affects his play. I think he plays hard-nosed and tough and scrappy, and that is good to see. The other night he played like a senior." – Sampson

"We have eight returners back. Anytime we've been older, we've had a chance to be good." – Lowery on his team's prospects this season

"Scheduling for us is always hard…so many people think you can just go play whoever you want. Our fans will say, why don't you play those guys? I say, why don't you call them and ask them for us and we'll go play them. We'd love to play dream match-ups. My former boss at Illinois – and it's three years now – we haven't played them. So that's how tough scheduling is." - Lowery

DID YOU KNOW…
Southern Illinois has earned six consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament, making them one of only 12 schools to accomplish that feat (others are Arizona, Duke, Florida, Gonzaga, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Pitt, Texas and Wisconsin)…DJ White needs 49 points to becomes the 41st player in IU history to score 1,000 points…after averaging 3.3 rebounds in IU's first three games, D.J. White is averaging 11.3 boards in the last three contests…Mike White played 20 minutes in his season-debut against Georgia Tech, a total he exceeded four times last season (25 vs. Charlotte, 32 vs. UConn, 29 vs. Penn State, 21 vs. UCLA)…Indiana's bench has been outscored in four of six games, and has been outscored by a combined 45-10 in the last two contests…Southern Illinois is ranked third in the Mid-Major Coaches Poll, trailing only Butler and Gonzaga…Randal Falker was a career 53.6 percent free-throw shooter entering the season, but has made 26-of-32 free throws (81.3 percent) this season.

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