Game Particulars: Indiana (7-1) vs. Kentucky (4-2)
After a six-game home stand to start the season, Kentucky and first-year Coach Billy Gillispie travel to Bloomington, Ind., to take on No. 15 Indiana at Assembly Hall. This marks the first time since 1990 that Kentucky has played in Bloomington, dating back to when second-year Wildcat coach Rick Pitino brought his team to Bloomington and fell to Bob Knight's Hoosiers, 87-84. Indiana, which has lost 10 of its last 13 to Kentucky, will be trying to extend its homecourt winning streak to 22.
IU is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who is in his second year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 28-12 record in Bloomington and a 483-269 career mark. Kentuckky, meanwhile, is coached by Billy Gillispie, who in his 1st year with the Wildcats and sixth year overall. Gillispie owns a 104-60 career mark, but was 0-4 against Sampson when the two were in the Big 12 together from 2005-06.
The game will be televised by CBS with Verne Lundquist (play-by-play) and Billy Packer (color commentary) calling the match-up.
Indiana 2007-08 Schedule
Kentucky 2007-08 Schedule
Indiana Hoosiers (7-1)
PG- Armon Bassett (6-1, 176, So.) – 11.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.5 apg, 45.9% 3 pt. shooting
SG- Eric Gordon (6-4, 205, Fr.) – 24.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.6 spg, 50% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Jamarcus Ellis (6-5, 210, Jr.) 8.4 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 4.3 apg, 42.3% FG shooting
F – Lance Stemler (6-8, 210, Sr.) 5.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 36.4% 3 pt. shooting
F – D.J. White (6-9, 230, Sr.) – 14.8 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.8 bpg, 63.4% FG Shooting
Kentucky Wildcats (4-2)
PG- Ramel Bradley (6-2, 191, Sr.) – 14.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.7 apg, 46.4% 3 pt. shooting
SG – Michael Porter (6-2, 190, So.) – 1.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 28.6% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Joe Crawford (6-5, 207, Sr.) – 18.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 31.4% 3 pt. shooting
F – Mark Coury (6-8, 238, So.) – 3.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 47.4% FG shooting
PF- Patrick Patterson (6-8, 232, Fr.) 16.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.8 bpg, 63.5% FG shooting
Indiana 2007-08 Statistics
Kentucky 2007-08 Statistics
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
How will the D.J. White vs. Patrick Patterson match-up unfold?– Indiana fans are well aware of the abilities of its top newcomer, Eric Gordon. Gordon has led the Hoosiers in scoring in six out of seven games, and he entered the week ranked second nationally in scoring. But Kentucky has its own phenomenal freshman as well in Patrick Patterson. A spring signee who didn't pledge to the Wildcats until after Gillispie took over, Patterson has been dominant. After scoring just four points in 13 minutes in the team's season opener against Central Arkansas, Patterson has averaged 18.8 points, 10 rebounds and nearly 35 minutes per game in the last five outings. He's also been a force on the offensive glass, averaging four offensive rebounds in the last five games as well. He got the best of North Carolina All-American Tyler Hansbrough in a recent head-to-head matchup (Patterson had 19 points and nine rebounds; Hansbrough 14-11), so it's obvious D.J. White will have his hands full trying to contain the newcomer.
What kind of contributions will each team get from their bench? - Indiana welcomes back its top scoring reserve, Jordan Crawford, for the Kentucky match-up. Crawford was averaging 12.6 points and 25.0 minutes/game before missing the last three games due to a team suspension. His return gives the Hoosiers a bona fide scoring threat off the bench, something its lacked in the last three outings (IU's reserves were outscored 50-28 in those contests). Mike White, meanwhile, is coming off an 11-point, eight-rebound, 30-minute effort against Tennessee State and will be the team's top contributor up front. Kentucky, meanwhile, is facing its own depth issues due to the injuries to Jodie Meeks and Derrick Jasper, plus the uncertain status of freshman Alex Legion. Jasper was a starter a year ago but has been out since June following microfracture knee surgery. Meeks, meanwhile, has missed the last four games and is out until later this month with a stress fracture in the pelvic area. The only thing clear about Legion's status is that he won't play against IU. Legion requested a release from UK earlier this week and then backed off that request, but it's unclear if he'll be allowed back on the team down the road. That leaves Kentucky with only two reliable reserves - forwards A.J. Stewart and Perry Stevenson. Sophomore Ramon Harris – who is coming off a stress fracture in his left foot – is the top backcourt reserve.
What kind of job will Jamarcus Ellis do on Joe Crawford? - The Hoosiers will have a couple of different options in defending Joe Crawford, but the most likely player to draw the assignment is Ellis. If Ellis can keep Crawford from having a big afternoon, the Hoosiers should be in good shape. While Crawford's offensive production has been more consistent this year than in past seasons, he can still go from red hot to ice cold in a hurry. He's scored 20 points in four of UK's games, and he's shooting 35-of-64 in those contests. But in the other two games he's averaged just 7.5 points while shooting 6-of-22. One thing Ellis and the Hoosiers can count on is that Crawford will get up his shots. He's attempted at least 10 shots in all six games, and he's launched at least eight 3-pointers in three of UK's last four games. He's only a 31 percent 3-point shooter this season and 34 percent for his career, but he can get on a run and hurt foes from behind the arc.
Exactly how much will Eric Gordon play? - Despite rumors to the contrary, IU Coach Kelvin Sampson said Eric Gordon will play against the Wildcats Saturday. He said Gordon won't be 100 percent, but insisted he will return to the court after missing the second half of the Tennessee State game due to an apparent hip/back injury. If that does in fact happen, the next question is…how much will Gordon play? Gordon was limited in Wednesday's practice, and it's unclear how much he practiced the last two days. Before being injured Gordon had played all 40 minutes in the previous two games and it's a pretty good bet that number will drop significantly against Kentucky. The return of Jordan Crawford makes that a more viable option as well, and the Hoosiers don't want to slow Gordon's recovery by over-extending him in a non-conference game.
"We have similarities, we both like going to the hole a lot. He is physical and uses that to bump guards off of him. I have to use my speed to get around guards. We both can shoot, but I think he likes the three more than me." – Jordan Crawford on the match-up against his brother, Joe.
"He is athletic, a very good player. He is averaging around 16 points, so that is going to be a good matchup. We'll just try to be physical with him, and we'll see what happens from there." – D.J. White on UK's standout freshman Patrick Patterson
"With Mike back, it has been a help to us and a help to me, especially on the defensive end. At times I was guarding the four-man, now I'm back under the goal where I'm kind of comfortable, where I can rebound better, I can block shots, I can be a presence on the defensive end. I think we enjoy playing with each other." – D.J. White on the contributions of Mike White
"Indiana-Kentucky is a lot like Notre Dame-Southern California in football. These are both great programs with rich traditions and I think that is what drives college basketball. These are games that fans of both schools circle early on their calendars. I know the players look forward to it. We had a really good game last year in Lexington and I anticipate having another really good game here in Bloomington. I think kids at this level take pride in their performances. And as a coach you want every game to be a big game for them." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson
DID YOU KNOW…
According to the Bloomington Herald-Times, Indiana and Kentucky will once again play at campus sites in each of the next two seasons. The HT reported Kentucky will host the match-up in 2008, and the two will square off again at Assembly Hall in 2009…Kentucky hasn't won in Assembly Hall since 1980…the Wildcats ranks sixth nationally in field goal percentage defense, limiting foes to 34.4 percent shooting from the field. Gardner-Webb shot a surprising 53.1 percent while stunning the Wildcats 84-68 at Rupp a couple of weeks ago, but IU's other five foes have all shot less than 43 percent from the floor…Kentucky is averaging 16.3 turnovers/game, including 21.0 in the last two games (23 vs. Stony Brook, 19 vs. North Carolina)…Armon Bassett had arguably his worst game of the season against UK a year ago, going scoreless in 25 minutes on 0-of-4 shooting…D.J. White scored a then career-high 23 points against Kentucky last season on 10-of-19 shooting. The rest of the team, though, was 12-of-53 from the floor in the 54-51 loss…Eric Gordon scored at least 30 points in three of IU's first four games, becoming only the second IU freshman to ever score 30 or more three times in his debut season (Mike Woodson)…D.J. White and Jamarcus Ellis have combined for seven double-doubles in the last four games.
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