Indiana vs. Western Carolina Gameday

No. 13/14 Indiana (8-1) will once again be short-handed when it hosts Western Carolina (3-5) at 8 p.m. Saturday at Assembly Hall. While Eric Gordon is expected to return, the Hoosiers will be without the suspended Armon Bassett and could be missing Eli Holman and A.J. Ratliff as well…

Game Particulars: Indiana (8-1) vs. Western Carolina (3-5)
The question is so much who Indiana will be playing when it faces Southern Conference foe Western Carolina Saturday night, but who the Hoosiers will be able to play in the match-up. The Hoosiers are hopeful they'll have leading scorer Eric Gordon back from a hip/back contusion he suffered 12 days ago against Tennessee State, but they will be undoubtedly be without Armon Bassett, probably without Eli Holman, and possibly without A.J. Ratliff. Bassett is missing a second straight game due to an unspecified team violation, while Holman is likely out with a wrist injury. Ratliff is waiting on clearance to play after being ineligible first semester, but it's questionable whether everything will be in place since the semester just ended Friday.

IU is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who is in his second year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 29-12 record in Bloomington and a 484-269 career mark. Western Carolina, meanwhile, is coached by Larry Hunter, who in his 3rd year with the program and owns 27-42 mark. Hunter has also been the head coach at Ohio University and Wittenberg University owns a 536-266 career mark.

The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network with Mark Neely (play-by-play) and John Laskowski (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2007-08 Schedule

Western Carolina 2007-08 Schedule

Indiana Hoosiers (8-1)
PG- Jordan Crawford (6-4, 195, Fr.) – 13.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, 50.8% FG 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.) 8.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 4.3 apg, 43.3% FG shooting
F – Lance Stemler (6-8, 210, Sr.) 5.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.4 spg, 33.3% 3 pt. shooting
F – D.J. White (6-9, 230, Sr.) – 14.9 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.7 bpg, 62.2% FG shooting

Western Carolina (3-5)
PG- Michael Porrini (6-2, 185, Fr.) – 13.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 4.1 apg, 38.9% FG shooting
SG – Brandon Giles (6-6, 200, So.) – 12.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.4 apg, 46.2% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Jake Robinson (6-8, 205, So.) – 9.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 36.2% 3 pt. shooting
F – Arnold Gore (6-6, 210, Sr.) – 3.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 24.3% FG shooting
PF- Blake Gallagher (6-8, 240, Fr.) 6.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 70.8% FG shooting

Indiana 2007-08 Statistics

Western Carolina 2007-08 Statistics

Who's going through lay-up drills?– Approximately three hours before last week's game against Kentucky word began to spread that Eric Gordon wasn't going to be able to play due to a lower back contusion. Then, an hour later news leaked that Armon Bassett was going to miss the game as well due to a suspension for unspecified team rules violations. With the list of available IU players seemingly changing game by game, it's worth it to see who does in fact go through lay-up drills and is thus available to play Saturday. While no additional suspensions are expected, the players to watch are Gordon, A.J. Ratliff and Eli Holman. Ratliff could be back in uniform after being academically ineligible for the first semester. His availability depends on whether his grades have been reported and recorded in time for the 8 p.m. start. Holman, meanwhile, suffered a wrist injury in practice Wednesday and appears doubtful. As for Gordon, Sampson said Thursday he expects his leading scorer to play, but he said the same last Thursday and Gordon didn't practice all week or play against Kentucky. So in spite of Sampson's words, seeing will be believing Saturday night when it comes to Gordon's availability.

Can D.J. White make it six straight double-doubles? - After starting slow in the season's first three games, D.J. White has been dominant as of late. He became the first IU player ever to win back-to-back Big Ten Player of the Week honors last week (the award has been given out since the 1981-82 season) and he's recorded five straight double-doubles. During the last five games White has averaged 17.8 points and 12.4 rebounds, and his teammates have made a concerted effort to get him the ball in the paint. The only thing that might stop White from making it six straight it Kelvin Sampson. Indiana figures to have its way with Western Carolina, and this game might prove to be a contest where DeAndre Thomas and Mike White get significant minutes and D.J. White takes a bit of a rest back, particularly if IU jumps out big early.

How will Western Carolina's young backcourt respond to the Assembly Hall environment? - Western Carolina will enter this game with a couple of young backcourt starters in freshman point guard Michael Porrini and sophomore Brandon Giles. While it will be a tough task for this duo to hold the high-scoring IU backcourt of Eric Gordon and Jordan Crawford in check, their toughest responsibility might be protecting the ball and keeping the Hoosiers from producing a slew of fastbreak opportunities. After averaging 19.5 turnovers in its first four games Western Carolina has cut that down to just 11.5 in the last four contests, and they'll need to keep that turnover total down if it has any hope of keeping this game from getting ugly early.

"This is a tough match-up for us….there will be teams in our league that play like Western with four guards and one post, and we're going to have to try to match up with them." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson.

"It's going to be really hard to tell about this team fully until we get everyone back…but everything that's happened to us has been positive." - Sampson

"The toughest thing about having new guys is chemistry. That's always a tough thing – chemistry. That's always a tough thing. It's not magical. There are some teams in the country that have no chemistry right now, for whatever reason. I've had teams, great kids, high-character kids, that didn't have great chemistry. But this team has really good chemistry." – D.J. White on the contributions of Mike White

Western Carolina forward Jake Robinson has attempted 66 shots this season, and 58 have been behind the 3-point arc (87.8 percent). The IU players with the highest percentage of 3-point attempts are Lance Stemler (24 out of 40) and Brandon McGee (6 out of 10), who are both at 60 percent …Western Carolina lost its top player from a year ago, Nick Aldridge, when he quit the team after six games. An All-Southern Conference pick as a freshman a year ago, Aldridge was averaging 18.8 points and 5.2 before leaving the team…D.J. White averaged 6.8 shots/game in the season's first four games, but has seem his shot attempts climb to 11.0/game in the last five contests. As a result, White has seen his scoring go from 11.2 in the first four games to 17.8 in the last five…Indiana's homecourt winning streak has reached 23 games, ranking fourth in the nation behind Memphis (36), BYU (35) and Notre Dame (25). It's also the fourth longest homecourt winning streak in Assembly Hall history…Ohio Coach Larry Hunter coached Ohio University's 1994 team that went 25-8 and lost to Indiana in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Top Stories