Game Particulars: Indiana (10-1) vs. Chicago State (4-11)
The Hoosiers play for just the third time in the last 21 days tonight when they host Chicago State at Assembly Hall at 7 p.m. Indiana figures to have an easy time of it against Chicago State, which has dropped all 10 of its road games entering tonight's match-up. One of those losses was a 33-point setback to Michigan State last month, which was one of six 20-point plus losses for Chicago State thus far this season.
IU is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who is in his second year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 31-12 record in Bloomington and a 486-269 career mark. Chicago State, meanwhile, is coached by Benjy Taylor, who in his first season as a head coach. Taylor most recently worked as an assistant coach at Tulane landing his first head coaching job.
The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network with Mel Proctor (play-by-play) and John Laskowski (color commentary) calling the match-up.
Indiana 2007-08 Schedule
Chicago State 2007-08 Schedule
Indiana Hoosiers (10-1)
PG- Armon Bassett (6-1, 176, So.) – 11.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.5 apg, 45.9% FG shooting
SG- Eric Gordon (6-4, 205, Fr.) – 23.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.7 spg, 45.3% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Jamarcus Ellis (6-5, 210, Jr.) 8.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 4.7 apg, 45.6% FG shooting
F – Lance Stemler (6-8, 210, Sr.) 6.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.0 apg, 33.3% FG shooting
F – D.J. White (6-9, 230, Sr.) – 16.0 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 66% FG shooting
Chicago State (4-11)
PG- David Holston (5-8, 160, Jr.) – 22.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 4.5 apg, 43.3% 3 pt. shooting
SG – Mike Wilson (6-1, 205, Jr.) – 3.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.9 apg, 33.3% 3 pt. shooting
WG – John Cantrell (6-2, 170, Jr.) – 16.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.1 apg, 50.2 % FG shooting
PF – Carl Montgomery (6-7, 210, Fr.) – 7.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 0.5 apg, 46.3% FG shooting
C- Chidozie Chukwumah (6-11, 225, Sr.) 6.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.6 bpg, 51.9% FG shooting
Indiana 2007-08 Statistics
Chicago State 2007-08 Statistics
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
How will the minutes be split up amongst IU's guards?– Kelvin Sampson said earlier this week Armon Bassett (team suspension) and A.J. Ratliff (ankle injury) were both expected to play this weekend, leaving him with five guards who figure to see plenty of time once Big Ten gets underway. This will mark the first time for IU fans to see just how the second-year IU coach plans to divvy those minutes up. While Saturday's game won't necessarily be a blueprint for what will unfold once Big Ten play gets underway, it should provide a hint at what the Hoosier coach is thinking. While some might think Ratliff would be worked back slowly into the rotation, this isn't a situation where he's been hurt. Other than the last week, Ratliff has been practicing with the team dating back to the start of practice in October, but hasn't been able to play due to academic ineligibility. With that in mind, there's no reason to think his conditioning would hold him back from playing 20-plus minutes today if that's what Sampson envisions for him.
What will the Hoosiers' defensive approach be now that they're nearly back to full strength? - With its depleted roster, Indiana has played more zone than it did a year ago in an effort to keep players a bit more fresh and out of foul trouble. With Bassett and Ratliff back this week, Sampson will have the bodies to be able to go with more full court pressure and man-to-man defense if he chooses to do so. This year's IU squad is a team that likes to push the pace when the opportunity presents itself, and that's most easily done by creating turnovers and forcing long rebounds on the defensive end. Indiana hasn't been able to do that as much in recent weeks with Ratliff, Bassett, Jordan Crawford and Eric Gordon sidelined at different times, but they'll be able to turn up the defensive pressure tonight. Chicago State averages 17.9 turnovers/game, so fastbreak opportunities could be plentiful and IU could very well challenge the 100-point barrier for fifth time this season.
What sort of job will Armon Bassett do on Chicago State point guard David Holston? - While this contest doesn't figure to be close, one of the more intriguing match-ups will be at point guard, where Bassett will return from a three-game suspension and be matched up against diminutive point guard David Holston. Holston is only 5-8 and 160 pounds, but averages 23.3 points and 4.4 assists per game while shooting 46.5 percent from behind the 3-point arc. Holston has scored in double figures in all 15 of Chicago State's games, including two games over 30 and six more over 20. While he's coming off a 2-of-13 shooting effort in a 20-point loss to Binghamton last Saturday, he figures to test Bassett in his first game back from suspension. If Holston is hot early Sampson has the option of going with one of his two top perimeter defenders – Gordon or Ratliff – instead, but the Hoosier coach would probably like to see Bassett show he can keep a high-scoring ball handler in check in stead.
"That Holston kid is really good. I think he scored 23 points against us last year. I watched them play against Michigan State last year - Chicago was ahead at halftime, and I think they led at the five-minute mark too. And I think their guard had 30-plus points, too." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson.
"Regardless of who we're playing, we have to play. So there will be a lot of emphasis on getting off to a good start on Saturday and playing a complete first half, then going to the locker room and trying to play a complete second half." - Sampson
"(on Eric Gordon's greatest strength) I think how he works every day in practice. He's getting better in different areas. He's such a great kid. We all like to see good things happen to people who really work at it. He can really score, he's becoming a better defensive player, but there's a lot of areas in his game that he's got to improve. He's got to become a better rebounder, he's got to cut down on turnovers. We see him every day - when you see someone every day, you have a tendency to look at areas that he can improve. His strength is that he has a lot of confidence when he has the ball in his hands and he can really score, but there's a lot of areas that Eric can continue to improve in." – Sampson
DID YOU KNOW
Chicago State is one of only 10 independent teams in Division I basketball…former IU basketball manager Scott Soprych is in his first year as an assistant coach at Chicago State. After graduating from IU in 2004, Soprych spent a couple of years at LSU as an administrative assistant, where he worked with former IU assistant head coach John Treloar…one player on Chicago State's roster who has seen his playing time dip significantly is Kevin Jones, Jr., who is averaging 4.0 points and 13.5 minutes/game. Jones averaged 27.1 minutes/game as a freshman, 30.2 as a sophomore and 25.2 as a junior while playing for his father, Kevin Jones. But Jones was fired in the off-season, and Jones' playing time has been on the decline ever since…In Jones' defense, he's reportedly been dealing with personal issues after a couple of altercations last season with former Cougar player Cam-Ron Clay, who was dismissed from the team after trying to fight the elder Jones at halftime of their game against Michigan State. In the days and months afterwards, Clay reportedly jumped Jones, Jr., on a couple of different occasions on the Chicago State campus.
Indiana vs. Chicago State Gameday
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