Indiana vs. Illinois Gameday

In a game pitting a pair of teams headed in opposite directions, No. 10/11 Indiana (13-1/2-0) hosts Illinois (8-8/0-3) at 4:30 p.m. at Assembly Hall. With a win, the Hoosiers would win their 10th in a row and move into a tie with Wisconsin for first-place in the Big Ten. Illinois, meanwhile, has dropped four in a row and is trying to win its first Big Ten game of the season…

Game Particulars: Indiana (13-1/2-0) vs. Illinois (8-8/0-3)
Indiana looks for its tenth straight win and its 27th consecutive victory at home Sunday when it hosts Illinois in one of its most highly-anticipated games of the year. This is a match-up of two teams on opposite ends of the Big Ten standings, but it's a game that features a captivating storyline – Eric Gordon vs. the Illini. IU's leading scorer had once intended to play for Illinois and Coach Bruce Weber, but backed out of that commitment and instead landed in Bloomington. That situation has resulted in a frosty relationship between the program's two head coaches, who will be meeting for the third time since it originally played out.

IU is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who is in his second year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 34-12 record in Bloomington and a 489-269 career mark. Illinois, meanwhile, is coached by Weber, who in his fifth season as the Illini head coach and 10th season overall. Weber owns a 120-36 mark in Champaign and a 223-90 career meark.

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

Illinois 2007-08 Schedule

PROBABLE STARTERS
Indiana Hoosiers (13-1/2-0)
PG- Jordan Crawford (6-4, 195, Fr..) – 13.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.7 apg, 48.7% FG shooting
SG- Eric Gordon (6-4, 205, Fr.) – 23.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.5 spg, 44.6% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Jamarcus Ellis (6-5, 210, Jr.) 8.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 4.7 apg, 45.6% FG shooting
F – Mike White (6-6, 232, Sr.) 4.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 38.2% FG shooting
F – D.J. White (6-9, 230, Sr.) – 16.7 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 63.5% FG shooting

Illinois Fighting Illini (8-8/0-3)
PG- Trent Meacham (6-2, 195, Jr.) – 10.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.6 apg, 38.1% 3 pt. shooting
SG – Demetri McCamey (6-3, 205, Fr.) – 6.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.4 apg, 27.1% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Calvin Brock (6-5, 195, Jr.) – 8.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.2 spg, 47.2% FG shooting
PF – Brian Randle (6-8, 220, Sr.) – 9.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.1 apg, 48.9% FG shooting
C- Shaun Pruitt (6-10, 245, Sr.) 12.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1. 0 apg, 51.3% FG shooting

Indiana 2007-08 Statistics

Illinois 2007-08 Statistics

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
How will Illinois go about defending Eric Gordon?– Eric Gordon is hard enough to defend, but Illinois' task will be that much harder if Chester Frazier is unable to play. Frazier is one of the perimeter defenders in the Big Ten, but he's doubtful with a strained back and rib cage. Frazier played 30 minutes with the injury in a recent loss to Wisconsin, but Illini Coach Bruce Weber said Friday he'd likely sit out against the Hoosiers. Without Frazier Illinois will likely turn to either Demetri McCamey or Calvin Brock to guard Gordon, and neither will give Gordon the sort of problems Frazier might have. McCamey doesn't have the quickness to keep up with Gordon, and Brock can't match Gordon's strength. The magnifying glass will likely be on Gordon for this match-up, and he'll have a chance to have a very big game against the Illini.

Can Illinois find someone who can make some shots to keep the game close? - What likely makes the loss of Gordon that much more painful for Weber and the Illini is the fact he's exactly what this team is missing. Illinois has some big bodies up front and some perimeter depth, but it doesn't have anyone who can consistently knock down shots from the perimeter. Illinois is shooting a dreadful 29.1 percent from 3-point range (last in the Big Ten) and only 42.9 percent overall. Other than Meachum's respectable 38.1 percent 3-point shooting, just about everyone else is dreadful from deep including McCamey (27.1 percent), Frazier (24.5 percent), Rodney Alexander (20.6 percent) and Brian Randle (23.8 percent). For Illinois to have a chance, it's going to need someone to knock down shot shots from outside to free up some room inside for Pruitt to work. Otherwise, the Illini appear headed to their fifth consecutive defeat.

What happens before the game and afterwards? - This game will be decided on the floor, but there will be a handful of interesting side stories to keep an eye on as well. A year ago Sampson and Weber had a less-than-warm greeting when the two teams met in during the regular season, and with Gordon on the floor this time around there's no reason to think they've made amends. It will also be interesting to see if Illinois' coaches shake hands with IU's players after the game, something they didn't do a season ago. But there's more to watch than just handshakes. The pre-game could provide a glimpse into whether or not Armon Bassett will be on the floor after missing the majority of the last two contests with bone chips in his ankle. Bassett did warm-up before Tuesday's game at Michigan, though, so if he does warm-up it's not a guarantee that he'll play.

Will Indiana continuing making its living at the free-throw line? Indiana is not only the best in the Big Ten at getting to the free-throw line, but its also the league's best when it gets there. IU has attempted 374 free throws, which is 39 more trips than anyone else in the conference. The Hoosiers also shoot 74.9 percent, which is just slightly better than Michigan State's 74.6 percent. Illinois, meanwhile, has a couple of players in Brian Randle and Shaun Pruitt who are no strangers to foul problems. Randle has already fouled out of four games and has picked up at least four fouls in 10 of Illinois' 16 games. Pruitt, isn't as foul prone as Randle, but he'll have to contend with D.J. White who ranks fourth in the Big Ten with 85 free-throw attempts.

QUOTABLES
"I know they are really talented and one of the top teams in the country. I know E.J. from high school, he's a tough player. They have a lot of good players that know their roles. They'll come out and play hard, and they'll be at home so they'll be real pumped up." – Illinois freshman Demetri McCamey

"It's going to be a hostile environment up there at Assembly Hall. They've had a great season so far, they're really talented, and we have our work cut out for us. But we're excited and we'll be ready to go." – Illinois junior Trent Meachum

"He's a great player, but I think the fans and everyone gets much more involved with that than we do. He's a great player, he's had a great season, but we're playing Indiana. It's not us against Eric Gordon, It's Illinois versus Indiana. They're a great team, so we'll have to be ready to go." – Meachum

"They're as good man-to-man defensively as there is in the conference, I think. And it starts with (Chester) Frazier. Frazier is just a tough, hard-nosed defender. I really like him...Frazier, (Trent) Meacham, (Calvin) Brock, Randle, Pruitt, all those guys are all veterans. They have been through the Big Ten." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson

DID YOU KNOW
With a win, Indiana will put together the program's first 10-game winning streak since 1992-93, when IU won 13 in a row. It would also marks the 22nd 10-game winning streak in school history…Eric Gordon is well within striking distance of the Big Ten's all-time record for scoring average by a freshman. Gordon is averaging 23.5 points/game, and the all-time mark is 24.1 points/game set by Purdue's Glenn Robinson in 1993…D.J. White is trying to become the 14th player in school history to average a double-double and just the second in the last 30 years (Alan Henderson, 1993-94 season). White is currently averaging 16.7 points and 10.9 rebounds…Eric Gordon is one of four players in the nation who has made at least 100 free throws. UNC's Tyler Hansbrough leads the way with 116, followed by Niagara's Charron Fisher (113), UTEP's Stefon Jackson (101) and Gordon (100)…Illinois owns a 17-17 record against ranked teams during the Bruce Weber era, but they are 0-3 this season (Duke, Arizona, Wisconsin)…Illinois' four-game losing streak marks the first time since 1999 that the Illini have lost that many in a row…Indiana is averaging a Big Ten-best 82.6 points/game, but the Illini haven't given up 80 points in its last 42 contests…In the last 2 ½ seasons, Brian Randle has fouled out of 17 games.

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