Game Particulars: Indiana (15-1/4-0) vs. Penn State (10-6/2-2)
Indiana kicks off a three-game homestand when it hosts a Penn State team that recently suffered a crippling blow – the loss of All-Big Ten forward Geary Claxton. Claxton. Claxton tore the ACL in his left knee in the opening minutes of Tuesday's loss to Wisconsin, and the Lions are now forced to find a way to replace his team-leading 17.5 points and 8.4 rebounds/game. On Sunday, the Lions will get a chance to see what redshirt freshman David Jackson and true freshman Jeff Brooks can do in an expanded role now that Claxton's career has come to a close. Indiana, meanwhile, will try to do a better job of protecting the ball after committing 26 turnovers in Thursday's 65-60 win at Minnesota.
IU is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who is in his second year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 36-12 record in Bloomington and a 491-269 career mark. Penn State, meanwhile, is coached by Ed DeChellis. DeChellis owns a 52-82 record in five seasons at PSU and a 157-175 mark in 11-plus seasons overall.
The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network with Paul Alexander (play-by-play) and John Laskowski (color commentary) calling the match-up.
Indiana 2007-08 Schedule
Penn State 2007-08 Schedule
Indiana Hoosiers (15-1/4-0)
PG- Armon Bassett(6-1, 176, So.) – 9.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 3.1 apg, 47.1% 3 pt. shooting
SG- Eric Gordon (6-4, 205, Fr.) – 22.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.2 apg, 42.1% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Jamarcus Ellis (6-5, 210, Jr.) 7.6 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 4.5 apg, 1.3 spg, 43.8% FG shooting
F – Mike White (6-6, 232, Sr.) 4.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 40.5% FG shooting
F – D.J. White (6-9, 230, Sr.) – 16.6 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 62.7% FG shooting
Penn State Nittany Lions (10-6/2-2)
PG- Talor Battle (5-11, 160, Fr.) – 8.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.1 apg, 22.8% 3 pt. shooting
SG – Danny Morrissey (6-3, 190, Jr.) – 8.1 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.6 apg, 36.5% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Jeff Brooks (6-8, 205, Fr.) – 2.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.8 apg, 42.6% FG shooting
PF – Jamelle Cornley (6-5, 240, Jr.) – 12.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.1 apg, 52.9% FG shooting
C- Brandon Hassell (6-11, 240, Sr.) 3.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 0.6 apg, 46.8% FG shooting
Indiana 2007-08 Statistics
Penn State 2007-08 Statistics
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
What kind of job can Mike White do Jamelle Cornley?– With Claxton lost for the season, the 6-5, 240-pound Cornley goes from a solid scoring sidekick to the No. 1 option for DeChellis' team. Cornley is a player who does the majority of his damage in the paint, and his size makes him a good match-up for the 6-6, 232-pound Mike White. While the Hoosiers could opt to use D.J. White on Cornley at time, Coach Kelvin Sampson would probably prefer to use Mike White instead. Another player who could see some more minutes is DeAndre Thomas, the Hoosiers' 6-8, 300-pound forward who can also bang with Cornley. Cornley has been playing some of his best basketball as of late, averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds since Big Ten play opened. For Penn State to have any chance of keeping this game close it will need a huge game from Cornley, and it will be up to Mike White to keep that from happening.
Can Indiana do a better job of limiting its turnovers? - Many came away from Thursday's win at Minnesota trying to figure out how the Hoosiers emerged victorious. Sure they had a decided rebounding advantage and executed down the stretch, but the Hoosiers also committed a staggering 26 turnovers against the Golden Gophers. Improving that number figures to a point of emphasis Sunday. Indiana won't have to cope with the end-to-end pressure that Minnesota applies, but Sampson figures to be keeping a close eye on the careless turnovers that plagued his team Thursday as well. Many of IU's turnovers earlier in the week were a result of Minnesota's pressure, but a good number was also caused by careless passes and players, in general, not being strong with the ball. That probably wouldn't cost the Hoosiers Sunday, but with a huge Jan. 31 match-up looming at Wisconsin, the Hoosiers need to remedy a turnover problem that surfaced at Minnesota.
How many 3-pointers will the Hoosiers drop on the Lions? - Ed DeChellis' teams generally play zone defenses, which frees teams for plenty of good looks from behind the 3-point arc. Last season Indiana attempted 34 3-pointers in the win at Penn State and then 32 more in its victory at home, marking the season's two highest single-game totals for 3-point attempts. Indiana hasn't relied on the 3-pointer nearly as much as it did a year ago, but it has plenty of capable 3-point shooters in Eric Gordon, Armon Bassett, Lance Stemler, A.J. Ratliff and Jordan Crawford. One of the biggest beneficiaries of the Nittany Lions' defensive approach last season was Ratliff, who was a combined 10-of-14 on 3-pointers. Ratliff scored 32 points in the two games in a total of just 36 minutes, so the Hoosier senior could be poised for his first big scoring day of the season.
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