Indiana vs. UConn Gameday

No. 7/8 Indiana (17-1/6-0) takes a break from Big Ten play when it faces Jim Calhoun's UConn Huskies (13-5/4-3 Big East) Saturday at 1 p.m. at Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers will be putting their 12-game winning streak on the line along with their 29-game homecourt winning streak …

Game Particulars: Indiana (17-1/6-0) vs. Connecticut (13-5/4-3)
Indiana begins a very difficult three-week stretch of games Saturday when it hosts traditional Big East power Connecticut at 1 p.m. at Assembly Hall. This marks the fourth consecutive season the Hoosiers have faced the Huskies, with UConn wining two of those meetings. Indiana won the match-up a year ago, knocking UConn 77-73 behind 23 points from Roderick Wilmont and 21 from D.J. White. IU Coach Kelvin Sampson, meanwhile, will going head-to-head with Calhoun for the sixth time in the last seven years. Sampson is 4-1 in those match-ups, including a 3-1 mark when he was still at Oklahoma.

IU is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who is in his second year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 38-12 record in Bloomington and a 493-269 career mark. Connectuct, meanwhile, is coached by Jim Calhoun, who in his 22nd year at the Storrs, Conn., school and owns a 515-196 mark. In 36 years overall, Calhoun is 763-333, which includes a 14-year stint at Northeastern University.

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

UConn 2007-08 Schedule

Indiana Hoosiers (17-1/6-0)
PG- Armon Bassett(6-1, 176, So.) – 10.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 3.0 apg, 52.5% 3 pt. shooting
SG- Eric Gordon (6-4, 205, Fr.) – 22.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.3 apg, 41.3% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Jamarcus Ellis (6-5, 210, Jr.) 8.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 4.7 apg, 1.5 spg, 43.9% FG shooting
F – Mike White (6-6, 232, Sr.) 3.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 40% FG shooting
F – D.J. White (6-9, 230, Sr.) – 17.1 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 1.7 bpg, 63.2% FG shooting

Connecticut (13-5/4-3 Big East)
PG- A.J. Price (6-2, 181, Jr.) – 14.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 6.2 apg, 39.7% 3 pt. shooting
SG – Jerome Dyson (6-4, 190, So.) – 14.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.0 spg, 32.9% 3 pt. shooting
WF – Stanley Robinson (6-9, 200, So.) – 10.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.6 bpg, 49.4% FG shooting
PF – Jeff Adrien (6-7, 243, Jr.) – 14.4 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 50% FG shooting
C- Hasheem Thabeet (7-3, 263, So.) 11.1 ppg, 7.6 ppg, 3.9 bpg, 61.6% FG shooting

Indiana 2007-08 Statistics

UConn 2007-08 Statistics

How will D.J. White look to score against Hasheen Thabeet?– D.J. White is among the nation's most statistically productive big men with 17.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, but he'll have his hands full trying to score against the 7'3" Thabeet. Generally, White looks to get the ball in the paint and either back his man down or shoot over them, but he'll be hard pressed doing that against the nation's leading shot blocker. With that in mind, White might look to step away from the basket more often than normal, where he can use his rapidly-improving mid-range jump shot to score against Thabeet. If White does venture away from the basket and lure Thabeet with him, that will also free up Eric Gordon, Jamarcus Ellis and Armon Bassett to attack off the dribble and either get to the rim or to the free-throw line.

What sort of effort will the Hoosiers get from Mike White and DeAndre Thomas? - IU Coach Kelvin Sampson has utilized a variety of players at the ‘4' this season, but he'll be counting on solid efforts from Mike White and DeAndre Thomas Saturday. UConn is a rarity in that it plays three legitimate big men in Thabeet, 6'7", 243-pound Jeff Adrien and 6'9", 200-pound Stanley Robinson. That will likely leave Jamarcus Ellis matched up against the versatile Robinson, and White and Thomas left to tangle with the Huskies' leading scorer, Adrien. Adrien is an active, physical player and would be a very difficult match-up for Lance Stemler. Stemler only played six minutes in last year's game against UConn, and he figures to play a limited role against Saturday. By contrast, White had one of his games of the season a year ago against Connecticut, scoring eight points and pulling down four rebounds in 32 minutes. While he might not play 30 minutes Saturday, it's foreseeable that Mike White and Thomas could combine for 40-45 minutes against the Huskies' physical frontline. They'll need to play well if the Hoosiers want to keep their homecourt winning streak in tact.

Will Indiana be hot or cold from behind the 3-point arc? - The presence of three legitimate shot blockers on the UConn frontline has forced Huskie opponents to launch nearly 1/3 of their shots (295 of 889) from behind the 3-point arc. While Indiana hasn't relied on the 3-point shot like it did a year ago, it will likely rely on the 3-point shot more on Saturday than it has in recent weeks. The good news for IU is that as good as UConn has been defensively – it ranks seventh nationally in field goal percentage defense (37.6%) and first nationally in blocks (9.1/game) – it has allowed foes to 37.1 percent from 3-point range. That percentage is far worse in the five games the Huskies have lost, as those five teams have combined to make 48-of-104 3-point attempts (46.2 percent), compared to 33.9 percent in UConn's 13 wins. Nine of UConn's opponents have made at least 10 3-pointers this season, and each of the Huskies' last four foes have made double-digit 3-pointers.

How are the officials calling the game?While Indiana won't recklessly attack the rim Saturday, it won't abandon its strategy of being aggressive off the dribble and getting to the rim. But IU's perimeter players are going to run into some big roadblocks in Thabeet, Adrien and Robinson, and the officials will likely set the tone early in regards to how the game will be called. The Hoosiers are hoping contact will result in a whistle, trips to the foul line, and ultimately foul trouble for UConn's big men. But if the officials are letting them play, that figures to help the Huskies.

"Guys like Hasheem Thabeet and the big (Roy) Hibbert kid from Georgetown, there just aren't a lot of guys like that anymore. I know Thabeet thought about going out early last year; for Connecticut I hope he stays but reality is he probably won't. The Hibbert kid probably could have gone out last year, but probably will this year. When you get a good big one today, they just don't stay very long. It is unique. But I think Jim and his staff have done a great job with developing him too. And give Hasheem credit for being smart enough to know what the right decision was. You just don't play against a lot of centers. Thabeet sets up his tent in the lane and that is where he stays."." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson

"Of course, you always want to play against the top competition. UConn is a team that is getting better and better. They were young last year and we went into their place and got a win, so I know they are probably eager to come in here and do the same. It should be a good matchup and I'm looking forward to the game." – IU senior D.J. White

"I would say this week is one of the toughest parts of our schedule. UConn will be a big test for us because of their athletic ability and their size. They are bigger than us and it will be a good challenge." – IU freshman Eric Gordon

Indiana is the fourth ranked team UConn has faced this season, and the Huskies are 1-3 in those games (L to Memphis, Gonzaga and Georgetown; W vs. Marquette)…UConn point guard A.J. Price is averaging 19.8 points/game against ranked teams, compared to 14.0 in all games…Jim Calhoun ranks 12th in all-time Division I coaching wins (763) and is fourth among active coaches (behind Bob Knight, Eddie Sutton and Jim Boeheim)…Hasheem Thabeet needs five blocks to climb to fourth on UConn's all-time list behind only Emeka Okafor, Donyell Marshall and Josh Boone…Thabeet has blocked at least five shots in six games this season, including a career-high tying 10 against Notre Dame…UConn averages 80.9 points/game (ranks 19th nationally), and Indiana has surrendered 80 points only once this season (in its 80-65 loss to Xavier). Top Stories