Game Particulars: Indiana (20-3/9-1) vs. Wisconsin (19-4/9-2)
With a tough two-game road stretch behind them, the Hoosiers now embark on a critical three-game homestand against the other three top teams in the conference standings. The stretch starts with a rematch against Wisconsin, a team that handed the Hoosiers their only loss of the conference season, 62-49, two weeks ago in Madison. From there Indiana will welcome Michigan State to Bloomington over the weekend, followed by a big showdown with first-place Purdue next Tuesday.
IU is coached by Kelvin Sampson, who is in his second year as Indiana's head coach and owns a 41-14 record in Bloomington and a 496-271 career mark. Wisconsin, meanwhile, is coached by Bo Ryan, who is now in his seventh year in Madison and owns a 161-59 mark. Ryan is in his 24th year as a head coach overall and owns a 544-162 mark.
The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network with Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and Shon Morris (color commentary) calling the match-up.
Indiana 2007-08 Schedule
Wisconsin 2007-08 Schedule
Indiana Hoosiers (20-3/9-1)
PG- Armon Bassett(6-1, 176, So.) – 10.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.1 apg, 46.6% 3 pt. shooting
SG- Eric Gordon (6-4, 205, Fr.) – 21.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.3 spg, 41.1% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Jamarcus Ellis (6-5, 210, Jr.) - 7.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 4.1 apg, 41.2% FG shooting
F – Lance Stemler (6-8, 210, Sr.) - 4.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 33.3% 3 pt. shooting
F – D.J. White (6-9, 230, Sr.) – 17.6 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 1.8 bpg, 62% FG shooting
Wisconsin Badgers (19-4/9-2)
PG- Travon Hughes (6-0, 193, So.) – 13.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.7 apg, 2.3 spg, 36.3% 3 pt. shooting
SG – Michael Flowers (6-2, 183, Sr.) – 9.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.1 apg, 38.8% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Joe Krabbenhoft (6-7, 220, Jr.) – 7.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 51.3% FG shooting
PF – Marcus Landry (6-7, 222, Jr.) – 11.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 39.3% 3 pt. shooting
C- Brian Butch (6-11, 235, Sr.) 12.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 0.8 bpg, 44.6% FG shooting
Indiana 2007-08 Statistics
Wisconsin 2007-08 Statistics
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Can Indiana do a better job of neutralizing Joe Krabbenhoft?– Krabbenoft attempted only three shots and scored only six points in the first meeting between these two teams, but still had a huge impact on the game's outcome. The Badgers' high-energy small forward finished with a team-high 12 rebounds – including six on the offense end – and added a team-high five assists as well. His work on the offensive glass helped the Badgers to a 21-13 edge in second-chance points in the contest. While Travon Hughes and Bruch Butch probably get more press than Krabbenhoft, this 6-7, 220-pound junior is the ‘glue' player for Coach Bo Ryan's team, often coming up with a key rebound or an important putback basket to give his team a lift. That was very much he case in the match-up in Madison, and it will be up to Hoosier small forward Jamarcus Ellis to keep Krabbenhoft in check this time around.
Will someone other than D.J. White and Eric Gordon provide some offensive punch? - During the last four games D.J. White is averaging 21.3 points/game and Eric Gordon is averaging 19.2 per outing, but the rest of the squad has gone cold. Armon Bassett is only 9-of-33 (27.2 percent) during the stretch, Lance Stemler is only 4-of-19 (21 percent) and the entire supporting cast is just 38-of-126 (30.1 percent). As the Hoosiers embark on a three-game stretch that could determine their Big Ten championship fate, they need to get some more consistent productivity out of the other players on the roster. In three out of the last four games White and Gordon have been the only IU players to score in double figures, and someone else needs to provide some more offensive punch.
Were Gordon's struggles in Madison a result of his wrist injury or the Badgers' defense? - The first time these two teams met was the first game after Eric Gordon suffered a left wrist injury in practice that forced him to start wearing a wrap and padding. Gordon clearly struggled against the Badgers, scoring 16 points and committing three turnovers in 36 minutes. Ten of those points came to kick off IU's 17-2 second-half that got the Hoosiers back in the contest, but for the most part Gordon was held in check in Madison. Gordon's wrist remains bandaged but it also appears to be in much better shape than it was two weeks ago, so it will be interesting to see if Gordon has a great deal more success going up against Michael Flowers than he did the first time out. Flowers is considered one of the league's best perimeter defenders and figures to draw the Gordon assignment most of the evening.
Does Indiana have someone who can match-up with Marcus Landry? Another one of Wisconsin's unheralded players, Landry scored 14 points and added 11 rebounds in the Badgers' 62-49 win in Madison. He's a tough match-up for any of IU's ‘4s' since he's capable of playing with his back to the basket or stepping out and shooting from behind the 3-point arc. The problem might not be as daunting as it was last time, though, since the Hoosiers appear to have decided that zone is going to be their defense of choice. If Wisconsin struggles from 3-point range like they did in Madison – they missed 17 of 20 attempts – Indiana figures to stay in the zone for most of the contest. But if the Badgers start knocking down some shots like Illinois did last week it might force Sampson's team to go back to man-to-man, and Landry would be a tough match-up for Kyle Taber or Lance Stemler.
"This was an important week for us, two road games in the Big Ten, two tough venues against two really good teams. I think our team is coming together, we're progressing as a unit. We've been slow to develop. Now that we're hitting a really tough stretch of our season, it's good to see our kids playing better now." – Kelvin Sampson
"I play man-to-man with zone principles, and have been doing it ever since the early 70s and going to a Bob Knight clinic in Valley Forge, Pa…it's the idea of always trying to get five guys to play against three, which means you have two guys in zone areas, and it's called help. You can do with your other three that are on the ball and one pass away, you can do different things with them." – Wisconsin Coach Bo Ryan
"(on Eric Gordon) He's taking it to the basket stronger. I thought he did that (Sunday against Ohio State) and he did it against Illinois. One of the things Eric does great is when he decides to go, he goes strong. He'll attack the basket fearlessly…he still doesn't go to his left as well as he did before the injury, but I think he's blocked that out." – IU Coach Kelvin Sampson
DID YOU KNOW
Wisconsin leads the nation defensively, allowing teams to score only 54.1 points/game. The Badgers held IU to a season-low 49 points Jan. 31 in Madison…Bo Ryan's Badger teams have won at least 19 games in each of his seven seasons. Before he took over the program, Wisconsin had only four 19-win seasons in the 103 years of the program…Wisconsin has a 2-2 record against teams ranked in the nation's top 15, having defeated both IU and Texas. Indiana, meanwhile, is 0-2 against top-15 teams (lost to Xavier and Wisconsin)…Marcus Landry is UW's leading scorer since Big Ten play opened, averaging 12.8 points/game…Brian Butch has made 7-of-11 3-pointers during the last five games after making just 3-of-32 on the season heading into that stretch…with IU's win over Ohio State, Kelvin Sampson secured a 20 wins for the 11th consecutive season, making him one of only two coaches to accomplish that feat (Duke's Mike Krzyzewski).
Indiana vs. Wisconsin Gameday
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