Indiana vs. Penn State Gameday

The Hoosiers head to University Park, Penn., for the regular season finale when they face Penn State at the Bryce Jordan Center. Indiana is trying wrap up the No. 2 seed in next week's Big Ten tourney, while Penn State is hoping to win its fifth straight Big Ten home game and improve to 15-15…

Game Particulars: Indiana (25-5/14-3) vs. Penn State (14-15/6-11)
Indiana needs a victory to secure the No. 2 seed in next week's Big Ten tourney, but to get it the Hoosiers will need to top a Penn State team that has won its last four Big Ten home games (Michigan State, Illinois, Iowa and Michigan). It's also Senior Day in Happy Valley, as Penn State says goodbye to a trio of seniors – Brandon Hassell, Mike Walker and Geary Claxton. The Nittany Lions will have the motivation of not only trying to get a win for the outgoing senior class, but also because the Lions can secure a .500 regular season with a win and keep their NIT hopes alive.

IU is coached by Dan Dakich, who took over for Kelvin Sampson two weeks ago. Dakich is 3-1 at IU and 159-141 in 10-plus seasons as a head coach. Penn State, meanwhile, is coached by Ed DeChellis, who is 56-91 in five years at Penn State and 161-184 in 12 seasons overall.

The game will be televised by ESPN with Dave O'Brien (play-by-play) and Bob Valvano (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2007-08 Schedule

Penn State 2007-08 Schedule

PROBABLE STARTERS
Indiana Hoosiers (25-5/14-3)
PG- Armon Bassett(6-1, 176, So.) – 11.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.2 apg, 47.7% 3 pt. shooting
SG- Eric Gordon (6-4, 205, Fr.) – 21.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.3 spg, 36.7% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Jamarcus Ellis (6-5, 210, Jr.) – 7.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 3.5 apg, 40.9% FG shooting
F – Lance Stemler (6-8, 210, Sr.) - 4.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 0.8 spg, 31.3% 3 pt. shooting
F – D.J. White (6-9, 230, Sr.) – 17.0 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 1.6 bpg, 60.6% FG shooting

Penn State Nittany Lions (14-15/6-11)
PG- Talor Battle (5-11, 160, Fr.) – 10.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.0 apg, 29.6% 3 pt. shooting
SG – Stanley Pringle (6-1, 180, Jr.) – 6.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.3 apg, 40.3% 3 pt. shooting
SF – David Jackson (6-6, 205, Fr.) – 5.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 0.5 apg, 39.6% FG shooting
PF – Jamelle Cornley (6-5, 240, Jr.) – 12.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.8 apg, 50.6% FG shooting
C- Andrew Jones (6-9, 240, Fr.) 3.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 51.9% FG shooting

Indiana 2007-08 Statistics

Penn State 2007-08 Statistics



WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Will Jamelle Cornley be ready to go, and how effective will he be?– Penn State leading scorer and rebound Jamelle Cornley didn't make the trip to Madison, Wis., last week for the Nittany Lions' 77-41 loss to the Badgers. Cornley, who has dealt with a slew of injuries this season, stayed home to nurse a sore knee. The 6-5, 240-pound junior is expected to be able to go against Indiana, but he figures to be far short of 100 percent. That should help the Hoosiers quite a bit, as they have had trouble matching up with him in the past. He's an undersized power forward at just 6-5, but he's physical enough to establish position in the paint and athletic enough to find ways to score. He had 19 points and seven rebounds in IU's victory in Bloomington in January, and he averaged 15 points/game in the two contests with the Hoosiers last season. If Indiana decides to play man-to-man it will likely fall to Lance Stemler to defend Cornley, and that's a decided mismatch in the Lions' favor.

Can Indiana start to develop some consistency on the defensive end? - If Indiana wants to be a force to be reckoned with in the postseason, it needs to start playing better on the defensive end. After a solid effort in Wednesday's 69-55 win over Minnesota, Indiana needs to back that up with a second straight solid effort against the Lions. While the offensive skills of Eric Gordon and D.J. White have often masked some of the team's shortcomings on defense, they'll be exposed against good teams now that March has arrived. A couple of players who have had problems defensively are Stemler and sixth-man Jordan Crawford. Stemler doesn't have the quickness or size to match up with offensive-mind ‘4s'. Crawford is an extremely gifted offensive player, but can get lost at times on defense and chooses to gamble at others. It's a problem that was there long before Dan Dakich took over, and one that prompted a switch to zone earlier in the Big Ten season. But Indiana's zone has been abused by a couple of past foes, so that doesn't appear to be solution, either. Whether Indiana opts to go man-to-man, zone, or a combination of the two, it needs to show it can come up with defensive stops when it needs them.

Will Indiana opt to go with Eric Gordon on Talor Battle from the outset? - Penn State doesn't have any idea what it's going to get from freshman point guard Talor Battle on the nightly basis. Sometimes he can be really good – such as his 20-point, 7-of-12 shooting effort at IU in January or his 28-point, 10-of-13 shooting effort against Michigan last week. But he can also be really bad, such as his zero-point, 0-of-8 shooting effort at Minnesota a couple of weeks ago. The one thing that is certain, though, is if Penn State is going to top the Hoosiers for just the fourth time in 30 career meetings, Battle is going to need to play well. His hot 3-point shooting kept the Lions close in Bloomington in January, a contest that IU couldn't pull away until late. What Dakich might choose to do is put his best perimeter defender, Gordon, on him from the outset. Gordon's late defensive effort on Minnesota's Lawrence McKenzie helped IU win Wednesday, and he might get the nods from the outset Sunday.

QUOTABLES
"Our guys need to be able to see teams do bounce back. They bounced back (after the loss at Michigan State), they should expect Penn State to bounce back (from a 36-point loss to Wisconsin)." – IU Coach Dan Dakich

"I know we need to be ready to play. The score didn't really indicate it…but I thought we were ready to play against Minnesota." – Dan Dakich

"He shut out McKenzie and he made every freakin' free throw and every basket down the stretch, and with a broken wrist. If that's not going, I don't know what going is." – Dakich on Gordon's performance against Minnesota

"When you lose a guy who is your best player or one of your best two to three players…there are two things – there is the on-the court adjustment to playing…rotation of the players, who picks up the minutes, who picks up the scoring. But there's also the mental part of it." – Dan Dakich


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