Indiana vs. Kentucky Gameday

One of college basketball's biggest rivalries lacks its usual national significance, but there's still plenty at stake when Indiana and Kentucky face off this afternoon at 4 p.m. For the third straight year the game will be played on one of the two schools' campuses instead of the neutral site setting the game enjoyed for 15 years…

Game Particulars: Indiana (5-4) vs. Kentucky (6-3)
Two of college basketball's most storied programs renew their annual rivalry this afternoon at Rupp Arena on the Lexington campus. This marks the 52nd match-up for the two programs, which have combined for 12 national championships (Kentucky-7, Indiana-5). The Wildcats lead the all-time series 28-23, including an 11-3 mark in the last 14 meetings. The Hoosiers haven't beaten Kentucky in the Bluegrass State in 20 years, last accomplishing the feat in 1988, 75-52. But IU did whip the Wildcats in Bloomington last fall, 70-51.

IU is coached by Tom Crean, who is in his first year as Indiana's head coach and 10th year overall. Crean owns a 195-100 career mark and led Marquette to the NCAA Tournament five times. Kentucky, meanwhile, is coached Billy Gillispie, who is in his second year at UK and seventh year overall. Gillispie has compiled a 124-74 career mark and a 24-16 record at UK.

The game will be televised by CBS with Verne Lundquist (play-by-play) and Greg Anthony (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2008-09 Schedule

UK 2008-09 Schedule

Indiana (5-4)
PG- Daniel Moore (5-11, 167, Fr.) – 4.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.2 spg, 40.7% FG shooting
SG- Devan Dumes (6-2, 188, Jr.) – 13.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.6 apg, 28.1% 3 pt. shooting
WG - Nick Williams (6-4, 211, Fr.) – 8.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.2 spg, 47.1% FG shooting
F – Kyle Taber (6-8, 220, Sr.) – 3.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.1 spg, 51.9% FG shooting
PF – Tom Pritchard (6-9, 242, Fr.) – 14.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 59.2% FG shooting

Kentucky (6-3)
PG- Michael Porter (6-3, 198, Jr.) – 3.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.1 apg, 27.8% 3 pt. shooting
SG – Jodie Meeks (6-4, 208, Jr.) – 22.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.7 apg, 36.2% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Kevin Galloway (6-7, 215, Jr.) – 0.7 ppg, 0.8 rpg, 1.1 apg, 20% FG shooting
F – Perry Stevenson (6-9, 207, Jr.) – 6.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.1 bpg, 47.2% FG shooting
PF – Patrick Patterson (6-9, 235, So.) – 18.2 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 3.0 apg, 72.5% FG shooting

Indiana 2008-09 Final Statistics

Kentucky 2008-09 Statistics

What sort of gameplan will Indiana have to keep Patrick Patterson in check? – The Hoosiers have gone up against some very good big men in their first nine games, but the Wildcats' Patterson might prove to be the biggest challenge of them all. While he's not as big as Notre Dame's Luke Harangody or as good of a shotblocker as Saint Joseph's Ahmad Nivins, he figures to give IU fits this afternoon. Patterson establishes position deep on the block and uses a jump hook or turnaround jumper to finish around the basket. He also moves well without the ball and fills a lane on the break and finishes with authority there as well. He's shooting 72.5 percent from the floor (66-of-91) this season, so it's obvious that the Wildcat sophomore doesn't take too many ill-advised shots. Indiana doesn't have any big men that can match-up with Patterson one-on-one, so expect to see IU collapse on him when he touches the ball and try to make UK do its damage from the perimeter.

Can Indiana stay in the game early on? - The Hoosiers have already played three ranked teams this season, and this will mark their sixth game away from Assembly Hall in the season's first 10 games. But those experiences aren't enough to fully prepare Tom Crean's young squad for what it's going to face on Saturday at Rupp Arena. More than 20,000 fans will be in attendance, and Big Blue fans won't be overly sympathetic toward Indiana's unproven squad. That figures to produce the season's most hostile environment to date, and Indiana's challenge will be to withstand that highly-charged atmosphere early on. Crean's team managed to do that recently against both Wake Forest and Gonzaga, and it will need to be up to the challenge again on Saturday if it wants to have any chance of keeping it close in the second half. Avoiding turnovers and taking high-quality shots will be imperative early on for the Hoosiers.

Will Kentucky's depth be too much for the Hoosiers to deal with? - On paper the Wildcats appear to be a two-man operation with Patrick Patterson and Jodie Meeks doing most of the heavy lifting. But Gillispie's team has some nice options to turn to off the bench. Freshmen Darius Miller (4.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.0 apg) and DeAndre Liggins (7.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.8 apg) both average more than 20 minutes per game, while former IU recruiting target Josh Harrellson chips in 5.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in nearly 15 minutes per game. The biggest concern for the Hoosiers is probably Liggins, a 6'6", 202-pound point guard who leads the team in assists. Liggins is averaging 14.7 points and 4.7 assists in his last three games, and he would have a huge size advantage against IU point guard Daniel Moore, a situation that might prompt the Hoosiers to play a little more zone to try to neutralize that advantage.

How many 3-pointers can Indiana force Kentucky to launch – If Kentucky hoists a 3-point attempt on an offensive possession, that's probably a victory in Tom Crean's book. Considering how good Patterson is on the block and how adept Meeks is at getting to the free-throw line, the Hoosiers will be happy to take their chances with UK bombing away from behind the 3-point arc. Kentucky is shooting at only a 31.1 percent clip from deep this season, and Meeks (25-of-69) is the only player whose made more than five 3-pointers. In Kentucky's three losses this season it is 8-of-51 from deep, and IU's chances of an upset rely on the Wildcats struggling from the perimeter that badly once again.

Kentucky player Ramon Harris had his neck brace removed on Friday, but he isn't expected to play against IU. The Wildcats' third-leading scorer (8.7 ppg) was injured Dec. 3 when he collided with teammate Michael Porter and has missed the last two games…Jodie Meeks' 22.9 points/game ranks him 11th nationally in scoring…Crean was responsible for bouncing Kentucky out of the NCAA Tournament a year ago, as his Marquette squad whipped the Wildcats 74-66…Kentucky averaged 23.0 turnovers/game in November, but it has trimmed that to 14.7 in December. Indiana averaged 18.5 turnovers/game in November, but that number has risen to 23.3/game in its three December contests…Kentucky ranks first all-time with 1,972 wins, while Indiana comes in at No. 10 with 1,640 victories…Kentucky ranks fifth nationally in blocked shots (7.4/game) and has reached double figures in blocks four times…Indiana has attempted more free throws than each of its first nine opponents. IU is 137-203 at the free-throw line thus far, compared to 91-145 for its opponents…Nick Williams continues to lead the team in deflections (56), followed by Daniel Moore (53), Devan Dumes (47) and Kyle Taber (44).

"I think this rivalry will continue to grow because Billy (Gillispie) gets results, he gets things done. He runs a very strong program. I'd like to think as we get better and get older and more experienced and are able to put some recruiting classes behind this and build it, that we'll be a part of that great rivalry base just like all the other teams that have played here." – Tom Crean

"I don't try to let the sun go down on someone thinking I'm down on them. We'll be demanding in practice and in games…the bottom line is everyone has to understand that they have a role. It really doesn't matter what that role is, as long as you do the very best with it." – Crean

"We're starting to get better at rebounding the ball, but that's because we're starting to understand that if we don't get into somebody's body every time we don't have a chance." – Crean

"(on Daniel Moore shooting more) I think the most important thing is for him to feel comfortable with what he's doing. The worst thing to do is try to speed somebody up when they're not ready to be at that pace (with his shooting). He works very hard at his shooting, and he's improved a great deal with that…there will be a point where he gets that comfort level, but right now for us to try to force that or make him feel pressure that way, I don't want to do that. I think that would be bad pressure." – Crean

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