Indiana vs. Northwestern Gameday

An Indiana men's basketball team hasn't lost 10 in a row since 1944, but that's the situation the Hoosiers will find themselves in if they can't upset Northwestern Wednesday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena. HoosierNation.com previews Wednesday night's game, which tips off at 8:30 p.m…

Game Particulars: Indiana (5-13/0-6) at Northwestern (10-7/2-5)
The Hoosiers get another crack at picking up their first Big Ten win of the season Wednesday when they travel to Evanston, Ill., for a 8:30 p.m. match-up with Northwestern. The Hoosiers have won five in a row against the Wildcats – including two in a row in Evanston – but they'll have their work cut out for them this season. Northwestern picked up back-to-back wins over ranked teams for the first time in school history recently (Minnesota, Michigan State), and forward Kevin Coble was recently tabbed as the Big Ten Player of the Week.

IU is coached by Tom Crean, who is in his first year as Indiana's head coach and 10th year overall. Crean owns a 195-109 career mark and led Marquette to the NCAA Tournament five times. Northwestern, meanwhile, is coached by Bill Carmody, who is in his ninth year with the Wildcats and 13th year overall. Carmody owns a 113-142 mark at Northwestern and a 205-166 mark overall.

The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network with Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and Steve Smith (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2008-09 Schedule

Northwestern 2008-09 Schedule

PROBABLE STARTERS
Indiana (5-13/0-6)
PG- Verdell Jones (6-5, 176, Fr.) – 8.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.6 apg, 40% FG shooting
SG – Devan Dumes (6-2, 195, Jr.) – 12.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.5 apg, 34.6% 3 pt. shooting
WG - Nick Williams (6-4, 211, Fr.) – 8.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.0 spg, 42.5% FG shooting
PF- Kyle Taber (6-8, 220, Sr.) – 4.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.9 apg, 46.2% FG shooting
C – Tom Pritchard (6-9, 242, Fr.) – 12.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.0 bpg, 51.9% FG shooting

Northwestern (10-7/2-5 Big Ten)
PG- Michael Thompson (5-10, 182, So.) – 10.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.6 apg, 41.8% 3 pt. shooting
SG – Craig Moore (6-3, 185, Sr.) 13.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.8 apg, 41.8% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Kevin Coble (6-8, 210, Jr.) – 15.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.5 apg, 37.7% 3 pt. shooting
PF – John Shurma (6-8, 210, Fr.) 7.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.2 apg, 35.1% 3 pt. shooting
C – Kyle Rowley (7-0, 280, Fr.) – 4.1 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 13.1 mpg, 51.8% FG shooting

Indiana 2008-09 Statistics

Northwestern 2008-09 Statistics

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Can Indiana limit Northwestern's easy baskets? –The Wildcats love to create easy scoring opportunities from both their offense and their defense. Offensively they play a style that is unique to the Big Ten, running countless backcuts that produce plenty of lay-ups against either unsuspecting or over-aggressive defenders. Defensively, their 1-3-1 zone can produce its fair share of turnovers and potential fastbreak scoring opportunities. Top reserve Jeremy Nash doesn't start, but he can give foes fits with his play at the top of that 1-3-1 where he'll be applying on-the-ball pressure as soon as IU's guards cross halfcourt. Indiana can't allow the Wildcats to pile up the easy buckets if it hopes to have a chance to come away with its first road victory of the season. Indiana spent the last couple of days practicing 5-on-7 in an effort to ready itself for the Wildcats' defense and to hopefully minimize the miscues that have plagued plenty of the Wildcats' other foes this season.

What will Indiana get from Malik Story? - A non-factor for most of the Big Ten season, Story made a huge impact off the bench against Minnesota, matching his season-high of 14 points in 22 minutes. It marked the first time that Story had scored in double figures since scoring 14 against Gonzaga, and he remained on the floor down the stretch in crunch time as IU tried to overtake the Gophers. The question now becomes whether Sunday's effort was a blip on the radar or a sign that Story is going to be a consistent contributor off the bench. If he plays with the "sense of urgency" that Crean has been looking for from him Story can be a huge contributor. He gives IU another 3-point threat, and his combination of size and mobility would come in handy against versatile big men such as Northwestern's Kevin Coble. Wednesday night's game will reveal a lot about whether Story will get back to being a 15-20 minute/game top reserve or not.

How does Indiana opt to defend Kevin Coble? - The recently-tabbed Big Ten Player of the Week has scored 72 points in his last three games, including 31 in the win at Michigan State. Coble is an inside-outside big man who is also getting to the free-throw much more as of late. The Hoosiers' gameplan figures to be to start with Nick Williams on him, but a handful of players could get a crack at trying to slow him down as well. Malik Story, Kyle Taber and even Devan Dumes could draw the assignment of keeping him under wraps at different points Wednesday night. He'll be a tough assignment for any of them, but the Hoosiers can't afford to allow Coble to have a fourth-straight 20-point outing. If that happens, the odds of the Hoosiers winning a third straight at Welsh-Ryan Arena would appear to be remote.

QUOTABLES
"The bottom line is you have to be locked into all five of their players…there's really no one you can look at and say, ‘okay, we can back off on him, we can not guard this guy that way.' You have to guard them. They have three of the better perimeter players in this league." – IU Coach Tom Crean

"Seven-on-five is intense – it's definitely crazy. Once we went back to five people back out there it was a lot easier. It really makes you take care of the ball, and that's what we have to do is cut down on our turnovers." – senior forward Kyle Taber

"When you look at Coble, there might not be anyone better (in the league) at being an all-around player right now, as far as scoring from 3, scoring from mid-range, or scoring at the rim." – Crean

"I think (my teammates) have done well with (preparing for Northwestern's offense). We're trying to do some things differently to really shut down the back-cut game. But once you get out there, it's a whole different thing because they know their offense a lot better than our scout team. They cut really hard, so we have to be prepared for how hard they cut." –Taber

"There's a lot of room for improvement, and we've had two very good days of trying to get that improvement. That's all we can really focus on right now, that everyday we're better than we were the day before. For the last couple of weeks we've been that way, and hopefully that's going to transfer to a game pretty quick." – Crean

NOTABLES The last time IU traveled to Northwestern was Dan Dakich's debut game after Kelvin Sampson's exit, and the Hoosiers prevailed 85-82 despite 37 points from Coble…Devan Dumes is shooting 44.8 percent from 3-point range during Big Ten play compared to his 30.8 percent success rate during non-conference play… Indiana has won the rebounding battle in all six of its Big Ten games, while Northwestern has been out-rebounded in nine straight games. That includes some huge rebounding deficits against Big Ten foes Michigan (-19), Michigan State (-16), Purdue (-16), Wisconsin (-14), Michigan State (-19) and Penn State (-22)…Kevin Coble needs seven points to become the 28th Northwestern player to score 1,000 career points…in Northwestern's last two games, Coble, Craig Moore and Michigan Thompson have combined to take 84 of 107 field goal attempts…Northwestern's two conference wins equals their best effort from the last two seasons. The Wildcats were a combined 3-31 in Big Ten play over the last two years, going 2-14 in 2006-07 and 1-17 last year.

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