Game Particulars: Indiana (6-15/1-8) vs. Michigan State (18-4/8-2)
After ending its 11-game losing streak Wednesday with a 68-60 win over Iowa, Indiana looks to bring a halt to an even longer losing streak this afternoon. The Hoosiers face Big Ten front-runner Michigan State at the Breslin Center, a venue that has been extremely unkind to Hoosier teams over the years. Indiana hasn't won in East Lansing since 1991 - a span of 18 years and 14 games – and Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo has never lost to Indiana on his home court. It's a daunting challenge for the Hoosiers and Coach Tom Crean, who was an assistant coach on Izzo's staff from 1995-99.
IU is coached by Tom Crean, who is in his first year as Indiana's head coach and 10th year overall. Crean owns a 196-111 career mark and led Marquette to the NCAA Tournament five times. Michigan State, meanwhile, is coached by Tom Izzo, who is in his 14th year with the Spartans and owns a 323-134 career mark.
The game will be televised by ESPN with Dave O'Brien (play-by-play) and Bob Wenzel (color commentary) calling the match-up.
Indiana 2008-09 Schedule
Michigan State 2008-09 Schedule
PG- Verdell Jones (6-5, 176, Fr.) – 8.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.2 apg, 39.4% FG shooting
SG – Devan Dumes (6-2, 195, Jr.) – 14.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.4 apg, 39.5% 3 pt. shooting
WG - Nick Williams (6-4, 211, Fr.) – 8.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.0 spg, 42.9% FG shooting
PF- Kyle Taber (6-8, 220, Sr.) – 4.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.2 spg, 48.7% FG shooting
C – Tom Pritchard (6-9, 242, Fr.) – 11.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 0.9 spg, 50.6% FG shooting
Michigan State (18-4/8-2 Big Ten)
PG- Kalin Lucas (6-0, 180, So.) – 15.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 5.0 apg, 39.7% 3 pt. shooting
SG – Travis Walton (6-2, 190, Sr.) – 6.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.3 apg, 46.0% FG shooting
WG – Durrell Summers (6-4, 195, So.) – 10.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 0.8 apg, 44.3% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Delvon Roe (6-8, 225, Fr.) – 5.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.0 apg, 54.3% FG shooting
PF – Goran Suton (6-10, 245, Sr.) – 9.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.4 apg, 57.3% FG shooting
Indiana 2008-09 Statistics
Michigan State 2008-09 Statistics
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Will Raymar Morgan play at all? – Preaseason first-team All Big Ten choice Raymar Morgan has played only 11 combined minutes in the Spartans' last three games due to a case of walking pneumonia. While that might appear to enhance the Hoosiers' chances of pulling off an upset, Morgan didn't play at all in Michigan State's last game and the Spartans still managed to hand Minnesota a 29-point beating. With Morgan out of the lineup, Izzo has turned to sophomore Durrell Summers, and the 6'4" sophomore has responded in a very big way. Summers is averaging 19.3 points/game in his last four contests and is 12-of-24 from behind the 3-point arc. He's scored at least 20 points in three of the last four games, including a 21-point, 8-of-10 shooting performance against the Gophers earlier in the week. While the Spartans aren't as good of a rebounding squad without Morgan on the floor, Summers gives them another perimeter shooting threat to go along with Kalin Lucas and Kalin Lucas and Chris Allen.
Will Indiana have any luck limiting the Spartans' fastbreak opportunities? - There aren't many players in the country that are more dangerous in transition than MSU sophomore guard Kalin Lucas. Whether it's via a turnover or a long rebound, Lucas will look to attack Indiana's transition defense at every opportunity, and taking those fastbreak chances away is critical if the Hoosiers hope to keep this game in the 50s or 60s – which they have to do to have a chance. The absence of Raymar Morgan makes the Spartans' transition game a little less formidable than it is with him on the floor, but Lucas is still capable of either finishing himself or kicking the ball out to either Summers or Allen for looks from behind the 3-point arc. If Michigan State comes anywhere close to matching the 21 fastbreak points it put up against Minnesota Wednesday, it will be a long afternoon for the Hoosiers.
Can Indiana holds its own on the boards? - Indiana has out-rebounded all but one of its Big Ten foes this season, but it will face its toughest test today with the Spartans. Tom Izzo's teams have traditionally been one of the nation's best on the backboards, and this year is no different. Michigan State leads the nation in rebound margin (+10.6), and the Spartans have out-rebounded their last 12 opponents. The biggest area of concern is on the offensive glass, where Michigan State averages a Big Ten-best 14.59 rebounds. That translates into 42.3 percent of their missed shots, and Indiana can't afford to give the Spartans anywhere close to that number of second looks. The biggest assignment will fall to Tom Pritchard, who has to keep Goran Suton from dominating the glass. But Kyle Taber will have his own challenge as he tries to match-up with athletic freshman forward Delvon Roe.
"The biggest thing in this game is there isn't a better fast break in America. North Carolina's is probably right there in the conversation, but there's not a fast break like Michigan State's right now. We can prepare all we want, and we do work on transition defense every day, but they have seen nothing like what we will see tomorrow. We've got to be fearful of what's going to happen if we don't get back." – IU Coach Tom Crean
"Tom is doing a great job when you look at how far that team has come…we still talk a lot, yet it's a difficult situation and it will be on Saturday. But it is what it is, we played a couple of years ago in the tournament and that was no fun. But once it's over it's over, and we both understand the jobs we have and what we have to do." – Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo
"We've got to get up there and have to shut everything out as much as we can, except having conversations with one another. It's not like you are going to ignore it (the crowd noise), but you have to do your best to work through it." – Crean
"He's usually one of the first people I hear from after a game. He's been incredibly supportive. We still talk about everything and compare notes. That will never change. It will be a great challenge to play against his team…it will be a great match-up for us to try to figure out a way to slow them down to try to compete with them." – Crean
"When you battle with someone, it's a different feeling…you want nothing more than for them to be successful. Other than the times we play (Michigan State), other than the times we play (Izzo), I want the man to be successful. And I know he feels the same way about me and us. You're very lucky if you can have a couple of friendships that transcend your job. I've learned a lot about that. When you have that you want to hang onto that, and that's what we've got." - Crean
Indiana vs. Michigan State Gameday
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