Game Particulars: Indiana (6-19/1-12) vs. Purdue (20-6/9-4)
One of college basketball's best rivalries gets renewed at 2 p.m. this afternoon when Indiana travels to West Lafayette to take on the 19th-ranked Boilermakers. While Indiana has won six of the last seven in this series, this game appears to be a huge mismatch on paper. Purdue enters the game having won nine of its last 11 to move within one game of Michigan State for the Big Ten lead. Indiana, meanwhile, has already established a new school record for most losses in a season and has yet to win a road game this season.
IU is coached by Tom Crean, who is in his first year as Indiana's head coach and 10th year overall. Crean owns a 196-115 career mark and led Marquette to the NCAA Tournament five times. Purdue, meanwhile, is coached by Matt Painter, who is in his fourth year with the Boilers and fifth year overall. Painter owns a 75-46 mark at Purdue and a 100-51 mark overall.
The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network with Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and Jim Jackson (color commentary) calling the match-up.
Indiana 2008-09 Schedule
Purdue 2008-09 Schedule
PG- Verdell Jones (6-5, 176, Fr.) – 9.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.3 apg, 40.2% FG shooting
SG – Devan Dumes (6-2, 188, Jr.) - 13.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.4 apg, 38.0% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Matt Roth (6-3, 186, Fr.) – 6.8 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 39.7% 3 pt. shooting
PF- Kyle Taber (6-8, 220, Sr.) – 3.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.0 spg, 48.2% FG shooting
C – Tom Pritchard (6-9, 242, Fr.) – 10.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 0.9 bpg, 49.7% FG shooting
Purdue (20-6/9-4 Big Ten)
PG- Lewis Jackson (5-9, 165, Fr.) – 5.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.4 apg, 47.2% FG shooting
SG – E'Twaun Moore (6-4, 188, So.) – 13.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.9 apg, 31.8% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Chris Kramer (6-3, 207, Jr.) – 4.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.3 apg, 2.0 spg, 44.3% FG shooting
SF – Keaton Grant (6-4, 208, Jr.) – 7.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.1 apg, 33.9% 3 pt. shooting
PF – JaJuan Johnson (6-10, 215, So.) – 13.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.3 bpg, 56.8% FG shooting
Indiana 2008-09 Statistics
Purdue 2008-09 Statistics
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
How limited will Matt Roth be, and what can he do to get some more shots? – It appears likely that Roth will play against Purdue after leaving the Wisconsin game late after taking a shot to the ribs. His availability would be big for Tom Crean's team, but even more important is Roth's ability to find ways to get open and get off some shots. One of the team's primary scorers during the last three weeks, Roth missed his only two attempts against Wisconsin and was scoreless in 28 minutes. His challenge will be to find ways to get open. Roth isn't a player who's going to create many shots on his own, so he has to be better at working off screens and being ready to catch and shoot when his teammates find him. Every Big Ten team knows about Roth's shooting ability, so his window of opportunity to get his shot off will be minimal. Roth will need to work harder to get open and be more aggressive offensively, because Indiana can't stay close if he isn't contributing offensively.
Will the news on Robbie Hummel's status inspire or deflate the Boilermakers? - The Lafayette Journal and Courier reported Friday that Hummel could be done for the season due to the hairline fracture to the L-5 vertebrae that has limited him for much of the season. In its story the Lafayette newspaper reported that Hummel's injury has worsened following his 11-point, 25-minute effort in Tuesday night's win over Big Ten frontrunner Michigan State. While Purdue has managed to stay in the nation's top 25 and in Big Ten title contention while Hummel has been limited, the prospects of him being out for the year delivers a huge blow to their chances of catching Michigan State for the conference title or of getting past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. The first five minutes of today's game should reveal whether the news has knocked the team on its heels a bit, or if it's going to serve as a rallying point for the team as it gears up for the regular season's stretch run.
Can Indiana slow the game down and turn this into a halfcourt contest? - If the Hoosiers are going to give themselves a chance, they are going to need to make Purdue beat them in the halfcourt. With Robbie Hummel likely out of this contest, Purdue will most likely start four guards and try to pressure the ball, create turnovers, and generate some fast-break opportunities to put the Hoosiers away early. Indiana's challenge will be to try to mirror what Iowa did last weekend when it committed only eight turnovers against Purdue and kept the contest in the 40s before eventually falling 49-45 in Iowa City. If Indiana comes anywhere close to the 18 turnovers it is averaging in Big Ten games, this game will get out-of-hand quickly.
"In watching them play, the greatest compliment I can give to Purdue is that they remind me of our best Marquette teams – relentless pressure on offense and defense." – IU Coach Tom Crean
"As a traditionalist of sports…I've always looked forward to (rivalry games). It means a lot. Even last night, I might have been the coach at Indiana, but I didn't feel any different than if I was the coach at Marquette getting ready to play Wisconsin. That's why those losses cut deep." – Crean
"I'm looking forward to this. It's been a great rivalry for many, many years. It's one of the greatest national landscape rivalries in all of college sports, and I'm looking forward to years of it." – Crean
"Verdell is making progress. We have to get the same level on defense with guarding the dribble at the point of attack and all those things, but he's improving. He's showing very, very strong improvement, whether you look at it monthly, weekly, however you want to look at it. He's getting better." – Crean
"Our whole focus right now is we have to understand their personnel. We have to understand their speed. Their break is fantastic. It's very much like Michigan State's break. They create so many things off their defense, but we have to stay focused on what we need to do. This is not a game where we're going to be so locked into everything they do, because it will get us away from some of the things we have to do – take care of the basketball, reverse the ball, our block outs have to be there." – Crean
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