Game Particulars: Indiana (6-23/1-16) vs. Wisconsin (18-11/9-8)
With losses in 19 of their last 20 games, the Hoosiers go on the road to face Wisconsin in the regular season finale at 7 p.m. at the Kohl Center. While Indiana has already guaranteed itself the 11th seed in next week's Big Ten tourney, this game carries plenty of significance for the Badgers. With a win, Wisconsin will earn a first-round bye in the Big Ten Tournament as either the No. 4 or No. 5 seed. It's also a must-have victory as the Badgers continue to jockey for both a spot and seed in the NCAA Tournament. Indiana will be without leading scorer Devan Dumes, who has been ruled out after reaggravating a knee injury in Tuesday's 64-59 loss to Michigan State.
IU is coached by Crean, who is in his first year as Indiana's head coach and 10th year overall. Crean owns a 196-119 career mark and led Marquette to the NCAA Tournament five times. Wisconsin, meanwhile, is coached by Bo Ryan, who is in his 8th year with the Badgers and 25th year overall. Ryan owns a 191-71 mark at Wisconsin and a 574-174 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
Wisconsin 2008-09 Schedule
PG- Verdell Jones (6-5, 176, Fr.) – 10.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.7 apg, 42.3% FG shooting
SG – Matt Roth (6-3, 185, Fr.) - 6.9 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 0.4 apg, 37.4% 3 pt. shooting
WG - Nick Williams (6-4, 211, Fr.) – 8.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 0.7 apg, 44.9% FG shooting
PF- Kyle Taber (6-8, 220, Sr.) – 4.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.0 apg, 50% FG shooting
C – Tom Pritchard (6-9, 242, Fr.) – 9.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 0.8 bpg, 49.8% FG shooting
Wisconsin (18-11/9-8 Big Ten)
PG- Trevon Hughes (6-0, 193, Jr.) – 12.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.9 apg, 37.7% 3 pt. shooting
SG – Jason Bohannon (6-2, 198, Jr.) – 10.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.7 apg, 36.8% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Joe Krabbenhoft (6-7, 219, Sr.) – 8.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.6 apg, 49.4% FG shooting
SF – Jon Leuer (6-10, 225, So.) – 9.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.8 apg, 30.4% 3 pt. shooting
PF – Marcus Landry (6-7, 230, Sr.) – 12.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.2 bpg, 40.0% 3 pt. shooting
Indiana 2008-09 Statistics
Wisconsin 2008-09 Statistics
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Can Indiana continue to be efficient from behind the 3-point arc? – The last time these two teams met, Indiana made a season-low two 3-pointers on its way to a 68-51 setback to the Badgers at Assembly Hall. Tom Crean's team will have to be better from deep today if it hopes to once again be competitive against an NCAA Tournament caliber team. With Devan Dumes out of the game due to a knee injury, that means that IU will be looking to Matt Roth and Malik Story to provide some punch from deep. Roth was a non-factor in the first meeting between these two teams, attempting only two shots in 28 minutes and going scoreless. Badger guard Jason Bohannon – not necessarily thought of as an elite perimeter defender – prevented Roth from getting any clean catch-and-shoot opportunities. Roth will have to be better at coming off screens, at looking for his shot, and at knocking them down with some consistency if his team is going to have a chance this evening.
What will be the variety of defensive looks that Indiana will throw at Wisconsin? - With Devan Dumes out Indiana is missing not only its leading scorer, but also its best perimeter defender. So how will Indiana look to defend a Badger team that has five starters who are all capable of shooting from behind the 3-point arc? Expect to see Indiana rotate defenses in an effort to keep Coach Bo Ryan's team out of its comfort zone. While Tom Crean would prefer to play primarily man-to-man, the ability of both Leuer and Landry to score in the paint or from behind the 3-point arc makes it a tough assignment on Pritchard and Taber to play them man-to-man all evening. While Indiana's Verdell Jones has continued to improve all Big Ten season, he'll be hard pressed to stay in front of Trevon Hughes when he looks to get in the lane and either finish or create for his teammates.
Can Indiana stay in the game early? - For the second straight road game, the Hoosiers are once again presented with the challenge of trying to spring an upset on the opposing team's Senior Night. With Landry and Krabbenhoft among the Badger players who will be playing their last home games at the Kohl Center and with the Badgers playing for a first-round bye in the Big Ten Tournament, Ryan's team figures to come out with plenty of emotion early on. Indiana needs to be able to withstand that early on, stay in the game, and try to give itself a chance in the second half.
"Your goal this time of year is to make sure every practice you have is the best one of the year, and then come back and try to top it the next day. That's how you prepare for the postseason, and that's the mentality you want to have going into it." – IU Coach Tom Crean
"Brett Finkelmeier is earning his way into those minutes. He's not playing just because we feel like it. He's playing because he's earning his way in. I'd think this summer will really start that competition process in a good way." – Crean
"(Wisconsin has) balance. Inside/outside balance, guard/forward balance. They know what they want to do at both ends of the floor. They've been in a lot of tough games…the one thing that Bo has always had is excellent leadership from his upperclassmen, and Marcus Landry and Joe Krabbenhoft certainly show that." – Crean
Indiana vs. Wisconsin Gameday
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