Indiana vs. Maryland Gameday

After cruising to three straight double-digit homecourt wins to open the season, Indiana gets its first big test at Assembly Hall tonight when it hosts Maryland at 7:30 p.m. Preseason All-ACC pick Greivis Vasquez leads the Terps, who have been off since going 1-2 at the Maui Invitational last week…

Game Particulars: Indiana (3-3) vs. Maryland (4-2)
The Big Ten/ACC Challenge is underway, and Indiana looks to do its part when it hosts Maryland at 7:30 p.m. at Assembly Hall. Many believe this year represents a chance for the Big Ten to post its first-ever win over the ACC in the 11th year of the event. The ACC has claimed the first 10 events, including a 6-5 edge a season ago. Indiana, meanwhile, is looking to improve on its 3-5 all-time mark in the Challenge. After starting 2-0 the Hoosiers have lost five out of their last six, with the lone exception being an 83-79 win over Georgia Tech in 2007. Indiana is 1-0 against Maryland in the event and 5-1 all-time against the Terrapins.

IU is coached by Tom Crean, who is in his second year as Indiana's head coach and 11th year overall. Crean owns a 199-124 career mark and led Marquette to the NCAA Tournament five times. Maryland, meanwhile, is coached by Gary Williams, who in his fourth 21st as the program's head coach and is in his 32nd year as a head coach overall. He's compiled an 629-359 career record, including a 422-231 mark at Maryland.

The game will be televised by ESPN2 with Sean McDonough (play-by-play) and Bill Raftery (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2009-10 Schedule

Maryland 2009-10 Schedule

PROBABLE STARTERS
Indiana (3-3)
PG- Jeremiah Rivers (6-5, 214, Jr.) – 8.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 4.8 apg, 36.6% FG shooting
SG- Verdell Jones (6-5, 183, So.) – 12.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.1 apg, 40.6% FG shooting
WG – Maurice Creek (6-5, 200, Fr.) – 16.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.7 spg, 46.7% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Christian Watford (6-9, 220, Fr.) – 12.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 42.6% FG shooting
PF – Tom Pritchard (6-9, 248, So.) – 5.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.1 spg, 63.2% FG shooting

Maryland (4-2)
PG – Greivis Vasquez (6-6, 200, Sr.) – 11.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 5.3 apg, 32.9% FG shooting
SG – Eric Hayes (6-4, 180, Sr.) – 11.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.7 apg, 48.1% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Sean Mosley (6-4, 210, So.) – 13.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.8 apg, 61.7% FG shooting
SF – Landon Milbourne (6-7, 205, Sr.) – 13.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 55.7% FG shooting
C- Jordan Williams (6-10, 260, Fr.) – 7.2 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 0.8 bpg, 44.7% FG shooting

Indiana 2009-10 Statistics

Maryland 2009-10 Statistics

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
What kind of performance will Greivis Vasquez turn in? – Maryland was ranked in the nation's top 25 two weeks ago, and a big reason for that was the return of two-time second-team All-ACC point guard Greivis Vasquez. But the Venezuela native hasn't been performing at an All-ACC level in the early going. After averaging 17.5 points/game as a junior, Vasquez failed to score in double figures in Maryland's first four games before scoring 18 and 19 in his final two games in the Maui Invitational. But even in those two outings – losses to Cincinnati and Maryland – Vasquez made only 11-of-30 shots and was 2-of-9 from behind the 3-point arc. He'll almost certainly be matched up against Jeremiah Rivers, Indiana's best perimeter defender. Rivers will be able to neutralize Vasquez's size, and can also be effective in keeping him from breaking down the Indiana defense. If Indiana can keep Vasquez from getting untracked and being the best player on the floor, then Tom Crean's team will have a chance to spring the upset.

Will Maryland dominate the points off turnovers? - One thing that Maryland has done extremely well this year is create turnovers with its pressure defense and minimize turnovers offensively. In six games Maryland has turned the ball over only 65 times (10.8/game), while they've forced nearly twice that number of turnovers (115) on the other end of the court. In contrast, Indiana has committed 100 turnovers in six games compared to its opponents' 113. Considering Indiana's preference for an up-tempo, fast-breaking style, it's a safe bet that Tom Crean's team won't be able to keep its turnovers to 10 or fewer like Maryland has done three times this season. But the Hoosiers can't afford to approach 20 turnovers if it wants to have a chance to upend the Terps. Primary ball handlers Jeremiah Rivers and Verdell Jones will have to be especially good in avoiding careless mistakes that squander offensive possessions.

Can Tom Pritchard stay on the floor against the Terps? - Tom Pritchard was Indiana's most pleasant surprise in the early going last season, posting double-doubles in his first two games while entering Big Ten play as the Hoosiers' leading scorer. The early portion of the schedule this season, though, has been a completely different story. Pritchard has started each of the first six games, but he's averaging only 5.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 17.5 minutes/game. Part of the reason for that drop off is the improved depth of the Hoosiers up front, but the biggest reason is Pritchard's inability to avoid early foul trouble. The sophomore big man has picked up three first half fouls three times this season, including in each of the last two games. Against both George Mason and Northwestern State, Pritchard had picked up two fouls before the first media timeout and battled foul trouble for the game's duration. Indiana is better able to absorb Pritchard's unavailability with the arrival of Derek Elston, Christian Watford and Bobby Capobianco, but Crean still needs to get 20-25 minutes from Pritchard instead of the 10-15 he's provided as of late due to foul trouble. Tonight he'll be matched up against 6'10", 260-pound freshman Jordan Williams, Maryland's leading rebounder at 7.7/game.

QUOTABLES
"They're a very hard preparation and it all starts literally with how hard they play They're an experienced team, they really know how to play with each other. They're very balanced, and there are some staples with their offense and defense that have been a part of what Gary Williams has done for decades, and why I think Gary Williams is a Hall of Fame coach." – Tom Crean

"(Vasquez) gets where he wants to go. He's extremely well schooled and well drilled in how to get to the middle, pushing the dribble out and creating space. He's fearless on both ends of the floor. He'll gamble and take risks on the defensive end. When I say he's fearless, he doesn't care if he's going against a guard or a big. When you watch him on film, you can see why he was so close to being a guy who could have gone in the draft last year." – Crean

"The early season rankings didn't do them justice…to how good I think they are." – Crean

"You have to keep them off the foul line, and you have to keep them off the backboards. When you do that, you have a chance to be in the game with Maryland. If you allow Maryland to control the tempo of the game, you allow them to get the ton of free throws attempts they get and to live on the boards without resistance then it's hard to beat them. That's what concerns me as much as anything (Tuesday) night." – Crean

"They're really talented. They have a lot of talented players and they rebound the ball well. They're a great team and an older team. We have to bring the enthusiasm and intensity. We can't have any slumps at any point in time." – Maurice Creek

"(Vasquez is) a great player. He's an older player, he's the crown king of that team. What we try to do is focus on him the most because he's the one that gets their team right, gets their team motivated. We're going to try to put a lot of pressure on him and see where it goes from there." – Creek

"I've been playing against (Maryland) quite a while. At Georgetown, we had a summer league, and I'm used to playing against Greivis, and Eric Hayes and Melbourne. They're a really tough team, really principled. They have a great leadership in Greivis and Hayes and we have our work cut out for us." – Jeremiah Rivers


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