Indiana vs. Kentucky Gameday

Fresh off its biggest win in two years, Indiana faces another huge test on Saturday when it hosts fourth-ranked and undefeated Kentucky at noon at Assembly Hall. While the Wildcats return preseason All-American Patrick Patterson, it's been freshman guard John Wall (pictured) that's led Coach John Calipari's team in the early going …

Game Particulars: Indiana (4-4) vs. Kentucky (9-0)
With each team coming off big wins over Big East powerhouses at Madison Square Garden, Indiana and Kentucky renew their rivalry on Saturday at Noon at Assembly Hall. Indiana enters the game fresh off a 74-64 win over Pitt to even its record at 4-4, while Kentucky topped No. 13 UConn 64-61 one night later to improve to 9-0. Kentucky leads the all-time series 29-23, including a 72-54 win last season at Rupp Arena. That game continued a trend of blowouts in this annual series. In the last six meetings, only once has the game been decided by less than 15 points. Indiana posted wins in 2005 and 2007 by an average of 22.5 points, while Kentucky's wins in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008 have been by an average of 19.3 points.

IU is coached by Tom Crean, who is in his second year as Indiana's head coach and 11th year overall. Crean owns a 200-125 career mark and led Marquette to the NCAA Tournament five times. Kentucky, meanwhile, is coached by John Calipari, who is in his first season at the helm of the Wildcat program. Calipari owns a 454-140 career college mark, and has UK off to its best start since 1993. With a win over Indiana, Calipari would equal Adolph Rupp's 10-0 start in 1931 for the best start to a UK coaching career.

The game will be televised by CBS with Don Criqui (play-by-play), and Greg Anthony (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2009-10 Schedule

Kentucky 2009-10 Schedule

PROBABLE STARTERS
Indiana (4-4)
PG- Jeremiah Rivers (6-5, 214, Jr.) – 7.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 4.3 apg, 39.1% FG shooting
SG- Verdell Jones (6-5, 183, So.) – 12.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.1 apg, 39.2% FG shooting
WG – Maurice Creek (6-5, 200, Fr.) – 15.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.0 apg, 39.5% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Christian Watford (6-9, 220, Fr.) – 13.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 40.8% FG shooting
PF – Tom Pritchard (6-9, 248, So.) – 4.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 0.6 bpg, 60% FG shooting

Kentucky (9-0)
PG – Eric Bledsoe (6-1, 190, Fr.) – 9.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 3.2 apg, 48% 3 pt. shooting
SG – John Wall (6-4, 195, Fr.) – 19.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 7.0 apg, 3.0 spg, 56.2% FG shooting
SF – Darius Miller (6-7, 223, So.) – 7.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.8 apg, 35.9% 3 pt. shooting
PF – Patrick Patterson (6-9, 235, Jr.) – 16.6 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 64.2% FG shooting
C- DeMarcus Cousins (6-11, 260, Fr.) – 14.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.1 bpg, 52.1% FG shooting

Indiana 2009-10 Statistics

Kentucky 2009-10 Statistics

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Umm…perhaps IU's transition defense? – Three Hoosiers were made available to the media on Friday to talk about the match-up with Kentucky, and each one didn't wait long to talk about the importance of containing UK's transition game. "We know we have to get back and defend in transition, stick with them," said Derek Elston "They're a great transition team, great athletes. We have to contain their transition game, and then we'll be good," added Verdell Jones. "Their transition game, the way they get out in transition is crazy. They're a fast team, and you have to take that away from them if you have any chance of beating them," echoed Christian Watford. There are a lot of other things Indiana will have to do as well to give itself a chance Saturday, but transition defense appears to be the thing on the very top of Tom Crean's chalk board. This doesn't necessarily mean that Indiana will try to slow the game down – Indiana will still look to attack offensively. But defensively, the Hoosiers want to force Kentucky into running its halfcourt offense and limit the fastbreak opportunities.

Can Indiana match the passion and energy that it displayed Tuesday against Pitt? - If transition defense is the first thing on Crean's locker room chalkboard, then passion and energy is likely No. 2. For everything that the Hoosiers did well in pulling out the 10-point win over Pitt Tuesday, the thing that stood out the most was the fact they out-fought, out-hustled and out-toughed a team that's foundation is made up of those things. The Hoosiers will have to do that again Saturday as they try to offset some of the deficiencies that they appear to have on paper against the fourth-ranked Wildcats. Aiding IU in that pursuit will be a sold-out Assembly Hall crowd that figures to be as loud and boisterous as it's been since Crean first arrived on campus.

Which big man will get in foul trouble? - Indiana fans are well-versed in the foul issues that Tom Pritchard has had seemingly from the season opener. He's fouled out of two of the last three games, and he's managed to play more than 20 minutes only two times all season primarily because he's generally landed himself in early foul trouble. As a result, his scoring and rebounding numbers are basically half of what they were a year ago 4.9 ppg and 3.3 rpg in '10 vs. 9.7 ppg and 6.4 rpg in '09) and he's averaging only 17.9 minutes/game. When it comes to Kentucky, DeMarcus Cousins' statistics wouldn't suggest it, but he's had his own problems with fouls. The 6'11", 260-pound freshman is averaging 14.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks, and he's getting all of that done in only 19.8 minutes/game. He's played 20 minutes or more in only three out nine games thus far, and a big reason why is because he's fouled out of two games and had four fouls three other times. If Indiana can get Cousins off the floor, it will open up more opportunities for Indiana's guards to attack the rim without him waiting around the basket. Kentucky has other capable shot blockers on the bench in Daniel Orton and Perry Stevenson, but the Hoosiers would like their chances much better on both ends of the floor if Cousins winds up on the bench.

QUOTABLES
"Where we stand right now, is we're just trying to continue to build and stack successes. Sometimes success for us like the other night can come in the form of a win in doing things the right way, and sometimes is just comes in the measure of improvement. And that's what we have to do – we have to continue to learn all the facets of winning. When you're trying to learn the facets of winning, you've got to learn what causes you to lose." – Tom Crean

"Our margin for error is very, very small tomorrow." – Crean

"They have a guy in John Wall that can dominate a game from both ends of the floor with his speed and quickness and ability to make decisions and get in the lane and make shots. They do a lot of good things." – Crean

"Against (Pitt) we showed we can finally get out and play with the big-name teams, like we knew we could." – Derek Elston

"(UK's frontline) is one of the best lines in the nation, but it's all about us, whether we want to block them out and whether we want to get to the boards. We know they're big, but we can fight with them." – Elston

"(Coach Crean) came out more energetic than I've ever seen him (after the Pitt win). Just really getting on us, no compliments, just on our butts and really pushing us and motivating us to get us to come out and focus on what we have to do." – Verdell Jones

"I think Devan (Dumes) was the leader (in the Pitt game). His senior leadership really came out in that game. At every timeout, he brought us together. It really carried over….we had seen glimpses of that every now and then (from Devan), but I thought on Tuesday it came out full fledged, every timeout and every play." –Jones

"I played against DeMarcus and Eric Bledsoe a lot…Eric's a tremendous athlete. He's fast with the ball, he can handle the ball. He's a real smart point guard. DeMarcus, he's just big and long. He can do a lot of things with the ball and without the ball." – Christian Watford


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