Indiana at Penn State Gameday

Fresh off its overtime win against Minnesota, Indiana looks to even its Big Ten and overall record when it takes on Penn State Thursday night at 7 p.m. Hoosier Nation previews the game, complete with match-ups, statistics, keys to the game, and quotes from both players and coaches about the contest…

Game Particulars: Indiana (8-9/2-3) vs. Penn State (8-9/0-5)
Indiana looks to bring an end to its 15-game, 23-month long road losing streak Thursday night when it travels to Penn State to take on the Nittany Lions at the Bryce-Jordan Center. This match-up against the Big Ten's only winless conference team appears to represent one of IU's best chances to get a road win this season and end a road drought that stretches back to an 85-82 win at Northwestern in then-interim IU Coach Dan Dakich's first game as the Hoosiers' head coach on Feb. 23, 2008. The Hoosiers won 27 of the first 30 match-ups in this series, but Penn State has won the last four encounters, including all three last season.

IU is coached by Tom Crean, who is in his second year as Indiana's head coach and 11th year overall. Crean owns a 204-130 career mark and led Marquette to the NCAA Tournament five times. Penn State, meanwhile, is coached by Ed DeChellis, who is in his seventh season at Penn State and in his 14th year as a head coach overall. DeChellis owns a 92-112 mark at Penn State, and a 197-205 record overall.

The game will be televised by ESPN2 with Terry Gannon (play-by-play) and Stephen Bardo (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2009-10 Schedule

Penn State 2009-10 Schedule

Indiana (8-9/2-3)
PG- Jeremiah Rivers (6-5, 214, Jr.) – 6.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.5 apg, 50.7% FT shooting
SG- Jordan Hulls (6-0, 172, Fr.) – 5.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.0 apg, 37.0% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Verdell Jones (6-5, 183, So.) – 13.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.1 apg, 40.0% FG shooting
SF – Christian Watford (6-9, 220, Fr.) – 13.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.6 apg, 42.5% FG shooting
PF – Tom Pritchard (6-9, 248, So.) – 5.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.4 apg, 63.2% FG shooting

Derek Elston (6-9, 220, Fr.) – 5.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 0.9 spg, 14.9 mpg, 47.0% FG shooting
Devan Dumes (6-2, 192, Sr.) – 6.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.2 apg, 16.6 mpg, 33.3% 3 pt. shooting
Bobby Capobianco (6-9, 238, Fr.) – 1.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 0.2 apg, 10.0 mpg, 42.4% FG shooting

Penn State (8-9/0-5)
PG – Talor Battle (6-0, 170, Jr.) – 18.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.5 apg, 32.5% 3 pt. shooting
SG – Tim Frazier (6-1, 160, Fr.) – 6.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.6 apg, 39.3% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Chris Babb (6-5, 215, So.) – 7.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.1 apg, 35.5% 3 pt. shooting
WF – David Jackson (6-7, 210, Jr.) – 7.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.3 apg, 48.5% FG shooting
PF- Andrew Ott (6-10, 240, Jr.) - 3.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 10.5 mpg, 57.1% FG shooting

Jeff Brooks (6-8, 215, Jr.) – 7.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 24.5 mpg, 51.4% FG shooting
Andrew Jones (6-10, 245, Jr.) – 5.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 23.9 mpg, 51.9% FG shooting
Bill Edwards (6-6, 235, Fr.) – 5.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 17.7 mpg, 29.0% 3 pt. shooting

Indiana 2009-10 Statistics

Penn State 2009-10 Statistics

Can Indiana keep a second (and third) scorer from emerging for the Nittany Lions? – The bad news for Indiana on Thursday night is it's going up against one of the Big Ten's best players in Talor Battle. A first-team All-Big Ten guard a season ago, Battle is averaging 18.4 points/game this season and on pace for another all-league honor. But the good news for Indiana is that it can deal with a big game from Battle so long as a reliable second scorer doesn't surface. In Saturday's 67-64 loss at Iowa, Battle scored 31, but Penn State still came up short because no one else on the roster scored more than 10. Battle also scored 32 in a two-point loss to Virginia Tech. On the season, Penn State is 5-1 when it has at least three players score double figures, 3-5 when it has two, and 0-3 when it has just one. If Indiana can keep a Chris Babb or David Jackson from having a big evening, it will have a chance to win this game down the stretch.

Was Indiana's rebounding effort against a Minnesota a sign of things to come or a one-game aberration? -There were a lot of things that Indiana did well to put itself in a position to beat the Gophers on Sunday, but nothing was more important than its 43-31 edge on the glass. Indiana dominated the backboards early, grabbing offensive rebounds on each of its first seven misses. It then had Christian Watford get the critical defensive rebound in overtime that enabled IU to preserve its lead and ultimately the win. As IU readies for Penn State, it will be going up against a Penn State team that has a +5.3 rebounding margin overall and is +4.0 in Big Ten games. Ironically, Penn State does it without a dominant frontcourt player – the 6'0" Battle is PSU's leader in rebounding with 5.6/game. But the Lions send all five to the glass and will do that against IU as well. Indiana doesn't necessarily need to post another double-digit win on the boards, but it does need to win this battle against Ed DeChellis' team if it wants to get its first road win in two seasons.

Which team gets more easy baskets? - For the second straight road game, Tom Crean says the same thing concerns him the most about IU's foe – transition defense. While the Nittany Lions aren't necessarily known as a running team, it has a player in Talor Battle who is exceptionally fast with the ball and can create scoring opportunities for himself or others either on the break or on the secondary break. Those are the kinds of opportunities Indiana has to limit. If Indiana can force Penn State to score in the second half of the shot clock, Penn State will have issues because Ed DeChellis' team isn't necessarily a great shooting team. The Lions are shooting just 42.9 percent from the floor for the season and 41.5 percent in Big Ten play. On the flip side, some easy baskets would significantly improve IU's chances of getting an elusive road win. The easiest way to make that happen is with a defensive effort that is comparable to the Michigan game.

"I think the thing that's misleading about Penn State is their record. There's no question that they could have four wins in league play. Watching them today and yesterday, the games have been so close for them." – IU Coach Tom Crean

"They have one of the premiere players in the country in Talor Battle, there's no doubt about that. From end to end, his speed is amazing. The only thing we can give as an example is John Wall when you look at speed with the basketball from one end to another." – Crean
< br> "If we allow Talor Battle to play at the end of the game the way we allowed Manny Harris to play we'll have the same result because they're the same type of player. They can break you down from so many places on the court and they can find people to beat you." – Crean

"The thing that scares me the most in this game is the same thing that scared me the most going into Michigan – transition defense. I'm not sure our guys understand how important it is to get back and get people stopped and get the ball stopped especially when you're dealing with speed like that." – Crean

"They know they can beat us. We haven't struck fear in anybody's heart in the Big Ten…we have to go earn that." – Crean

"They'll get on the court and Talor Battle will go by five guys in mili-seconds and it will get their attention that this guy is for real." – Crean Top Stories