Indiana at Northwestern Gameday

After back-to-back heartbreaking losses to Illinois and Purdue, Indiana heads on the road to take on one of the country's biggest surprises in Northwestern. 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 (9-12/3-6) vs. Northwestern (15-7/4-6)
In its last two games, Indiana has dropped a two-point decision to Illinois and a three-point game to Purdue, and now it takes on a Northwestern team that handed IU one of its tougher losses a season ago. Aided by a late foul by Devan Dumes and a turnover by Verdell Jones, Northwestern slipped past IU 77-75 in Evanston a year ago. Dumes – who scored 21 of his game-high 26 in the first half – fouled Northwestern guard Craig Moore with :06.6 remaining and the score tied. After Moore hit both free throws, Verdell Jones had his ensuing in-bounds pass stolen, ending the Hoosiers hopes of an upset.

The Hoosiers are once again looking to get over the hump and start winning some close games down the stretch, Northwestern is trying to string together some wins to give itself a chance at its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth. The Wildcats' next four opponents are Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Penn State, which have a combined 9-29 record in the Big Ten. This is a key stretch of games for the Wildcats if they are to position themselves for that elusive postseason berth.

IU is coached by Tom Crean, who is in his second year as Indiana's head coach and 11th year overall. Crean owns a 205-133 career mark and led Marquette to the NCAA Tournament five times. Northwestern, meanwhile, is coached by Bill Carmody, who is in his 10th season at Northwestern and in his 14th year as a head coach overall. Carmody owns a 135-156 mark at Northwestern, and a 227-181 record overall.

The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network with Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and Shon Morris (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2009-10 Schedule

Northwestern 2009-10 Schedule

Indiana (9-12/3-6)
PG- Jeremiah Rivers (6-5, 214, Jr.) – 6.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.5 spg, 37.9% FG shooting
SG- Verdell Jones (6-5, 183, So.) – 14.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.0 spg, 39.8% FG shooting
SF – Christian Watford (6-9, 220, Fr.) 12.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 0.7 apg, 39.8% FG shooting, 81.5% FT shooting
PF –Derek Elston (6-9, 220, Fr.) – 5.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.8 spg, 46.5% FG shooting, 43.8% 3 pt. shooting
C – Tom Pritchard (6-9, 248, So.) – 5.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.6 bpg, 63.8% FG shooting, 43.2% FT shooting

Jordan Hulls (6-0, 172, Fr.) – 5.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.8 apg, 38.4% 3 pt. shooting, 76.9% FT shooting
Devan Dumes (6-2, 192, Sr.) – 7.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.1 apg, 35.1% 3 pt. shooting, 74.4% FT shooting
Bobby Capobianco (6-9, 238, Fr.) – 2.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 0.4 apg, 43.9% FG shooting, 33.3% FT shooting

Northwestern (15-7/4-6)
PG – Michael Thompson (5-10, 190, Jr.) – 13.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.1 spg, 40.5% 3 pt. shooting
SG – Jeremy Nash (6-3, 191, Sr.) – 8.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.6 spg, 32.9% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Drew Crawford (6-5, 195, Fr.) – 11.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.7 apg, 0.8 bpg, 39.4% 3 pt. shooting
SF – John Shurna (6-8, 208, So.) – 17.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.4 apg, 0.8 bpg, 35.1% 3 pt. shooting
C- Luka Mirkovic (6-11, 243 So.) - 7.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.7 apg, 45.3% FG shooting

Mike Capocci (6-6, 195, Jr.) – 1.5 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 0.6 apg, 5.9 mpg, 60% FG shooting
Alex Marcotullio (6-3, 176, Fr.) – 5.0 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.0 spg, 35.9% 3 pt. shooting
Kyle Rowley (7-0, 280, So.) – 2.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.4 apg, 40.5% FG shooting

Indiana 2009-10 Statistics

Northwestern 2009-10 Statistics

How well does Indiana contest shots from behind the 3-point arc? – As soon as the opening tip goes up at Welsh-Ryan Arena, Indiana's players can expect to see plenty of the 3-point shots being hoisted by Coach Bill Carmody's team. Forty-five percent of Northwestern's shots this season have come from deep, and the Wildcats have five different players that average at least four 3-point attempts per game. They've also been extremely successful, making a Big Ten-best 38.2 percent of their 3-point attempts in Big Ten play. They average a Big Ten-high 9.3 made 3-pointers per game, and have made at least 10 3-pointers 11 times. They've made as many as 20 in a game this season (vs. North Carolina A&T), and they've made at least 10 in three straight games while shooting 43.4 percent (33-76) during that stretch. Indiana's challenge will be to contest those 3-point shots, and to have an awareness that often all five Northwestern players on the floor are willing 3-point shooters. It's unlikely that Indiana can afford to surrender double-digit 3-pointers and still have an opportunity to post the win.

How many different players get an opportunity to match up with John Shurna? -When Northwestern lost second-team All-Big Ten forward Kevin Coble for the season, most expected it to be a long, cold, unfulfilling winter in Evanston. But that's hardly been the case, as Northwestern started the season 9-1 and surfaced in the nation's top 25 after posting a win over then-No. 6 Purdue. The biggest reason has been the play of the 6'8", 205-pound Shurna, who has more than doubled his scoring and rebounding output from a season ago. As a freshman Shurna averaged 7.3 points and 3.0 rebounds, and he's upped that to 17.8 points and 6.7 rebounds this season. He's had nine 20-point games this season, one 30-point outing (31 vs. Michigan State last weekend) and he's played at least 35 minutes in 12 of the last 13 games. Shurna can score inside and out, and he'll be a difficult match-up for whoever gets the assignment. The logical choice would be Christian Watford, but it's possible that IU Coach Tom Crean could turn to a variety of players. In Shurna gets hot behind the 3-point arc, it's even possible that Jeremiah Rivers could be asked to match up with him for periods.

Will Welsh-Ryan Arena once again be kind to Devan Dumes? - A year ago, Dumes had a huge 26-point outing against the Wildcats, making 5-of-6 3-pointers in the opening half alone on his way to a 21-point opening half. As a team, Indiana made 12-of-23 from 3-point range in last January's game in Evanston which helped keep the Hoosiers close throughout. As Indiana readies for another shot at the Wildcats, will Dumes have another big outing? It's clearly possible. After scoring in double figures in only four of IU's first 16 games, Dumes has now reached double figures in four of the last five. He's made 8-of-20 3-point attempts during that stretch and appears to be settling into his role as a scorer off the bench. In addition to Dumes' improved shooting as of late, Northwestern is also a team that likes to play zone and can give up some 3-point shots. That's how Indiana stayed in the game a year ago, and IU will likely need to have some success again today. That means Dumes or Jordan Hulls could be in line for a solid afternoon. Top Stories