Indiana at Wisconsin Gameday

Indiana's three-game stretch of playing top-15 teams continues today as it takes on No. 11 Wisconsin at the Kohl Center. Hoosier Nation previews Saturday's game against the Badgers, complete with match-ups, statistics, keys to the game, and quotes from both players and coaches about the contest…

Game Particulars: Indiana (9-14/3-8) vs. Wisconsin (18-6/8-4)
The assignments don't get any tougher than the one Indiana has been given today at the Kohl Center in Madison. The Hoosiers go up against a Wisconsin team that is not only ranked No. 11 nationally and just one game out of the Big Ten lead, but they play at a venue where Wisconsin has been virtually unbeatable since Bo Ryan arrived nine years ago. During Ryan's nine seasons Wisconsin is 133-11 at the Kohl Center, ranking then fifth nationally for home winning percentage. The Badgers are also 66-6 at home against Big Ten teams and 51-1 against unranked Big Ten foes, with the lone loss coming earlier this week to Illinois. The Hoosiers have lost four straight to Wisconsin and eight straight at the Kohl Center.

IU is coached by Tom Crean, who is in his second year as Indiana's head coach and 11th year overall. Crean owns a 205-135 career mark and a 15-38 record at Indiana. Wisconsin, meanwhile, is coached by Bo Ryan, who is in his ninth season at Wisconsin and in his 26th year as a head coach overall. Ryan owns a 211-79 mark at Wisconsin, and a 594-182 record 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 2009-10 Schedule

Wisconsin 2009-10 Schedule

PROBABLE STARTERS
Indiana (9-14/3-8)
PG- Jeremiah Rivers (6-5, 214, Jr.) – 6.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.5 spg, 38.6% FG shooting, 53.8% FT shooting
SG – Jordan Hulls (6-0, 172, Fr.) – 6.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.6 apg, 40.0% FG shooting, 39.2% 3 pt. shooting
WG- Verdell Jones (6-5, 183, So.) – 14.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.3 apg, 0.5 bpg, 40.2% FG shooting, 25.9% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Christian Watford (6-9, 220, Fr.) – 12.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.6 apg, 40.0% FG shooting, 35.3% 3 pt. shooting
C – Tom Pritchard (6-9, 248, So.) – 5.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.6 bpg, 61.5% FG shooting, 41.9% FT shooting

OFF THE BENCH:
Derek Elston (6-9, 220, Fr.) – 5.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.4 apg, 44.8% FG shooting, 38.9% 3 pt. shooting
Bobby Capobianco (6-9, 238, Fr.) – 1.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.4 apg, 40.9% FG shooting, 33.3% FT shooting

Wisconsin (18-6/8-4)
PG – Trevon Hughes (6-0, 193, Sr.) – 15.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.0 apg, 40.9% FG shooting, 39.2% 3 pt. shooting
SG – Jordan Taylor (6-1, 195, So.) – 9.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.5 apg, 39.5% FG shooting, 30.3% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Jason Bohanon (6-2, 198, Sr.) – 11.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.2 apg, 45.1% FG shooting, 38.3% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Tim Jarmusz (6-6, 210, Jr.) – 2.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 0.7 apg, 32.4% FG shooting, 30.2% 3 pt. shooting
PF- Keaton Nankivil (6-8, 240, Jr.) - 8.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.0 apg, 49.4% FG shooting, 30.2% 3 pt. shooting

OFF THE BENCH:
Ryan Evans (6-6, 210,Fr.) – 3.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 0.6 apg, 44.0% FG shooting, 65.2% FT shooting
Rob Wilson (6-3, 200, So.) – 3.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.4 apg, 60% FG shooting, 36.8% 3 pt. shooting
Mike Bruesewitz (6-6, 220, Fr.) – 1.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 32.0% FG shooting, 75% FT shooting

Indiana 2009-10 Statistics

Wisconsin 2009-10 Statistics



WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Where are the points going to come from for the Hoosiers? – Indiana ranks seventh in the Big Ten in scoring during conference games (61.7), and Tom Crean's team has been held to under 50 points twice (43 vs. Iowa, 45 at Michigan). Now, the Hoosiers go up against a Wisconsin team that is yielding just 56.5 points/game on the season, ranking them fifth nationally. The Badgers' numbers have been even better in conference games, where they are giving up only 54.5 points/game and has held half of its 12 opponents to 50 points or less. Making Indiana's situation even more dire is the likelihood that top scoring reserve Devan Dumes isn't expected to play today due to a case of the flu. His absence gives the Hoosiers no reliable offensive scoring threat off the bench, thanks to Derek Elston's recent troubles. That all adds up to trouble for an Indiana team that clearly needs to find a way to approach the 60-point total if it wants to be competitive.

Can Jeremiah Rivers slow down Trevon Hughes? -Wisconsin might be in the hunt for a Big Ten title, but they have their own issues offensively. Bo Ryan's team is shooting just 41.8 percent from the floor during conference games, and the Badgers have come to rely on the 3-point shot as much as any team in the conference ever since Jon Leuer went down with his wrist injury. Wisconsin is getting out-rebounded since conference action opened, and other than the fact that they turn it over only eight times per game, there's nothing about what they're doing that jumps off the stat sheet. But if you watch Wisconsin play offensively, the one thing that they do have is a go-to player in Trevon Hughes who hits big shots and can get to the free-throw line. While he's only averaging 10.0 points/game during his last four games, he's the player that likely concerns the IU staff the most. That means Rivers will likely draw this assignment, and if he can keep Hughes in check Indiana can stay within striking distance. For that to happen, Rivers is going to need to avoid the early-game foul trouble that has plagued him on occasion in recent weeks. Indiana can ill-afford to have Rivers seated next to Crean today – Rivers needs to stay on the floor and do the job on Hughes if Indiana is going to have a chance.

What's the score five minutes into the game? - Wisconsin is unlikely to be in a good mood this afternoon, considering it missed out on its chance to move into a tie for the Big Ten lead on Tuesday with its homecourt loss to Illinois. So they'll be looking to jump on Indiana early. The Hoosiers, meanwhile, have gotten off to bad starts in each of their last two road games, falling behind Illinois 9-4 in the game's first five minutes and then getting down 10-2 five minutes in against Northwestern. Indiana overcame the slow start at Illinois to make it a down-to-the-wire contest, but it doesn't want to get itself into a big hole early against the Badgers. Wisconsin's brand of basketball makes it very difficult to string together the kinds of runs one needs to get out of big holes. On top of that, by Crean's own admission his basketball team is a fragile mentally, so a slow start could lead to a very long afternoon in Madison. Indiana needs to get off to a good start to get some traction and build some confidence.


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