Indiana vs. Northwestern Gameday

Indiana gets another crack to end its 11-game losing streak Saturday when it hosts Northwestern at noon in the regular season finale. Hoosier Nation previews Saturday's game against the Wildcats, complete with match-ups, statistics, and keys to the game …

Game Particulars: Indiana (9-20/3-14) vs. Northwestern (19-11/7-10)
The regular season comes to a close for Indiana on Saturday against Northwestern as four Hoosiers suit up for the final time for a home game at Assembly Hall. For Devan Dumes, Tijan Jobe and Steven Gambles, it's been a two-year run with the IU program that started once Tom Crean took over in the spring of 2008. For Brett Finkelmeier, it's been a three-year run that started back during the second and final season of Kelvin Sampson's troublesome tenure. Indiana will be trying to not only send that quartet out with a win against Northwestern, but also bring a halt to IU's 11-game slide and secure the No. 10 seed in next week's Big Ten Tournament. Northwestern, meanwhile, has its own incentive in this contest. Not only is it seeking a fourth straight win over Indiana – something last accomplished from 1930-33 – but it is also looking for its first ever 20-win 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 205-141 career mark and a 15-45 record at Indiana. 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 139-160 mark at Northwestern, and a 231-185 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

Northwestern 2009-10 Schedule

Indiana (9-20/3-14)
PG- Jeremiah Rivers (6-5, 214, Jr.) – 6.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.3 spg, 39.6% FG shooting, 57.0% FT shooting
SG – Jordan Hulls (6-0, 172, Fr.) – 5.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.3 apg, 38.8% FG shooting, 37.3% 3 pt. shooting
WG- Verdell Jones (6-5, 183, So.) – 14.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.1 apg, 40.0% FG shooting, 27.3% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Christian Watford (6-9, 220, Fr.) – 12.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.5 apg, 38.1% FG shooting, 31.7% 3 pt. shooting
C - Bobby Capobianco (6-9, 238, Fr.) – 2.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.3 apg, 39.1% FG shooting, 31.3% 3 pt. shooting

Derek Elston (6-9, 220, Fr.) – 5.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.4 apg, 46.6% FG shooting, 36.4% 3 pt. shooting
Tom Pritchard (6-9, 248, So.) – 4.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 0.4 apg, 60.0% FG shooting, 36.7% FT shooting
Devan Dumes (6-2, 192, Sr.) – 6.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.1 apg, 33.5% FG shooting, 31.3% 3 pt. shooting

Northwestern (19-11/7-10)
PG – Michael Thompson (5-10, 190, Jr.) – 13.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 4.0 apg, 40.5% 3 pt. shooting, 82.5% FT shooting
SG – Jeremy Nash (6-3, 191, Sr.) – 9.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.6 spg, 31.4% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Drew Crawford (6-5, 195, Fr.) – 10.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.9 apg, 45.9% FG shooting, 35.5% 3 pt. shooting
SF – John Shurna (6-8, 208, So.) – 18.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.6 apg, 46.2% FG shooting, 37.0% 3 pt. shooting
C- Luka Mirkovic (6-11, 243 So.) - 7.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.4 apg, 47.8% FG shooting, 34.6% 3 pt. shooting

Mike Capocci (6-6, 195, Jr.) – 1.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.5 apg, 53.1% FG shooting, 63.6% FT shooting
Alex Marcotullio (6-3, 176, Fr.) – 4.9 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 0.9 apg, 39.7% FG shooting, 38.0% 3 pt. shooting
Kyle Rowley (7-0, 280, So.) – 1.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.5 apg, 41.0% FG shooting, 52.8% FT shooting

Indiana 2009-10 Statistics

Northwestern 2009-10 Statistics

What's Devan Dumes got in store for his season finale? – The only significant contributor among Indiana's four seniors, Devan Dumes has been very good on occasion this season. He's scored in double figures in eight of IU's 17 Big Ten games this season, ranking him third on the team behind only Verdell Jones (15) and Christian Watford (12). He averaged 13.0 points in Indiana's third Big Ten wins, scoring in double figures each time. While he's been a very big contributor off the bench in those games, he's also has a handful of efforts where he's been a non-factor bordering on a liability. His shot selection can be questionable at best on occasion, and he is turnover-prone when he tries to do too much off the dribble. So which Devan Dumes will show up for his final Assembly Hall performance? If it's the one who provides some much-needed perimeter shooting off the bench and some solid on-the-ball defense, Indiana could very easily spring the upset and send the seniors out with a win. But if he turns in a sub-par effort, Indiana will be hard-pressed to avoid a 12th straight loss.

Can Indiana get into this game early? - When these two teams met in Evanston, Indiana played Northwestern basically even for the game's final 32 minutes. The problem, though, was the 21-6 hole that the Hoosiers put themselves in during the game's opening 7:57. While Northwestern was busy making six of its first nine shots – including four 3-pointers – Indiana was providing very little resistance during the early going. Indiana doesn't have the offensive weaponry to battle back from that sort of deficit, and thus got no closer than nine the rest of the way. It's going to be imperative that Indiana not put itself in that predicament again. While some good early shooting would help, the biggest thing that Indiana has to do is on the defensive end. Whether in man-to-man or zone, Indiana has to be quick to contest Michael Thompson, John Shurna, Drew Crawford and Jeremy Nash on the perimeter. While Shurna and Thompson are probably the biggest concerns, all are willing and able 3-point shooters when left open.

Will Indiana have success in getting to the free-throw line? - One thing that Indiana did well the first time these two met is get to the free-throw line. Indiana made 23-of-27 at the stripe, with most of that coming from Verdell Jones (12-of-13 on his way to 28 points) and Christian Watford (6-of-8). That's the fourth most attempts for IU in a Big Ten game this season, trailing only Minnesota (40 in a win), Michigan (29 in a win) and Michigan State (28 in a loss). Not surprisingly, those were three of IU's best performances during the conference slate. The 78-61 loss in Evanston clearly doesn't fit into the category of best Big Ten efforts, but the Hoosiers need to be in the 25-30 free-throw attempt range to give themselves a chance. Tom Crean's team hasn't been shooting the ball well enough from the perimeter for some time, which makes it awfully difficult for it to be good enough offensively to win games if it isn't scoring points at the free-throw line.

"I think that with Brett (Finkelmeier), without a doubt he has persevered through a lot of different things. He has stayed consistently who he is from the beginning of getting to know him. That is a very diligent student and a very caring guy. He has had numerous chances that he could have done something different, but he always wanted to stay with this. He has played and practiced very hard throughout the time with us. Even when not getting minutes, you would never notice it with the way he practices. I think his teammates really enjoy him and I don't think there is any doubt that he is going to have great success. One of the things that stands out to me is that in these two years with him, every trip we took, whether it was to Maui, whether it was to Puerto Rico, whether it was a bus ride to Purdue, that guy was engaged in something academically, and not just sitting back watching movies. He is working a little less at this time because he is pretty set on where he is going and what he is going to do. Still, he is just constantly making himself better, and I think that says a lot about him." – Tom Crean

"Steven Gambles is the one that, to me, has really persevered through a lot. He has not been with us a lot as of late, and he is going to come back tomorrow, and that was the agreement that we made. He has been attending to family issues with his grandfather. He has been dealing with it for some time, really since Christmas break. It got to the point where, without being dramatic, he just needed to spend more time with that, but the agreement we made was that I wanted him leaving here an Indiana basketball graduate and not just an Indiana graduate. So, we will definitely honor him tomorrow." – Tom Crean

"Devan Dumes was one of the first guys to come and join this. I would say that he has grown a lot, he has learned a lot, he has helped a lot. He has brought a lot of different things to the equation. Some of the successes that we've had over these two years, he has had a big hand in them. I would think he has probably learned an awful lot and done some very good things." – Tom Crean

"Tijan (Jobe) is unique in the sense that you can't imagine how much better he is. Last year we told him, `Tijan, you have to make some real changes here or you're probably not going to be able to stay.' And, the changes were going to be on how much more he was concerned about getting better athletically and building all of those things. What you saw with him running on campus, that became what we saw all the time. That became who he is. It wasn't who he was when he got here. He has been through a lot. That has been a model citizen in this program for so long. I know there are not going to be stories written about his basketball career, but when you look at the improvement he has made and the character that he has, when you look at the fact that he got on a plane years ago to come to this country and his family said good bye and from that point on he did not see them and he still has not had an opportunity yet to mourn the death of his mother. He'll have his brother here tomorrow, he is extremely proud of that. It is very unique. There have been a lot of unique things that have happened here, some really good, some not so good. That young man has made a difference because he has gotten so much better. We just finished practice and we called an alley-oop play. We ran it and he dunked it so hard. He couldn't have done that four months ago. He is a really unique guy. " - Tom Crean

"I think all four guys are going to graduate, they're going to graduate on time. They've done very good things. They've been a part of a heck of a rebuilding project, and I hope that people in this state remember that. They won't remember them for the banners that they hung, but I hope that they will remember them for the trying times that they went through, and I hope that they are always in high demand in the work place in this state if they choose to stay here." – Tom Crean

"There is no question we panicked too quick when we got down. One of the things that has really hurt us over a period of time is that the game continued to sit at a very workable number for us to come back. Ten, 12, 14 points, those are not big deficits in a long game, especially when you've got a chance to score and they're not taking it down to five seconds every time. We just didn't do a good enough job defensively early and we didn't communicate very well at all defensively early. I don't think we were as good as we needed to be around the basket offensively. So, those are things we've really got to try to improve upon knowing that they can come with their combination defense, which is really a switching defense, and they can come with their 1-3-1. We've just got to play the game, and we've just got to have some schemes and everything, but really it comes down to ball movement, physical play, posting aggressively, and getting the ball swung. But you can never lax on any one of the guys they put on the court, shooting the ball wise. We short-armed shooters way too much in that game." – Tom Crean Top Stories