Its a showdown between a <b>Wildcat</b> Team that's 0-7 in the Big 10, and a <b>Hoosier</b> Team that's on a 4 game road losing streak.
<p>According to their coaches, both teams need to turn up their offense and defense.
<p>The winner tonight will be the team that does just that...
The Last Time the Hoosiers and the Cats met...
It got ugly as Indianajumped out to a 10 point lead early, and rolled to a 71-57 home win. It was the 26th straight win by the Hoosiers over the Wildcats. Senior Guard Tom Coverdale [IU Photo - left] had a Double Double and Senior forward Kyle Hornsby posted a career high 19 points.
But all isn't sweetness and light for Indiana, again...
Indiana has lost their last three games, all on the road against Purdue[47-69], Michigan State [54-61] and Louisville [76-95]. Hoosier Coach Mike Davis layed it on the line: It is "crucial" that the Hoosiers win this game.
You have to, week by week you have to improve. I think George Leach is playing well, Mike Robertsis playing well [off the bench] so its a weekly deal..
If you stay the same, other people will pass you. We just hope we
can get Jeff playing the way he was earlier in the season. [ Mike Davis/Big 10 Teleconference]
The big problem for the Hoosiers lately is defense:
Our defense now is at an all time low, not able to stop people for
two halves. I can't see beating anyone shooting 70% in the second half
[the way MSU did].
We gave Lousiville 55% from the field and 60% from the 3 point line.
And he also thinks the team plays a little out of control:
turnovers - a guy threw the basketball down the court and we lost the
ball, a guy dribbles down the court to take a shot and passes to
someone else. Its more us than the opponent, to me maybe I save all my
time outs because we do have experienced players on the court - we have
4 Seniors playing.
You would think that at some point we would be able to take control of the game and control the tempo.
If you listen to Davis' interviews, you'd swear the Hoosiers were 0-7 in the Big 10, instead of 4-3.
2nd year Head Coach Mike Davis [right] is wrestling with a team that has become an enigma. The Hoosiers still run his 3 guard offense OK, and they have a good record [14-6], but they've fallen to 4-3 in the Big 10 - not the Indiana Team that rolled through the NCAAs last year.
You listen to his interviews and you get the feeling he's upset because his Indiana team
that came withing 20 minutes of being a national champion, and returned
most of the big players, just hasn't played like he thinks they can,
especially after they beat National Champ Maryland earlier in the season
The Big Gun [s]
The star of the team used to be Senior Guard Tom Coverdale, but leading the team in scoring right now is the Freshman guardBracey Wright [left] with 17.6 points a game. Senior Forward Jeff Newton is the leader in Conference games with 14.7
The Rebound leader is Jeff Newton - he's averaging 9.1 per game, mostly off the defensive boards. He's got a 140 to 41 defense to offensive rebound ratio.
From the Arc its also between Wright and Senior Guard Kyle Hornsby.
Wright has a better average [40-110/.364], but Hornsby is second
shooting a .362 from the arc.The best 3 point shooter by percentage
[.419] comes off the bence - he's #22 Marshall Strickland. Coverdale has taken more 3's but is 10 points behind the other 3.
Forward #50 Jeff Newton [6-9 Senior - 14.2 ppg/9.1 rpg]
Off the bench you have #2, 6-3 Junior Guard A.J. Moye [left - 21 mins a game/7.3 ppg], #22 6-2 Freshman Guard Marshall Strickland [23 mins/6.1 ppg] and #23 6-8 RS Freshman Forward Sean Kline [14.5 mins/4.3 ppg].
#33 RS Soph Forward Mike Roberts, #12 6-2 Soph Guard Donald Perry, #34 6-2 Soph Guard Ryan Tapak, and #21 6-2 Soph Guard Mark Johnson have also seen limited play for the Hoosiers.