Jan. 17, 2014
THE OPENING TIP
Indiana is in its 114th season of college basketball and will host Northwestern on Saturday afternoon. The Hoosiers boast a two-game winning streak and are coming off a 79-76 comeback (15 points) road win at Penn State and a 75-72 come-from-behind (10 points) triumph over No. 3 Wisconsin, handing the Badgers their first loss of the season. Northwestern fell Wednesday night at home against No. 4 Michigan State, 54-40.
In Big Ten games only, IU leads the conference shooting 40.9 percent from three-point range and 76.8 percent from the free throw line. The Hoosiers are fifth in the nation in rebounding (43.4) and third in rebound differential at 11.9 per game. IU's six wins over AP Top-10 ranked squads since last year is a national best. Their nine wins over AP Top-10 ranked teams since 2011-12 only trails Kansas and Ohio State (10).
SINCE 2011-12 ...
Indiana is 68-21 (.764 winning pct.) and 45-4 at home. In the last 89 games, no team from a major conference has made more free throws in the country during that span (1,696) than IU. The Hoosiers also lead in free throw attempts (2,267), field goal percentage (48.2), 3-point FG percentage (40.2), free throw percentage (74.8), and are second in scoring (78.5).
Indiana named Tom Crean as its 28th men's basketball coach on April 2, 2008, and he is in his sixth year with the Hoosiers. He is 286-183 all-time as a head coach and during the last two-plus years, he has led Indiana to a 68-21 record, the 2013 Big Ten Championship and back-to-back appearances in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1994. In 2012-13, he was named NABC District 7 and USBWA District V Coach of the Year. Chris Collins is in his first season with the Wildcats. He was recruited by Crean when the IU head coach was an assistant for Ralph Willard at Western Kentucky.
FERRELL SHOWS B1G IMPROVEMENT
Sophomore Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell leads the Big Ten in scoring (17.9, overall and 21.8 B1G) and is the Hoosiers top scorer and is one of the three most improved scorers at a major conference school (+10.3) from last season. Most notably, he has significantly improved his long distance shooting making 41.7 percent of his three-point shots after making 30.3 percent as a freshman. He had a team-high 25 points against Wisconsin and has posted 11 assists and just one turnover in his last two games. He is second in the Big Ten in 3-pointers made (45) after making 23 a season ago. He is fifth in the conference in assists (4.2) and seventh in 3-point FG pct. (41.7). He had a career-high 30 points at Illinois and perhaps his best overall game of the season at Penn State with 15 points, seven assists and just one turnover while not allowing All-Big Ten guard Tim Frazier to garner an assist. Ferrell earned all-tournament honors at the 2KSports Classic when he averaged 20 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists and had 24 points against Stony Brook and Washington. Ferrell was also named to the Naismith Award Early Season Watch List.
VONLEH HAS BEEN TOP B1G FROSH
Freshman Noah Vonleh has been named Big Ten Freshman of the Week five times and is one of 50 players listed on the Wooden Award Preseason Watch List and Naismith Award Early Season Watch List. He had a career-high 19 points and six rebounds at Penn State and scored the team's first 12 points to earn this week's Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor. He had 16 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots in his first Big Ten game at Illinois. Vonleh is averaging 12.1 points and leads the Big Ten averaging 9.0 rebounds per game. He is eighth in the league in shooting (55.9) and his six double-doubles are also a league best. In addition to points and rebounds, he also leads B1G frosh in blocked shots (22) and free throws made (75) and attempted (103). He also leads all freshmen nationally in rebounds per 40 minutes at 15.3 per game. He also has made six 6-of-7 3-point field goal attempts in Big Ten play.