Jan. 22, 2010
INDIANA (9-9, 3-3 BIG TEN) vs. IOWA (7-12, 1-5 BIG TEN)
January 24, 2010 6:00 p.m. ET
Bloomington, Ind. Assembly Hall (17,357)
Series Record: Indiana leads 94-69
TV: Big Ten Network (Tom Hamilton and Greg Kelser)
RADIO: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Todd Leary and Joe Smith)
Sirius: 91 XM: 196
Complete Release in PDF Format
THE OPENING TIP
Indiana is in its 110th season of college basketball and enters Sunday's game riding a two-game winning streak in conference play for the first time under head coach Tom Crean following a 67-61 victory at Penn State on Thursday. The victory was also the first conference road win for the second-year head coach and the first for the Hoosiers since capturing an 85-82 win at Northwestern on Feb. 23, 2008. Iowa is coming off a 70-63 loss on the road at the hands of Michigan State.
Indiana named Tom Crean as its 28th men's basketball coach on April 2, 2008, and he is in his second year with the Hoosiers. He reached the 200-win plateau on Dec. 8 with a 74-64 win over Pitt in Madison Square Garden. In his 10-plus-season career, he has a 205-130 record. He came to Indiana from Marquette where he was 190-96 (66.4) in nine seasons and made five NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 2003 Final Four. His 2009 recruiting class was ranked among the top 10 in the country. Todd Lickliter is in his third season in Iowa City and has a record of 35-48 with the Hawkeyes. He spent six years at Butler, winning 20 or more games in season four times on his way to a 131-61 mark with the Bulldogs. Overall, his record is 166-109 in eight-plus seasons as a head coach.
WATFORD IS TOP BIG TEN FRESHMAN SCORER
Freshman Christian Watford is averaging 14.3 points and 9.0 rebounds in his last three games and is shooting 50.0% from the field in that span (17-of-34). The Birmingham, Ala., native is the top freshman scorer in the conference, averaging 12.9 points. In addition, he leads all Big Ten frosh in rebounds (6.1) and free throw percentage (79.3). He also leads all freshmen in scoring in conference games only at 13.8 points per game. His two key offensive rebounds in the final minutes allowed IU to gain the win at Penn State.
JONES III ELEVATING HIS GAME
Sophomore Verdell Jones III had five key points in the final minutes at Penn State and scored six of the Hoosiers' final eight points in the overtime win against Minnesota, including the go-ahead basket with 32.8 seconds left in the game. At Penn State, his short jumper gave IU the lead for good at 42-40 in the second half, and his lone long distance call with 2:58 to go took the IU lead from three to six points. He is the second leading sophomore scorer in the confernce, averaging 13.4 points overall and 16.7 points in league play (6th in the Big Ten).
The Hoosiers are the 337th most experienced team (out of 347) in college basketball according to kenpom.com. During Crean's tenure, the Hoosiers have started an average of nearly three freshmen per game in his 49 games as Indiana has penciled in 146 frosh among the 245 starts that have occurred since last season. In the last two seasons, freshmen have accounted for nearly 70 percent of the team's scoring (966 of 1446 points) and 68 percent of the team's minutes played (3121 of 4850) in 24 Big Ten games under Coach Crean. Conversely, the three most recent national championship teams at Indiana saw a total of 109 points (28 in `87, 4 in `81 and 77 in `76) scored in league play by a frosh. The Final Four teams of `02, `92 and `73 has a combined 14 percent of their scoring come from freshmen, while seven other Big Ten title teams from 1974-93 averaged 15 percent contributions from their freshmen classes.
Iowa is led in scoring by Matt Gatens' 13.1 points per game average, with Anthony Tucker following closely at 11.9 per game. Gatens is shooting 35 percent from beyond the arc and is also among the team leaders in rebounding (4.8 rpg). Eric May averages 8.9 points per game while also leading the team in rebounds, blocks and steals.
As a team, the Hawkeyes average 63.1 points per game while giving up 66.6 per contest. And they break even in the rebounding battle on the year, 32.2 to 32.1 per game.