Jan. 28, 2010
INDIANA (9-10, 3-4 BIG TEN) vs. ILLINOIS (13-8, 5-3 BIG TEN)
January 30, 2010 2:00 p.m. ET
Bloomington, Ind. Assembly Hall (16,618)
Series Record: Indiana leads 82-81
TV: ESPN2 (Dave O'Brien and Steve Lavin)
RADIO: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Todd Leary and Joe Smith)
Sirius: 90 XM: 196
Game Notes PDF
THE OPENING TIP
Indiana is in its 110th season of college basketball and take on the Fighting Illini on Saturday in Champaign, the second meeting this season between the two teams. On Jan. 9, Indiana held a double-digit second half lead but Illinois fought back and earned a 66-60 victory in Bloomington. Since then, the Hoosiers have gone 2-2 while Illinois has posted a 2-3 record. The Hoosiers have not played since a 58-43 loss at home to Iowa last Sunday while the Illini are coming off a 77-67 win at Penn State on Wednesday. Indiana (692) and Illinois (476) rely on true freshman scoring more than any two teams in the Big Ten.
CREEK AND WATFORD AMONG NATION'S TOP FROSH
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 205-131 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. Bruce Weber is in his seventh season in Champaign and has a record of 165-65 with the Fighting Illini. He has won 23 or more games in five of his previous six seasons with the Illini. He spent five years at Southern Illinois prior to heading to Illinois, putting up a 104-54 mark with the Salukis. Overall, his record is 268-119 in 12-plus seasons as a head coach.
Freshmen Maurice Creek
and Christian Watford
were named among the top freshmen in the country based on performance by CollegeHoops.net this past week. Creek, who was averaging 16.4 points before suffering a season ending knee injury, was ranked 12th nationally. Watford, who was ranked among others to watch after the first 25 were listed, leads all Big Ten frosh in scoring (12.7), rebounds (6.0) and free throw percentage (79.8%). He is averaging 13.3 points in Big Ten play.
JONES III ELEVATING HIS GAME
Sophomore Verdell Jones III, a native of Champaign, continues to emerge as a force in the Big Ten for Indiana. He had a team-high 14 points against Iowa. He 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 conference, averaging 13.5 points overall and 16.3 points in league play (9th in the Big Ten).
RIVERS HONORED FOR ACADEMICS
Junior guard Jeremiah Rivers was honored as IU's Male Scholar-Athlete of the Month after he was one of 10 members of the program to post a fall semester grade point average above 3.0.
"Jeremiah has worked extremely hard since coming to Indiana University," said Mattie White, Indiana Assistant Athletics Director for Student Services. "Being a transfer student is no easy task, yet still he has been able to reach new heights academically each term. I am truly proud of his efforts."
POINTS BY BIG TEN TRUE FROSH
Below is a list, by school, with the number of points that true freshmen have scored this season:
Penn State 219
Michigan State 87
Ohio State 0