Jan. 31, 2012
|No. 20/20 Indiana (17-5, 5-5) at No. 23/22 Michigan (16-6, 6-3)
||Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012
||6:30 p.m. ET
||Ann Arbor, Mich. - Crisler Arena (12,721)
||BTN (Gus Johnson & Shon Morris)
|| IU Radio Network (Affiliates) | Sirius 128/XM 190
||Indiana | Michigan
||Indiana | Michigan
| Social Media
|| @TomCrean | @IUShanaDan for in-game updates
THE OPENING TIP
Indiana is in its 112th season of college basketball and will visit Michigan on Wednesday night. The Hoosiers are coming off a 103-89 win over Iowa on Sunday evening, while the Wolverines lost at Ohio State, 64-49. Indiana is ranked 20th by the Associated Press and in the USA Today/Coaches poll, and entered the rankings for the first time under Tom Crean's tenure after the Hoosiers defeated No. 1 Kentucky 73-72, on Dec. 10 in Bloomington. IU also edged No. 2 Ohio State (74-70) on New Years Eve. IU is the first Big Ten team since Minnesota in 1952-53 to defeat the top two ranked teams in the same season. This week is the 506th appearance in the AP Poll (seventh all-time among Division I programs). Michigan is ranked 22nd and 23rd.
Indiana named Tom Crean as its 28th men's basketball coach on April 2, 2008, and is in his fourth year with the Hoosiers. He is 235-167 all-time as a head coach and has five wins over nationally ranked foes in the last calendar year. Crean is 4-4 in his career against teams ranked No. 1 or No. 2 and 7-10 vs. teams ranked in the top five. Crean was named midseason winner of the Jim Phelan Award which is the National Coach of the Year by Collegeinsider.com and selected by SI.com as the Midseason Coach of the Year. Sunday, Jan. 22 was his 400th game as a head coach.
John Beilein is in his fifth season as the head coach at Michigan and has a 83-73 record with the Wolverines. Overall, this is his 30th year as a head coach with a mark of 559-348 including stops at Nazareth, Le Moyne, Canisius, Richmond and West Virginia.
The Hoosiers are 29-25 since the beginning of last season and took just 22 games to win 17 this year after winning 16 in two seasons from 2008-10. IU has improved its scoring average 19.5 points since averaging 60.1 points in Crean's first season at IU (2008-09), now averaging 79.5. The Hoosiers have improved their field goal percentage defense to 42.4 percent from 48.0 four years ago and are shooting 43.8 from long distance after shooting just 33.5 percent that first year. The Cream and Crimson are also shooting 50.1 percent from the field as opposed to 43.0. IU will likely move back into the top 10 in the nation in attendance, averaging 16,158 fans with six remaining home games, and are expected to average more than 17,000 per game for the remainder of the season. IU averaged 14,331 in attendance in 2008-09.
The Hoosier's five-game win improvement is the highest among major conference programs.
The Hoosiers are 11th in the Sagarin Ratings, 10th in kenpom.com and 24th in the RPI.
Indiana has shot 50.1 percent from the field, 43.8 percent from 3-point range and 73.9 percent from the free throw line. The Hoosiers are third in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage and in field goal percentage, and lead the Big Ten averaging 79.5 points per game. The Hoosiers are also averaging 17.8 points per game off of turnovers. IU is third nationally among BCS teams making 17.8 free throws per game.
Freshman Cody Zeller has been named Big Ten Freshman of the Week five times. He was also named a Second Team Midseason All-American by ESPN.com, the Sporting News and SI.com and was one of four Big Ten players named to the Midseason Top 25 list for the Wooden Award. Zeller leads the Hoosiers averaging 15.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. He leads the Big Ten and is third in the nation in field goal percentage, making 66.1 percent of his field goal attempts. He is on pace to break the school's single season shooting mark of 62.8 set by Matt Nover in 1992-93. He had a career-high 26 points on 11-of-12 shooting against Iowa.
Junior Christian Watford had 25 points in the first meeting and is coming off a 15-point night against Iowa. He also had 12 points against Wisconsin. He is averaging 12.7 points and 5.7 boards per game this season. He leads all Big Ten juniors with 1,113 career points, becoming the 43rd IU player to top the 1,000-point mark in his career. He hit the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat Kentucky earlier this year.
Senior Verdell Jones III is averaging 13 points in the last two games. He had one of his best games of the season against Iowa with 14 points and nine assists, which matched his career-high. He is fifth among active scorers in the Big Ten with 1,302 points. He has made 102 career starts. He had 12 first-half points against Wisconsin.
Junior Jordan Hulls is third in the league hitting on 48.4 percent of his 3-point attempts. He is one of the best in the league in free throw shooting making 89.4 percent of his charity tosses. He is averaging 11.9 points per game and has made 46-of-95 triples. He is the Hoosiers active leader with 63 consecutive starts.
Sophomore Will Sheehey made his first start of the season and had 10 points, four rebounds and two assists against Iowa. He was averaging 9.5 points per game off the bench. He had 12 points against Minnesota in 15 minutes after missing five games with a lower left leg injury. He was named Tournament MVP after he scored a career-high 21 points against Butler in the championship game of the Hoosier Invitational.
Sophomore Victor Oladipo came off the bench for the first time this season and had 12 points, six rebounds and three assists. Five of his boards were of the offensive variety. He is averaging 10.2 points and 5.2 rebounds. He leads the team with 37 steals, which ranks fourth in the Big Ten (1.7). He had 15 points, six boards and three steals against Ohio State. He had the game-winning layup in the final minute to give IU the win over the Buckeyes. He had 10 points, six boards and two steals against Minnesota.
Senior Matt Roth has hit 22-of-35 long distance shots (63.4) since December 19. He had 22 points off the bench at Penn State and made 5-of-6 triples in that game. He leads the Big Ten making 57.4 percent of his 3-point attempts. He also has shot 60.1 percent from long distance in the Big Ten. Roth is the sixth Hoosier to eclipse the 20-point mark, a Big Ten best.
Senior walk-on guard Kory Barnett scored his first points in a Big Ten game on Sunday against Iowa on a layup in the final minute. He has scored seven points this season, a career high for a season for the Rochester, Ind., native, and now has 12 in his career.
Senior forward Tom Pritchard came off the bench and was a spark plug in the Hoosiers 103-89 win against Iowa, scoring seven points, grabbing four rebounds and taking a pair of charges in 14 minutes of action. He also had a steal that led to a fastbreak layup that he converted during the Hoosiers run late in the first half to extend to a 17-point halftime lead.
Another one of the front line players came off the bench and provided a lift, as junior forward Derek Elston matched his season high with 11 points against Iowa (11 vs. Stony Brook in season opener). It's also the most points he scored in a Big Ten game since 2010. He had eight straight points and a block in a 68 second span in the win over the Hawkeyes.