No. 1/1 Indiana Visits Illinois Thursday
Feb. 6, 2013
THE OPENING TIP: The Hoosiers have a pair of road contests on the schedule, starting with a Thursday night matchup in Champaign against Illinois. Indiana enters the game riding a six-game win streak, following an 81-73 win over then-No. 1 Michigan on Saturday, while the Illini have lost three in a row. This will be the only meeting of the season between the two teams. IU has won five Big Ten road games in a row dating back to last year and six of the last seven.
INDIANA IS ... : Ranked No. 1 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. It is the 51st week all-time that the Hoosiers have held down the top spot in the AP poll after being in the top spot for the first six weeks of the season. This is the 26th straight week the Hoosiers have been nationally ranked, the most since IU appeared for 71 straight weeks from 1989-94.
COACHES: Tom Crean is in his fifth year with the Hoosiers and has guided them to a 47-11 mark during the last year and a half. He is 265-173 all-time as a head coach and has eight wins over nationally ranked foes in the last two-plus seasons. John Groce is in his first season as the head coach at Illinois, after spending the previous four seasons as the head coach at Ohio University.
DEFENSIVE COMPARISON FROM LAST YEAR: Through 22 games this season (compared to the first 22 games last season), IU has improved from 42.4 field goal percentage defense to 37.7, 3-point field goal defense from 32.7 to 30.9, rebound margin from +3.2 to +10.2 and points allowed from 65.8 to 61.0. Through nine Big Ten games, field goal defense has improved from 45.5 to 39.6, 3-point field goal defense 32.9 to 31.4, rebound margin from even to +5.9 and points per game, 71.2 to 63.6.
ON THE WATCH LIST: Junior Victor Oladipo and sophomore Cody Zeller were selected as part of the Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason watch list by the USBWA. Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell was named to the Tisdale Award Midseason Watch List, which goes to the nation's best freshman.
HISTORY: This is Indiana's 113th season of college basketball. The Hoosiers, who have won five NCAA titles, 20 Big Ten titles, including 11 outright, have the best winning percentage in league game history winning 58.6 percent of its conference tilts (871-616).
THE LAST TWO YEARS: Indiana is 47-11 (Best in Big Ten, 81.0 winning pct.), 9-6 on the road, 15-9 away from Assembly Hall (road and neutral combined) and 32-2 at home. IU leads all major conference school's in field goal percentage (49.6 percent) and 3-point field goal percentage (42.7 percent).
BIG TEN'S BEST: Cody Zeller earned his second Big Ten Player of the Week honor of the season on Monday after averaging a double-double (19 points, 10.5 rebounds) in wins at Purdue and against No. 1 Michigan last week. The week before, the Big Ten's Player of the Week award was given to Victor Oladipo after he averaged 20 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 blocks and 4.5 steals in wins against Penn State and No. 13/11 Michigan State.
"O-LA-DI-PO": Junior Victor Oladipo is the most improved player in the country (let's debate) and likely will be a candidate for National Defensive Player of the Year. The Big Ten leader in steals (2.5) is always given the toughest defensive assignment for the Hoosiers. In addition, he has improved his field goal shooting percentage from 48.6 to 64.4, his 3-point field goal percentage from 23.5 to 51.4 and his offensive rebounds from 1.8 per game to 2.5.
ZELLER: Preseason National Player of the Year Cody Zeller has had five double-doubles in the first nine games of Big Ten play and is averaging 16.1 points, 8.9 rebounds in conference action. He is shooting 55.7 percent from the field and 78.3 percent from the line. His 36.0 points/rebounds/assists per 40 is the tops among Big Ten players. He was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on January 14 and again on Feb. 4.
GETTING TO 20 WINS: The Hoosiers' 81-73 win over No. 1 Michigan on Saturday was their 20th win of the season. It is the second-fastest (by date) that an IU team has reached 20 wins. The 1975-76 team that went undefeated picked up their 20th win of the season on Feb. 1.
TEAM NOTES: Indiana is second in the nation in scoring differential (22.8) and in scoring (83.8). IU leads the Big Ten in free throw percentage (74.1), 3-point field goal percentage (42.2, 3rd nationally), rebound margin (+10.2, 3rd nationally) and field goal percentage defense (37.7, 15th nationally). IU leads the Big Ten in home attendance (17,396) and will sell out all 20 home games this season.
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