Feb. 24, 2012
|No. 23/24 Indiana (21-7, 8-7) at Minnesota (17-11, 5-10)
||Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012
||1 p.m. ET
||Minneapolis, Minn. - Williams Arena (14,625)
||ESPN (Dave O'Brien & Dan Dakich)
|| IU Radio Network (Affiliates) | Sirius 92, XM190
||Indiana | Minnesota
||Indiana | Minnesota
| Social Media
|| @TomCrean | @IUShanaDan for in-game updates
THE OPENING TIP
Indiana is in its 112th season of college basketball and will travel to Minneapolis to take on Minnesota on Sunday afternoon. The Hoosiers are coming off a 75-56 non-conference win over NC Central, while Minnesota fell at home, 66-61 to Michigan State. The Hoosiers completed an undefeated non-conference mark (13-0) for the first time since the 1989-90 season. Indiana is ranked 23rd by the Associated Press and 24th in the USA Today/Coaches poll, after entering the rankings for the first time under Tom Crean's tenure following a 73-72 win over No. 1 Kentucky, 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 509th appearance in the AP Poll (seventh all-time among Division I programs). Indiana is the most improved team among major conference programs with a +9 in the win column from the previous season.
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 239-169 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.
Tubby Smith is in his fifth season as the head coach at Minnesota and has a record of 97-64 with the Golden Gophers. In all, Smith is in his 21st season as a head coach and has a career record of 484-209 with stops at Tulsa, Georgia and Kentucky, prior to Minnesota.
The Hoosiers are 33-27 since the beginning of last season and took just 26 games to win 20 this year after winning 16 in two seasons from 2008-10. The Hoosiers' eight Big Ten wins also equal the number of conference victories Indiana had from 2009-11. The Hoosiers have four road triumphs after winning just one road game the past three seasons. IU will likely move back into the top 10 in the nation in attendance, averaging 16,241 fans with four 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.
Indiana has the top non-conference RPI in the country which includes wins over Kentucky, Notre Dame, NC State and Butler.
The Hoosiers are slotted 11th in the Sagarin Ratings, 14th by kenpom.com and are 19th in the RPI. IU has wins over four teams that are currently nationally ranked in Kentucky, Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame.
Indiana has shot 49.2 percent from the field, 42.4 percent from 3-point range and 75.2 percent from the free throw line. The Hoosiers are third in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage, eighth in field goal percentage, and lead the Big Ten averaging 77.9 points per game.
IU leads among BCS teams making 18.5 free throws per game. The Hoosiers also are the leader in 3-point field goal percentage, second in field goal percentage, and are fourth in free throw percentage and sixth in scoring among major conference teams.
This is Tom Crean's sixth 20-win season as a head coach. In his final seven seasons at Marquette, Crean's teams averaged 22.8 wins per season.
Freshman Cody Zeller has been named Big Ten Freshman of the Week six times and is one of five finalists for the Tisdale Award which is awarded by the USBWA to the National Freshman of the Year. He was also named a Second Team Midseason All-American by ESPN.com, the Sporting News and SI.com, was one of four Big Ten players named to the Midseason Top 25 list for the Wooden Award, and one of three freshmen being considered for the Oscar Robertson Award. Zeller leads the Hoosiers averaging 15.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. He leads the Big Ten and is fourth in the nation in field goal percentage, making 64.5 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. In the last five games, he is averaging 18.6 point and 8.0 rebounds after he had 17 points and seven boards in 27 minutes against NC Central. He had 15 points and a career-high 13 boards at Iowa. He had 23 points and seven rebounds against Northwestern and had 22 points and five rebounds against Illinois. He had a career-high 26 points on 11-of-12 shooting against Iowa in Bloomington and notched 16 points and eight rebounds at Purdue. He had 23 points and eight rebounds in the first meeting with Minnesota.
Sophomore Victor Oladipo has averaged 16.8 points in his last five games and had 16 points, six rebounds and two steals against NC Central. He is 36-of-43 (83.7) from the line during that same span. He had 15 points at Iowa, 12 points, six boards, four assists and two steals against Northwestern and 18 points against Illinois. He also had a career-high 23 points in the win at Purdue. He leads the team with 42 steals, which ranks sixth in the Big Ten (1.5). 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 and six rebounds in the first meeting with Minnesota.
Junior Christian Watford had 18 points and five rebounds against Illinois. He had a 15-point night against Iowa. He is averaging 11.6 points and 5.3 boards per game this season. He is second among all Big Ten juniors with 1,158 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. He had four points and three rebounds in the first meeting with Minnesota.
Senior Verdell Jones III had nine points against NC Central. He had six key points in the final four minutes against Northwestern. He also had three rebounds, four assists and two steals in 18 minutes off the bench. He had not played in the previous two and a half games because of a bruised shoulder. He had one of his best games of the season against Iowa in Assembly Hall with 14 points and nine assists, which matched his career-high. He is seventh among active scorers in the Big Ten with 1,317 points. He has made 103 career starts. He had 12 first-half points against Wisconsin. Twice in his career, he has hit game-deciding shots to beat Minnesota in Assembly Hall.
Junior Jordan Hulls had 16 against Illinois, 10 points at Purdue and a team-high 18 points at Michigan. He is second in the league hitting on 48.2 percent of his 3-point attempts. He is one of the best in the league in free throw shooting making 87.7 percent of his charity tosses. He is averaging 11.1 points per game and has made 54-of-112 triples. He is the Hoosiers' active leader with 68 consecutive starts. He had 13 points against Minnesota earlier this season.
Senior Matt Roth has hit 29-of-47 long distance shots (61.7) since December 19. He had 12 points at Iowa and hit all four of his treys. He had six huge points in the win over Northwestern and also added an assist and a rebound. 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 57.6 percent of his 3-point attempts. He also has shot 60.0 percent from long distance in the Big Ten. Roth is the sixth Hoosier to eclipse the 20-point mark, a Big Ten best. He had six points against Minnesota earlier this year.
Sophomore Will Sheehey started against NC Central and had 12 points and seven rebounds. He had seven points at Iowa and six points against Northwestern. He had seven points, seven boards and a career-high three blocked shots at Purdue, including a game-saver against Lewis Jackson late in the contest. He 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 was named Tournament MVP after he scored a career-high 21 points against Butler in the championship game of the Hoosier Invitational. He had 12 points and six rebounds in the first meeting against Minnesota.
Junior forward Derek Elston continued his hot shooting with 10 points against NC Central. It marked the first time since December, 2010 that he has posted back-to-back double-figure scoring games. At Iowa, he had a season-high 13 points. At Purdue, he had five points and six rebounds. He had nine points against Michigan after he matched his season high with 11 points against Iowa (11 vs. Stony Brook in season opener). He had eight straight points and a block in a 68 second span in the win over the Hawkeyes in Assembly Hall. He is shooting 56.5 percent from 3-point range.
Freshman Remy Abell was huge off the bench at Purdue when he scored a career-high 13 points and added four rebounds. He made 5-of-6 field goal attempts and hit a dagger 3-pointer with just over a minute to go to clinch the game. Against Michigan, he came off the bench and had four points, two rebounds and an assist in 16 minutes of action.
Senior forward Tom Pritchard came off the bench and had four points and six rebounds against Northwestern. He also 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.