#12 Indiana Hosts Ohio State
Feb. 25, 2008
Ohio State (17-10, 8-6 Big Ten) at #12 Indiana (23-4, 12-2 Big Ten)
The Opening Tip
The Indiana men's basketball team is ranked 12th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and by AP and will look to continue its quest for the Big Ten championship when it hosts Ohio State. Indiana is coming off an 85-82 win at Northwestern. The Hoosiers boast the top two scorers in the conference in freshman Eric Gordon (21.5) and senior D.J. White (17.1). White also leads the league in rebounds, averaging 10.4 per game. The leading candidate for Big Ten Player of the Year honors, White has been named the league's Player of the Week four times, the second most in Big Ten history. Both White and Gordon are among the top 30 midseason candidates for the Wooden and Naismith Awards. Gordon, a favorite for Big Ten Freshman of the Year, has set the IU record for freshman scoring with 560 points surpassing the old mark of 500 which was set by Mike Woodson in 1976-77. Sophomore Armon Bassett has stepped up his play with his 24-point effort at Northwestern, while freshman Jordan Crawford had a career-high 21 points against the Wildcats. Bassett is the top three-point shooter in the league (48.6%) and also added 18 points in the Hoosiers win over then #15 Purdue last week. Ohio State is 17-9 overall and 8-5 in the league. IU took home a 59-53 win in their first meeting of the season in Columbus.
Former Indiana player and assistant coach Dan Dakich was named interim head coach on February 22. He is 1-0 with Indiana and 157-140 overall as a head coach. He steps in for Kelvin Sampson who resigned after guiding Indiana to a 43-15 record in less than two years and notched a 498-272 mark in 25 years as a head coach. Dakich returned to IU this year after serving as the head coach for 10 seasons at Bowling Green. He was the third winningest coach in Falcon history with a 156-140 mark. Dakich helped the Indiana program win 73.7 percent (283-101) of its games over the 12 years he served as an assistant coach, while the Hoosiers were winning over 70 percent of their Big Ten contests. He was a graduate assistant from 1985-87 before being named full-time prior to the 1987-88 campaign. Coach Thad Matta is in his fourth season at Ohio State and is 98-32 with the Buckeyes. He is 3-4 all-time against Indiana. He was the head coach at nearby Butler in 2000-2001 at and Xavier from 2001-2004.
The Hoosiers visit Michigan State on March 2. IU finishes out its home season on March 5 against Minnesota before ending the regular season on March 9 at Penn State. The Hoosiers have clinched an opening day bye in the Big Ten Tournament and will not play their first game in the event until Friday, March 14.
With 23 wins, the Hoosiers also have eclipsed their win total of 21 last season and their 12 conference triumphs also betters the 10 victories in the league a year ago.
Dan Dakich served for 410 games as an assistant coach at Indiana before being named interim head coach on February 22. Indiana was 305-105 in those games.
The Hoosiers earned a 35-18 advantage on the glass at Northwestern, improving to 18-2 when outrebounding an opponent this season.
The Hoosiers scored 85 points, their highest total in league play this season. Indiana has reached 80 points four times in conference action, posting a 4-0 mark and 11 times overall this season (11-0).
Indiana improves to 23-4 on the season, 12-2 in Big Ten play and is tied with Purdue and a half game behind Wisconsin for the Big Ten lead. Both marks are the best since the 1992-93 season when the Hoosiers started 24-3 and went 17-1 in Big Ten play.
The ESPN crew of Brent Musburger, Steve Lavin and Erin Andrews seem to bring out the best in D.J. White. In three games with the group calling the action, D.J. has averaged 21.6 points and 18.0 rebounds.
Sophomore Armon Bassett put together back-to-back double-digit scoring efforts for the first time since the first three games of the season when the Hoosiers defeated Purdue and Northwestern last week. He had 16 points and a career-high eight rebounds against Purdue and added 24 points versus the Wildcats. Indiana is 10-1 when he hits two three-pointers or more in a game this season.
Freshman Jordan Crawford came up big with a career-high 21 points and Northwestern. It also marked the third time this season that the Detroit product knocked in four three-pointers in a game. The Hoosiers also are 13-1 in games where he scores in double figures.
The Hoosiers were 10 for 10 from the line in the final five minutes of the game against Northwestern. For the season, they have connected on 130 of 163 charity tosses (79.8%) in the final five minutes of contests this season.
Former Hoosier Players As Head Coach
Freshman Eric Gordon is averaging 22.8 points in his last four games. In the four games, he is averaging 12.5 free throw attempts and has made 43-of-50 charity tosses. In fact, he has hit 13 free throws in each of his last two games (26-of-31). He had his Big Ten season high of 29 points against Northwestern on February 3 when the Hoosiers defeated the Wildcats, 75-63. The Hoosiers are 7-1 when he makes 10 free throws or more in a game.
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