No. 18/20 Hoosiers Take On No. 5/5 Michigan State Tuesday
Feb. 27, 2012
THE OPENING TIP
Tom Izzo is in his 17th season as the head coach at Michigan State. His overall record is 407-166 (.710) and he led the Spartans to the National Championship in 1999-2000. IU head coach Tom Crean was a member of Izzo's coaching staff for three seasons from 1995-96 through 1998-99. The two also worked together when Crean was a graduate assistant for Jud Heathcote.
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, 11th by kenpom.com and are 17th 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 49.0 percent from the field, 42.6 percent from 3-point range and 75.5 percent from the free throw line. The Hoosiers are third in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage, seventh in field goal percentage, and lead the Big Ten averaging 77.6 points per game.
IU leads among BCS teams making 18.6 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 seventh 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.
Sophomore Victor Oladipo has averaged 16.8 points in his last five games and had 12 points, eight rebounds and two steals against Minnesota. He had 16 points, six rebounds and two steals against NC Central. He is 30-of-35 (85.7) 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 withMichigan State.
Junior Christian Watford had 12 points and six rebounds against Minnesota and made all seven of his free throw attempts. He 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 1,170 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 is averaging 23.5 points in his last two games against MSU.
Senior Verdell Jones III had 11 points and seven boards against Minnesota and is averaging 10.0 points per game in his last two games. 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 1,328 points. He has made 103 career starts. He had 12 first-half points against Wisconsin. Junior Jordan Hulls had 12 points and three assists at Minnesota. He had 16 against Illinois, 10 points at Purdue and a team-high 18 points at Michigan. He is second in the league hitting on 48.3 percent of his 3-point attempts. He is one of the best in the league in free throw shooting making 88.1 percent of his charity tosses. He is averaging 11.2 points per game and has made 56-of-116 triples. He is the Hoosiers' active leader with 70 consecutive starts.
Senior Matt Roth has hit 30-of-50 long distance shots (60.0) 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 58.3 percent of his 3-point attempts. He also has shot 56.8 percent from long distance in the Big Ten. Roth is the sixth Hoosier to eclipse the 20-point mark, a Big Ten best. He has averaged 9.0 points in his last two meetings against the Spartans.
Sophomore Will Sheehey has started the last two games and had seven points at Minnesota in the second half. Against NC Central he 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 was injured when the Hoosiers played at Michigan State.
Junior forward Derek Elston had a 3-pointer and five rebounds against Minnesota. He has made 7-of-10 long distance shots in league play. He had 10 points against NC Central and 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.
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.
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