March 2, 2010
Complete Release in PDF Format
INDIANA (9-19, 3-13 BIG TEN) vs. #6 PURDUE (24-4, 12-4 BIG TEN)
March 3, 2010 6:30 p.m. ET
West Lafayette, Ind. Mackey Arena (14,123)
Series Record: Purdue leads 109-84
TV: Big Ten Network (Mark Neely and Shon Morris)
RADIO: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer and Joe Smith)
Sirius: 90 XM: 196
THE OPENING TIP
Indiana is in its 110th season of college basketball and will travel to West Lafayette, Ind., to take on Purdue on Wednesday evening. This is the second meeting between the two teams this year, with the Boilermakers capturing the first contest, 78-75, in Bloomington on February 4. The Hoosiers are coming off a 73-57 loss at Iowa on Sunday, while the Boilermakers dropped a 53-44 contest to Michigan State on Sunday as well.
Indiana named Tom Crean as its 28th men's basketball coach on April 2, 2008, and he is in his second year with the Hoosiers. He reached the 200-win plateau on Dec. 8 with a 74-64 win over Pitt in Madison Square Garden. In his 10-plus-season career, he has a 205-140 record. He came to Indiana from Marquette where he was 190-96 (66.4) in nine seasons and made five NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 2003 Final Four. His 2009 recruiting class was ranked among the top 10 in the country. Matt Painter is in his fifth year at Purdue, where he has a 107-54 record as the head coach. Prior to moving to West Lafayette, he spent a year as the head man at Southern Illinois, leading the Salukis to a 25-5 record.
BUILDING A FOUNDATION
In a league dominated by upperclassmen, Coach Tom Crean has seen three of his younger players emerge as some of the finest in their respective classes. Sophomore Verdell Jones III (14.6 ppg.) is the second-highest scorer among second-year performers and Freshman of the Year candidate Christian Watford (12.2 ppg) is the top-scoring rookie in the Big Ten. In addition, freshman Maurice Creek was averaging a then rookie-best 16.4 ppg, when he was lost for the season in the final con-conference tilt for IU. In fact, IU is the only league school that has a combination of three sophomores and freshmen averaging double figures in points scored.
HOOSIERS IMPROVING AT THE LINE
Over the last 10 games, Indiana has been one of the top free throw shooting teams in the Big Ten making 153 of 208 attempts (73.6 percent). Against Iowa, Indiana was 20 of 25 (80.0 percent) from the line, including a perfect eight for eight performance from sophomore Verdell Jones III. During those 10 games, Jones is shooting 86.1 percent from the line (62 of 72), junior Jeremiah Rivers is shooting 86.7 percent (13 for 15) and freshman Christian Watford is making 79.2 percent (42 of 53) from the charity stripe.
With his 22-point effort at Iowa, sophomore Verdell Jones III has scored 20 points or more in Big Ten play eight times this season in 16 games. Including the final three games of the season last year, Jones III has scored 20 or more against a Big Ten foe in 11 of the last 19 games.
The Hoosiers shot 50.0 percent from the field (29 of 58) in Mackey Arena. Jones III had 16 points to lead IU.
Indiana heads home for Senior Day its its second meeting of the season against Northwestern at noon on Saturday, March 6.