#17/18 Hoosiers Host Minnesota On Senior Night
March 3, 2008
Minnesota (18-10, 8-8 Big Ten) at #17/18 Indiana (24-5, 13-3 Big Ten)
THE OPENING TIP
The Indiana men's basketball team is ranked 17th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and 18th by AP and will look to continue its quest for the Big Ten championship when it hosts Minnesota on Senior Night. The Hoosiers boast the top two scorers in the conference in freshman Eric Gordon (21.4) and senior D.J. White (17.0). 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 599 points surpassing the old mark of 500 which was set by Mike Woodson in 1976-77. Sophomore Armon Bassett has stepped up his play as of late, reaching double figures in four straight games for the first time this season and the second time in his career. Bassett is the top three-point shooter in the league (48.7%) and is third on the team scoring 11.4 points per game. Minnesota is 18-10 overall and 8-8 in the league. IU knocked off the Golden Gophers, 65-60, in the first meeting of the season between the two teams in Minneapolis on January 17.
Former Indiana player and assistant coach Dan Dakich was named interim head coach on February 22. He is 2-1 with Indiana and 158-141 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 (305-105) 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 Tubby Smith is in his first season at Minnesota and holds an 18-10 record and an 8-8 Big Ten mark. He is 405-153 in 17 years of coaching which included stops at Tulsa, Georgia and Kentucky.
IU closes out the regular season at Penn State on March 9. The Hoosiers have clinched an opening day bye and one of the top three seeds in the Big Ten Tournament and will not play their first game in the event until Friday, March 14.
IU set a new school record with its 16th home victory of the season following its win over Ohio State. The previous record was 15 wins, set on three occasions in 1986-87, 1992-93 and 2006-07.
Sophomore Armon Bassett has put together four straight double-digit scoring efforts for the first time this season and the second time in his career. He had 16 points and a career-high eight rebounds against Purdue, added a career-best 24 points at Northwestern, poured in 23 vs. Ohio State and collected 13 at Michigan State. Indiana is 11-2 when he hits two three-pointers or more in a game this season.
Since the UConn game on Jan. 26, D.J. White has played at least 36 minutes in 10-of-11 games. He left the Michigan State game on February 16 with an injury and only played 15 minutes. White played a career-high 48 minutes at Illinois, all 40 at Ohio State, 39 vs. UConn, 38 three times, 37 once and 36 three times.
With 24 wins, the Hoosiers have eclipsed their win total of 21 last season and their 13 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 39-34 advantage on the glass vs. Ohio State, improving to 19-2 when outrebounding an opponent this season.
Video coordinator Travis Steele will serve as an assistant coach the remainder of the season.
The Hoosiers scored 85 points, their highest total in league play this season, at Northwestern. Indiana has reached 80 points four times in conference action, posting a 4-0 mark and 11 times overall this season (11-0).
For the season, the Hoosiers have connected on 146-of-183 charity tosses (79.8%) in the final five minutes of contests this season.
Former Hoosier Players As Head Coach
Dan Dakich (81-85), Current
Lou Watson (47-50), 1966-71
Branch McCracken (28-30), 1939-65
Everett Dean (19-21), 1925-38
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