Men's Basketball

    Indiana Ready for Season Opener Against Florida Gulf Coast on Friday

    Go Hoosiers! Head Coach Tom Crean will be entering his third season with Indiana.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Head Coach Tom Crean will be entering his third season with Indiana.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Nov. 10, 2010

    Friday, Nov. 12 • 6:30 p.m. ET
    Assembly Hall - 17,357 (Bloomington, Ind.)
    Series Record: First Meeting
    Big Ten Network (Tom Hamilton and John Laskowski)
    IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Royce Waltman and Joe Smith) and Sirius 91
    GameTracker Indiana Game Notes: Game 1 - Florida Gulf Coast

    Indiana begins its 111th season of college basketball and will play at total of 20 games at home during the regular season starting with Friday night's opener against Florida Gulf Coast University. The Hoosiers logged wins in both of their exhibition games, most recently a thrilling 78-65 overtime victory against Ferris State on Monday night. The Hoosiers trailed by 10 points with 4:43 left in the second half before embarking on a 15-5 run to tie the game and then went 5-for-5 from the floor in overtime to pull away for the win.

    Including exhibition games, IU will play eight games in 23 days during the month of November to start the season. On two occasions, the Hoosiers will play three games in less than a week, starting with three games in five days from Nov. 12-16.

    Indiana named Tom Crean as its 28th men's basketball coach on April 2, 2008, and is entering his third year with the Hoosiers. He has is 206-142 all-time as a head coach, collecting his 200th career win last year against Pitt at Madison Square Garden as part of the Jimmy V Classic. 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.



    Dave Balza is in his ninth year as the head coach at Florida Gulf Coast and has compiled a 143-101 record with the Eagles. Prior to taking the reigns of FGCU, Balza was the head coach at St. Joseph's (Ind.) for three years.

    This year marks the second consecutive season that the Eagles have opened the season on the road against a Big Ten opponent. Last year they traveled to East Lansing, Mich., where they suffered a 97-58 loss to the Spartans. For the season, FGCU finished with an 8-21 overall mark. Anthony Marks, a redshirt sophomore, led the Eagles last year with 12.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Banks shot just under 60 percent from the field and had more offensive rebounds (100) than defensive rebounds (91) on the year.

    This will be the second straight year that Florida Gulf Coast will open the season against a Big Ten program. Last year, Florida Gulf Coast lost at Michigan State, 97-58.

    The Hoosiers were able to win their 25th straight home opener and their 12th straight season opener last season, when they defeated Howard 83-60.

    Juniors Verdell Jones III and Tom Pritchard have started the last two seasons in the first game of the season. Senior Jeremiah Rivers and sophomores Maurice Creek and Christian Watford also were in the starting lineup last year.

    If Victor Oladipo starts the game it will be the fourth straight year that IU has had a freshman in the starting lineup. Eric Gordon started the 07-08 opener, Jones II and Pritchard in 08-09 and Watford and Creek in 09-10. Victor started both exhibition games. His four-point play with 10 seconds left and blocked shot with 1.4 seconds left helped send the Ferris State game with overtime.

    The Hoosiers will not have a four-year player in the program until Jones III, Pritchard, Matt Roth, Daniel Moore and Kory Barnett enter their senior year.

    Sophomore guard Christian Watford provided a consistent offensive scoring punch in both exhibition games for the Hoosiers, averaging 25 points and six rebounds in the two games to lead the team. Watford also led the Hoosiers in scoring during the exhibition games last year as a freshman (17.0 ppg).

    Against Ferris State, he did not shoot as well from the field but got to the free throw line 12 times and made all 12 attempts.


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