Nov. 18, 2010
INDIANA (3-0) vs. EVANSVILLE (2-0)
Sunday, Nov. 21 1:00 p.m. ET
Assembly Hall - 17,357 (Bloomington, Ind.)
SERIES RECORD: IU leads 6-0
TV: Big Ten Network (Eric Collins and John Laskowski)
RADIO: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Royce Waltman and Joe Smith)
LIVE STATS: GameTracker
Indiana Game Notes | Evansville Game Notes
THE OPENING TIP
Indiana is in its 111th season of college basketball and will play the fourth of six straight home games when it faces in-state rival Evansville on Sunday afternoon. This is the first of a three-game series which will see Indiana playing in Evansville in their new downtown arena, next season, and again in Bloomington in 2013. The Hoosiers are 3-0 for the first time in Coach Tom Crean's tenure with the Hoosiers after beating Mississippi Valley State, 71-54 on Tuesday night.
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 is 209-142 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.
Marty Simmons, a member of the Indiana men's basketball team from 1983-85 who finished his collegiate playing career at Evansville, is 36-56 in four years at Evansville and 134-129 overall in 10 years as a head coach.
A victory would give Indiana a 4-0 start for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
This is the first meeting between the two teams since December 9, 1997. The Hoosiers hold a 6-0 lead against the Purple Aces. Overall, Indiana has a 44-12 record against teams from the Missouri Valley Conference.
The Hoosiers will not have a four-year player in the program until Verdell Jones III, Tom Pritchard, Matt Roth, Daniel Moore and Kory Barnett enter their senior year.
Indiana posted one of its best defensive efforts of the season against Wright State, posting its best efforts under Tom Crean in points allowed in a half (19) and rebound margin (+20). The 44 points allowed was the second fewest in the last two plus seasons.
Defense continues to key the Hoosiers this campaign. A 27-3 run over a 10 minute period allowed IU to pull away from Mississippi Valley State. For the season, IU is holding opponents to 52.7 points per game on 33.6 percent shooting from the floor and 28.8 percent from long distance. In addition, IU is outrebounding opponents 40.3 to 29.3 advantage.
IU also shot 60.0 percent against Wright State, marking the first time they have shot 60.0 percent or better for the first time since November, 2007 against UNC-Wilmington.
Sophomore Christian Watford is averaging 19.7 points and 8.0 rebounds and junior Verdell Jones III is averaging 13 points per game.
The Hoosiers return to action Tuesday evening when it hosts North Carolina Central at 7 p.m.
A GLANCE AT EVANSVILLE
The Purple Aces are 2-0 on the season and have wins over Oakland City University as well as Texas-San Antonio. The most recent win over UTSA was the 500th win as a Division I program for Evansville. Kenneth Harris leads the way for UE in the scoring column, averaging 15.5 points per game and is joined by three others averaging 10.0 or more points per game. The Purple Aces have held their opponents to 38 percent shooting from the field and have forced 33 turnovers.
WATFORD OFF TO GOOD START
Sophomore forward Christian Watford posted a career-high 24 points and four assists in the season opening win against FGCU and leads the Hoosiers in scoring (19.7), rebounding (8.0) and assists (11).
He also posted his fifth career double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds against Wright State and had 18 points and nine rebounds against Mississippi Valley State. He also leads the team in free throw percentage (83.3) and has made 20 of 24 charity tosses, both Big Ten high's.
Watford was a member of the Big Ten All-Freshman team a year ago after averaging 12 points and 6 rebounds.
Junior guard Verdell Jones III stepped up in a big way against Wright State scoring 27 points and adding six rebounds and three steals. He made 11 of 14 field goal attempts and both of his long distance calls. He now has scored 810 career points.
An honorable mention All-Big Ten pick in 2010, he averaged 14.9 points last season and missed more than two weeks of practice with an ankle injury prior to the season opener against Florida Gulf Coast. He leads the team with seven steals and for his career is averaging 13.1 points per game.
HULLS BIG GAME
Sophomore guard Jordan Hulls had 18 points on six of nine shooting from three-point range against Florida Gulf Coast. He has made 16 of 26 three-point field goals in Assembly Hall in his last four games. He also had five rebounds against Wright State and made all four of his free throw attempts. He had seven points and a team-high five assists against MVSU. He led all Big Ten freshmen in three-point percentage a year ago at 40.2%.
CREEK COMING BACK
Sophomore Maurice Creek, who had a fractured knee cap last season, scored 13 points in his first regular season game back since the injury against FGCU. He is averaging 9.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in 19 minutes per game. He averaged 16.4 points last year prior to this injury and dropped 31 against Kentucky, which at that point in the season, made him the top freshman scorer in the country.
HAND IT TO PRITCHARD
Junior center Tom Pritchard had an active night against FGCU, despite playing with an injured hand. He had eight rebounds, five on the offensive side, two assists and two blocked shots in 15 minutes of play.. In three games this season, he leads the team with eight offensive rebounds and four blocked shots in 17 minutes of action each game.