Dec. 6, 2012
THE OPENING TIP
Indiana is in its 113th season of college basketball and will host Central Connecticut State on Saturday in the first meeting between the teams. This will be the second contest for IU against a team from the Northeast Conference. IU defeated Bryant, 97-54 earlier this season.
For the first time since the 1979-80 preseason and just for the third time in school history (1975-76), the Indiana men's basketball team started the season as the top ranked team in the country. Indiana was also picked by the Big Ten media to win the conference championship.
Indiana named Tom Crean as its 28th men's basketball coach on April 2, 2008, and he is in his fifth year with the Hoosiers. In just five years, he has taken over a program that returned 36 career points among two walk-ons and built a team that was ranked No. 1 in the country this preseason. He is 253-171 all-time as a head coach and has seven wins over nationally ranked foes in the last two-plus seasons. Crean was named National Coach of the Year by ESPN's Jason King, and Big Ten Coach of the Year by the Sporting News.
Howie Dickenman is in his 17th season as the head coach at Central Connecticut State and has a record of 252-227 with the Blue Devils.
The Hoosiers are 3-0 all-time against the NEC. The Hoosiers have wins over two nationally ranked teams, No. 15 North Carolina and No. 20 Georgetown. Indiana leads the nation in scoring (87.8) and point differential (+31.8), are fifth in rebound differential (+12.8), and are seventh in field goal perentage (51.0). The Hoosiers also lead the Big Ten in defense (56.0), free throw percentage (75.0), field goal defense (35.7), and 3-point field goal defense (26.0).
Senior Jordan Hulls is second in the Big Ten in 3-point field goals made per game (3.0) and in assist/turnover ratio (32/8). Sophomore Remy Abell leads the league with 10 triples made in 12 attempts. Junior Victor Oladipo is third in field goal percentage (63.3) and is third in steals (2.3). Sophomore Cody Zeller is third in the league in rebounding (7.6), seventh in scoring (15.0), and fourth in field goal percentage (63.2). Freshman Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell is second in assists (4.8) third in free throw percentage (88.9). Senior Christian Watford is fourth in the league in rebounding (7.5) and second in free throw percentage (91.2).
SHEEHEY IS HOT
Junior Will Sheehey is averaging 17.3 points and shooting 70.0 percent from the field in his last three games. He had 19 points and five rebounds against North Carolina and made 8-of-9 field goal attempts and scored 19 points in 19 minutes against Ball State. He had six rebounds and two assists. Againt Coppin State, he had 14 points, six boards and four assists.
It's doubtful that you could find a player who has had more of an impact on a college basketball program over the last two seasons than sophomore Preseason National Player of the Year Cody Zeller of Indiana. Since he joined the starting lineup, Indiana is 35-9 for a .795 winning percentage and the Hoosiers lead all Big Six Conference school's in field goal percentage (49.6 percent), 3-point field goal percentage (42.4 percent) and free throw percentage (76.1 percent).
ON BOTH ENDS
The Hoosiers have the top offense in the country and the fifth-best defense in the nation according to kenpom.com.
The Hoosiers have won 26 straight games at home against non-conference opponents. The streak started December 28, 2009 vs. Bryant.