Hoosiers and Wildcats Battle On Saturday
Dec. 7, 2007
Kentucky (4-2) at #15/15 Indiana (7-1)
The Opening Tip
The Indiana men's basketball team is ranked 15th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and AP Poll and will host rival Kentucky in the second of a five-game December homestand. IU has won its last three games and is coming off an 84-72 win over Tennessee State. The Hoosiers enter the game with a 22-game home court winning streak. The Wildcats are 4-2 after falling 86-77 at home to #1 North Carolina. UK has a 28-22 lead in a series which began in 1924. This is the first meeting in Bloomington since December, 1990 when the Hoosiers grabbed an 87-84 win. The Hoosiers have a 9-4 lead in games played in Bloomington. The Wildcats have won six of the last seven contests between the two schools. Two years ago, the Hoosiers captured a 79-53 triumph in Indianapolis, while last year, UK won 59-54 in Lexington. Indiana and Kentucky have met in the regular season in a non-conference game every year since 1969. Indiana is the 10th winningest program of all time with 1,617 victories, while Kentucky rates first with 1,952 wins.
Two-time National Coach of the Year Kelvin Sampson was named the 26th head coach in Indiana University history on March 29, 2006 and enters his second year with the Hoosiers and 25th as a collegiate head coach. He has notched 16 20-plus win seasons and is 483-269 (.664), which ranks 19th in victories among active NCAA Division I coaches. He is 28-12 in two seasons and is 20-0 at Assembly Hall. Branch McCracken holds the record for most consecutive wins at home to start a career with 25 from 1938-41. Both of his Hoosier teams have been nationally ranked. This year, the Hoosiers have been ranked as high as eighth in the country, while last year, they climbed to #19. Coach Billy Gillispie is in his first year with Kentucky, and like Sampson, came to his new job from the Big XII. During their two seasons together in the Big XII, Sampson's Oklahoma squad won all four meetings against's Gillispie's Texas A & M teams.
Eric Gordon leads the league and is eighth in the nation in scoring (24.3) and is seventh in the league in field goal percentage (53.4), second in three-point field goal percentage (50.0), and in free throw percentage (83.8). He has made (62) and attempted (74) more free throws than any other player in the league. The last freshman to lead the Big Ten in scoring was Minnesota's Kris Humphries (21.7) in 2004. The highest scoring average by a freshman in league history was set by Purdue's Glenn Robinson (24.1) in 1993.
D.J. White is currently eighth in the league in scoring (14.8), second in rebounds (8.6), third in field goal percentage (63.4) and seventh in blocked shots (1.74). He needs 10 points to become the 41st member of the school's 1000-point club.
The Hoosiers lead the league in scoring (82.5).
General Notes Indiana has had 13 straight home crowds of more than 17.000 fans per game.
Indiana Coach Kelvin Sampson is 17 wins away from reaching 500 in his 25 years as a head coach.
Sampson's 20 straight wins at home to start a career is the second highest total in school history. Branch McCracken won his first 25 home games from 1938-1941.
Indiana freshman Jordan Crawford and Kentucky senior Joe Crawford will have the chance to square off against each other for the first time collegiately. Joe leads the Wildcats averaging 18.3 points, while Jordan is the top sub for IU averaging 12.6. The Detroit natives are the sons of Joseph Sr., and Sylvia Crawford.
Junior Jamarcus Ellis has had double-double's for the third time in four games with his 10 points and 10 assists against Tennessee State. He had 11 points and 10 boards against Southern Illinois. He had his first career double-double with 10 points and 11 caroms against Xavier. He is second in the Big Ten in defensive rebounds with 6.4 per game.
Against Georgia Tech, he had 15 points, seven rebounds and two steals. In the last two games, he has made 10 straight free throws. He is tied for the team lead with D.J. White with 14 offensive rebounds. He also is averaging 11.5 points per game in the last four contests.
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