Dec. 9, 2010
THE OPENING TIP
Indiana is in its 111th season of college basketball and will face its first game against a nationally ranked opponent in 2010-11 when it visits No. 16 Kentucky on Saturday in Lexington. The Hoosiers have won seven of eight to begin the 2010-11 campaign and are coming off a 79-57 win over Savannah State on Saturday, December 4. The Wildcats defeated Notre Dame, 72-58, on Wednesday night.
Indiana named Tom Crean as its 28th men's basketball coach on April 2, 2008, and is in his third year with the Hoosiers. He is 213-143 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.
John Calipari is in his 19th season as a Division I head coach and has compiled a 443-143 overall record. He is in his second season with the Wildcats and went 35-3 in his first year. He also spent eight years at UMass and nine seasons at Memphis before arriving at Kentucky.
The Hoosiers are second in the Big Ten in field goal percentage making 50.5 percent of its field goal attempts and in field goal percentage defense (38.0).
In the last three games, IU has shot 54.2 percent from the field making 90 of 166 field goal attempts. Indiana shot 50.9 percent from the floor at Boston College, the first time they had shot over 50 percent in a road game since March 8, 2009, at Wisconsin (54.1 percent).
Junior Verdell Jones III needs 115 points to become the 42nd player in IU history to reach 1,000 points in their career. He has scored 885 career points and has averaged 13.2 points for his career.
Last year, sophomore Maurice Creek had a career-high 31 points against the Wildcats and was the leading freshman scorer in the country after the game averaging 16.4 points at the time. He later fractured his knee cap againt Bryant on December 28 ending his season. He has scored in double figures in three straight games games for the first time since return from injury. He had 14 points against Northwestern State, 15 points against Boston College, and 11 versus Savannah State.
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.
Sophomore Christian Watford is fifth in the Big Ten averaging 17.8 points per game after scoring 23 against Boston College, his road game career-high. He is seventh in the league in free throw percentage (82.8) and has made a league-high 48 free throws.
Sophomore Jordan Hulls is second in the league in 3-point field goal percentage (58.1 percent), sixth in three-point field goals made per game (2.25) and eighth in assist/turnover ratio (2.0).
A GLANCE AT KENTUCKY
The Wildcats are led by Terrence Jones, Brandon Knight, Doron Lamb and Darium Miller who are all averaging double figures in points this season. Jones is also the top rebounder for the Wildcats, coming in just shy of 10 boards per contest. UK is holding its opponents to less than 40 percent shooting from the field and just 29 percent from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, the Wildcats are shooting 41 percent on 3-point attemtps, with Lamb and Miller both well over 50 percent.
WATFORD OFF TO GOOD START
Sophomore forward Christian Watford is the only Hoosier to score in double figures in each of the first eight games. He had 14 points against Savannah State. He also had 23 points and two steals at Boston College. He posted 17 points and seven rebounds against Northwestern State after he led IU with 17 points and four assists against NCCU.
He notched 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 posted a career-high 24 points and four assists in the season opening win against FGCU. He also leads the team in free throw percentage (82.8) and has made 48-of-58 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 six rebounds per game.
JONES HOT AGAIN
Junior guard Verdell Jones III has made 19 of his last 32 field goal attemts (59.3 percent) and led the Hoosiers with 18 points against Savannah State. He led the Hoosiers with 24 points, five rebounds and seven assists in the win over Northwestern State. He also made 10-of-11 free throws in that game and was 7-of-11 from the floor.
He had 18 points, three assists and three steals in the win over Evansville. He made 7-of-10 of his field goal attempts. The previous Sunday, he stepped up in a big way against Wright State scoring 27 points and adding six rebounds and three steals. He made 11-14 field goal attempts and both of his long distance calls. He now has scored 867 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 12 steals and for his career is averaging 13.7 points per game.