Dec. 13, 2012
|Butler (7-2) vs. No. 1/1 Indiana (9-0) Close the Gap Crossroads Classic
||Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012
||2 p.m. ET
||Indianapolis, Ind. - Bankers Life Fieldhouse (18,165)
||CBS (Spero Dedes and Clark Kellogg)
|| IU Radio Network (Affiliates); Sirius 91/XM 91
||Indiana | Butler
||Indiana | Butler
| Social Media
|| @IndianaMBB | @IUShanaDan for in-game updates
The Last Meeting
|Butler (Hoosier Invitational)||59
November 27, 2011
THE OPENING TIP
Indiana is in its 113th season of college basketball and will take on Butler on Saturday at the Boston Scientific Close the Gap Crossroads Classic in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. IU has a 37-13 lead in the series, including a 75-59 win over the Bulldogs last year in Bloomington.
In last year's Boston Scientific Close the Gap Crossroads Classic, the Hoosiers defeated Notre Dame, 69-58. 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 and is enjoying its 50th week all-time 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 254-171 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 last season. Brad Stevens is in his sixth season as the head coach at Butler and has a record of 146-42 with the Bulldogs.
The Hoosiers have the top offense in the country and the seventh-best defense in the nation according to kenpom.com. The Hoosiers have wins over two nationally ranked teams, North Carolina and Georgetown, who are rated in both major polls. Indiana leads the nation in scoring (89.1) and point differential (+31.7) and are fourth in rebound differential (+13.8) and in field goal perentage (51.5). The Hoosiers also lead the Big Ten in assists (17.3), free throw percentage (75.0), field goal defense (35.3) and 3-point field goal defense (26.4).
Junior Victor Oladipo leads in field goal percentage (65.2) and in steals (2.6). Sophomore Cody Zeller leads the league in rebounding (8.9), is fourth in scoring (15.4) and second in field goal percentage (62.5). Senior Christian Watford leads the league in free throw shooting (91.7) and is fifth in the league in rebounding (7.2). Senior Jordan Hulls is second in the Big Ten in 3-point field goals made per game (2.9) and in assist/turnover ratio (36/9). Sophomore Remy Abell leads the league with 10 triples made in 15 attempts. Freshman Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell is second in assists (4.9) and in free throw percentage (89.7).
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 put on the Cream and Crimson, Indiana is 36-9 for a 80.0 winning percentage and the Hoosiers lead all Big Six Conference school's in field goal percentage (49.6 percent), 3-point field goal percentage (42.1 percent) and free throw percentage (76.0 percent).
LOOKING AT IMPROVEMENT THROUGH NINE GAMES
After nine games, the Hoosiers have improved 5.4 points scored, 5.0 fewer points allowed, 7.9 rebounds and 4.4 fewer rebounds allowed at the same juncture of the season a year ago. IU also is holding opponents to 35.3 percent shooting after allowing 40.0 percent after nine games last season.
SUCCESS AT BANKERS LIFE FIELDHOUSE
Three members of the Indiana men's basketball team have enjoyed big moments winning high school state championships at the Indianapolis facility formerly known as Conseco Fieldhouse. Senior Jordan Hulls won a state title for Bloomington South in 2008, sophomore Cody Zeller for Washington in 2008, 2010 and 2011, and freshman Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell at Indianapolis Park Tudor in 2011 and 2012.