Dec. 13, 2013
THE OPENING TIP
Indiana is in its 114th season of college basketball and will face Notre Dame in the third edition of the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis. The Hoosiers are coming off an 81-54 win over Oakland at home on Tuesday night, while the Irish fell 73-69 to North Dakota State at home on Wednesday. IU defeated Notre Dame, 69-58, in the first Crossroads Classic two seasons, ago.
The Hoosiers lead the nation in rebound margin at +15.9 per game, are second in total rebounds per game at 48.2 and are sixth in the country in FG percentage defense at 36.2 percent per game.
SINCE 2011-12 ...
Indiana is 64-18 (.780 winning pct.), 12-9 on the road, 22-15 away from Assembly Hall (road and neutral combined) and 42-3 at home (tied with Syracuse and Ohio State for the most home wins in the nation in that time frame). Last year, Miami (FL) and Indiana had the best conference road records among BCS level institutions at 7-2. IU captured the Big Ten title with wins at Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State, among others.
Indiana named Tom Crean as its 28th men's basketball coach on April 2, 2008, and he is in his sixth year with the Hoosiers. He is 282-180 all-time as a head coach and during the last two-plus years, he has led Indiana to a 64-18 record, the 2013 Big Ten Championship and back-to-back appearances in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1994. In 2012-13, he was named NABC District 7 and USBWA District V Coach of the Year. Mike Brey is in his 14th season as the head coach at Notre Dame. He is 292-145 and like Syracuse and Pittsburgh, the Fighting Irish begin their first season as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
VONLEH HONORED FOR THIRD TIME
Freshman Noah Vonleh has been named Big Ten Freshman of the Week three times and is one of 50 players listed on the Wooden Award Preseason Watch List and Naismith Award Early Season Watch List. He had 17 points and six rebounds at Syracuse and made 13-of-16 free throw attempts. His 13 free throws made tied Verdell Jones III (13 vs. Minnesota, 2010) for the best single game effort in the Tom Crean Era. Vonleh is averaging 12.8 points and leads the Big Ten averaging 10.0 rebounds per game. He had his sixth double-double of the year with 13 points and 11 rebounds against North Florida and had eight points and 10 rebounds against Oakland. He also leads all freshmen nationally in rebounds per 40 minutes at 17.3 per game.
In the last two games, graduate transfer Evan Gordon is averaging 20.5 points and is shooting 81.0 percent from the field (17-21) and 71.4 percent from long distance (5-7) and had a season-high 26 points in the win over Oakland. He also is averaging 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals in those two games. He had 15 points off the bench against North Florida.
Sophomore Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell is the Hoosiers top scorer averaging 16.4 points. Most notably, he has significantly improved his long distance shooting making 40.6 percent of his three-point shots after making 30.3 percent as a freshman. He is second in the Big Ten in 3-pointers made per game at 2.6 and has made 26 three-point field goals this season after making 23 a season ago. Ferrell earned all-tournament honors at the 2KSports Classic when he averaged 20 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists and had 24 points against Stony Brook and Washington. Ferrell was also named to the Naismith Award Early Season Watch List.
Since the start of the 2011-12 season, no team has made more free throws in the country during that span (1,561) than IU. The Hoosiers also are second in free throw attempts (2,086), third in 3-point percentage (40.3), and fourth in field goal percentage (48.4) and seventh in scoring (78.5).