Dec. 15, 2010
IBN LAS VEGAS CLASSIC
Indiana is in its 111th season of college basketball and will play the first of four straight games in the IBN Las Vegas Classic when it hosts SIU-Edwardsville on Friday night. The Hoosiers will host South Carolina State on Dec. 19, before taking on Northern Iowa and either New Mexico or Colorado at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, December 22 and 23. The Hoosiers are coming off an 81-62 loss at Kentucky, while the Cougars won a 77-76 double overtime decision over Kennesaw State.
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 213-144 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.
Lennox Forrester is in his fourth season with the Cougars and has a career record of 34-63 as he leads the transition from a NCAA Division II program to Division I.
The Hoosiers lead the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense (37.8 percent) and is second in field goal percentage (49.6 percent).
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.
Junior Verdell Jones III needs 105 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 13.1 points for his career. He is 11th in the Big Ten right now making 52.9 percent of his shots.
Sophomore Christian Watford is seventh in the Big Ten averaging 17.9 points per game after scoring 19 at Kentucky and adding a team-high nine rebounds. He is sixth in the conference in free throw percentage (84.1) and has made a league-high 53 free throws. He is the only Hoosier to score in double figures every game this season.
Sophomore Jordan Hulls is second in the league in 3-point field goal percentage (57.6 percent),10th in 3-point field goals made per game (2.11) and eighth in assist/turnover ratio (2.07). In the last five games, he is shooting 64.7 percent from 3-point range making 11 of 17 shots.
Senior Jeremiah Rivers made his first start of the season against Kentucky and had a season-high seven points and five rebounds in 30 minutes.
Junior Tom Pritchard had three blocked shots against Kentucky and ranks seventh in the league in that category averaging 1.67 per game.
A GLANCE AT SIUE
The Cougars improved to 2-9 on the year with a double-overtime 77-76 win at home over Kennesaw State on Saturday. Prior to that win, SIUE had lost six straight games and they are 0-6 in road games this season. Cornelius Chatt leads SIUE with 11.1 points per game, while Corey Wickware is pouring in 10.9 points and Nikola Bundalo checks in at 10.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest.