Dec. 26, 2012
|Jacksonville (5-7) vs. No. 5/5 Indiana (11-1)
||Friday, Dec. 28, 2012
||8 p.m. ET
||Bloomington, Ind. - Assembly Hall (17,472)
||BTN (Kevin Kugler and Jim Jackson)
|| IU Radio Network (Affiliates); Sirius 135/XM 190
||Indiana | Jacksonville
||Indiana | Jacksonville
| Social Media
|| @IndianaMBB | @IUShanaDan for in-game updates
THE OPENING TIP
Indiana is in its 113th season of college basketball and will play host to Jacksonville in its final non-conference matchup of the season on Friday night. The Hoosiers are currently ranked No. 5 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and by the Associated Press, the 21st straight week they have been nationally ranked, the longest since they were ranked for 71 straight weeks from 1989-94. This was the first time since the 1979-80 preseason and 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. Indiana was also picked by the Big Ten media to win the conference championship. The Hoosiers will open Big Ten play with road games at Iowa (December 31) and at Penn State (January 7).
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 256-172 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.
Cliff Warren is in his eighth year at Jacksonville and has a 105-121 record with the Dolphins.
The Hoosiers have the top offense in the country and the 10th-best defense in the nation according to kenpom.com. Indiana has wins over two teams that were nationally ranked this season, North Carolina and Georgetown. Indiana leads the nation in scoring (89.1) and point differential (+29.8), and are second in field goal percentage (52.1), fourth in rebound differential (+13.2) and in 3-point field goal percentage (41.5). The Hoosiers also lead the Big Ten in assists (17.9), 3-point field goal percentage (41.9) and free throw percentage (75.6).
Junior Victor Oladipo is third in the country and leads the Big Ten in field goal percentage (67.0) and in steals (2.7). Sophomore Cody Zeller leads the league in rebounding (8.1), is fourth in scoring (16.4) and third in field goal percentage (62.2). Senior Christian Watford leads the league in free throw shooting (92.2) and is fourth in 3-point FG pct (46.2). Senior Jordan Hulls is third in assist/turnover ratio (47/14), second in 3-point field goal percentage (52.06 and seventh in assists (3.9). Freshman Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell is second in assists (5.1) and third in free throw percentage (87.9). Junior Will Sheehey is sixth in the Big Ten in field goal percentage (56.5).
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 38-10 for a 79.2 winning percentage and the Hoosiers lead all Big Six Conference school's in field goal percentage (50.0 percent), 3-point field goal percentage (42.8 percent) and free throw percentage (76.1 percent). Five times this season he has not played in the final six minutes of a game, including the final 6:20 against North Carolina.
IU is second in the nation in free throws made per game (20.7) and attempts per game (27.3). IU has made 248 free throws, while its opponents have attempted just 182. Zeller leads the conference with 5.4 free throws made per game and 7.4 charity tosses attempted. He is averaging 19.3 points in his last three games. Also in the last three games, the Hoosiers are shooting 55.6 percent from 3-point range (20-of-36). Indiana scored a season-high 55 points in the first half of the game against FAU.