Scouting report: Indiana
Game info: 6 p.m. Thursday at Madison Square Garden (19,812 capacity).
TV: ESPN2 (John Saunders and Fran Fraschilla).
Radio: 950-AM KJR (Mike Gastineau and Jason Hamilton).
2012-13 record: 29-7 overall, 14-4 (first in Big Ten).
Stats/schedule: Click here.
Game notes: Indiana.
Coach: Tom Crean is in his sixth year at Indiana with an 88-82 record with the Hoosiers. The 47-year-old coach is 278-178 in 15 years as a college head coach, including a 190-96 record during a nine-year stint at Marquette. His teams have made seven NCAA tournament appearances, five with Marquette and two with Indiana. After guiding the Golden Eagles to the NCAA tourney second round in 2008 he took replaced Kelvin Sampson and over at Indiana. Last year, Indiana announced it had given Crean a 10-year contract extension. His annual salary is reportedly $3.16 million. A graduate of Central Michigan, he’s married to Joani Harbaugh who is the sister to San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Baltimore Ravens coach Jim Harbaugh.
Prediction: The Hoosiers were picked to finish sixth in the 12-team Big Ten in a preseason poll of 24 writers who cover the conference.
Series: Indiana is 2-1 all-time against Washington.
Last meeting: The Hoosiers won 71-57 in the Far West Classic in Portland on Dec. 27, 1978.
Previous game: Sophomore guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell scored 24 points and freshman forward Noah Vonleh had his fourth straight double-double (18 points and 15 rebounds) Sunday to help Indiana pull away from Stony Brook 90-74. Indiana opened the second half on a 12-6 run, extending a six-point halftime lead to 53-41 with 15:23 to play and sealed the win with a late 12-4 spurt. (Highlights above.)
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— Noah Vonleh, a 6-10 freshman forward, was a McDonald’s All-American. He was named Big Ten Preseason Freshman/Newcomer of the Year by numerous publications. He’s recorded a double double in each of his first four games. Vonleh has drawn comparisons to Chris Bosh because he’s long, lean, nimble and he can hit a mid-range jumper.
Vonleh has collected at least four fouls in two games. He’s also 0-3 on three-pointers.
— Sophomore point guard Kevin ‘Yogi’ Ferrell is the only returning starter. He led Indiana with 147 assists last season. This season, he is scoring more than ever before. He’s leads the team with a 19.5 scoring average and has scored 26 and 24 points in the past two games respectively. This summer he played for Team USA in the World University Games.
— Will Sheehey was named Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year as a junior last season when he averaged 9.5 points and 3.5 rebounds. The 6-7 senior forward is an inside-out big man who can hit the occasional three-pointer. However, he does his best work around the basket. He also played on the USA team in the World University Games this summer.
— Indiana has a big, tall and dominant front line. Entering this week, Indiana is second in the nation averaging 52.3 rebounds per game and is fourth in the country in blocked shots, averaging 8.5 a contest. For the first time since the 2001-02 season, the Hoosiers have posted 10 blocks or more in a game twice in a single season. IU had 13 against Chicago State and 10 against Samford.
— Since the start of the 2011-12 season, no team has made more free throws in the country during that span (1441) than IU. The Hoosiers also are second in free throw attempts (1,924) and 3-point percentage (41.0), and third in field goal percentage (48.6) and sixth in scoring (78.7).
— Washington fans will remember Evan Gordon, who played one year at Arizona State and averaged 10.1 points. He transferred this summer and was granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA. It was the second time he’s transferred after starting his career at Liberty. He provides scoring punch off the bench. Gordon’s older brother Eric starred at IU.
— Indiana lost all-Americans from last season’s team that won 29 games, a Big Ten regular-season title and advanced to the Sweet 16. Victor Oladipo was taken second in the NBA draft and Cody Zeller went fourth overall.
— Indiana has 11 underclassmen.
F – Noah Vonleh, 6-10, 240, Fr., 14.8 ppg., 12.5 rbp., 1.3 bpg.
F – Jeremy Hollowell, 6-8, 219, So., 9.8, 3.8, 2.0
F– Troy Williams, 6-7, 206, Fr., 10.0, 5.5, 2.0 spg.
F – Will Sheehey, 6-7, 200, Sr., 11.0, 4.8, 1.5 apg.
G – Kevin (Yogi) Ferrell, 6-0, 178, S0., 19.5, 4.3, 4.5
— It starts on the inside with Vonleh. The Huskies will have to slow him down, possibly with a 2-3 zone anchored by Perris Blackwell. Shawn Kemp Jr. played just 19 minutes Sunday, but he may have to log heavy minutes Thursday. Indiana’s big front line will be a huge test for Washington’s four-guard lineup.