7:00 PM ET, February 13, 2008
Assembly Hall (Indiana), Bloomington, Indiana
Indiana didn't exactly play a rough non-conference schedule, and hadn't faced a ranked opponent until less than two weeks ago.The No. 13 Hoosiers, though, are dealing with an issue surrounding coach Kelvin Sampson and should learn a lot about themselves in the next three games -- all of which are against Top 25 teams.That stretch starts when Indiana hosts No. 15 Wisconsin on Wednesday, as the Hoosiers look to avenge their lone Big Ten loss and earn their first win of the season against a ranked foe.On Wednesday, the NCAA released a report saying Sampson and his staff violated telephone recruiting restrictions imposed because of his previous violations at Oklahoma, then lied about it to Indiana and NCAA investigators.The report accuses Sampson of five major violations, including the allegation of providing "false or misleading information" to university officials and NCAA enforcement staff. The school contended in its initial report that all violations were secondary infractions.Athletic director Rick Greenspan promised the university would cooperate with all NCAA requests."We are extremely disappointed in these new allegations regarding coach Sampson," Greenspan said in a statement. "To say the least, we view these allegations with grave concern."Indiana will try to avoid being distracted in its second meeting with the Badgers this season.The Hoosiers (20-3, 9-1) lost their two toughest non-conference games, falling to Xavier and Connecticut, which weren't ranked at the time but have since reached the Top 25.Their lone matchup with a ranked opponent resulted in a 62-49 loss at Wisconsin (19-4, 8-2) on Jan. 31, prompting critics to question their scheduling.Indiana can go a long way toward silencing doubters with a strong performance in the next week, as it also hosts No. 10 Michigan State on Saturday and No. 19 Purdue next Tuesday.The Hoosiers are coming off a pair of impressive road victories, running their overall winning streak to three by beating Illinois and Ohio State. Their 59-53 defeat of the Buckeyes on Sunday was their best win of the season statistically, as the Buckeyes entered at No. 32 in the RPI."There's kind of a metamorphosis with your team," Sampson said. "In November, December and January, this was kind of a slow-developing team, by anybody's standards. But we're starting to get better."Forward D.J. White led Indiana with 21 points and 13 rebounds against Ohio State, while freshman guard Eric Gordon added 15 points.White, the Big Ten's second-leading scorer -- behind Gordon -- and leading rebounder, has four double-doubles in his last five games and 15 for the season. Gordon averages 21.3 points, while White is scoring 17.6 per game and grabbing 10.7 rebounds."I lead by example, basically," White said. "All you can do is go out, play hard and hope they can follow you."White had 22 points and 17 boards in the first meeting with Wisconsin, but the Hoosiers shot 33.3 percent from the field and scored 20 first-half points.Known for their defense, the Badgers had their worst game of the Big Ten season in that area Saturday, allowing Purdue to shoot 53.1 percent from the field in a 72-67 loss. It was Wisconsin's first Big Ten home defeat since falling 66-51 to then-No. 6 Illinois on Jan. 31, 2006.The Badgers are second in the nation in scoring defense at 54.9 points per game. Fourteen straight opponents shot worse than 45 percent against them before Saturday."Wins and losses, they say a lot, but we didn't think we gave our best effort tonight," Badgers forward Joe Krabbenhoft said. "I think we're more disappointed in that than the loss."Wisconsin also had 18 turnovers and shot 32.7 percent from the field, including 3-of-18 from 3-point range, and lost despite outrebounding Purdue 43-21.Sophomore guard Trevon Hughes struggled the most, going 1-of-9 from the floor and 0-of-5 from beyond the arc. Hughes has made just two of his last 15 field-goal attempts and is shooting 40.2 percent for the season.Wednesday's meeting will be the 150th between Wisconsin and Indiana, with the Hoosiers holding a 93-56 advantage.The Badgers have lost their last two games in Bloomington, including Indiana's 71-66 upset last season when Wisconsin was ranked No. 2. That Jan. 31, 2007 loss ended the Badgers' 17-game winning streak.
|Avg Points Allowed||53.8||64.7|
|Conference||Big Ten||Big Ten|