Indiana vs. Eastern Michigan Gameday

Marshall Strickland

HoosierNation.com previews Saturday's Indiana-Eastern Michigan match-up, which tips off at 8 p.m. at Indiana's Assembly Hall.

Game Particulars: Indiana vs. Eastern Michigan

No. 16 Indiana (3-1) hosts Mid-America Conference foe Eastern Michigan (1-2) at 8 p.m. Saturday night at Assembly Hall. Indiana owns a 2-0 record in the all-time series, having handled EMU in both 1970 (99-82, Bloomington) and 1982 (85-48, Bloomington).

Indiana is coached by Mike Davis, who is looking for his 100th career coaching victory Saturday night. Now in his sixth season, Davis has compiled a 99-68 career mark. Eastern Michigan, meanwhile, is coached by EMU graduate Charles Ramsey, who is in his first year as the program's head coach. Ramsey came from Michigan, where he spent four seasons as an assistant coach/recruiting coordinator for Coach Tommy Amaker.

One staff member of note for the Eagles is first-year assistant coach Dusty May, a 2000 IU graduate. May served as a student manager for four years in Bloomington and most recently spent three seasons as Mike Davis' administrative assistant/video coordinator. This is May's first full-time assistant coaching job.

The game will be televised by ESPN-Plus, with Tom Hamilton (play-by-play) and John Laskowski (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2005-06 Schedule

Eastern Michigan 2005-06 Schedule

Probable Starters

PROBABLE STARTERS
#16 Indiana (3-1)
PG- Lewis Monroe (6-5, 192, Sr.) -5.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.0 apg
SG-Marshall Strickland (6-2, 195, Sr.) - 17.3 ppg, 3.5 apg, 63.2 3 pt. %
SF - Rod Wilmont (6-4, 200, Jr.) - 12.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.0 spg
PF - Robert Vaden (6-5, 225, So.) - 12.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 6.3 apg
C - Marco Killingsworth (6-8, 270, Sr.) - 23.5 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 67.9 FG %

Central Michigan (1-2)
PG- Carlos Medlock (6-0, 170, Fr.) - 6.7 ppg, 3.3 apg, 1.3 spg
SG- Nick Freer (6-6, 195, So.) - 3.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.0 apg
SF- Gino Smith (6-7, 215, Fr.) - 10.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg
PF- John Bowler (6-9, 260, Sr.) - 20.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 56.1 FG %
C - Chris Knaub (6-10, 225, Sr.) - 3.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg

INJURY UPDATE
Indiana – Indiana will be without its leading returning scorer from a year ago, D.J. White (13.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.2 bpg in '04), who is out with a broken foot. He is expected to be out until late December. James Hardy, meanwhile, has joined the team as well after the conclusion of the football season, but he hasn't' been cleared to begin practice due to some nagging football injuries. Davis said Friday they are hoping to have Hardy in uniform and ready to go for next weekend's matchup with Kentucky.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Marco Killingsworth vs. John Bowler – A pair of high-scoring, big bodies will clash when the 6-8, 270-pound Killingsworth tangles with the 6-9, 260-pound Bowler. Both are averaging better than 20 points per game, and both shoot well over 50 percent, doing the majority of their damage in and around the basket. Bowler can't match Killingsworth's athleticism, so Indiana's primary inside threat will likely have another big offensive outing. While Killingsworth will likely start the game matched up opposite Bowler, this could be a game in which freshmen Ben Allen and Cem Dinc see more time. Both could free Killingsworth up a bit on the defensive end, with either having the ability to come in and be matched up with either Bowler or JUCO center Chris Knaub.

Indiana's pressure on EMU's young guards- Eastern Michigan has four new starters, including both of its backcourt players in freshman point guard Carlos Medlock and sophomore Nick Freer. Medlock in particular will face a tall task as he looks to bring the ball up the court against an Indiana defense that will look to pressure him and eventually trap him as well in an effort to create turnovers and fastbreak opportunities. Medlock has a team-high 12 turnovers, including five in Eastern Michigan's 64-60 loss to Detroit earlier this week.

Indiana has forced 78 turnovers in its first four games, or 19.5/game. Eastern Michigan, meanwhile, is averaging 17.3 turnovers per contest during its 1-2 start, setting the stage for plenty of fastbreak opportunities for Indiana Saturday.

Will Indiana Eclipse the 100-point barrier for a third time? - Eastern Michigan's game plan is to try to pressure the ball, force turnovers, and push the pace. That's an identical style that Indiana wants to play, and the Hoosiers will counter the Eagles with more athleticism, a deeper bench, and more experience. That sounds like a recipe for another big offensive outing for the Hoosiers, who rank fourth nationally in scoring offense (92.0 points/game) and third in both field goal shooting (55.6 percent) and 3-point shooting (53.7 percent).

What sort of letdown will Indiana have after the Duke game?- Just three days removed from a 75-67 setback to No. 1 Duke and just seven days shy of a nationally-televised matchup with No. 10 Kentucky, it's a good bet that Indiana will have some sort of letdown Saturday when Eastern Michigan arrives in town. While it's a stretch to think that would put an Indiana win in any sort of real jeopardy, IU Coach Mike Davis wants a pair of strong outings against EMU and then on Tuesday at Indiana State in preparation for the matchup with the Wildcats. If Indiana starts slowly, don't be surprised to see Davis quickly turn to his bench to find some players who will play with the energy he's looking for.

QUOTABLES
"We love (the style we're playing) because everyone is scoring points, everyone is getting assists, everyone is getting rebounds, and that's what it takes to be a team – everyone doing things to help the team out. That's what we wanted to do last year, but we didn't have the right personnel. We have it right this year, and that's what we're doing – running." – IU sophomore Robert Vaden

"(on whether the team can avoid a letdown) I won't know until tomorrow night. We think we had a good practice (Friday). We fell off a little at the end, but overall we're trying to make sure that we do what we're supposed to do, and that's get better every day.." – IU Coach Mike Davis.

"We have some outstanding players. What you saw the other night against Duke, and Marco played a wonderful game. But from what I've seen over the last week and a half that I've been here, we could have played, and we will play, a lot better than what everyone saw against Duke. The sky is the limit for us on this team this year." – IU Assistant Coach Sidney Green.

DID YOU KNOW… Indiana is 21-9 when Marshall Strickland scores in double figures during the last three-plus seasons, and 32-34 when he doesn't. Strickland has scored in double figures in all four games this season, making him one of only two players (Marco Killingsworth) to do so this season…Marco Killingsworth's 34-point effort against Duke was the most points scored by an Indiana player since Bracey Wright scored 39 against North Texas two years ago. Killingsworth added 10 rebounds, making him to first IU player to enjoy a 30-point, 10-rebound effort since Alan Henderson scored 41 points and added 13 rebounds against Michigan State on March 9, 1994…Marshall Strickland, who is shooting 63.2 percent from behind the 3-point arc, has moved into IU's all-time top 10 in both 3-point attempts (7th-363) and makes (10th-131). Strickland needs 18 3-pointers to pass Calbert Cheaney for ninth on the all-time list…while Indiana leads the Big Ten in both field goal shooting and 3-point percentage, it ranks 10th in free-throw shooting (63 percent). Only Illinois' 58.5 percent work at the charity stripe is worse. Michigan State leads the league at 79.4 percent...Marco Killingsworth appears to have an excellent chance to break Matt Nover's IU single-season field goal shooting record. Nover holds the record at 62.8 percent in 1992-93, while Killingsworth is currently shooting 67.9 percent from the floor…Eastern Michigan's most dangerous 3-point threat comes off the bench – senior Danny McElhinny. McElhinny is 7-of-14 (50 percent) from behind the 3-point arc this season, while the rest of the team is just 12-of-36 (33.3 percent).

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