What to Expect: Kentucky

  • 12/08/2011 1:16 pm in

After a tuneup on Sunday against Stetson, the Hoosiers are back in Assembly Hall on Saturday evening for a meeting with No. 1 Kentucky. The game will be shown on ESPN and broadcast on the IU radio network (Sirius 92/XM 190):

The stage is set. 17,000 screaming fans. Dan Shulman and Dick Vitale on the call. And the nation’s most talented team on Branch McCracken Court opposite the Hoosiers.

This is what college basketball is all about.

Indiana has passed all eight of its early season tests with relative ease. They’ve dismantled less talented opponents. They took a punch from Butler in Assembly Hall and responded with a punch of their own to run away late. And they’ve won on the road twice.

But this is different.

This is IU’s first test against an elite team. It’s an opportunity to learn just where the Hoosiers stand in a game that will have the eyes of the nation. Some national experts are already predicting an IU win. Is the basketball Hoosier fans have so desperately craved over the past three plus seasons finally back in Assembly Hall? We’ll know the answer on Saturday.

POMEROY PREVIEW

A lot of impressive numbers on this chart for both programs. For the Hoosiers, it’ll be interesting to see if the hot shooting (58.0 eFG%) continues against one of the country’s best defensive teams (37.5 eFG% allowed). Points are going to be extremely difficult to come by in the paint for IU as Kentucky is allowing opponents a 2-point field goal percentage of just 33.2 and the Wildcats’ block percentage of 25.8 is tops in the nation.

A couple of other areas that will be key for Indiana: Keeping Kentucky off the offensive glass. This is going to be a topic of conversation going into most games until the Hoosiers produce a few stellar defensive rebounding performances. Indiana cannot afford a first half defensive rebounding performance like the one produced in Raleigh.

Tom Crean has put an emphasis on getting to the line more frequently — 24.3 percent of IU’s points come on free throws — but Kentucky’s opponent free throw rate has been low to this point. Two things to remember: 1. Free throws, more so in this game than any thus far, are going to be among the highest percentage shots available. 2. If Indiana can draw some fouls and get into UK’s bench, that’s a positive.

THE ATMOSPHERE

If Indiana stands any chance of knocking off the No. 1 team in America, the energy and noise inside Assembly Hall must become a factor. If Camp Crean is any indication, the students seem poised to make this the best atmosphere since the Duke game in 2005.

On the flip side, how will Kentucky handle playing in a hostile environment for the first time this season? Kentucky beat Kansas on a neutral court at Madison Square Garden and North Carolina at home, but they’ve yet to play a true road game. It bears watching how a group starting three freshman and two sophomores will respond to adversity away from home.

RECRUITS EXPECTED

A pair of recruits — 2012 signee Jeremy Hollowell and 2014 commitment Trey Lyles — will likely be in attendance.

In addition, 2014 Evansville Bosse guard JaQuan Lyle will make the trip to Assembly Hall per his Twitter account.

QUICK FACTS ON KENTUCKY

All-time series: Kentucky leads 31-23
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Student Enrollment: 27,209
Established: 1865

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  • Anonymous

    I think that is a sign for the end of the world.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I’ll be making the trek up there too!!

  • InTheMtns

    You are correct – we are passionate about our program.

    When you say that “Crean doesn’t have the talent” I don’t know if you meant he doesn’t have players with enough talent or that Crean isn’t a talented enough as a coach. Either way, you’ve made an underestimation.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Boobzilla: The Anna Nicole Smith Story … this Friday night on Lifetime.

  • Shaknquake

    While adopted into a wonderful family of iu fans, finding my birth family was amazing but there is some small shame. I have a bloodline of salyers from salyerville, ky. I embrace my blood but not the heritage… But My blood is crimson, thank you.

    Still can’t stand pUKe… Not even close bt pu and uk.

    Iu 79 v uk 72…

    We Aren’t that great yet, but good enough to carry the day against this bunch…

  • InTheMtns

    Quick fun fact:

    Dec. 18, 1924 – Indiana defeats Kentucky in Lexington, 20-18. It marked the first time the two schools played to start a long-time rivalry.

  • Anonymous

    If IU can rebound this entire game like they did in the second half against N.C. State, IU has a good shot at winning provided that they don’t turn the ball over. Verdell will struggle mightily if he is dribbling around the court against these athletic guys. Will Sheehey needs to re-emerge, Vic needs to be Vic, Christian needs to be a man for 40 minutes (and I know he can) going up against Terrance Jones, the Z-man needs to box out Anthony Davis and get up and down the floor like he does, and Jordy needs to be the clutch shooter we all know he is and effectively handle the ball as he almost always does. Tom Pritchard and Derek Elston, if you are going to make a name for yourselves in IU basketball lore, this is the game to do it in — be big fellas! This is by far the biggest game of your careers! Prove that you belong in the NCAA Tournament!!

  • That’s right. God’s Army with Coach Tom Crean will prevail over those southern savages. We play team ball, they play street ball. I predict IU 83 UK 23 only because we empty our bench with 8 mins to go.  Trust in our lord Tom Crean and the rest will take care of itself.  #godthang

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Cream.  I do not like Purdue, but I have respect for the way Painter runs his program.  He gets good kids and gets them to play hard and win games despite not having the #1 recruiting class each year.

    Scandal follows Calipari wherever he goes, and once it starts getting hot, he leaves the program to deal with it while earning a larger payday somewhere else.  I didn’t have much issue with KY when Tubby was there, but other than that, I get a they-will-do-anything-to-win attitude about their program…not as a compliment either.

  • Exactly.  You don’t need talent to win in Bloomington.  You need a strong faith in our lord, Tom Crean.  I don’t need vices to get through these games. My holy water exudes pure ectasy in the form of Indiana basketball.  Drink up everyone.  We got this in the bag.  #godthang

  • Anonymous

    My girlfriend and I had a discussion about this the other day.  I took the under on 3.  She took the over.  Wash at 3 even.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah and I got a drinking charge in college, guess that makes me one of the “criminals.”  Sandusky actually has the edge on me there.  He’s been caught, but not convicted yet.

    Back to reality here for a second, I heard someone call Calipari “Calimari” recently- maybe even by accident.  I got the best caricature in my head.  And forgive me if I mix cephalopods here, but honestly, the guy has his tentacles in everything.  Taking money out of a booster’s pocket with one, slipping it in a recruits gym bag with another, calling one of his nba guys with another, handing a cell phone to another recruit with one of those guys on the phone with another.  And when the trail starts to lead itself back to the slimy excuse for an animal– Boom.  He is gone in a plume of ink.  On to another school of fish.  Or Cats. 

  • Anonymous

    Assembly hall must itimidate pUKe with all its might.  Remember, they are the Commonwealth’s team with no respect to UofL and no other fan base with its passion. I beg to differ. Go Hoosiers!

  • Anonymous

    Cue the windex on my monitor.  Anyone have a paper towel to wipe off the iced tea?

  • Anonymous

    There you are!!!  Glad to see you back. Amen, a ton of their players have never, ever been on the receiving end of what Assembly Hall can dish out. It must intimidate.

  • Anonymous

    The original makeup call zebra.  That be Hightower…

  • Anonymous

    Haaaaaaa. I couldn’t just click the Like button and let that be it.  Great line Dr.  

  • Anonymous

    Good points, especially about withstanding the inevitable run they make.  Just curious, what do you mean by “Victor and Will must go 25 and 10?”

  • BEAT KENTUCKY

    I know where you are going with this hangin , and you are spot on … I live iin Louisville . Crean has responded to his comments . NOW ITS TIME FOR THE HOOSIER NATION TO STAND UP ….AND THEY WILL ! But calipari , and pUKe fans , and its players are so damn arrogant . LET’S GET  IT ON …..GO HOOSIERS

  • BEAT KENTUCKY

    crimson …….we can do this bro . Just like IUJeff said  “they play for the name on  the back of the jersey , we play for the name on the front . ” .We need to have some breaks , but i believe bro I believe  !

  • Linback93

    Purdue is my least favorite, mostly just because of their fans. They think that they have done so much in the past 4 years, but really they have only made it to the sweet 16 a couple times. They are disrespectful, and don’t understand what a great team really is.

  • Kappa707

    You can’t win National Championships before Christmas Day.  Gonna be hard for Santa to deliver that one with conference play yet to begin. 

  • Kappa707

    I’m going with Kentucky.  I don’t like Purdue at all but until they win something other than a conference championship I’d rather beat Kentucky every year with their championships and #1 rankings before a Purdue “program” that literally has nothing in their trophy case.  I think they went to the Final Four last in 1980.  Seriously 1980.  If we weren’t in the same state and conference, we wouldn’t even be associated with them.  Although after that rant, maybe I do hate Purdue more depending on the angle.

  • Kfdchev

    I cannot and will not ever root for Kentucky…..in anything. I can root for Purdue if it is a non-conference game or if it is a conference game and Purdue winning gives IU the conference title then I can cheer on the Boilers. I wouldn’t cheer for Kentucky unless the team bus was burning with the doors locked and headed over a cliff! Years and years of scandal and abuse of NCAA rules, more than 70 major rules violations across the board! I saw a post, maybe here, suggesting if caught again they should be made a DII school for a period of  time until they can learn to operate under the rules. As for Calipari and his history, why would a University with the reputation of UK hire a coach with the reputation of Calipari and expect anything other than negative remarks and negative results. As soon as the heat starts to get turned up down there he will be gone….off to the next big scam. I spoke with a UK fan last year and when I spoke of UK’s cheating ways his response was “If you ain’t cheatin, you ain’t tryin”! And that my friend is why I hate UK. It would be different if they had been found to be cheating and then made adjustments in the way they conduct business. But instead they just try to find a way to conduct that type of business and not get caught. But they eventually get caught and when they start to get in trouble this time there will be a tell tale sign. “Calipari anounces he is Leaving UK for better job”! When we see that headline we will know that UK is about to be hit with a rules violation! Get ready because it is going to happen! In the meant time there is going to be a game palyed at Assembly Hall on Saturday and if the there is any desency in the college basketball world our HOOSIERS will prevail.

  • Anonymous

    Crean’s comments on UK’s length and defense are right on. Let’s just hope that IU plays its best and UK has an “off” day. I just hope IU doesn’t com e out and do stupid things at first (quick 3 pointers..aggressive fouls…etc) Everybody has to go the boards…cause giving up 12 offensive boards to UK will result in 24 points and who knows how many fouls. Hulls needs to keep puting it up..he’ll have opportunities.Go Hoosiers..

  • INUnivHoosier

    I remember being at the Duke game in 2005, and it was wild. I hope we can bring that kind of energy, but end up blowing pUKe out of the water (or just winning, period).

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    That also make any Kentucky fan living in Indiana a Hoosier

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    I was waiting until next year to ask for another banner.

  • Ben Ancelet

    I have been Hoosier BBall fan all my life. One of my first memories is watching Keith Smart hit that baseline jumper to win it all in ’87 when I was just 3 years old. Having said this, it has to be pUKe. It’s not even close for me. I dislike purdue, but until they reach a final four I don’t care what is going on with their program. I respect purdue but I just don’t care that much about a program that will never win a national championship.

    pUKe just gets under my skin. I can’t wait until Cal gets caught at pUKe doing what he does best, cheating. The fact that they even call their kids “student athletes” is laughable. How many classes do you think Demarcus Cousins attended in his one semester at pUke? I’m bettting under 5.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Makes* dang smartphone

  • Anonymous

    I assume he means that Victor and Will need to combine for 25 pts and 10 boards.  Correct me if I am wrong, Kelin.

  • Anonymous

    Good point.  A couple of years ago, Texas was #1 at this time of the season, and they ended up with an 8 or 9 in the NCAAs.  Every team is still forging an identity right now.  UK has us in the talent department, no doubt about it, but I like our overall roster makeup and basketball IQ. 

    Also, I think we can compete with anyone in the Hall. 

  • randy

    Definitely more venom for UK, at least from the grips of this snake’s mouth. I despise UK for mainly one reason…that being their coach. The fans are like many other fans. The players are like many other players. The coach has much to do with how players and fans participate. Understand, no coach should be held accountable for the actions of the players and fans, but each coach should play a significant role in how the entire program is perceived. Coach Cal is suspect to many wrongdoings. I believe he has done wrong, but perhaps I am wrong. Regardless, Bobby Knight and I don’t believe he belongs in the NCAA. He is clearly better suited for a coaching career in an NBA development league than as a motivator for aspiring college students to earn a diploma, an education, and make an impact on the greater good of society.

    As for Purdue, I will NEVER cheer them on while Cream & Crimson are their opponents. With that said, one thing I despise more than UK’s coach and the UK fans who continue to bring up telephone calls made by former IU coaches (as if it is still relevant to IU’s current program…although its backlash still has an impact on its progress in rebuilding), are the people who refuse to root for their conference in non-conference games. I cheer on PU anytime they play out of conference. I am a Hoosier, and so are many of the fans and players (past and present) of Purdue. I say, “Root for the home teams…as Hoosiers should, if for no other reason, because the state of Indiana is historically among the greatest states to watch and enjoy basketball.”

  • 888

    Teams that are ranked #1 these days arent like teams that were ranked #1 in the past. With the one and doners the teams dont have chemistry like they used too. Thats why the Butlers of college basketball can make it too the championship game 2 years in a row. We have a definet edge in chemistry/experience. Being at home is going to be a huge advantage too. Our crowd is gonna be on Teague like a dog on a porkchop. It could cause him to get frustrated and get yanked. I also think Cody is the smartest player on the floor. Hes gonna take it to Davis. I know we can lose this game but i think our team wants to be respected and this is the game they get it. IU 81 – UK 70  Cody gets 18 points 10 rebounds 2 blocks  5assists 4 steals. MVP

  • ghost of bob knight

    UK will win by 12-16, Indiana will hang with them for a while but will fall in the second half.  They are good and have heart but they can not match the athleticism UK will have on the floor.

  • Jonathon M Mcdermott

    Huge UK fan here – must admit that I chuckled at that one!
    I’ve only seen IU play twice but from what I saw, they’re looking pretty strong this year.  I just hope the Cats haven’t overlooked them.  This definitely has the makings of a great game and will hopefully revive the rivalry.Cal/Crean for President ’14.Go Big Blue!

  • Anonymous

    Aceman, I’ll make it short and to the point, I couldn’t agree with you more. Stoni you are of course entitled to your opinion, but in MY opinion, you are comparing apples and oranges when the big picture is taken in.

  • Anonymous

    And you get that kind of an attitude because that IS how it is down there.

  • Anonymous

    I have yet to find any game under any circumstances, circumstances that even remotely possible anyway, to where I would want “them” to win instead of the other team. It’s not even close. I hate Kantuckya.

    Remember people the more you call them by their actual name or type their name and don’t intentionally misspell it the more chance there will be that adds for their apparel starts showing up on this site and Alex has no control over that.

  • Anonymous

    Well said and totally seconded by a fellow IU fan that still lives very close to the river that separates us from the rock dwellers in Lxgtn.

    Wouldn’t pUKe playing Al Queda be more like an intersquad scrimmage rather than a real game ?