One of the intriguing storylines heading into Saturday’s game with Kentucky is the match-up between Indiana guard Jordan Crawford and his brother Joe. Both will certainly be asked about squaring off in the days leading up to the game and after the game as well.
Jordan will return from his three-game suspension to give the Hoosiers some needed depth at the guard position. With Jordan’s suspension, Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson was forced to allocate nearly all of the backcourt minutes to Eric Gordon, Jamarcus Ellis and Armon Bassett.
In five games this season, Jordan is Indiana’s third leading scorer at 12.6 ppg in just over 25 minutes per game. His return will certainly be a welcome one.
And Joe, a senior, is Kentucky’s leading scorer at 18.3 ppg. He recently broke the 1,000 point plateau for his career. However, he’s been viewed as somewhat of a disappointment after coming to Lexington as one of the top players in the 2004 class.
In fact, he was considered to be the best prospect in that class for UK that also featured Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo and New York Knicks forward Randolph Morris.
Crawford struggled in his first season and Kentucky even announced that he would be leaving the school. After a change of heart, Crawford returned to Kentucky and averaged 10.2 ppg his sophomore season and 14 ppg as a junior. Early this season, he admitted he’d have to prove himself to new coach Billy Gillispie.
“You earn minutes in practice. I probably haven’t shown him the work ethic he needs to see to get more minutes. I’m trying hard to do that,” Crawford said.
He’s evolved into a leader for the 4-2 Wildcats who are thin in the backcourt due to injuries to Derrick Jasper (microfracture surgery) and Jodie Meeks (groin) and the Alex Legion situation.
So which Crawford will have a bigger impact on the game? Jordan or Joe? Should Joe be considered a disappointment? Who will finish with the better career numbers? Who would win in a game of one-on-one in the driveway? Your comments are welcomed, ITH faithful…