The 10th-ranked Indiana Hoosiers hit the road this evening for a Big Ten Conference Clash with the Michigan Wolverines.
Indiana is riding an eight-game win streak, its longest since the start of the 2002-03 season. In fact, a win this evening would give the Hoosiers their most consecutive victories since the 1992-93 campaign. At 12-1 overall, their lone defeat came back in November to Xavier, and the most recent win occurred on Wednesday in a 79-76 final over Iowa to open league play.
Michigan has lost its last four games and eight of the last nine to plummet to 4-10 overall. The Wolverines are 0-2 in Big Ten play, and they are coming off a 65-58 setback to Purdue on the road. They own a 3-4 home record and have very little reason for confidence heading into tonight's clash.
Indiana holds a 97-52 series lead over Michigan, and the Hoosiers have won 14 of the last 16 meetings.
There are a number of outstanding freshmen basketball players throughout the nation, and Indiana's Eric Gordon is certainly one of the best. He has been the team's leading scorer in 10 of the 12 games he has played and is averaging 23.5 ppg on the strength of his 43.4 percent shooting from three-point range and 86.1 percent efficiency from the foul line. D.J. White adds 16.4 ppg to the mix for the Hoosiers, and he is pulling down 10.1 ppg to go along with 25 blocks. Jordan Crawford (13.8 ppg) and Armon Bassett (10.3 ppg) bring added balance to the lineup. Indiana is racking up 83.0 ppg while surrendering only 63.2 ppg to the opposition. Gordon poured in 25 points to lead Indiana to victory over Iowa in the Big Ten opener. White had 16 points and 15 boards for the Hoosiers, who benefitted from an eight-point advantage in points from the foul line.
Michigan has been inconsistent at the offensive end this season, as the club is scoring a modest 65.6 ppg on 41.7 percent shooting from the floor. The Wolverines are allowing 71.0 ppg to the opposition on 41.8 percent shooting from three-point range, so they have obviously done a poor job of defending the perimeter. Manny Harris continues to lead Michigan in scoring with 16.4 ppg, and his 42 assists and 22 steals also represent team-high totals. Still, it should be pointed out that Harris has turned the ball over 48 times and has connected on only 38 percent of his field goal attempts. DeShawn Sims is the club's only other double-digit scorer, as he is posting 13.6 ppg. Harris scored 25 points against Purdue last time out, and Sims had 15 points in that clash. Unfortunately, the rest of the team combined for only 18 points. Michigan shot just 36.8 percent from the field in that clash, overshadowing a strong defensive effort.