Hoosiers prepare for Purdue in finale

Indiana couldn’t have scheduled a much better game to avoid a letdown after the Hoosiers’ historic win over No. 5 Michigan State on Tuesday night.

A letdown isn’t so much an option when you follow a game like that up with an in-state rival on Senior Night. That’s what the Hoosiers have in today’s 6 p.m. game at Assembly Hall against Purdue.

“We definitely don’t want to have a letdown,” freshman forward Cody Zeller said. “It will be another big game for us, just because it’s the next one, but also because it’s a big rivalry game for us. We want to end the season on a good note. Hopefully it will carry us in to the tournament.”

The game will determine the Hoosiers’ seeding. Winner gets the No. 5 seed and plays Thursday afternoon against the No. 12 seed, which will be either Penn State or Nebraska. Loser gets the No. 6 seed in the late game on Thursday night against the 11, also either Penn State or Nebraska.

The Hoosiers will likely be favored after winning 78-61 at West Lafayette earlier this month. However, the Boilermakers have won three straight and five of their last six despite having lost guard Kelsey Barlow for the season for disciplinary reasons after an incident at a West Lafayette bar. Senior guard Robbie Hummel has been making the case for an All-Big Ten selection with 23.7 points per game in those six games.

“You could argue right now with (Michigan State’s) Draymond Green being as effective as he is and Robbie Hummel being as effective as he is, we’re playing against maybe the two most efficient guys around,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “You’d put him up with anybody in America. I know I would. … He’s moving great, he’s very efficient. You can just see that he’s got a natural spark to him. He’s got a natural leadership and toughness to him, and he’s got a spark. He’s as efficient without the ball as he is with it.”

The Boilermakers (20-10 overall, 10-7 in the Big Ten) have also seen improved play from sophomore guard and North Central graduate Terone Johnson, who has scored in double figures in each of the last three games and scored 22 in an impressive win at Michigan on Feb. 25.

The Hoosiers (23-7, 10-7) seem to be picking up steam as well, however, with wins in their last three games since the disappointing loss at Iowa. Plus they have a 17-1 record this season at Assembly Hall and expect one of the most energetic crowds of the season.

“I think the atmosphere will be incredible,” Crean said. “I think it will be one of the best that we’ve witnessed.”

AUDIO: Tom Crean Part 1

AUDIO: Tom Crean Part 2

AUDIO: Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller

7 comments

  1. Totally off subject but cant seem to find the answer to this. If Ohio State wins tomorrow, 3 teams are tied for first in the Big 10. With that said, will all 3 schools hang a Big 10 Banner, or when the rankings come up Monday will that determine the true Big 10 Champion? Thanks!

  2. All three would get a banner that says co-champion. Monday’s rankings won’t have anything to do with it since the championship is decided by the win-loss record for conference games of each team. If teams have the same record, they tie.

  3. Dustin and Ryan…Is there a live stream after the game that would include the coach and seniors speaking?

    I think Purdue will try and get Zeller in foul trouble early to try and even things up. On defense we need help before they get to Zeller and the basket. Go to Zeller on offense consistently early. Run Wat and Vic at Hummell. Being senior day.. hope Roth had a great breakfast and checked the wind-sock before walking into Assembly.

    Pritchard/Elston can muscle it out with Byrd. If we rebound well Byrd has to bang the boards and can’t hang outside.

    Both teams will be in the bonus, so let it all out.
    Jackson is a weird match up Danny Moore/VJ/Hulls have at it. Corey hope we get up so you can get in the game.

    More discussion about Smith, Johnson and Caroll?

  4. BTN.com will live-stream the Senior Day activities right after the IU/PU game tonight. It’s free.

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