4 storylines for Indiana-Illinois #iubb

1. This could be a memorable night for Yogi Ferrell
Since declaring his intention to return to IU for his senior season last spring, Ferrell has charged toward his expected and inevitable place as the school’s career assists leader. With his seven assists Saturday at Minnesota, Ferrell surpassed Quinn Buckner for second place on the school’s all-time list and enters tonight’s game one helper shy of tying Michael Lewis’ record of 545. Ferrell is playing the best basketball of his career at the moment, leading all Big Ten players with 19.8 points per game in Big Ten play. Perhaps more important than the scoring, however, has been his ability to evenly and effectively lead the Hoosiers at all the right moments during the last month of action.

2. Will Illini stay down?
Oh, the ups and the downs that have marked this half-season’s worth of basketball for Illinois. The latest series of twists came just last week. After blowing by Purdue for an encouraging 84-70 victory — their only Big Ten win to date — the Illini authored a clunker on Saturday with a home loss to Nebraska. Injuries have been an unavoidable part of the narrative for Illinois, which has seen six different players combine to miss a total of 52 games this season. Coach John Groce has used 12 different lineups and, on five occasions, the Illini have had as few as eight scholarship players available, including each of the first three league games. The frontcourt has been hit the hardest recently.

3. Jalen Coleman-Lands returns home
Could Coleman-Lands be the next Indiana native to raise his game to the big stage of Assembly Hall? He certainly has the capacity to do so. The Indianapolis native has scored in double figures six times over the last eight games, averaging 11.8 points and shooting 42.3 percent from beyond the arc during that span. Coleman-Lands played with IU junior Collin Hartman at Cathedral before transferring and graduating from La Lumiere as a consensus top 50 recruit in the 2015 class. He considered IU and many others before deciding on Illinois. “It’s going to be exciting,” Coleman-Lands told reporters in Illinois. “I’ll treat it like it’s another game, but there’s a little more to it.”

4. OG is OK
IU coach Tom Crean says he doesn’t expect any lingering issues for OG Anunoby after the freshman forward took an elbow to the head during the second half of Saturday’s game at Minnesota. Anunoby was taken into the visitors locker room at Williams Arena and checked for any issues, but was cleared in time to return to the game. Crean indicated Monday that Anunoby has been active in IU’s practices this week. “There’s been nothing that’s kept him back,” Crean said on his radio show. Anunoby is averaging 7.8 points and 3.4 rebounds through his first five Big Ten games.