06 February 2010

Countdown to Indiana at Northwestern

Northwestern (15-7, 4-6 Big Ten) hosts Indiana (9-12, 3-6) at 1:30PM Central on Sunday February 7. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network and radio coverage is on WGN-AM 720 and wgnradio.com.

Indiana, the blue blood of the Big Ten, leads the series 107-44. Indiana has fallen on tough times as they have had a difficult time finding an adequate Robert Montgomery Knight replacement. IU may have finally found their man in Tom Crean who is in his second season after departing Marquette, a team he led to the Final Four with the help of D-Wade.

Northwestern currently holds a two game winning streak over the Hoosiers. Last year the Hoosiers gave a valiant effort in Evanston but ultimately came up a bucket short. The rematch in Bloomington was a blowout that had to make the Hoosier faithful grumble. If NU wins on Sunday then Northwestern will have a three-game winning streak over the Hoosiers which hasn't happened since 1933.

Indiana added some talent this year with a solid freshmen class, but the Hoosiers' main problem has been a lack of leadership from upper classmen. IU is one of the youngest teams in the land. The talent is apparent from some eyebrow raising wins against Pittsburgh and Minnesota, but the youth factor has led to some embarrassing moments like a home loss to Loyola MD and a neutral court loss to Boston U.

The Hoosiers surprised some onlookers by shooting out to a 3-3 record in the Big Ten. They currently are on a three game slide and the Hoosiers look to be underdogs in each of their remaining games.

What to expect? While the Hoosiers are a dangerous team because of their raw talent, this is a game that NU should win and handily. NU's unusual looks on offense and defense should prove to be too much for the young Hoosiers. The real danger to NU is if both of the Hoosiers' main threats, Verdell Jones and Christian Watford, go off. We're sure they're front and center on NU's game plan so hopefully our boys will execute.