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Indiana at Northwestern: Hoosiers seek first road win.

Northwestern Wildcats
Current record: 9-4 (0-3)
Current RPI: 58 (IU is #194)
Current Sagarin: 55 (IU is #116)
Current Pomeroy: 61 (IU is #73)
2009-10 record: 20-14 (7-11), lost to Rhode Island in first round of NIT
2009-10 RPI: 116
2009-10 Sagarin: 76
2009-10 Pomeroy: 82
Series: IU leads 108-47
Last Northwestern win: 3/11/2010 (73-58 in Indianapolis, Big Ten Tournament)

Last IU win: 3/6/2010 (88-80 in Bloomington)
Last IU win in Evanston: 2/23/2008 (85-82 in Evanston)
Pomeroy scouting report
TV: 7 p.m. Sunday, Big Ten Network

Either Indiana or Northwestern will get its first Big Ten win of the season when the Hoosiers play the Wildcats at Welsh-Ryan Area on Sunday night.  At this point, the Wildcats' season is neatly bifurcated, like IU's.  The Hoosiers currently are 0-7 against the Pomeroy top 100 and 9-0 against those ranked lower.  Northwestern is 9-0 against teams rated 89 or lower and 0-4 against teams ranked below 90.  While NU doesn't have any overwhelming wins, its losses are all more than respectable (St. John's, Purdue, and Illinois on the road; Michigan State at home).

 

Bill Carmody has been NU's coach for more than a decade, and by now, we know what to expect from the Wildcats: slow pace, efficient offense, heavy reliance on three pointers, very few turnovers, lackluster defense, and little rebounding.  Really, the Wildcats' defensive and rebounding numbers are a bit better this year than in the past.  In addition to their excellent offensive turnover rate (16 percent) they are forcing their opponents into 22 percent turnovers.  That's fortunate, because NU's opponents are shooting very well: 35.5 percent from three point range anf 51 percent from 2. 

Here are NU's individual stats:


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
John Shurna 13 32.8 6.5 11.7 55.3 2.8 4.8 58.1 4.5 6.4 69.9 0.8 3.8 4.6 3.0 1.8 1.7 0.8 1.5 20.2
Michael Thompson 13 35.9 5.5 11.5 47.7 2.5 6.3 40.2 1.2 1.7 68.2 0.3 1.6 1.9 4.1 2.3 1.8 0.0 2.2 14.6
Drew Crawford 13 30.6 5.3 11.9 44.5 1.5 4.9 31.3 1.7 2.1 81.5 1.2 3.5 4.7 2.5 1.5 1.0 0.9 2.4 13.8
JerShon Cobb 11 22.5 2.7 6.5 41.7 0.7 2.3 32.0 1.4 2.0 68.2 0.7 1.6 2.4 1.8 1.1 0.9 0.1 1.6 7.5
Luke Mirkovic 13 25.5 2.8 5.9 46.8 0.2 0.5 33.3 1.6 2.8 58.3 2.2 4.2 6.4 1.9 1.2 0.8 0.5 2.2 7.3
Alex Marcotullio 13 18.2 1.5 4.0 36.5 0.9 3.0 30.8 0.7 0.9 75.0 0.3 1.8 2.1 2.4 0.7 1.0 0.0 1.6 4.5
Davide Curletti 13 13.0 1.5 2.8 51.4 0.5 1.0 46.2 0.9 1.5 63.2 0.5 1.0 1.5 0.7 0.6 0.3 0.2 2.5 4.3
Nick Fruendt 9 3.2 0.4 1.1 40.0 0.1 0.4 25.0 0.9 1.2 72.7 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.2 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.6 1.9
Ivan Peljusic 6 6.0 0.8 1.5 55.6 0.2 0.2 100.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 1.0 1.3 0.2 1.0 0.2 0.2 1.2 1.8
Mike Capocci 13 9.6 0.6 1.4 44.4 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.2 0.5 28.6 1.2 0.7 1.8 0.4 0.2 0.5 0.2 0.9 1.4
Jeff Ryan 10 10.1 0.2 0.7 28.6 0.1 0.2 50.0 0.7 0.8 87.5 0.2 1.6 1.8 0.6 0.3 0.4 0.1 0.7 1.2
Reggie Hearn 10 1.8 0.0 0.4 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.2 0.2 100.0 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.2
Austin Nichols 7 2.1 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.1 0.0 0.4 0.0


John Shurna is a matchup nightmare.  He is 6'8" and is shooting an incredible 58 percent from three point range on 5 attempts per game.  Michael Thompson and Drew Crawford are the Wildcats' other double figure scorers.  As you can see, every Wildcat who plays meaningful minutes (with the possible exception of Luca Mirkovic) shoots multiple three point shots per game. 

This is an intriguing matchup for IU.  Northwestern has some decent height, but they aren't a terribly physical team.  They shouldn't push IU around, and they aren't a tough defensive team.  Still, IU has struggled to defend the perimeter, and that's not a good problem to have when playing Northwestern. Last year's road trip to Evanston was the beginning of the end.  While it was the fourth game of IU's 11-game losing streak, it was a disheartening performance after two gut-wrenching losses to Illinois and Purdue that were in doubt until the buzzer.  That game was the first of eight consecutive double digit losses.  Pomeroy gives IU a 27 percent chance of victory on Sunday.  That makes it IU's third best chance (behind trips to Iowa and Michigan) for a road win. We'll see.