Preview: Nicholls State at Indiana
With three losses in its last six games, Indiana has two contests left to figure things out before the start of Big Ten play, beginning with a visit from Nicholls State on Friday. The Hoosiers, who are coming off a 79-72 loss to Notre Dame on Saturday, have won 15 straight games following a loss since the 2011-12 season. The Colonels are coming off a 62-56 win at IUPUI on Wednesday and looking to sweep their two-game tour of the Hoosier State.
Indiana has won 36 straight nonconference home games, and that streak isn't likely to end Friday, but coach Tom Crean wants to see his team - and coaching staff - carry out the game plan better than it did against Notre Dame. "We played worse than what I thought during the game," Crean told reporters. "I'm amazed, with the mistakes that we made and the poor coaching job that I did, frankly, that we were still in the game." Nicholls State is 0-8 all-time against current Big Ten teams.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network
ABOUT NICHOLLS STATE (3-5): The Colonels have won three of their last four after an 0-4 start and could go into Southland Conference play on a high note with their first win over a Big Ten opponent. The defensive effort was outstanding against IUPUI, as Nicholls State had a season-high five blocked shots and gave up a season-low 56 points. Dantrell Thomas (14.1 points) is the team's leading scorer, but Jeremy Smith (12.8 points) has scored in double figures in six straight games to emerge as a strong second option.
ABOUT INDIANA (8-3): The Hoosiers are one of the top rebounding teams in the nation, grabbing 47.1 per game - 14.7 more than their opponents. Leading scorer Yogi Ferrell (16.1 points) is having a strong sophomore campaign and has hit double digits in scoring in every game while shooting 40.8 percent from 3-point range, and 6-10 freshman Noah Vonleh (12.4 points, 9.6 rebounds) is blossoming into a solid post player. Forward Will Sheehey (10.2 points) got back on track against the Fighting Irish, tying his career high with 22 points after failing to reach double digits in four straight contests.
1. Indiana announced Thursday that it has received a $40 million gift from alumna Cindy Simon Skjodt to renovate Assembly Hall, which will be renamed Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
2. The Hoosiers have not been outrebounded yet this season, while Nicholls State is 0-4 when losing the battle on the boards.
3. Indiana G Evan Gordon, an Arizona State transfer, has come on strong the past three games, shooting 62.5 percent and averaging 17.3 points.
PREDICTION: Indiana 88, Nicholls State 63