WSLM WILL BEGIN ITS IU BASKETBALL SEASON TONIGHT WITH THE PRE-GAME show featuring Don Fischer at 6p on 97.9 FM followed by the OPENING TIP at 7p.m. Indiana is in its 114th season of college basketball and will host the University of Southern Indiana in its first exhibition game for the 2013-14 season. IU also will play Hillsdale College on Nov. 4 in Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers are ranked No. 24 to start the season in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. It is believed this is the first time that IU has played in exhibition game in the month of October.
The Hoosiers return sophomore All-Big Ten guard Kevin Yogi Ferrell who averaged 7.6 points and 4.1 assists and Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year senior wing Will Sheehey, who averaged 9.5 points and 3.5 rebounds. In addition, IU boasts a six-man freshman class that was rated as the sixth best recruiting class in the nation. Last year, IU was 29-7 and won their 21st Big Ten Championship with a 14-4 record. The Hoosiers were ranked 7th in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
The Screaming Eagles will make their first trip to Assembly Hall. USI will dress seven seniors and finished 23-8 and 13-5 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Senior forward Aaron Nelson averaged 11.9 points and 7.9 rebounds in 15 games last year. Senior forward Taylor Wischmeier averaged 9.9 points and 4.7 rebounds and senior guard Lawrence Thomas averaged 9.8 points.
THE LAST TWO YEARS Indiana is 56-16, which is second in the Big Ten (.778 winning pct.), 12-8 on the road, 21-13 away from Assembly Hall (road and neutral combined) and 35-2 at home (tied for the most wins in the country at home in that span).
THE COACHES Indiana named Tom Crean as its 28th men’s basketball coach on April 2, 2008, and he is in his sixth year with the Hoosiers. He is 274-178 all-time as a head coach and the last two years he has led IU to a 56-16 record, the 2013 Big Ten Championship and back-to-back appearances for the Hoosiers in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1994. In 2012-13, he was named NABC District 7 and USBWA District V Coach of the Year and he was honored by the FCA when he was awarded the John Lotz “Barnabas” Award which is presented annually by FCA to honor a basketball coach who best exhibits a commitment to Christ, integrity and encouragement to others and lives a balanced life. In 2011-12, Crean was named National Coach of the Year by ESPN’s Jason King, and Big Ten Coach of the Year by the Sporting News and the BTN’s Tom Dienhart. Rodney Watson the ninth head coach for USI men’s basketball, has led USI since the 2009-10 season. Watson is 95-24 (.780) overall during his four years, including a 54-18 (.750) GLVC record.
SOLD OUT With the exception of four games in Assembly Hall during the holiday season, each IU home men’s basketball game will be sold out. IU students purchased 15,772 tickets to be divided each game among 7,800 of their peers.
Mini-Series tickets are still available for purchase, which includes four games: Evansville (11/26), Nicholls State (12/20), Kennesaw State (12/22) and Michigan State (01/04). Tickets are $60 for IU-Bloomington students with a valid ID, $160 for main/court level seating and $104 for balcony seating. Limited seating is available for the main/court level. For more information or to order, contact the IU Ticket Office at 1-866-487-7678.