Indiana Hoosiers Problems Feb 19th, 2008
CappersPicks.com NCAAB Handicapping Staff
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NCAAB: Problems Mounting For Hoosiers
If the distractions surrounding Coach Kelvin Sampson weren’t enough, the Indiana Hoosiers will likely enter Tuesday’s game without forward D.J. White and his 17.1 points per game.
The loss of White to injury leaves a gaping hole in an Indiana lineup preparing to take on a Purdue team that’s an amazing 7-1 against the spread on the road and 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall. Tip-off is set for 7 pm ET on ESPN.
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White sprained his knee in Saturday’s 80-61 win over Michigan State when he landed awkwardly on his left leg following a shot. An MRI disclosed the injury on Sunday and Sampson said there is no timetable for his return. He is officially listed as questionable for Tuesday.
Losing White is a huge blow for a Hoosiers team fighting for the Big Ten title. The 6’9” senior from Alabama is the team’s emotional leader and his 17.1 points per game put him second in Big Ten scoring while his 10.2 rebounds per game leads the league.
The timing of the injury couldn’t be worse either. Sitting third in the Big Ten at 10-2 in conference play, Tuesday’s game will go a long way in determining the conference champion. And, with just six games remaining before the Big Ten Tournament, Coach Sampson is being investigated for a recruiting scandal that could cost him his job. Increasing distractions could cost his team a title.
Indiana was able to put aside the distractions against Michigan State, covering for just the third time in the last seven games.
Freshman Eric Gordon, who leads Hoosiers’ scorers with 21.7 points per game, upped his production after White went down to injury, ending the game with 28 points. Junior DeAndre Thomas and freshman Jordan Crawford added offense off the bench. Thomas scored 10 points while Crawford had 12.
Indiana will need the same kind of bench production against Purdue if they have any hope of upsetting one of the hottest teams in the nation.
Purdue has won 11 straight games straight up, and they’ve made their backers big profits along the way, covering 11 of their last 13 spreads. Despite an offense scoring only 68.5 points per game, no team in the Big Ten has had an answer for the Purdue Boilermakers since Michigan State defeated them 78-75 on January 8th. The Boilermakers avenged that loss with a 60-54 win last week.
Led by a pair of freshman, E’Twaun Moore and Robbie Hummel, Purdue’s surge to the top of the Big Ten caught everyone off guard, including the books. Since Big Ten play began at the start of January, Purdue is 12-1 straight up, covering 11 of those contests.
The Boilermakers’ scrappy defense gives up just 60.5 points per game and opponents have only eclipsed 60 points in two of the last eight games. Along with covering spreads, that has led to six of the last eight Totals going Under.
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