After a break in games during the week, the IU men’s basketball team will travel to University Park, Penn., Saturday to face the Nittany Lions.
Both the Hoosiers (10-5, 0-2 conference) and the Nittany Lions (9-7, 0-3 conference) have yet to win a conference game this season.
The Hoosiers came close to defeating Illinois on New Year’s Eve, falling to the Illini by three points in overtime.
Jan. 4 was a different story.
Michigan State left Bloomington with a 73-56 win, its largest margin of victory in Assembly Hall since 1990.
Similar to IU, Penn State played MSU at home and Illinois on the road.
The Nittany Lions fell to the Spartans 79-63, despite leading by seven at halftime, and were trampled by the Illini 75-55.
Most recently, Penn State lost its third-straight Big Ten game Wednesday night to Minnesota by three points.
In the closing seconds of the game, graduate student guard Allen Roberts missed what would have been a game-tying 3-pointer.
Penn State enters its game against the Hoosiers averaging 77.4 points per game, which places them sixth in the Big Ten.
Indiana averages 80.3 points per game, which comes in at third in the Big Ten.
The Nittany Lions’ leading scorer is graduate student guard Tim Frazier, who averages 17.1 points per game.
Four games into the 2012-13 season, Frazier tore the Achilles tendon in his left leg and missed the rest of the season.
He was granted a fifth year of eligibility after receiving a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA.
Frazier leads Penn State in assists and steals per game, averaging 6.9 and 1.8, respectively.
He also leads the Big Ten in assists per game and places fifth in steals per game.
Penn State Coach Patrick Chambers is in his third season as head coach of the Nittany Lions.
Chambers coached at Boston University for two years before he came to Penn State.
As a team, Penn State shoots 45.5 percent from the field, while their opponents are shooting 41.3 percent.
Penn State also averages more than 20 3-point attempts per game, making just less than seven per game.
In terms of handling the ball, Penn State turns the ball over 10.5 times per game, while turning its opponent over 10.8 times per contest.
IU’s turnover problems have been a recurring issue in its recent contests, and the Hoosiers average just more than 16 per game.
For the season, the Hoosiers have averaged three more turnovers per game than their opponents.
After the team’s loss to Michigan State on Jan. 4, IU Coach Tom Crean said although he’d like to see improved play from the entire team, the sophomore players in particular have to play better.
“We need to see more out of everybody,” Crean said. “I wouldn’t distinguish. When you lose a game, there’s not one class that doesn’t need to get better. But we’ve got the spotlight on the sophomores right now, if we’re going to break it down to class. They’ve got to improve.”
Follow John Bauernfeind on Twitter @JohnBauernfeind.