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IrishBulldog
03-12-2007, 07:31 AM
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070312/SPORTS0601/703120382/1004/SPORTS

Hoosiers eager to get back at Zags
Indiana players are pleased that they got the better seeding in matchup with perennial tournament team

By Terry Hutchens

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- When Earl Calloway saw Indiana's name appear on the television screen Sunday as a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament, a huge smile enveloped his face.

When he saw that Indiana's first-round opponent would be No. 10 seed Gonzaga in Sacramento, Calif., Calloway did a quick flashback to last season's tournament, where the Hoosiers lost in the second round to the Bulldogs.

Calloway had a career performance in last year's 90-80 loss in Salt Lake City. Calloway just missed IU's first triple-double in 35 years when he scored 13 points, handed out 10 assists and had nine rebounds without committing a turnover.

Asked what his first thoughts were when he saw Gonzaga's name on the screen and thought about last year's game, Calloway summed it up: "We lost.''

"That's all that really matters,'' Calloway said. "The individual stuff is great when you win, but when you lose, it really doesn't mean anything at all.

"At the same time, I'll admit it's really cool getting to play the team again that knocked you out last year. That just gives us a little extra motivation.''

Calloway arrived at coach Kelvin Sampson's Bloomington home Sunday afternoon anticipating a No. 10 or No. 11 seed. A.J. Ratliff said he expected a No. 10 seed and a first-round game against Virginia. Errek Suhr said he anticipated a No. 10 or No. 11.

But the NCAA Selection Committee awarded IU a No. 7 seed, recognizing the Hoosiers as being one of the top 28 teams in the country. It also gave major support to using the Ratings Percentage Index as a strong indicator of where a team would be seeded. According to www.collegerpi .com on Sunday morning, IU's RPI number was 28.

"I think we've always thought of ourselves as being ranked that high but this just tells us that other people recognize that, too,'' Ratliff said. "We're excited to have a solid seed in the tournament, and playing Gonzaga is a good game for us because we know this team. Call it sweet revenge or whatever, but this is a game we're going to be really looking forward to.''

Approaching last year's game, the Hoosiers knew that, if they won, they would advance to the Sweet Sixteen and play UCLA. If IU can get past Gonzaga on Thursday, it would likely face No. 2 seed UCLA in the second round Saturday. UCLA's first-round opponent is Big Sky champion Weber State.

Sampson said when he started thinking Saturday about where IU might get seeded, he expected something in the seven to nine range.

"I didn't think we would be seeded lower than that based on finishing third in the (Big Ten) for the regular season,'' Sampson said. "The (conference) tournament can only help you. I just don't think it can hurt you. What we accomplished over the course of 29 games was a seven seed.

"I think we could have helped ourselves and maybe got an even higher seed if we had won a couple of games. But losing to Illinois the other night certainly didn't hurt us.''

Sampson appeared relaxed with his house full of players, coaches, athletic department staff and media. Sampson's parents were in town from North Carolina. Outgoing IU president Adam Herbert was there, as was athletic director Rick Greenspan.

Shortly after IU's name appeared on the screen, Sampson began receiving text messages from coaches around the country. The first text message, however, came from his son, Kellen, a senior walk-on basketball player at the University of Oklahoma. Kellen Sampson congratulated his dad.

"This is one thing that you never take for granted, and that's playing in the (NCAA) Tournament,'' Sampson said.

Rod Wilmont appeared relieved when it was clear that IU was in. He said that he expected a No. 10 seed. Indiana's worst NCAA seed was a No. 9 in 1995.
Sampson said he was particularly happy that Indiana would play Thursday. He said the team would practice Tuesday in Bloomington and then travel to Sacramento later that day.

"I'm glad we're playing Thursday and not Friday,'' Sampson said. "And I'm sure Gonzaga feels the same way because it has been awhile since they played.

"I think this team is ready to move forward. You wipe the slate clean. You saw their reaction. They're excited. We were disappointed that we lost the other night but I think we're ready to move forward.''

-----------------------------------------------

SCOUTING GONZAGA

Eye on guard Derek Raivio
6-3 senior, 18.2 ppg, 41.1 3-point percentage, 96.1 free throw percentage

Record: 23-10.
How they got here: Automatic. West Coast Conference Tournament champion.
IU should be worried about: Fouling. Gonzaga averages 22.6 free throws per game and hits 75 percent of them. Gonzaga has made almost as many free throws (560-for-746) as the Hoosiers have attempted (403-of-566).
IU can take advantage of: Watching Gonzaga's games against San Diego. Raivio scored only five, seven and 14 points, respectively, in three games against the Toreros.

-- Jeff Rabjohns

sullyzag66
03-12-2007, 08:54 AM
"I think we've always thought of ourselves as being ranked that high but this just tells us that other people recognize that, too,'' Ratliff said. "We're excited to have a solid seed in the tournament, and playing Gonzaga is a good game for us because we know this team. Call it sweet revenge or whatever, but this is a game we're going to be really looking forward to.''

Ratliff, you really don't know this team. This is not the same team that beat you last year. We will know Thursday night whether it's as good or better.

former1dog
03-12-2007, 08:56 AM
"I think we've always thought of ourselves as being ranked that high but this just tells us that other people recognize that, too,'' Ratliff said. "We're excited to have a solid seed in the tournament, and playing Gonzaga is a good game for us because we know this team. Call it sweet revenge or whatever, but this is a game we're going to be really looking forward to.''

Sounds a little like counting your chickens before they are hatched.




IU can take advantage of: Watching Gonzaga's games against San Diego. Raivio scored only five, seven and 14 points, respectively, in three games against the Toreros.

-- Jeff Rabjohns

Mr. Rabjohns should also note that Gonzaga won each of those games... :D

Zagquette
03-12-2007, 09:14 AM
Both teams will be playing a much different style of defense.

Has anyone else noted the much-improved perimeter D?

My biggest worry is DJ White.

Peace

lothar98zag
03-12-2007, 09:46 AM
Shortly after IU's name appeared on the screen, Sampson began receiving text messages from coaches around the country.


Anyone else find this line a little funny?

Birddog
03-12-2007, 09:55 AM
Anyone else find this line a little funny?
Yeah, I saw that and laughed a little too. Everyone in ARCO arena ought have their cell phones ringing when Kelvin is introduced.

Birddog