Hoosiers set for second straight Big Ten road game
By Andy Proffet Post-Tribune correspondent January 6, 2013 11:14PM
Indiana forward Cody Zeller, right, shoots over Iowa center Adam Woodbury during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, in Iowa City, Iowa. Zeller scored 19 points as Indiana won 69-65. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Updated: February 8, 2013 6:23AM
BLOOMINGTON — When Penn State lost star guard Tim Frazier to a season-ending Achilles’ tendon rupture in November, the pressure was on D.J. Newbill and Jermaine Marshall to pick up the slack.
Newbill, a sophomore transfer from Southern Miss, and Marshall, a junior, have filled in well, averaging 15.5 and 14.9 ppg respectively for the Nittany Lions (8-5, 0-1 Big Ten), who host No. 5 Indiana today.
“They miss Tim Frazier, but every game they are that much more comfortable with one another, and you can see that,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said Saturday.
IU assistant coach Kenny Johnson said that there’s no substitution for a do-everything guard like Frazier, who averaged 16.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in four games before the injury.
“Newbill has transitioned into taking over some of those point guard responsibilities almost exclusively, and he also has the role of being a lead scorer for them through the past few games,” Johnson said, who also called Marshall “someone who is very dangerous.”
“They’re somebody you’re going to have to account for on every single possession,” Johnson added.
Of course, the Nittany Lions have to do the same for a loaded Indiana lineup.
“They can score in so many different ways,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “(They’ve got) a lottery pick in (Cody Zeller), great guards.”
Zeller (16.6 ppg) leads five players averaging in double figures for the Hoosiers (13-1, 1-0), the only Big Ten team to open conference play with two straight road games.
Road teams won just two of the first eight conference games, with IU and Michigan securing road victories. Crean said it was crucial for the Hoosiers to get that first road win.
“This team needs to be in some fights,” he said. “We’ve been in some fights, and the only way you can learn to win consistently in a league like this is to fight your way through it.”
Zeller said the important thing about winning at Iowa last Monday was that it made the Hoosiers 1-0 in the Big Ten.
“Winning at Iowa has been tough for us, so it was a big win for us. But we went right back to work the next day,” Zeller said.