Indiana freshman guard Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell is a native of Indianapolis, so the idea of the Hoosiers' rivalry with Purdue being intense was not new to him.
What was new for Ferrell when No. 1 Indiana (22-3, 10-2 Big Ten) defeated Purdue (12-13, 5-7) 97-60 Jan. 30 in Mackey Arena is how deep the feelings run in the rivalry.
"I realized how much Purdue hates us," Ferrell told reporters Friday. "I had never really seen it (until then). I've only heard about it, but to actually witness it and hear things that they've said, they really do hate us and I guess I wouldn't even say it's like a bad thing. It just adds to it because I mean it just shows how great this rivalry has been over the past years."
The in-state rivals play the 200th game in the series at 2 p.m. Saturday in Assembly Hall.
And for Indiana to get to where it is now – tied for first in the Big Ten with Michigan State and trying to secure a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament – coach Tom Crean told reporters Friday that studying Purdue had something to with that.
"I would say that we've learned a lot from watching them," Crean said. "I don't think there's any question when you watch how their players have played, how hard they've played. I know some of the loyalists may not like this, but we showed tape of Purdue when we first got here when we weren't playing them.
"Our guys had to see it, and it's one thing to have our former players come back and talk about, and show Indiana tape. Then you have to show tape, I showed Marquette tape, we showed Purdue tape, we showed Ohio State tape, we showed Michigan State tape. You have to show them what it looks like this in league to really sell out on each possession. I would say we learned some of that from them just like we did Ohio State with guys like (Jared) Sullinger, David Lighty, and John Diebler and all those guys. Your work ethic has to be constant. Nothing has ever been preached any differently here. Even when it wasn't where it needed to be, it wasn't like it was acceptable for it not to be. As you recruit to your program, you want to recruit those year-round winners with a really strong upside and a really strong work ethic and that kind of energizes your program too. That's what we've tried to do."