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Eyeing IU

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Tipping off

Indiana coach Tom Crean told reporters he isn't taking too much away from the No. 1 Hoosiers' 69-65 win at Iowa at the start of Big Ten play Dec. 31.

Crean said too much has changed for Indiana (24-4, 12-3) and Iowa (18-10, 7-8) as the teams enter tonight's 7:30 game at Assembly Hall.

"Roy Devyn Marble is on a roll right now. In his last three games he is shooting 50 percent from three," Crean said. "Aaron White is playing tremendous as well. Aaron White is one of the best forwards in America, let alone the Big Ten. They are deep, they're really deep. Even without (point guard Mike) Gesell, they're deep and Marble is at a high rate; (Josh) Oglesby (who was inserted into the starting lineup with Gesell out with a foot injury) is fearless. We can go down the line ... They're better and they're doing a lot of things. They are a really hard preparation because they will run their sets, they will run their motions and they are extremely good on the break.

"They want to run on us and we want to run on them. So we have got to do a great job in that area. We are very even on the foul line department in the league. They are really good. This league gets a lot of credit, and rightfully so, but sometimes some of the teams don't get enough credit nationally and they're one of them."

Iowa defeated Purdue 58-48 Wednesday. The Hawkeyes moved Marble, who averages a team-high 14 points, to point guard, with Gesell out, and White averages 13.6 points and 6.2 rebounds.

Indiana forward Derek Elston pointed to Iowa forward Melshan Basabe, who had 20 points and 13 rebounds, against the Hoosiers as a freshman as another threat in tonight's game. Basabe is averaging 7 points and 4.5 rebounds in 18.3 minutes this season.

"We know that Basabe is playing a lot more now than he was when we played them in December," Elston said. "We know that he has come in here in the past and beat us up pretty good. It is going to be a toughness game. Basabe has come in and done well, and Oglesby has done well in here in the past. For the new guys on this team, it is going to be a battle. Us older guys know what to expect because we have seen it before. Everyone is going to have to come out and fight for 40 minutes because we know that's what Iowa is going to do."

Indiana is coming off their third loss as the No. 1 ranked team in the nation after falling at Minnesota 77-73 Tuesday, but it still holds a one-game lead for first place in the Big Ten and the top seed in the conference tournament. The Hoosiers gave up 23 offensive rebounds and were outrebounded 44-30 in the loss.

Cody Zeller was limited to nine points and seven rebounds on 2-of-9 shooting against Minnesota.

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery told reporters Friday he doesn't expect IU's leading scorer, Zeller averages 16.3 points, to be motivated to perform better tonight after Tuesday's loss, but McCaffery also knows he team has its hands full with Zeller.

"I don't look at it like he's going to play extra hard because they lost the last game or they're going to go to him more," said McCaffery. "They go to him, they've gone to him, and they're going to go to him. He's a handful. When you prepare for Indiana, you have to prepare for him, as well as a number of other players."