Soffner Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week

Indiana goalkeeper Luis Soffner won his first career Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award Monday, a day after the Hoosiers shut out No. 16 Michigan State, 3-0.

The redshirt sophomore made one save in his third shutout of the season. He also had a pair of saves in a 1-1 tie at Kentucky last Wednesday.

Following a Wednesday match at Armstrong Stadium with unbeaten Butler at 7 p.m., Indiana will have a chance to clinch the Big Ten title outright with a win over visiting Northwestern Sunday at 5 p.m.

Dedmond, Brewer not on depth chart

Tight end Max Dedmond injured his knee in Saturday’s game and is not on the depth chart this week, and senior right tackle James Brewer isn’t back on yet because of his ankle injury. The rest of the depth chart follows.

72 Andrew McDonald, 6-6, 306, Sr./Jr.
68 Colin Rodkey, 6-4, 275, So./Fr.
66 Aaron Price, 6-4, 305, So./Fr.
67 Pat McShane, 6-5, 301, So./Fr.
60 Will Matte, 6-2, 293, Jr./So.
62 Jordan Marquette, 6-3, 285, Sr./5th
70 Justin Pagán, 6-5, 308, Jr./Jr.
67 Pat McShane, 6-5, 301, So./Fr.
65 Marc Damisch, 6-7, 317, Jr./So.
68 Colin Rodkey, 6-4, 275, So./Fr.. (more…)

Lynch staying the course

From outside the program, Indiana’s game against Northwestern on Saturday appears to be a must-win on so many levels.

Lose, and the Hoosiers fall to 4-4 with No. 18 Iowa and No. 10 Wisconsin coming up the next two weeks. Unless they pull a stunner in one of those two games, they would need to beat Penn State and Purdue away from Memorial Stadium to become bowl eligible.

And that’s not even considering what the game could mean to the job status of IU coach Bill Lynch. Lynch is under contract through the end of next season, and athletic director Fred Glass has said publicly that IU plans to honor that contract, but he will certainly face severe pressure at least from fans if the season continues on a downward spiral and the Hoosiers fail to make a bowl game for the third straight year.

But in sticking with his M.O., Lynch said at his weekly press conference on Monday that the team would handle Saturday’s game like any other.

“I know this sounds real cliche, but it really is truth,” Lynch said. “It’s the next game. We take real pride in being consistent in how we approach things. From the Towson game on, it will be that way all the way through Purdue. It’s the next game. Our routine and how we prepare and all that, I think if all the sudden you make one game bigger than the other, with your players, you lose credibility with them a little bit. ‘Wait a minute, last week, you said this. This week, you’re saying that.’ There’s got to be a consistent approach. That’s how we do it.” (more…)

Ashley Benson earns fifth Big Ten Player of the Week honor

Ashley Benson, who helped Indiana’s volleyball team post a pair of wins over the weekend, was announced today as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for the second time in as many weeks. It’s her fifth career Big Ten weekly honor, three coming for defensive play.

Benson supplied five blocks as the Hoosiers swept No. 13 Michigan, which was held to .092 hitting efficiency, and nine blocks in IU’s five-set win over Michigan State. Benson also totaled 19 kills and posted a .545 hitting efficiency against the Spartans.

Coach Sherry Dunbar’s Hoosiers, who have won five of their last six matches, are now 17-5 overall and 5-5 in Big Ten play.

Buckner will broadcast BTN games

Indiana legend Quinn Buckner has joined the broadcast team at the Big Ten Network. Also of note is that Gus Johnson has doubled the amount of BTN games he’ll call, including Penn State at Indiana.

From Big Ten Network’s Mike Vest:

CHICAGO – America’s favorite play-by-play announcer, Gus Johnson, returns to the Big Ten Network for a third season, and will call 23 Big Ten men’s basketball games this winter, more than twice as many as the previous two years.

Johnson headlines a new season of basketball on the Big Ten Network that will include nearly 160 men’s and women’s basketball games and pre- and post-game shows, as well as Big Ten Basketball and Beyond and the award-winning The Journey: 2011 Big Ten Basketball.

Twenty of Johnson’s 23 assignments will be regular-season conference matchups or Big Ten Tournament games. His first conference game is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 27, when Indiana hosts Penn State at Assembly Hall in Bloomington. Johnson also will handle play-by-play responsibilities during the network’s Super Wednesday doubleheaders beginning in January, as well as selected Tuesdays and Thursdays during the conference season and all three of the network’s Big Ten Tournament games.

Johnson, a Detroit native, made his Big Ten Network debut in November 2008 and has called NFL and NCAA Tournament games for CBS since 1996. Johnson’s voice is associated with many memorable NCAA Tournament games of the past 15 years.

“When Gus Johnson calls a game, there’s a feeling of anticipation and a sense that anything can happen. He brings a level of genuine excitement to the game that no one else does,” Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman said. “We’re also pleased to add a couple of faces who are new to the network, but familiar to Big Ten fans everywhere.” (more…)

Hoosier Morning


Duwyce Wilson tries to catch a ball as he heads out-of-bounds and is hit by the goal post. Chris Howell | Herald-Times


Chandler also pops for Xavier

Michael Chandler, a 6-foot-10 center from Lawrence North, made it two commitments in as many days for Xavier from the Indianapolis area.

The senior said he felt like he might commit during his official visit this weekend, the Star’s Kyle Neddenriep reported.

Indiana was interested in Chandler, and Chandler was interested (or at least said he was) in IU. But it never seemed to be a hot relationship. In dating terms, they were friends who may eventually get together, but if they didn’t no one would have felt a longing 20 years later.

But Chandler was the one prospect keeping IU’s known 2011 recruit list from being just one, Cody Zeller. Tom Crean has not backed off signing two more players in the class of 2011, so we’ll be watching and asking what new names may come out in the coming days, weeks and months.

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