IU hosts their second-to-last non-conference opponent when Tennessee Tech visits the Hoosiers in Bloomington Thursday night. Here is what Indiana needs to do to not only come out with a victory, but redeem themselves from the Fort Wayne game.
Indiana has given up 18 turnovers or more in 3 of their 12 games (Indiana State, Seton Hall, and Fort Wayne). No coincidence the Hoosiers lost both games. Indiana needs to keep the turnovers to under 12 this game, if not under 10 due to the level of the opponent they will be playing.
This statistic is crucial both ways. Give credit to Fort Wayne, for they shot the lights out against Indiana Monday night, but the Hoosiers did not contest many of their shots. Indiana needs to switch on the screens quicker, and get a hand in the face of the opponent. IU will get torn apart in the B1G if they give their opponent multiple, uncontested 3’s. The pack-line defense is supposed to focus more on the lane and less on the perimeter, but it isn’t supposed to completely stop players from guarding the 3-point line.
On the other end, Indiana needs to take better 3-point shots. This year, the Hoosiers will not be a team that will win games off of the 3. They are going to be a team who will make their living off of good and smart shots, but that doesn’t mean they can’t do that on the perimeter as well. IU needs to take smart shots from beyond the arc, and keep that “attempts” number down if they keep missing shots.
This year, this Hoosier team does not play well after big games. After a solid performance against Duke, they came out flat-footed against Michigan. Two days after beating their first ranked team of the year, Indiana put up their worst performance of the year against in-state opponent Fort Wayne. This puts into question the ego that this team has. Once they perform well on a big stage, they look past their next opponent and pay for it. They are not talented enough to take any game for granted, and they need to come focused for every single play in every game. We will be able to see if they come into the Tennessee Tech game focused by how they hustle down the court, overcome tough situations, and whether or not they are careless with the ball.
Indiana needs to not only have a bounce-back game after Fort Wayne, but they need to play sound basketball from start to finish. They need to not just win, but play like a team and show that they do not overlook opponents.