The Indiana Hoosiers roll into town today, fresh off their first loss of the season at home against the Minnesota. Tip-Off this afternoon is set for 4:30 PM ET on CBS. We’ll have your liveblog as always during the game! To take a deeper look at Indiana, view our first game preview here.
It seems like just yesterday that Aaron Craft coughed up the basketball late, Sam Thompson mishandled a bounce pass on the baseline, and William Buford decided to attempt a running three down two late with plenty of time on the clock in the 4 point loss to the Hoosiers in the first meeting of these squads.
This time though, we see a team at the Schott that struggled on the road against Penn State. Then followed it up with a loss at Assembly Hall to a Minnesota team without it’s best player. Still, the Gophers are a gritty team that are coached well and do the little things right (I think I hit every cliche possible).
The Hoosiers continued pushing the basketball with their top notch transition offense, but it was their defense that broke down throughout the first and late in the second. Ryan Corazza breaks down the defensive faults of the Hoosiers in the latest Film Study over at Inside the Hall. If you watched, the first thing you’d pick up from this one was the lack of communication on that end of the floor. Guys were out of position, forgetting their assignment in the zone, and letting the Gophers get to the baseline.
So far in Big Ten play, Indiana is allowing more than 1 point per possession, which is not going to get the job done if they want to remain at the top of the conference. Their biggest issue though could be the lack of ability to get the glass, box out and grab a tough rebound. Currently, the Hoosiers are grabbing 35 boards per game.
Minnesota was able to turn the tide defensively, both inside and on the perimeter. Jordan Hulls was kept to just one three pointer and the team shot 22% from beyond the arc last time out.
We all know the one to watch is Jared Sullinger and freshman sensation Cody Zeller. Sullinger was held to 15 points at Assembly Hall, and despite scoring 21 against Illinois, he was upset with his performance. It will be interesting to see how different the second go around with these two is. Zeller has been named the Freshman of the Week five times already this season, but if you can frustrate him by closing the entry pass, it completely changes the gameplan. If the Buckeyes can keep it in the perimeter, it gives them a better chance of winning. I also expect to see more of J.D. Weatherspoon and Sam Thompson today to combat with the quick transition offense of the Hoosiers.