Saturday, January 26, 2008

Painful to watch

What was there to take away in the Hoosiers' 68-63 home loss to Connecticut? Not much. IU hit a few threes early, and then DJ was operating well against 7-3 Hasheem Thabeet, and the wheels came off. IU missed a few lay-ups, got rattled, and started making bad decisions on offense. The turnovers don't reflect the extent at which the offense failed them this afternoon, but at one point IU was 5-for-32 inside the arc. The defense was nothing to write home about either, as they couldn't make stops when they needed them. Where's the dribble penetration defense when the Huskies are known dubious perimeter shooters?

It'd be easy to say that it was just an off-game for IU, and a lot went right for the Huskies (a lot of floaters rattle in, they hit 4 of their first 5 threes, and shot pretty well on free-throws as well), but I'm pretty concerned about Indiana's play at home lately. IU won at UConn last season with less talent by playing zone, and running an offense with screens. UConn's big men clearly weren't interested in chasing the guys that they were supposed to be defending, so where was the pick-and-pop? I'm seeing way too much individual play that doesn't lead anywhere, and then the guys get frustrated and don't respond well. Sampson's gotta start reaching these guys with the simple message: the sum is greater than the parts... wake up!

I'll also say this, this was a game the UConn needed more than the Hoosiers for their NCAA resume. Last year, it was the other way around, and the road team won that time too. Oh well. It ain't going to get any easier in the next game, at Wisconsin.

Watching the Purdue-Wisconsin game now, which does seem to be getting called evenly right now. If the Boilers can knock of UW, they start to look like a legit NCAA club.


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