Dan Dakich summed up Indiana’s effort Saturday afternoon at the Kohl Center on the Big Ten Network’s GMC Postgame Show with a concise, direct message.
“Indiana didn’t show up,” Dakich told Dave Revsine immediately following IU’s 83-55 loss. “It was the third straight game. This time they lose by 28. Two previous games by 17. Without much energy, without much pride.”
The humiliating loss, IU’s sixth straight, dropped the Hoosiers to 9-15 overall and 3-9 in the Big Ten. And while the outcome was not unexpected, the lack of resistance Indiana showed from the opening tip was discouraging.
There was no fight. There was no determination. And perhaps most disturbing, the effort on defense was non-existent.
Indiana looked more content to lay down and take a loss than engage in a battle with Wisconsin. And the final score, the worst loss of the season, was indicative of that.
“We’re having a major confidence issue in the sense of playing through anything that is even remotely tough to us right now,” Indiana head coach Tom Crean told Don Fisher on the postgame radio show. “We’ve got to get that mojo back of that toughness that we had.”
The outcome was never in doubt as the Badgers (19-6, 9-4) led by 20 before the second television timeout and shot 53 percent in the first half.
In all, Indiana surrended 10 3-pointers to Wisconsin, led by seven from Jason Bohannon, who scored a career-high 30 points.
“We’re not keeping the dribble in front of us right now,” Crean said. “That’s why we’re trying to play some different things defensively. We’re just not really helping with a purpose. We never got off to a great start with our defense, they got a ton of confidence and we just gave up far too many open shots.”
Indiana also reverted back to early season form in the turnover department, coughing it up 21 times. Wisconsin won the battle on the glass, 33-26, and had 18 assists to just 10 turnovers. Trevon Hughes — 16 points — and Jordan Taylor — 11 points — joined Bohannon in double figures.
Christian Watford scored 15 points to lead Indiana, but shot just 4 of 12. Verdell Jones, battling flu-like symptoms, added 11 points in 33 minutes.