Hoosiers know defense must be better against Iowa

  • 02/19/2012 11:11 am in

After Indiana beat Iowa 103-89 at Assembly Hall on Jan. 29, coach Tom Crean didn’t want to talk about the fact the Hoosiers allowed Iowa to shoot nearly 80 percent from the field in the second half.

“I’ll worry about that later,” he said at the time.

Crean wanted to enjoy the Hoosiers’ much-needed conference win instead of over-analyzing Indiana’s inability to keep the Hawkeyes from scoring.

But as the No. 20 Hoosiers (20-6, 8-6) prepare to play Iowa for the second time at 6 p.m. today, Crean is taking a more critical look at the teams’ first meeting.

“We’ve got to be way better defensively. That’s the bottom line,” Crean said in a release. “We allowed them to shoot to high of a percentage. There were times they really earned shots, especially (Josh) Oglesby, who had people in his face. But there were times we let their team get way too comfortable in the game. … We can’t be in the situation where we go on the road and try to trade baskets with a high-powered team like Iowa.”

Oglesby scored 24 points off the bench for the Hawkeyes the last time around, mostly from 3-point range. He made 6-of-8 shots from beyond the arc and helped Iowa score 52 points in the second half.

The Hoosiers were able to withstand Iowa’s charge, however, because they dominated on the offensive end. That will likely be more difficult in Iowa City. Indiana has scored 70 or more points only twice in conference road games this season.

“When you are on the road, I think it’s important to get some shots to fall down early,” Indiana guard Jordan Hulls said in a release. “Playing on the road is no easy task for sure. We need to be prepared for a dogfight.”

The Hawkeyes (13-13, 5-8) have little left to play for, but they are tough to beat on their home floor. They’ve won three of their last four at home, including a 16-point win against then-No. 13 Michigan.

For the Hoosiers, the game is much more significant.

A win would be their fourth in a row and their second consecutive victory on the road, and it would put them in a tie for fourth place with Wisconsin.

“We have had some success this year on the road and we just have to build on that,” Indiana forward Tom Pritchard said in a release. “We need to try and get the crowd out of the game and rely on our own energy.”

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  • Evansville Hoosier

    This game is a turning point I believe. Not “make or break” obviously, but I think a road win at Iowa would be a great confidence booster, and could give us enough momentum to win out this season. Maybe I’m overvaluing this game, but I really hope the Hoosiers come and play like I know they can.

  • Really I won’t be crying if we win another 103-89 victory.  The fast tempo game is good preparation for teams we will face in the Sweet 16 this year.  We are only favored by 3 so I’ll take any win .. any way ( as long as there are no injuries).

  • Jmfriedman

    If Zeller touches the ball on at least half of our possessions we will win by 10.  They have no answer for his size and athleticism inside.  They will need to double him, and our shooters will be wide open.  If they don’t double him, they are in bigger trouble, so I expect that to happen.  Control their transition game a bit and a solid game from Watford and this one should be in the books……Let’s hope so.

  • Jmfriedman

    If Zeller touches the ball on at least half of our possessions we will win by 10.  They have no answer for his size and athleticism inside.  They will need to double him, and our shooters will be wide open.  If they don’t double him, they are in bigger trouble, so I expect that to happen.  Control their transition game a bit and a solid game from Watford and this one should be in the books……Let’s hope so.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I thought we would lose 1 of our last 6 games and this could be the one but it doesn’t have to be if we:
    1)  Play lock down D and don’t let them score the easy fast break lay-ups as they did last game.
    2)  Come out on the perimeter and don’t let them score the easy three.
    3)  Zeller must touch the ball everytime down the court unless it’s a fast break.
    4)  Either dish it inside or dribble drive and get them into foul trouble and beat them at the line.

    If we take care of the ball and just do these four things we win.

  • MillaRed

    In the 4 games since we played Iowa, the little Iowa assassin Oglesby has a combined 10 points. Welcome back to reality. IU by 10.

  • MillaRed

    In the 4 games since we played Iowa, the little Iowa assassin Oglesby has a combined 10 points. Welcome back to reality. IU by 10.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    @Minnesota and home vs. MSU are the big sticking points for me. They should be the toughest.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    Ha “little Iowa assassin”. That dude got his chops in the 2nd half when it turned into him just standing on the 3 point line and waiting. I’d be surprised if I watched the tape and he actually went back on defense

  • SCHoosier

    I like to see us extend a lead so the bench can get some action..tough stretch ahead..and the starters thru 7 could use some work by the deep bench.

  • Distraught Hoosier fan

    Watched only 10 mintues into the first half and Had to turn it off and had to vent somewhere.  Worst IU performance this year.  This team is such a roller coaster ride.  Everyone and I mean everyone looked awful tonight and I could tell from the beginning Iowa wanted it more and IU couldn’t match it.  We played bad and lost to a bad team Period.