Indiana looks to stay undefeated in Big Ten play

  • 01/23/2016 7:41 am in

Indiana will look to move its winning streak to 12 games today when Northwestern comes to Assembly Hall to take on the first place Hoosiers.

At 16-3 overall and 6-0 in conference, IU has put itself in a position where it could go undefeated in the month of January. The Wildcats, though, are no pushover. Northwestern is 15-5, 3-4 and on a mission to finally get that NCAA Tournament berth they’ve been seeking under Chris Collins.

“They’re a confident group,” Tom Crean said. “They’re coming off a game the other night that are one or two bounces the other way they’d beat Maryland at Maryland.”

The Wildcats are led by sophomore point guard Bryant McIntosh, who leads the team in scoring at 15.7 points per game and 7.1 assists a contest. Senior guard Tre Demps is also averaging 14 points a game.

“Very committed, a tough team,” Crean said. “You can see the toughness on offense with the way that they cut, with their screening, they don’t turn it over much, they’re very tough on defense and their rebounding is outstanding.”

Northwestern also has big man Alex Olah, who averages 11.3 points and 5.8 rebounds a game, back from injury. Crean said he believes Olah can be a major matchup problem.

“Well because I think he can score so well,” Crean said. “He’s such a good post-up, he can face-up, he’s a load because of the screen and roll game, and he’s another guy that you really have to account for on the offensive glass.”

Crean said that during practice, he has the forwards play against the guards to better prepare them for changing matchups throughout the game. It gives guys like Thomas Bryant a chance to matchup up with smaller, faster players and vice versa.

“It helps us win games in different ways,” Nick Zeisloft said. “We’re going to have to have our bigs switch on to guards and our guards switch on to bigs and defend properly and get stops no matter what. No matter what the size is, you have to win your matchup.”

Crean talked about Collins, saying he views him as a great coach and someone who’s very experienced despite his younger age.

“They really work well together,” Crean said. “They have very good spacing. There’s no question, Chris, I’ve always felt was going to be an excellent coach.”

Northwestern plays a zone, something Crean says IU can’t become stagnant in. On offense, the Wildcats run a slower paced offense, but that isn’t something that Zeisloft thinks will hinder the Hoosiers.

“If they’re going to try to slow it down that’s fine, but we’re going to speed it up and play at the pace that we want to play at,” Zeisloft said. “It’s not like we’re just going to accept that, we’re going to get our stops and then get out and run the floor like we always have been.”

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  • Bill Graham

    Shhh! not a good article. Its like a pitcher throwing a perfect game. You don’t talk about it.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    What concerns me the most is if the referees call the game in a gut wrenching style against IU thus slowing the game down. If Gene Steratore is assigned this game then there is a high probability that will happen. Collins is always is in the refs face/ear to make sure that happens.

  • So, do you know? Is Gene Stereophonic assigned to this game?
    I hope not..

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Hey Ken. No I don’t know if he is. I’m with you on that one. I was using him as an example.

  • Who is the other ‘jerk’ that seems to use and abuse IU every time he refs our games? Like TV Tony Valentine or something like that? He is the worst.

  • PBzeer

    This seems like a game where the offense has to come out of the defense to keep NW out of setting up their defense. Interesting matchup is the energy of TB vs the experience of Olah. Got a feeling we’re going to need a good game out of Max today.

    A win today starts to establish some legitimacy to our apparent improvement, as this looks to be the toughest test since ND..

  • BL

    It’s on YF and RJ to better NU’s guards. Also, will need good ball movement and get the ball into the paint against the zone. Another good game from Troy and we’ll be fine.

  • cooper

    NW isn’t good. IU should win relatively easy. 78-65

  • Koko

    “No matter what the size is, you have to win your matchup”
    “If they’re going to try to slow it down that’s fine, but we’re going to speed it up and play at the pace that we want to play”. Right on Nick! Get your stops and play our offense. This a point of view we didn’t hear much about or see in the early games of the season. Amazing how a simple change of viewpoint can turn a program around. Keep it rolling boys….take care of business.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    I still think I will beat NW by at least 15. NW isn’t that good.

  • So you’re saying that all of the 9 straight wins, and even being moved into the Top 25 polls.. does not say anything about the “legitimacy to our apparent improvement”? Hmmmm that’s a pretty weird way to put it. It pretty much erodes the ‘apparent legitimacy’ of your posts…lol..

  • sarge

    Ted Valentine. He is the worst, although recently I didn’t think he was too hard on us. He hated RMK though. I saw plenty of games where they got heated.

  • Koko

    It was a game within a game when those two matched up.

  • ForeverIU

    I think NW stays in the game the first half, then we put them away in the second. A 20-pt win for us.

  • Lance76

    Finally took time to watch a little of Maryland vs NW on DVR last night. McIntosh(sp?) point for NW is yet another player from Indiana that is very good. We need to put the clamps on him and we win. Interesting to see who is assigned the defensive task of shutting him down.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    What a great, great, great day!! IU is up 24 with 14 minutes to go.