The Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehall) and sent to us via our Facebook page. Submit your questions and we’ll answer as many as we can.
Joe Weis writes: Besides limiting turnovers and hitting more foul shots, what is the one focus area to match up with (and beat) a Michigan team that has looked so dominating thus far?
This goes without saying, but the obvious difference maker in the Feb. 2 game is likely going to be the crowd in Assembly Hall. The Wolverines never play well in Bloomington and it’s fair to say the atmosphere could reach Kentucky levels.
There are a couple of other less obvious areas to hone in on. The first: How will Trey Burke respond to a bigger, more athletic defender like Victor Oladipo? Obviously putting Oladipo on Burke could put Indiana at some disadvantages in other matchups, but it’s hard to see anyone else drawing the assignment on a guy who is playing as well as anyone in the country.
You mention Michigan’s dominance, but defensively, I think Indiana will be able to score the ball. The Wolverines aren’t particularly great in their defense of 2-point field goal attempts (allowing 46.1 percent) and IU is great at finishing plays around the rim. This game, if both teams continue on their current paths, has a chance to be the best to-date in college hoops this season. – Alex Bozich
@steiny0626 writes: how much will IU non-conference sched. hurt them for seeding in tourney? wins vs gtown and nc seem less proving than thought?
It’s hard to imagine the non-conference schedule having a huge effect on IU’s NCAA Tournament seeding because their Big Ten schedule is truly a grind. IU has single-plays with three teams in the bottom half of the league (Nebraska, Northwestern and Wisconsin) which means the Hoosiers are playing Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Minnesota all twice. That’s truly brutal. Right now the strength of schedule is a little lower than some Big Ten peers, but it’ll stack up just fine nationally once the league schedule plays out. — Alex Bozich
Jeff Bundy writes: How soon do we expect to see Mo Creek return?
Creek is looking at a return date of a week to two weeks after suffering a right foot injury. Crean said on Monday that he’s not expecting to play Creek on Saturday against Minnesota, but that it was a positive that he’s been on the floor recently without his boot. – Alex Bozich
@eastwood88_20 writes: Is iu turnover issues going to cost iu vs top end of the bigten or is simply the level of talent they are facing?
I think the turnover “issues” you mention are somewhat a product of the pace Indiana is trying to deploy. Tom Crean has talked about trying to push tempo and produce more possessions (and shots), so turnovers are naturally going to occur as a byproduct. Overall, Indiana is turning it over on 19.2 of its possessions this season and the Hoosiers finished 2011-2012 with that figure at 19.1. I think pointing to turnovers as an issue at this point is splitting hairs when you look at the fact that IU has the fourth most efficient offense in the country and its record is 14-1. — Alex Bozich
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