There’s been plenty of conversation in the days following Indiana’s loss to Syracuse on just what went wrong. Some blamed the coaching. Poor preparation against the zone, they said. Others blamed the players. After all, the coaching staff wasn’t out there missing all those shots and turning the ball over. The Hoosiers were bested by a lengthy, athletic team playing a terrific zone they’d never seen before. They admitted to overthinking things on the court — which only compounded the problem.
Yet, a closer inspection of Indiana’s numbers reveal this: Its offense, the most efficient in the nation heading into the tournament, was nothing more than average, if that, in the month of March.
|November (7 games)||1.265||.816||58.0||41.2||70.4|
|December (7 games)||1.214||.864||57.0||41.7||73.7|
|January (7 games)||1.162||.948||55.2||44.3||65.4|
|February (7 games)||1.185||1.018||56.6||43.4||64.9|
|March (8 games)||1.029||.981||47.6||31.5||64.4|
|March (minus JMU, 7 games)||.987||.978||45.7||29.9||64.7|
Striking JMU from consideration — a contest the Hoosiers scored 1.35 points per possession against a team with a talent level more on par with a November opponent than a March one — Indiana scored less than a point per possession in its other seven games. And its shooting absolutely fell off the table. The Hoosiers shot over 40 percent from 3-point range in November, December, January and February. But in March — whether we include the JMU game or not — Indiana shot around only 30 percent from distance.