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Today, I look in IU’s 85-60 win over the Ohio State Buckeyes.  The Hoosiers are atop the Big Ten with a 6-0 record.  Their defense has definitely improved since the loss to Duke.

Here are my observations on the game.

  1.  IU did a great job defensively in the first half.  They were really active on defense forcing turnovers.  CBS announcer Carter Blackburn said they had 8 steals in the first half.  42 points in the second half is a lot but I am not going to ridicule.  The offense was there and defense did enough to secure the victory.
  2. The offense was proficient.  IU made great cuts and their screens were solid.  IU was able to get in the lane pretty easily on Ohio State.
  3. There’s good Troy and there’s bad Troy.  Against Ohio State, we got great Troy.  He was very efficient off the dribble.  He was under control and he also had a few blow bys off the dribble.   Troy also did it on the outside as he was hot from three in the first half.
  4. Thomas Bryant was pretty consistent in both halves.   He was very active on the boards and on offense.
  5. IU just made Ohio State look bad in the first half.  At one point in the first half, IU was up 40-14
  6. IU did have a little sloppiness with the second unit in the first half.
  7. Ohio State is a very young team.  I will say JaQuan Lyle stood out in the second half.
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It’s been a while since I’ve written the Hoosier blog.  Since then IU has had a disappointing performance in the Maui Invitational, a bad loss to Duke and a big comeback against Notre Dame.  The theme of IU has been solid scoring plagued by an atrocious defense and bad turnovers.

Despite all that, they are 2-0 in the Big Ten after winning on the road at Nebraska this afternoon 79-69.  Here are my observations in general and about tonight’s game.

  •  IU’s defense is very hard for me to watch.  I am at the point where I can stand all the breakdowns so I am trying to limit my self to one game a week.  Tonight’s game started off okay defensively and IU did some good defensively.   However, they got beat off the dribble a lot and they did not play well in transition especially in the first half.  The second half was better because of their hot shooting but there were still breakdowns.
  •  Announcer Bob Wetzel- Several times he mentioned we were without James Blackmon Jr.  I only needed to hear that once.  He kept saying Yogi Ferrell needed to step up.  It drove me nuts.  It’s a five man game; Yogi was playing well offensively.  I will have more on him later.   I am at the point where I will root for IU to fight through the injury to Blackmon with expecting to get contributions from everybody.  Wetzel said IU “is not a bad defensive team.”  We all know this team is very limited defensively and it has a long ways to go.
  • Yogi Ferrell – In the first half, he was getting his players involved like a point guard should.   He had a big bucket at the end of the first half.  He came through offensively big time in the second half.  He pretty much carried IU to the win.
  • OG Anunoby-  He was instant offense off the bench in the first and second half.  He also made some steals.
  • Thomas Bryant- He continues to impress.  He was big inside once again.  He is getting better and better.  He came up with some big buckets both halves.   Both he and Troy Williams had some blocks to start the first half.
  • IU’s offense-  IU is so much better when are reversing the ball and moving on offense.  On one play in the second half, IU moved the ball well and it led to a 3 by Nick Zeisloft.  On the other hand, their turnovers were horrendous in the first half.  IU has to get this corrected .
  • Nebraska- Glynn Watson got it going at one point in the first half.  Jack McVeigh hit some big 3s in the first half.  In the second half, Shavon Shields and Andrew White showed their power.

From here, IU needs to keep working on defense.  They have a big game with Wisconsin on Tuesday.  I will probably not blog about that game but I will have more to come with a look back at games earlier in the season if I have time.  The Hoosiers just need to buckle down as a unit right now and keep getting better.