With every basketball game that Indiana plays this season we will take a look at three things to watch that could be important for that game.
Here are the three keys for Connecticut:
1. PRESSURE THE SHOOTERS
Connecticut can really shoot it. It didn't look that way against Boston College Thursday night but the Huskies generally shoot it well from the field and from distance. One player in particular, Niels Giffey, comes off the bench and is shooting 77 percent from 3 this year. That's 13-of-17. The key to beating Connecticut is to challenge shots and make things difficult for the Huskies in terms of handling the ball. Connecticut only averages nine turnovers a game. Last night it only had three. Forcing turnovers and limiting Indiana's own could be a big statistic to watch in this one.
2. REBOUND AT A HIGH LEVEL
For a team like Indiana that averages 51 rebounds per game including 18 per game on the offensive end this wouldn't seem like a tall order. But it's even more important against a team like Connecticut that doesn't rebound it at a particularly high rate. UConn averages 35 rebounds per game. It had 32 last night. Connecticut has decent size in Phillip Nolan at 6-10 and DeAndre Daniels at 6-9 in the starting lineup but the bigger key for Indiana is that it needs to continue to attack the basket with three and four guys to get rebounds.
3. CONTINUE TO TAKE STEPS FORWARD
For the most part, Indiana has been taking steps forward with each game. Even when the Hoosiers couldn't find the rim on free throws against Stony Brook IU did plenty of other things well. And then last night, in many ways, IU appeared to be putting it all together in its convincing victory over Washington. Now the Hoosiers need to continue that upward movement with a strong performance against a Connecticut team ranked in the top 20 in both polls. The trip to New York is already a success based on how IU handled the bright lights of Madison Square Garden last night but the ability to put back-to-back games together away from Assembly Hall in tonight's game would be huge for a young team.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch