Indiana jumped five spots in the KenPom rankings following its win over Oakland on Tuesday, from 39th to 34th nationally. The Hoosiers are currently the sixth ranked Big Ten team, following: Ohio State (2nd), Wisconsin (8th), Michigan State (11th), Iowa (16th) and Michigan (20th).
What the Hoosiers do well at this point, according to the numbers:
1. Play defense
I worried about this team's defense during the exhibition season when it struggled to get out on shooters, but numbers don't lie, and the numbers say Indiana is the 11th-best defensive team in the country, according to defensive efficiency. The Hoosiers give up 92.5 points per 100 possessions, the third-best mark in the Big Ten, trailing Ohio State (1st) and Wisconsin (9th).
Indiana defends the two-point shot better than it defends the 3, ranking 12th in the nation against the two (40.4 percent) and 32nd against the 3 (27.7 percent).
2. Play fast
The Hoosiers own the 21st fastest pace in the nation, and that number would probably be a little higher had they not played such a slow tempo at Syracuse. No Big Ten team plays faster than Indiana at this point in the season. In fact, the only major schools with a faster pace are Iowa State, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
3. Crash the boards
Indiana ranks third in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage, collecting 43.5 percent of its misses. Only Kentucky (46.1) and Tennessee (45.3) rebound more. The Hoosiers rank 26th nationally in defensive rebounding percentage, trailing only Michigan and Wisconsin from the Big Ten.
Things Indiana doesn't do so well at this point in the season:
1. Take care of the ball
This has been a big problem for the Hoosiers early this season. They have a turnover rate of 20.8, ranking 281st nationally and dead last in the Big Ten. That cannot continue during conference season if the Hoosiers want a chance to defend their title.
2. Shoot the 3
Indiana ranks 270th nationally with an effective 3-pointer percentage of 30.6, again worst in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers shot it a little better against Oakland, but the deep ball is unlikely to be Indiana's calling card at any point this season.
3. Get steals
OK, so I already told you Indiana was playing good defense this year, ranking close to the top 10 nationally. But the Hoosiers aren't getting stops by means of steals. They rank 210th nationally in steal percentage, a category VCU leads.