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 tonight's game with Nicholls State:
1. BE SELFISH. WORRY ABOUT YOURSELF
Let's face it. Indiana is a 27.5 point favorite tonight against Nicholls State. By the time this one is over, the Hoosiers will be 9-3. Trust me, if they aren't the alarms will be sounding so loudly in Bloomington that you won't be able to hear yourself think. With that in mind, the Hoosiers need to spend tonight and Sunday against Kennesaw State focusing completely on doing the things they need to do better heading into the Big Ten opener at Illinois on Dec. 31. Indiana rebounds the ball really well. It needs to do that tonight. Indiana isn't shooting the ball particular well from the perimeter. It needs to try to establish that tonight. IU needs to play Indiana basketball. I think most everyone within Hoosier Nation knows exactly what I'm talking about there. The Hoosiers need to get in, get out, and pound an opponent that they are expected to pound. And move on to Kennesaw State. It's that simple.
2. DEVELOP CHEMISTRY AND ROTATIONS
If Indiana fans have a good feel for what IU's rotations are 11 games into the season, I would like to know them. Here's what we know: the same five guys start pretty much every game. Will Sheehey, Yogi Ferrell, Troy Williams, Jeremy Hollowell and Noah Vonleh are likely going to be in the starting lineup. But where does Indiana go from there. Evan Gordon has been a key contributor. Devin Davis, when healthy, is someone IU relies heavily upon. Stanford Robinson has had more of an increased role. The same is true for Luke Fischer. Austin Etherington has been getting some minutes, too. That's 10 players right there. Add in Hanner Mosquera-Perea and perhaps that rotation is up to 11. The point though is that whatever the number is Indiana needs to get the same guys on the court together at the same time, build that chemistry and work on rotations. The Hoosiers have two games remaining until the Big Ten begins to accomplish that goal.
3. VONLEH NEEDS TO BE MORE CONSISTENT
This is also the theme of our player to watch feature for today but Indiana needs to get more consistency out of Noah Vonleh. In each of the last two games he has scored a total of eight points. In four games in a row he has only attempted five shots. In the first five games, he averaged 10 shots per game. Indiana needs its talented freshman big man to demand the ball in the post and take it hard and aggressive to the basket. That kind of play needs to begin tonight, carry over to Sunday and carry over from there to the Illini.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch